Rescue Journal

rescue thoughts

Carol  ·  Mar. 25, 2013

i took another sick day..i am hoping to go back tomorrow, but if that is what i am planning, i need to rest today and get my coughing under control. i can't lay around in bed here, at least not until later when everything is done and everyone is settled. i don't want to go hang out in the suite cuz quite frankly today i don't want to be alone.

so i am just going to sit here for awhile and write. maybe you want to skip this cuz god only knows what kind of convoluted things will come out.

i hve been thinking a lot about aggression and why i am so tolerant of some kinds and so incredibly intolerant of others.

i can't even do something simple like put a muzzle on odie without getting bit (and still not ever being successful in getting the muzzle on him.) i can't check his blood sugars, i can't warm compress his wounds..i can't even get the vet wrap off of his leg from his IV.

puff has to live seperate cuz when he is in a nasty mood, he has to be segregated or he will seriously bite other animals and humans. ed and jelly cannot live in areas where we free feed because those chubby and greedy bastards think all food belongs to them. bo is a danger because he does not like dogs he doesn't know and he is a powerhouse of muscle and brute force and not very smart to boot. phoebe has badly bitten more people and animals than i care to count..jesse, jerry and griffin are simply just total assholes.

but...all of them have something in their favor that makes them managable. bo has good bite inhibition so if he does break the skin, it isn't very deep. odie won't bite as long as no one does anything to piss him off. jelly and ed are ok if there is no food around. puff is ok if he is sent to bed and everyone leaves him alone for awhile. pheobe is managable if we keep her on her psych. meds and jesse, jerry and griffin just are not physically capable of seriously hurting anybody.

and on the whole..most of these guys don't actually go looking for trouble..if it shows up in their face or god forbid in their space..., they are more than willing to comply. but really dogs are pretty good at leaving the innocent alone.

the ones that present a real safety issue for me in terms of life and limb are the ones who actively seek a victim. they are on high alert for any opportunity to cause harm. it is not so much they are reacting to something and becoming violent as they are proactively seeking some violence that becomes the real problem.

we can manage somewhat violent dogs who become violent due to certain triggers that we can control. but the ones whose violence comes more from within then it does from with out..those dogs i don't know how to manage as well. those triggers are just too sensitive to uncontrollable triggers like what is in the air they are breathing, what is the level of anxiety or excitement around them..are they just feeling like grinding some poor innocent ass right to the ground today? and the bottom line is...they get high off of the violence that they do.

for me that unpredictability, the over the top, far too great of repetative multiple ongoing reactions is what crosses the line from pain in the freaking ass into the dangerous zone. odie bites once..yes he bites hard. he is fully capable of biting right to the bone and he has. but when whatever is pissing him off stops...he doesn't feel the need to keep going..he just wanted whatever it was to stop and if one bite will do that then he is done.

i don't know if i am explaining this well...but there is a difference between crankiness/bitchiness and for lack of a better word... viciousness.
and it wasn't that fletcher or any of the other dogs i have euth'd for extreme aggression were intrinsically vicous because they weren't. they were all what i considered to be really nice dogs for the most part and i really liked or loved them all. but when their unknown buttons were inadvertantly pushed, then they became life and limb dangerous dogs.

but here is the thing..i believe that it is kinder to end the life of these very complex, almost undecipherable beings then it is to cage them for the rest of their lives. i believe it is better to give them a peaceful and gentle end then it is to wait for something beyond terrible to happen and to have them have to face the consequences alone that may not be so gentle and kind.

many years ago when duke the rotti attacked me and chewed me up pretty bad..i was fairly new to down and dirty rescue. i did not know what to do so i called the spca emergenc line. they were great, they came and got him and took him away to euthanize. and to this day, i can see him bewildered and confused on the catch pole being taken away. what a frightening and unfair way for me to have let him end his life. one of my biggest regrets is that i did not do that better for duke..i will never make that mistake again.

so whether folks know this or not..part of the humane euthanization of dangerous caring about them so deeply that you ensure that not just others will be safe...but that they themselves will not ever be frightened and alone in harms way too. i think it is kinder letting them to go in peace and love.

i wish i had done that for duke.


Paula Casorso

I have a small dog that falls into the category Carol talks about where his triggers are pretty easy to identify and predict, so his aggression is manageable. He acts a bit crazy sometimes, but we've figured out how to deal with him and give him a great life. If he was the type that acted without obvious triggers or warnings and hurt others, then I would have no choice, just like Carol. It's definitely tough and I agree that there are different types of aggressive dogs - some can be managed safely, some just can't. You did the right thing.


Whoops that was me, same old Susan, or Susan H. Don't know where the "m" came from? :)

Susan m

Duke was part of your growth Carol. You learned from him. I don't think there's anyone on this earth that doesn't wish we could go back and change things, for whatever reason. I had a similar incident many years ago, and wished that I could go back and change my reaction to it. I can't, but boy have I learned things since then. You're very hard on yourself, and I can understand with what you've been dealing with. Be kind to yourself. Give yourself some slack. You're a very special, amazing person. Hugs.


That is horrible, how uncaring. Thankfully vets have come a long way since then, at least mine is. I couldn't imagine that happening, I don't think I would handle that well at all.


That's horrible, Bunny! I think most vets have come a long way since then with being caring and respectful (I hope...)

Bunny Horne

UNDERSTOOD - you were most eloquent in your words. All animals deserve respect and that's what you did with Fletcher. He was not in shear terror when he went to the vet. In the 70s I had a pet that passed away during the night and I took him to the vet as soon as the clinic opened. I carried my beloved pet into the clinic wrapped in his favorite blankie and I was horrorstruck when a young lady walked from behind the counter with a green garbage bag and dropped (I kid you not) my pet and his blankie into the bag and walked away with him. Even in death we should treat our animals with respect.