it has been an incredible past few days...

what we had thought was initially endearing with Buddy, has turned into a bit of an obsession. He won't let me do a thing without being at my immediate heels. He also will have an anxiety attack if or when I leave and in addition to this he has started snapping, growling and baring his teeth at the neighbor children and now with Zoey on occasion. The snapping, growling and baring his teeth occurred for the most part yesterday. He's had two panic attacks that were pretty wild. I'm certain that the shelter that we got him from was given incorrect information when they were told that he is good with children and that he's never snapped or growled at anyone. In all the situations in which he did this it was unprovoked and there was no food, treats or toys involved. The kids weren't even paying attention to him. They simply walked by him and he jumped up and snapped at them or growled. The kids weren't even in a group, it was just one on one and I was there to witness it in it's entirety. If it was just Ethan and I we could spend the time with him and perhaps work out his issues, he does not seem as though he was successfully socialized as a puppy and we are wondering if there were some abuse issues with him and his past owners or between the owners themselves as he is extremely skittish and like I said earlier, obsessed with being with me every second possible. I took a shower this morning and his nose was at the base of the tub. At first these things seemed adoring but after awhile we noticed that he wasn't acting happy or excited but more scared or compulsive.

Yesterday we had a family meeting immediately after Buddy started showing more signs of aggression and talked about how this wasn't a good fit for our family. We shared with Zoey that we could help Buddy by giving the shelter the correct information on Buddy's behavior and tendencies and then they in turn would be able to help find him a better home without children. I could see him being a perfect dog for a single older person as he would devote himself to the individual and wouldn't have to worry about little people competing for attention. Beyond that though, I believe he has additional issues that will take time and patience and the right environment to remedy. At this time, I'm not willing to sacrifice the safety of Zoey and her friends for the sake of trying to make it work with Buddy. We were all pretty bummed yesterday, Zoey the most of all. She broke down in sobs a couple of times throughout the day and that pretty much did me in.

Later in the day I talked to my little sister Bailey and she shared with me something pretty selfless and amazing...that she had thought about it and decided that she wanted to give Zoey her dog Leo. She's had him since a wee little pup and he's a pure-bred cocker spaniel. Zoey knows him and has spent days and nights with him already at grandma's house so I know the two of them get along already...they pretty much wear each other out. :) Leo is 4 years old. We've agreed to do a trial run with Leo after Buddy is situated back at the shelter. Talk about a roller-coaster type of a day. Zoey is still sad about Buddy but is excited at getting Leo for a friend since she knows he's a good puppy already. I am thankful to my sister for being so giving and selfless and loving to all of us, especially Zoey. She's off at college and just doesn't have the time to commit to caring for Leo as she once did. This seems to be perhaps the perfect union. Here's to hoping anyways. We know now that Zoey is ready for a dog, as she was perfect with Buddy...but she needs the right dog for it to work. Buddy was pretty much a basket-case. :(

Here are some pictures of Zoey and Leo take from earlier this summer when my mom was passing through town and stopped in to visit with us.



And here are some photos from Thanksgiving 2008 taken of the two of them...

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Feeling sadness regarding Buddy for sure, but I am hopeful that things will turn around for the better for all involved now.

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Vicky said...

Jen, this is amazing! How extraordinary of Bailey to give Zoey her puppy dog :) What a wonderful sister you have! It looks like everything will turn out ok. And even with Buddy, you will be able to give the shelter insightful information about him. So thankful no one was injured and that Zoey can see first hand when something sad can turn into something good :)