i am going to talk about the ripple effect again...
Carol · Jul. 4, 2010
the ripple effect is not just some random outward moving thing without any kind of predictability. sometimes it seems like it is but really with some thought and common sense it is pretty predictable in where it is going.
one of the reasons we do so well with some types of biters here is because if we can figure out the reason for biting, we remove that reason from their lives. biting can become an escalating habit...if it was successful in meeting their needs the first time then it may be successful again.
if you do not want a certain behavior to spiral out of control, then take away the triggers and opportunity BEFORE it becomes a huge big problem. if you do nothing and just watch it escalate, pretty soon it will grow into something unmanageable and gigantic and the next steps you have to take will not be happy ones.
today two things happened which if i am really careful, will seriously impact 2 of the animals for how ever long they will live here...which in one case, may not be too much longer....if i am NOT careful...it may impact more.
i have said it one hundred times before...rescue is a burden of responsibility. it is a burden because there will be times when whatever decisions or actions you make (or do not make) are going to haunt you for the rest of your life...and you cannot escape from that.
and so every step has to be carefully thought out before the ripples reach out and drown you or someone else.
when i came home for lunch today...bailey was outside and unsupervised running the fence line in full out mindless prey drive with amos the donkey. amos's adrenalin was just as hyped up as he battled along the fence line against his new arch enemy... the prey driven dog.
i was livid..i went outside and gave bailey supreme shit and sent him flying back into the house. now here is a new rule that bailey must live with....he is NEVER to be out of my room unless i am with him or he is secured on a leash..not even to just go outside in the yard to pee. his prey drive is escalating and he has reached the point where in my mind he has just become a full dangerous dog. bailey got away with running that fence line one time too many. i am utterly convinced that he will if given the opportunity kill either one of the smaller barn yards or one of the house cats.
his switch is fully turned on and i have no idea how to turn it off.
and now what do i do..i cannot send him out..i thought a home in the city might do...but what about wandering neighbor cats that might jump into his yard one day...do they deserve to die in the jaws of bailey, a dog i know has a serious problem? if that was your cat who jumped over the very wrong fence...how would you feel about that?
up to this point....i do not keep truly dangerous dogs at saints. but there in lies the problem..i happen to love bailey a lot by now and i want to find a iron clad way to keep him safe from himself.
tonight the only options i see are either euthanizing him before he kills..waiting til after it happens or making him live in a roofed and locked outside kennel all day til i get home at night. it is one thing for me to make a mistake and carry the burden of responsibility for the rest of my life...it is another thing altogether to leave that burden for the staff or volunteers..they did not sign up for that kind of responsibility around here.
the other thing that happened also involved amos the donkey. and it also involved possible deadly violence to another. amos was to stay segregated from all of the other animals until several months after his gelding. he is a full jack (stallion) donkey and he is dangerous with all of that testosterone pumping around. i said it was ok for him to come out into the riding ring when no one else was in there. this was a really bad decision on my part because i did not consider that al jumps the fence into there and those stupid little dogs squeeze in under the gate.
anyway thankfully it was not one of them that he went after today because if it was, one of them would be dead. today he went after ellie -mae as she was napping underneath the new shelter, where she was not supposed to be. amos went up in full rear and pounded the shit out of her neck and the back of her head. it was the absolute worst spot on her body that he could have aimed for and i think amos knew that too.. if her thick muscles have not fully cushioned those blows, she may well end up with swelling inside the spinal column, which will lead to swelling within the brain...we won't know for sure that she has escaped this for several days.
i did talk to the vet and he said we also have to watch for dehydration and fatty liver disease because if she stops eating or drinking because her neck is too sore, she could get really sick within a few days from that too.
so now we have a donkey that just lost any chance of ever being fully intregated into the barn yard at saints. we caannot risk trying him out once his hormones are gone because we already know now that amos has felt and acted violently towards a pig and a dog. his hormones may settle at some point but it won't do a damn thing to his memory...once he has done it once, he may do it again..violent donkey feet applied with enough force to the the right part of the body, can under some circumstances be deadly....it is not a risk with him that i can take now.
amos will never be allowed in the riding ring again or the fields because even if we are careful to make sure pigs and goats and sheep are not ever anywhere near him again...we cannot keep 30 trusting and busy dogs from sneaking under gates, over fences, playing with balls next to feet or just trotting innocently along.
my only two options for him are to find him an appropriate home or forever safely confine him.
and this is why all of us have to try to be superhumans and never make a mistake because when we mess up, some animal around here will pay the full price.
i am still thinking about bailey that i do really love...do i try to prevent him from killing by being totally on top of him and taking away all freedom? do i trust if i do find him a very good home that they can take on the very real and lifelong responsibility to protect any animal he sees as prey who might get anywhere near him? or do i just love him and kill him and then know he is forever dead but safe?
anyone who thinks rescue is black and white, only about doing good things and forever a happy ending, has never seen the ripple effect and fully understood the part in it that they played.
please be well and strong ellie, we all really do love you and are sorry you were hurt today...it will not happen again.
amos and bailey i am really pissed at you both for making me think about both of you like this today.