Tuesday, December 11, 2007
The weekend started out nicely enough.. Friday evening we went to Olive Garden (my choice) to celebrate the fact I had passed my math exam and therefore have earned my A.A. :) It was lovely, although Chris spent the whole time wondering what color our waiter's underwear were.

I also got an A in my other online class, and will probably get an A in my Tuesday night class, so am continuing along as I have been -- As in all classes aside from math ones (and the occasional science class).

Saturday we went shopping! Since we're going to Costa Rica this weekend, we had a LOT of stuff to do last weekend. We went to, let's see, pick up our CSA share; then to the pet store; then to get some ice to keep the CSA veggies cold in my freezer bag; then to Home Depot; then to the Wildlife Care Center to drop off the huge bag of stuff I had been gathering & buying for them to donate; Taco Bell for dinner (high class!); Whole Foods Market for gifts; Barnes & Noble for gift cards; Best Buy for gift cards; then blissfully HOME.

Then we took the little boat out to see what people had put up for Christmas lights so far.. The answer was NOT MUCH but it was a lovely night out anyhow.

Sunday was a problem. We had plans to go to the doggy park, get a Christmas tree, etc. I was sitting on the big-room couch, reading or something, when I heard Patty come out of her bedroom. All the dogs went apeshit. Then I heard the dog-fight noise. I ran in and Patty was holding Maggie up in the air. She had bitten Gretchey again. We tended to a few small bites on Gretchey's leg and had some sullen conversations with Chris about the fact they can't get along. Again, it was when things were EXCITED. But still - why must Maggie go after Gretchey?

Gretchey was sitting with me & Patty on the bed when Patty noticed blood on the bed. I said it was OK - I'd wash the sheets. We chalked it up to the owie we had noticed on her leg earlier and already had cleaned and neosporined. Gretchey kept licking the inside of her leg, so I reached over and opened her leg up to get a look. Patty and I both gasped -- she had a huge gash, bloody and awful looking, that neither of us had seen. I started to cry while Patty called Chris, who had just left for mass, so he could come back.

We took her into the ER, where they put her under and stitched her up. Three places this time, including the really big gash on her inner leg. The poor girl.

Maggie gets along FINE with the other two dogs, just fine. In fact, Patty says that when she buys a house, she would take Maggie to be friends with Buddy since they get along just fine. And, after all, Maggie is a VERY SWEET DOG. But for whatever reason, when she gets excited, she goes after Gretchey. And it's bad. And we can't have it.

Chris & I talked about Maggie last night. She's basically the perfect dog, except for this one fault. This one very big fault. She's sweet, yet a good guard dog (the pool guy told me this morning that she bit his ankles the whole time he was there last week), she likes to cuddle, is very affectionate, not needy... Just all-around very good. I love her. I sit and hold her at night now and just feel awful and worry about her future. Mostly because we can't keep living the way we have been -- keeping her totally separate from Gretchen. And not doing so wouldn't be fair to Gretchen, a totally innocent victim in all this.

I guess the whole thing is Maggie was never socialized properly at the shelter. Never socialized to other dogs to know how to treat them. And with most dogs, it's fine.. With another female dog, an alpha at that, it's not.

Patty knows a family who just bought a house who want a dog. They want to meet Maggie. If she gets a good home, that would be alright with me - it would be best for everyone. But, man, I'll miss her. She would be the perfect dog for us... ASIDE FROM THIS ONE THING. It's a bummer.

Anyway. We still got that Christmas tree Sunday night. I am still enjoying my time with Maggie, even though it's with the somber realization that it can't last, or we have to keep her and Gretchey separate for the rest of their lives or risk another gash, another ER visit, or something worse. Poor Gretchey is walking around with a cone on her head again, running into everything with it. Looking sad. Probably in pain. Having to take medication. Blah.

But we leave for Costa Rica on Saturday morning, which is good. A week away!

Also, I put in my one-month notice. I'm going to be a full-time student, starting in January. WOOHOO! :)
Congrats on passing the math test and the A.A.!!!! Very exciting!!

Poor Gretchen!! It is such a shame that it doesn't work with her and Maggie. I hope you can find a good solution.
When dogs are fussing at each other like that it is usually a dominance issue that us humans can't see. Talk to a trainer about the fighting. As pack leaders (you and Chris) you should be able to communicate that the others are under your protection. Get some recommendations for a good trainer and see what he says about the situation. I had a similar problem, after the trainers visit and some simple recommendations it...stopped, right away. Things as simple as picking up their food after eating. Giving them 20 or so minutes to eat and then the foods picked up. Giving treats to the dominant one first. A few others, some consistency and we're done! Good luck
I agree with P. Work with the dogs, call in a professional trainer. Its worth the money and that way you can have the happy family. Maggie was dumped at the pound before, and took forever to find a home. And now after a few weeks, without much trying you want to give her to someone else. You obviously have the means and can make the time. You took her into your lives, commit to her. Even if it means she has to be crated or locked in a different room when you are not there. Don't give up on her. Thousands of dogs are given up on every year when paying a professional to come to your house (probably for the same cost as dinner at Olive Garden) can help you.
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I'm Stacey. I'm a 31(!)-year-old Wisconsin girl living in sunny South Florida. The highlights in my life are my lovely boyfriend, my aloof cats, my adorable/adoring stepdogs, my two lumbering tortoises, select family members, being outside, being underwater, taking pictures, yadda yadda. Stay tuned for lots of babbling!

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States


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Making a difference

A small boy lived by the ocean. He loved the creatures of the sea, especially the starfish, and he spent much of his time exploring the seashore.

One day the boy learned there would be a minus tide that would leave the starfish stranded on the sand.

When the tide went out, he went down to the beach, began picking up the stranded starfish, and tossing them back into the ocean.

An elderly man who lived next door came down to the beach to see what the boy was doing. Seeing the man's quizzical expression, the boy paused as he approached. "I'm saving the starfish!" the boy proudly declared.

When the neighbor saw all of the stranded starfish he shook his head and said: "I'm sorry to disappoint you, young man, but if you look down the beach, there are stranded starfish as far as the eye can see. And if you look up the beach the other way, it's the same. One little boy like you isn't going to make much of a difference."

The boy thought about this for a moment. Then he reached his small hand down to the sand, picked up another starfish, tossed it out into the ocean, and said: "Well, I sure made a difference for that one!"

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