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Farewell Paco  
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 18674 posts, RR: 58
Posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 1789 times:

We were on vacation in Hawaii when we got the news that Paco had bit our friend. We'd left him with our good friend to dogsit. While we were gone, she had a friend over (who is a mutual friend of ours) and, to make a long story short, Paco snapped and bit his head.

The wound was trivial, but the significance was clear. After thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of training, behavior mod, and eventually medication, Paco still bites. And he does it without warning or apparent provocation.

We ended our eight-day trip to Hawaii five days in, flew back, and tomorrow will be returning Paco to the rescue group where we got him.

There is no logic. How can I love a little white fluffball who has caused such grief? Who has cost thousands of dollars? Who has forced me to return twice now from trips? And yet, as I look at him curled up on the sofa, I know that I will miss him terribly.

Have you ever had to give up a pet before his/her time? Why?

20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineMD11junkie From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 3135 posts, RR: 58
Reply 1, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 1740 times:

Doc,

Was Paco at his usual place, or was he in your friend's house?

Either, if he didn't bite you or your partner - I don't think you have to draw conclusions. If he was away, Paco was probably stressed. Dogs get stressed leaving their usual "territories". Adding a third person to the mix, your mutual friend, could have made Paco even more on edge. Anything could've make him snap. For example, my boxer Alfio bit my uncle's leg just after a pat, with no particular reason and staying at my uncle's house because I was away. He never bit any of us in our family, ever.

If your friend was at your place, well, you need to consider that even if he his your friend, he is an alien to a dog - someone that does not belong in his territory.

I'm sorry that Paco snapped. But, after those countless hours of training, has he bitten you or your partner?

I know you will miss him. It's real sad. Even though he bites, this is my personal opinion, I wouldn't give him away. Not because of all the investment, but because I don't give away friends. (yes, I considered my dog to be a great companion)

I hope everything turns out ok for you.



There is no such thing as Boeing vs Airbus as the queen of the skies has three engines, winglets and the sweetest nose!
User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9391 posts, RR: 27
Reply 2, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 1711 times:
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My dog, Ben, also lunges and tries to nip at people. He's a little guy, and I'm pretty sure he's just afraid of people, and tries to make them go away any way he can. Nevertheless, it is bad behavior, and I'm always slightly nervous taking him places where there will be people. I keep a pretty close eye on him, and he hasn't bitten any strangers in my presence yet (not that he hasn't tried).

Part of it has to do with his breed - he's a Chihuahua/Jack Russell, and perhaps some other stuff thrown in. One time I was watching Dogs 101 or whatever that show is, and they talked about that specific breed. Apparently they form very tight bonds with very few people, and aren't friendly to everyone else.

We've tried taking him to dog classes. We've punished him after he's been bad. But he still hasn't gotten the message.

As to how you can still love him? Well, I still absolutely adore Ben, even with his not-so-great behaviors. And he loves me completely unconditionally. He's just absolutely the sweetest puppy in the world to me. All he really wants in his life is for everyone he loves to be in the same place as him.

So I feel your pain, and wish you and Paco the best.



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlineEmirates773ER From Pakistan, joined Jun 2005, 1448 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1664 times:

A very practical decision there Doc, you gave it your best shot.


The Truth is Out There ---- Face It!!!!!
User currently offlinesan747 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 4939 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1642 times:

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 2):

Part of it has to do with his breed - he's a Chihuahua/Jack Russell, and perhaps some other stuff thrown in. One time I was watching Dogs 101 or whatever that show is, and they talked about that specific breed. Apparently they form very tight bonds with very few people, and aren't friendly to everyone else.

That's the breed of one of my two dogs, and that is exactly his personality to the letter. He loves the four of us in the household, but will yip nonstop at any guest in our house for at least the first 10 minutes- its so bad that my girlfriend almost never comes over to my house anymore!

He growls a lot and will sometimes bite if you provoke him, but never out of nowhere, so that's the good news. His most annoying habit is he licks everything and everyone frankly!



Scotty doesn't know...
User currently offlineUAL747DEN From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2392 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1625 times:

What kind of dog is Paco?

We took in a rescued dog once, an American Eskimo and it was a horrible situation. When we picked him up he was very scared but they told us he warms up to people very quickly. We brought him home and made the kids leave him alone so he could get used to the house but he just shook and hid behind the chair, the dog wouldn't even come out to eat, it was horrible. After about 4 days I couldn't stand to see the dog like this anymore and just took him back. My house is way to crazy for a dog like that. The sad part was that we had got this dog for my son who still to this day has a hard time when he remembers the American Eskimo we lost when he was young. We lost this dog to the bad dog food that was sent out and he went from healthy happy dog to dead in less than a day.

I don't really care for any animals being in my house but after they are with you for a while you really get attached and they become part of your life, its hard when they have to go. Sorry Doc.



/// UNITED AIRLINES
User currently offlineWarRI1 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 8497 posts, RR: 10
Reply 6, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1549 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
Have you ever had to give up a pet before his/her time? Why?

I have never had a problem with pets, I do not have them. I have never had them, will never have them. Dealing with humans is enough for me.



It is better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.
User currently offlineJBirdAV8r From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 4482 posts, RR: 22
Reply 7, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1537 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
There is no logic. How can I love a little white fluffball who has caused such grief? Who has cost thousands of dollars? Who has forced me to return twice now from trips? And yet, as I look at him curled up on the sofa, I know that I will miss him terribly.

From the bottom of my heart I have to say thanks for giving a rescue a chance.

And I'd wager it's somewhat the same unconditional love people give human children. It's why mothers of convicted killers still visit their sons in jail. They didn't cover for their children, try to help them avoid the law, enable them to kill others--but they love them unconditionally.

You've done everything you can. Maybe this will be the chance for Paco to get more specialized structure from someone more familiar with dealing with canine behavioral problems...never know. At least you have a guilt-free conscience and some wonderful memories of Paco. And you know it'll get better with time since (IIRC) you do have another new critter in the house.

Hope you feel better.



I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
User currently offlinejohns624 From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 865 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1534 times:

I had to put our family dog to sleep when he was only ten years old and in prime health. My parents lived in a tough area of Detroit and my Dad was too stubborn to move. My siblings got George for them from the Humane Society. He was a lovable, yet protective 18mo collie mix. My Dad died and we moved our Mom to a safer area. I lived in an apartment that didn't allow pets and I couldn't find a home for him. There was no way that I would give him up since I knew that he was too old to adopt. I took him in and held him while he was put to sleep. I cried the rest of the day.

User currently offlineOA412 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 5225 posts, RR: 25
Reply 9, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1526 times:

Oh my, when I first saw the title of this thread, I thought you had to put Paco down. I'm sorry you're having to give him up, but sometimes it just the right thing to do.

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
Have you ever had to give up a pet before his/her time? Why?

Yes. A couple of years ago I brought home a cat so that my cat could have a companion after my older cat died. They were beginning to bond, but my housemates refused to live with a second cat (frankly I should have gotten rid of them  ), so I ended up having to return him. He was a sweet cat, but very rambunctious, which was going to be a problem anyway since my cat is rambunctious herself and very hard-headeed (and I still love her like nothing else), but also one of the most affectionate cats I've ever come across. She could spend all day in your lap if you allowed her to. Anyway, I ended up taking the new cat back because it just wasn't possible for me to hold onto him at that time. I only had him for a few days, but it still broke my heart to return him. You've had Paco for longer than that, and I know you've often spoken about how much you love him so I know this must be very hard for you.

Quoting san747 (Reply 4):
its so bad that my girlfriend almost never comes over to my house anymore!

Perhaps the dog is trying to tell you something.      



Hughes Airwest - Top Banana In The West
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 18674 posts, RR: 58
Reply 10, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 1472 times:

Turns out the rescue group can't take him back, after all. So I'm just waiting for them to transfer the microchip to us and then we're going to the vet.

Last time I cried like this was when my dad died.

*next bit*

Just as I typed the period above, the phone rang. Rescue group calling again. They found somewhere to put him in a no-kill shelter while they figure out long-term placement. It's no guarantee that he'll not eventually be put down, but it's a second chance. I never thought I'd be happy to be turning him in, but given what we almost had to do tonight, this is a blessing.


User currently offlinefridgmus From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 1439 posts, RR: 11
Reply 11, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 1412 times:
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Doc,

So sorry things with Paco didn't work out. Please keep us informed on his progress at his new home if you can.

Thanks and take care,

F,

Dog Lover since I was born!



The Lockheed Super Constellation, the REAL Queen of the Skies!
User currently offlinesan747 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 4939 posts, RR: 12
Reply 12, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 1408 times:

Quoting OA412 (Reply 9):

Quoting san747 (Reply 4):
its so bad that my girlfriend almost never comes over to my house anymore!

Perhaps the dog is trying to tell you something.

Nah... he's just jealous! 



Scotty doesn't know...
User currently offlineTSS From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 3045 posts, RR: 5
Reply 13, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1365 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
There is no logic. How can I love a little white fluffball who has caused such grief? Who has cost thousands of dollars? Who has forced me to return twice now from trips? And yet, as I look at him curled up on the sofa, I know that I will miss him terribly.

Have you ever had to give up a pet before his/her time? Why?

There is indeed no logic. Pets are living things and individuals, and sometimes like people their behavior defies rational explanation. While Paco's behavior might be attributed by some to events in his past before you adopted him, my own experience suggests that what you've experienced is simply part of the way he is by nature, and not something that can be changed.

Some years back I had a female Russian Blue cat. Unlike most other cats, when she went into heat she was very sneaky about it and gave no outward signs... until she pulled the hose off the dryer vent and snuck outside to meet the black & white tomcat from across the street. Three days later I found her lying languidly in the sun on the front steps and the only way it could have been more obvious what she'd been up to was if she'd been smoking a cigarette at the time.
Flash forward a couple of months and she gives birth to five kittens. Even though I treated all five kittens exactly the same, they displayed very different and distinct personalities. One of them, Tux, the one who inherited his mother's double coat and blue-grey color along with his father's perfect "tuxedo" white markings, hated my guts and would not let me get near him or touch him for reasons I will never understand. His brothers and sisters were certainly affectionate to me, to the point that standing up after sitting down for any length of time at my house usually involved removing numerous cats from my lap and immediate area, but never Tux. Needless to say, Tux was the first kitten to be given away, and the girl I gave him to commented many times on how affectionate he was to her and everyone he met, so go figure.   



Able to kill active threads stone dead with a single post!
User currently offlineGrahamHill From France, joined Mar 2007, 2746 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 1323 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):

Have you ever had to give up a pet before his/her time? Why?

When I was a kid, we had a black Labrador. He was very nice with us, but he was scared with strangers (only God knows why...). One day, he bit one of my friends to his arm. He had two stiches. We kept him thinking it was only an accident, but weeks later, my cousin came to see us and this time he bit her to the throat! Thank God she ended up only with few stiches, but this incident was way to critical and we decided to give the dog back. Friends of my parents picked him up and he finished his life peacefully only few years ago.

I loved my dog. Seeing him going away was very painful, but we just could not let him bite everyone of our friends or family.



"A learned fool is more foolish than an ignorant one" - Moliere
User currently offlineluv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12090 posts, RR: 50
Reply 15, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1292 times:

My Uncle had a poodle that was perfectly fine and then would snap for no obvious reason at all. They never knew when or what would send him off, he was a scary dog to be around yet my Uncle kept him.


You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineQuokka From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 1284 times:

Back in the early 1960s, as a child living in Singapore, I had a puppy. In those days people would come around from the Kampongs collecting waste to feed to their animals. "Missy peeling?" was the question they would ask my mother.

One day following such a visit, the gate to our bungalow was left open and the puppy saw its chance to explore a bit further. It was not old enough to understand traffic and cars on roads and was struck by the car of a passing motorist. Sadly, its injuries were such that it could not survive and my parents took me and the puppy to the vet where it was given an injection.


User currently offlinetype-rated From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 4839 posts, RR: 19
Reply 17, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 1194 times:

Well, this ends your garbage can problem, doesn't it?

Now I have some questions for you:

Were you there when the bite happened? No, ( Paco snapped and bit his head.)

Do you know the exact circumstances that this happened under? No.



Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
After thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of training, behavior mod, and eventually medication, Paco still bites.

You can throw all the money you want at the problem but until you are ready to put an effort into correcting the problem, the problem will still exist. I work with people and their problem dogs all the time. And yes, I am a certified canine behavioral specialist. I saw how you handled the garbage can problem and realized you'd never solve the problem. You were just looking for an easy way out. It doesn't work that way.

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
We ended our eight-day trip to Hawaii five days in, flew back,

Cutting a vacation short and coming home early for a minor bite? I don't think so. Why didn't you just tell your friend to put the dog in a boarding kennel until you got home? No high & mighty self respecting drama queen I know would do such a thing!

I certainly do hope you decide not to replace Paco. You don't need a dog.



Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 18674 posts, RR: 58
Reply 18, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 1174 times:

Quoting luv2fly (Reply 15):
My Uncle had a poodle that was perfectly fine and then would snap for no obvious reason at all.

Known genetic problem with some poodles called "Rage." It seems to be a seizure-like disorder. That may well have been it.

Quoting type-rated (Reply 17):

You can throw all the money you want at the problem but until you are ready to put an effort into correcting the problem, the problem will still exist. I work with people and their problem dogs all the time. And yes, I am a certified canine behavioral specialist.

For this, we worked very hard with the Veterinary Behavioral Service at UC Davis. It wasn't just meds. We put hundreds of hours into behavioral mod.

And, frankly, I'm offended that you seem to know what is going on in our home. We never dealt with a trash stealer before. But after having dealt with a biter, we considered that to be a "low priority annoyance," rather than a "serious problem." For Paco's serious problems, we had professional help and poured blood, sweat, and tears into that dog.

You presume too much.


User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39477 posts, RR: 75
Reply 19, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 1169 times:

Sorry to hear about this Doc.
I met Paco once last year and she was so nice. Didn't try to bite me.
Such a cute little dog that is so easy to fall in love with. So sorry Paco's behavior turned for the worse.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 18674 posts, RR: 58
Reply 20, posted (3 years 3 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 1090 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 19):
So sorry Paco's behavior turned for the worse.

It didn't really. It got a lot better after the medication. And the meds helped him respond much better to the behavior mod.

But there was that one last bite. And that underscored that our home was not a good match for him. He needs a home in which the owner has fewer people over. He needs a home not in a big city in which there are strangers walking past the front of the house all the time and kids running around hither and yon when he's on a walk.

Yes, we COULD have kept him. We'd have had to isolate him in our room whenever anyone came over, we'd have had to muzzle him for walks (he's usually good, but just in case). And if that one screw-up happened and he got out the front door and tore off after someone he decided he didn't like... we could have a $250K lawsuit and criminal negligence charges on us. (I can hear the attorney now: "Dr. Lightning, this dog has bitten six other people. Why did you choose to keep this animal?")

Much better to find him a home in a rural or suburban area where he can stay at home most of the time, with people who don't have as many visitors coming in and out of the house all the time.

Last night, I took Lusi for a walk. We came across a family with three little kids (about 1,3 and 5). Lusi wanted to play. She's still a puppy and likes to jump, so I stood on her leash and made her sit politely and then taught the kids how to pet a dog ("When you meet a dog, always pet from below under the chin first... never come in over their heads or you might scare them.") I told the mom that Lusi was extremely friendly and that she'd never bite. The kids loved her and she loved them. And during the whole time, I never had to worry about "little white lightning" striking from below. It was wonderful.

And when I walked away from them, the tears came freely. For all the grief and inconvenience and pain he caused, I miss him so much.  


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