Thursday, February 21, 2008
  Not again...

So all that stuff I said before? I take it back.

Last night, Buddy, Sebastian, and Maggie were with me and we were all playing fetch. Then someone was out on the street and, as usual, the dogs went apeshit. They all ran to the window and started barking and howling. I sat on the couch and laughed at how cute their little legs looked as they stood up with their front paws on the windowsill. "Maggie's & Buddy's legs together, I have to get a picture of that."

Well, then Buddy went around to Maggie's other side... still barking, I guess he just wanted a better spot. She snapped. Went crazy. I jumped up and started screaming, yelling at her to quit attacking Buddy. It didn't work. Finally I pried Buddy away from her. Luckily, Chris heard all this and came out of the bedroom and was able to put Maggie outside, since she was still all riled up and, if history is any marker, she would've continued to try to get at Buddy while he was in my arms.

We inspected Buddy and found one deep puncture wound. For as long as she was attacking him.. many full seconds... this is pretty good. If she would've been going after Buddy the way she did Gretchen, he would've had many open gashes after that long. I consoled myself that MOST of what she was doing to him was mouthing at him, not really hurting him.... BUT. She still went crazy, and she still broke his skin.

After we cleaned Buddy's wound out, poor guy, I just stayed sitting on the floor, leaning against the wall, for a long time. I was so disappointed. I thought she was doing better. And, obviously, we can't give Maggie to Patty when Maggie is acting like this. And how are we supposed to keep Maggie sequestered from the other dogs for the next, oh, decade?

Luckily, I have the best boy on earth. He very quickly set about thinking about how it could work out. "Someone will just have to be crated in the summertime" (since there is only doggy door with a crate in the bathroom, so they can be outside but also come in out of the heat into the air-conditioned bathroom).

And still he thought... and came up with a great plan. We're basically moving the fence on the side of the house to enclose more of the backyard, adding a fence, so now instead of one doggy-safe running areas in the back, we'll have two. And both will have a doggy door which will lead to an inside, air-conditioned crate.

I feel bad that Maggie will have to be alone, since 99.9% of the time, she loves the other dogs. It's like she's not even herself when she snaps. I gotta get a behaviorist here to help us understand this behavior, and help us figure out if it's something she can overcome, or if she'll just have to be an alone dog.

Thankfully, this house kinda separates into two areas, we just have to close a set of sliding doors and a baby gate, so the dogs can even be inside at the same time.

It's a far from ideal situation when you have three dogs, but for now it's what we can do to make it work.

This confusing little girl!!!

Sounds like she's making some progress, it's just baby steps (or puppy steps in this case?). At least you guys have figured something out and maybe a behaviorist will be able to help you figure out how to stop the behavior so she can live happily with the other dogs.

At least you are taking the time and effort to work with her which is more than a million other people would do. Then again, I would expect nothing less of you because you rock like that! :)
yeah, but this sucks. as of a few days ago, when we left, we could put buddy on the side of the house with her (it's enclosed). now she has to be alone.

as of a few days ago, she was going to have a home where she wouldn't ever have to be crated for fear of her biting a dog, unlike her.

but this lashing-out has ruined all that...

luckily, one of patty's patients is a dog behaviorist vet... we got in touch with her and will be making an appointment. but it just is very disappointing. tonight we were all on the bed, snuggling and playing and poor maggie was in the bathroom crate, staring at us.. but what can i do? i can't risk her attacking. it's a horrible situation. :(

she's out here with me now, though; the other dogs are sleeping with chris. but it's just not ideal.
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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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