Tuesday, 7 March 2017

When fostering a dog doesn't work out

Last week I blogged about the positives of fostering a dog and of some of the things our dog, Bob have learnt from having another dog around. And I'll be honest with you, over the weekend we had some serious problems, but it was no ones fault other than mine for taking my eye off the ball and thinking I'd cracked it.

Having collected Rory from her failed adoption trial, I returned to firmness and kindness with her from the minute I brought her home. She was reintroduced to Bob, my husband and the home on lead and under full supervision she was let off lead and went straight to one of the dog sofa's we'd previously allowed her to sleep on.


I sat in the conservatory with the dogs, drinking tea, before putting Rory in her crate so Peter and I could head off to the beach for a couple of hours. On our return Rory was and Bob were very happy to see us, letting Bob outside first, while I fiddled around trying to open Rory's crate.


I fed both Dogs. I learnt on day one that Rory is super protective over her food, so Bob is fed as usual indoors and I fed Rory outside and sat with her. The afternoon was spent with the dogs, running around the garden, curling up to sleep and generally just both following me around. Rory was returned to the crate for bedtime, both dogs given a dental stick, radio left on low and left for the night.






Saturday morning, I let Rory out the crate and she went out to pee and poop, she then returned to the dog sofa where she lay for half an hour after her breakfast. Rory went back in her crate while we went out for breakfast and on our return she followed the same routine, but then I foolishly went to the bathroom and made a cup of tea. On my return Rory had shredded every book and magazine she could get in my absence. I didn't scold Rory I merely put her back in the crate while I tidied up.


We then sat in the garden with both dogs for the afternoon, then things got out of control, they were playing with a rope, Rory wanted it, so Peter threw a ball for Bob to distract him, Rory wanted the ball, so Bob grabbed the rope, there was nothing we could do, they fought and it was aggressive. I've never seen Bob like that before and both Peter and I were both quite frightened. I threw a bucket of water over them, I turned the hose pipe on them, I screamed at Peter not to intervene worried he would get hurt, but we knew we had to do something and opening the garage door, walking towards the dogs, eventually Peter managed to grab both dogs by the scruff of the neck and quite literally drag them apart, throwing one dog into the garage while I shut the door.

We took a few minutes to calm down and think what to do. Both dogs were injured there was blood everywhere. Peter had bruised his hand. The crate was fetched outside and Rory was put in it, Bob retreated, limping badly to his bed. I cleaned Bob's wounds and shut him in the conservatory while I made quick calls to get Rory rehoused and then went to see Rory, her bites were surface wounds, the poor girl was shaking quite badly, I was anxious about how she would respond but she came out the crate and sat on my lap, shaking and quivering, while I cleaned her up. I fed her some treats and kept apologising to her, that sadly she was no longer able to stay with us.



With Rory sitting on my lap, Peter drove us to the kennels, I was so sad to say goodbye, knowing this is probably the last time I would see her and she had to be dragged away from me, she just didn't want to go back in kennels.

I returned home and realised Bob needed the vets, he had two large puncture wounds, one to his leg and the other behind his ear, he was struggling to walk. The vets washed out his wounds and gave him antibiotic and pain killer injections and said I had to bring him back the following day for X-rays to check for a fracture, he was too traumatised to be x-rayed and the vet didn't want to have to sedate him.

So Rory is back at the vets, they called Sunday morning to say she had a good night, was eating and sleeping well and had antibiotics and pain killers, there's no lasting damage and she'll be fine.

Bob will recover and there is no long lasting damage done other than to my wallet. We will however be keeping a close eye on Bob over the coming weeks and will slowly reintroduce him to other dogs in a controlled environment.

The reality is I'm afraid that some things just don't work out and I need to put the needs of my family first.

I'm convinced with some training and the right person and a lot of love that Rory will make a great pet for someone. She needs to be the only pet in the house and with someone who is at home for most of the day and is prepared to crate her to continue the training.

We'll never fully know Rory's complete story, but she was found wandering without a collar and no microchip and no idea how long she'd been on the streets for, she has several scars over her face and body and she's obviously had a tough life.

If you or anyone you know can help out with Rory in anyway what so ever, either leave a comment below or contact DAWS directly as they are responsible for her care and continuing rising costs at the kennels.





18 comments:

  1. Hi My name is Heather and we fostered Diablo for DAWS. You have obviously worked very hard and thoughtfully with Rory and tried to create harmony. I in no way blame you for anything. some dogs need more specialist help and are not as easy as others. I would like to give you a tip for more demanding dogs. Walking is the key. Unless there is something missing from your account above there is a serious lack of exercise happening for the dogs. Rory looks like a high energy dog and there was a fair bit of her going in the crate while you did other activities (out for breakfast) Running around in a garden or yard just is no substitute to a dog for a good, long, fast walk. They are programmed for it. My mantra is "a tired dog is a good dog". Shredding the magazines and books was a signal of her pent up energies. She is used to trotting the streets. She is dominant in the photos and your dog Ben, looks submissive and uneasy around her. Any toy you picked up when she was in that frustrated frame of mind would have been what she wanted. (I do think that playing with toys with two dogs is a pretty incendiary scenario. I always aim for calm not excitement and stop them horsing around together too.) What she needed is to run beside you while you bike, roller-blade, or a go for long walk to the cafe where you had breakfast. Some places will allow you to sit outside with a dog. We have boycotted our nearest cafe for not allowing this and walk 5k to starbucks instead - which was good for both Diablo, our foster dog, and for us. The dog was tired and chilled out on arrival at starbucks and ready to socialise calmly with every passing person and animal - and ready for a very long snooze by the time we got home.

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    1. Bob is in no way submissive to Rory, we weren't playing with the dogs with toys, we tried to diffuse a situation and failed, we went out twice once for breakfast and once to the beach both for no more than 2 hours, over two days, there is no where around us that allows dogs unless we take a car journey as our nearest dog friendly cake is 9km away. the dogs were walked every morning and every evening, around 4km each walk. I'm not justifying myself, I'm just filling in the gaps. Both Rory and Bob are very sociable and well behaved on lead and with others,

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  2. Oh I am so sorry it didn't work out at the end for you :( sending internet hugs your way. It is heart breaking when you take in another animal, whether as a foster hoping they are adopted or as a new addition to your family. I know you did all you could, and I'm pleased to hear both dogs are doing better. (popped over from project365 post.)

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    1. thank you, it hasn't been easy but I'm hopeful there is a home out there for Rory

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  3. I'm not clued up about dogs at all, but it sounds like you did your best and I'm glad I one was more seriously hurt. I hope Ruby does find a good home where she will be settled soon!
    #animaltales

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    1. It was a good time for us all, but thankfully both dogs have made a full recovery

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  4. It's awful when it doesn't work out. Maybe over time, it might have worked, but some situations need more than you first imagine. We adopted one of ours and it was hard work even getting her to mix with our existing dog. We won in the end, and still have a few walls intact in the house. Hope she finds a permanent home soon. She sounds like a dog that needs a home of her own. #AnimalTales

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    1. with them both being the same breed it was too much of a risk it could happen again

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  5. what a shame this did not work out, I know you have done well with others in the past.
    Least now you know Rory needs to be an only dog.
    Hope Bob recovers psychologically and you go back to the fostering at some point.

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    1. I'm just glad this happened when both peter and i were around and no one else was injured

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  6. A pictures says a thousand words - look at the body language in Pic 4 (both dogs on same sofa). IMO you would have needed professional behaviour advice to sort this one out. It's amazing what you're doing to help foster/adopt dogs though so hope you're not too disheartened. APBC website (apbc.org.uk) might have some useful hints and tips if you're interested in dog behaviour generally!

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  7. It's so sad when something like this happens, isn't it? But I definitely agree with you, your family's needs should be a top priority and also best I guess for the pet involved. Still doesn't make it any less heartbreaking though :( #animaltales

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    1. it was very upsetting, but i think we made the right decision for all of us and I'm hopeful Rory will find the right home for her

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  8. I'm so sorry that this happened and it didn't work out with Rory, but you did the best you could x

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  9. oh what a shame this happened - I wonder why it didn't work? at least you tried to give Rory a new home and did the best you could. I hope Bob is ok and will soon recover x

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    1. Rory has issues over resources and needs a professional trainer to work with her

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