Thursday, January 27, 2011

Goodbye Zeke, We Hardly Knew You ........

I give up. I surrender. I am not the woman I used to be! I cannot handle this dog. He overwhelms me. He is stronger than me and when he stands on his back legs, he is as tall as me. He refuses to obey any command I give him and howls and cries pitifully when he who is a man leaves his line of vision.


I could tell from day one that he was definitely a dog raised by one of the male persuasion. All the animals we have ever lived with have been primarily mine. Their loyalty was to me. Wall-E would be the exception, as he loves Papa more than he loves Gramma. That is okay, he still loves me second and more importantly, he obeys me. But, Zeke, is a force all unto himself. He will need a constant strong hand to redirect the bad habits he has. He is not a bad dog, just a stubborn and willful one. Not mean, he is affectionate and I will admit that I am quite smitten with his good looks. Being dog lovers, our furniture is quite distressed. We have no carpet and the couch and love seat are leather to accommodate easy cleaning. We enjoy snuggling close to our warm buddies, especially in cold weather. We have had very big dogs before, so his size is by no means daunting to us. We are used to drool. One of our favorite breeds is the Saint Bernard and we have had many. I am sure that I have a hairball somewhere in my digestive tract by now, but I digress.


Yesterday was my first day alone with Zeke. His master went to work and told me to just leave Zeke outside until he came home. I tried, but, I looked out the window and saw that Zeke was not in his doghouse. He looked forlorn to me and I let him in as dusk fell. I thought if he got too rambunctious I would put him in his kennel. He was happy enough to come in and very affectionate. He leaned against me as I stood in the kitchen and prepared his evening snack. He has been refusing his food. My friend, Yvonne, did point out to me that she had never seen an anorexic dog and that he would eat when he got hungry. I know she is right, but I feel bad for him, losing his original home and all that. So, I am patting myself on the back as I think things are going well and he who loves dogs will be so impressed with his wife when he gets home............


I was in my bedroom with our three little dogs behind a closed door while Zeke had the run of the house. Not good. We were sitting on the couch, Zeke and I, having a lovely chat about rules and expectations on my part. I was giving him a nice rub under the neck, which he seemed to enjoy immensely (if the face wash I got from his tongue was any indication). Oscar was on the floor enjoying the treat that Zeke refused and Wall-E and Emmy were cowering on the other side of me. Zeke sat up and I thought he was making it easier to get a good belly scratch. I was wrong. He had decided that it was time to torment Wall-E, the wonder dog, and he lunged for him. He pinned me to the back of the couch with his body and his one leg that was on my thigh. My free arm was holding the snarling Wall-E back. Zeke started growling and snapping and Oscar decided to intercede and a riot ensued. I was alone, unable to move, adrenaline pumping. I was scared that he would hurt one of the little dogs and I finally freed my other arm and pushed him away with all my might. He bit my hand, my old arthritic hand, right on my swollen thumb joint. He did not break the skin and I am sure he was simply warning me. I took his warning to heart and grabbed up Wall-E and Emmy and fled to my bedroom to the sounds of Oscar really going after this dog that was easily 5 times bigger than him. I did not wait for the adrenaline rush to subside before I ventured out to break up the fight and get Oscar to safety. Then I checked on my throbbing hand and took inventory of my situation. Remember the movie "Cujo"?


It occurred to me that I was being held hostage by a dog. I did not venture out until I heard my husband asking Zeke what he had done. Zeke seemed oblivious to the havoc caused by him. He scampered over for a head rub from me. We tried everything to get him into his kennel. His previous master had told us that he would go in with a simple command. Liar. We tried luring him in with food, with toys, with sweet words, with threats. We tried forcing him in and he responded with growls and bared teeth. I had tossed a sandwich in (roast beef on white with mayo). While our backs were turned he went in to investigate the sandwich and Drew pushed him in and locked the gate.


Heaving a huge sigh of relief I brought out my little dogs and we sat down. I did not say a word. He who loves big dogs said it. He sounded resigned, but he said, "Zeke has to go." I was so relieved. We have always had our dogs from puppies. They are so much easier to train when you start out with a tiny sweet puppy who is dependent on you and wants to please you.


I helped load all of Zeke's food and toys and his kennel while he sat watching from the front seat of the truck, then looked at him through the window and told him goodbye. He is on his way to a rescue kennel until he finds his forever home. His handsome face will help with that. I confess that I did shed a tear as I watched him leave. I know it is for the best, but ..............


16 comments:

Rae said...

Don't be hard on yourself. You did the right thing. As much as I love dogs, I could not have dealt with a situation where it was possible for the dog to harm me or my other pets.
A rescue agency will assure that he goes to the right home and in the meantime he will get good care.

ellen abbott said...

Oh how sad, but the growling and nipping...not good. I'm sure his behavior can be modified by patience and love but with three other dogs in the mix, hard to give him the attention he needs.

Whitney Lee said...

That's got to be tough. But you did what was right for you. If the circumstances were different then maybe he could have stayed. He'll find someone who is a better fit, someone who has the time to devote to him. I hope your hand is feeling better.

In the Heart of Happy said...

I know that breaks your heart a little bit, but you are doing both you and him a great service by finding him another home.

Sending you a big hug and glad you are okay!!

Kathy G said...

I know you're sad, but I think you did the right thing. At least you know he has a good place to live until he finds a new home.

Brian Miller said...

oh my...we went through similar with a hound...he just happened to eat one of the chairs for the kitchen table...then collapse the table...he went home...sad.

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

you did the right thing and you will both be happier (and safer). he needs to be someplace where he is the only one and i'm sure they'll find the perfect place for him.

houndstooth said...

I think you did the right thing for Zeke. What his first owner should have done was take him to a Bloodhound rescue to start with. Eight months old is still a puppy, but it sounds to me like he needs someone with a lot of experience with the breed to work with him. I wish that people who can't make more of a commitment than eight months wouldn't get dogs, but that's my rant for another day.

Cathy said...

Hello Kathy
What an experience you have been through in the last few days - like all the other commenters I also think you did the right thing by giving him up. He wasn't helped by being a puppy still, last one in, not being neutered, not having obedience training, maybe raised by a male and yours wasn't going to be around full time, not having your house as his first home, all those things would have made him insecure and liable to react in the 'wrong' way.
There is going to be a proper home for him somewhere - sad as it was its just not in your home.
Now you need to grow calm and gentle again, look after yourself and maybe take plenty of fish oil to ward off the inflammation in your arthritic hand
Take care
Cathy

Naqvee said...

i completely understand your situation, i was once in this tangle and had to let go my own dog for the good.

Jo said...

I think you had your hands full with Zeke. He probably needs to go to a home where he can have the run of the place. He's still a puppy, and he's very cute. I think he will find the right fit.

The Good Cook said...

I love dogs but enough is enough. He bit you twice now. Growling and snarling and obeying are grounds for expulsion. And the threat of hurting one of your other dogs? Absolutely not okay. You did the right thing and hopefully the rescue center will warn any new potential owners of his pitfalls.

SkippyMom said...

As others said Kathy - don't be hard on yourself. He was just a bit too much to be around the others, still a puppy and probably really needed to be a single dog somewhere.

Although I will still giggle everytime I think of the big galoot standing on the coffee table.

Hugs my friend

labbie1 said...

The Bloodhound rescues are all full. We checked!!!!
For that matter, most rescues are full due to the number of people giving up their pets when they move for a new job or losing their homes.
We are hoping to find someone who has tracking dogs and would like to have a young bloodhound to train. Zeke is at just the right age to train and with the execise and with a job to do, he will probably be much more stable--especially for a man.
If any of you know of someone who does tracking or an organization that has tracking dogs, let Kathy know and she can let the rescue people know!!!! Help Zeke find a job!!!!

Pat said...

I feel bad for Zeke, but this wasn't an ideal situation. You tried your best, but you have to keep your own pets in mind. EVERYONE has to get along. Sure there's an adjustment period, but it sounds like Zeke would be better in a home where he would be the only dog. So sorry this didn't work out, but I know you guys tried your hardest to make it work.

Marla said...

You did the right thing. We love our dogs and have them pretty much attached to the hip. Having gone through a similar situation however, I know it is better for everyone when the out of control critter gets a new home with less critters in it.

PS....I cried too when we made that decision.