Our Sweet and Crazy Coonhound ...

Our Sweet and Crazy Coonhound ...
Run Free: birthdate unknown - Oct. 17 2008

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Untenable Rage

Well my heart is breaking tonight and I am fighting back the tears. We had another DOG INCIDENT ... my daughter left a frozen pizza on the counter (stupid yes I know ... but we are the HUMANS and it is our house ...) and Booker grabbed it and then had an absolutely terrifying rage episode -- he lunged at my daughter on her way from her bedroom to the kitchen and bit her foot. He released his grip and clamped down on her calf. She called me, hysterical (afraid and hurt and confused ... she was crying and crying) and I had to call David to go home and deal with the situation ---

He got there within minutes, and Booker was in the kitchen RAVAGING the frozen pizza. Booker charged out of the kitchen and attacked David at the front door. He bit him twice. He made punctures in David's motorcycle boots. What would he have done on bare flesh? Booker tore his jeans. Booker wouldn't listen, he wouldn't acquiesce, he was a snarling, biting, barking terror. He doesn't "just growl," or "just snap," he ATTACKS. Like an insane cujo attack dog ready, trained, willing and fully capable of killing a mountain lion. I have no illusions about my ability to "control" him. If I would have been the one to run home to save the teen-human from Booker, he would have attacked me too. He crosses a line and he loses all sensibilities and ability to "behave."

David managed to wrestle Booker into his kennel. Jail. Booker sat there for hours, staring into the living room, glassy-eyed.

We cannot live in a home where we need a tranquilizer dart gun to get a swiped pizza away from the dog.

Booker has rage syndrome. Abuse, starvation, brutal hunting training. Something clicked a crazy switch in this dog that is not un-doable.

I am a realist.

Food is his trigger. He is dangerous. He should never have been deemed "adoptable," but who would know until he was in a normal, family situation. There was no pizza on the counter in the vet clinic that nursed him back to health after he was found abandoned.

Now. This is a dog that I have worked so hard with ... SO HARD. We have had the professional trainer consult. I have FIXED every single one of his issues, and believe me, there were many -- lunging at bicycles, going demonic over open car doors, food bowl aggression, toy aggression, pulling on the leash, manic fence-chasing at the dog park -- you name it, I have worked my ass off with this dog. I am really good with dogs and I have no illusions about what to expect or how to train one.

We were ready to sacrifice shoes to a chewer. Swab the decks after accidents. Do short sessions of obedience training that require repetition that could drive you nuts. Manage our environment and spend every minute anticipating behavior and misbehavior.

And I really really love him. omg He is my RESCUE dog and I really put everything into rescuing him. I spend hours a day with him, from the dog park to on-leash walks to training training training. He can hold a SIT STAY in the hallway while I walk all the way down to our condo and come only when I release him. At the dog park, I shout GO HOME and he goes to the gate to wait for me. EVERYONE at the dog park (and there is a "regular" crowd of about 10 people for the 7am time we go) has made comment after comment after compliment about all the work that I've done with Booker and how much he has changed, improved, how admirable he is.

So tomorrow I am going to take him to the humane society and have him put to sleep. The rescue that we got him from said that if ever we cannot keep him, we have to call them to take him back. But they SHOULD NOT rehome him. He is dangerous. It's just a matter of time before he really does some damage that requires a hospital episode. He couldn't be trusted with young children, not at all. Or with visitors.

I don't have to rationalize this. He has a serious, untenable mental defect.

arrghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I am going to cry all day tomorrow.


River said...

OMG--you poor soul! I know how it is. I have had the same thing happen with several labs I rescued. I had to have them put to sleep. I wish I could give you a hug. It has me crying too because I've read how hard you've tried and how much you truly loved this dog. But you cannot live this way. It isn't fair. I've fostered several coonhounds that were dream dogs so it is his own personal defect. I hope that you will let us know how things are going with you after a while. I'm so sorry.

Stephanie, River's mom

Charity, Gary, Katie and Louis said...

I am so deeply sorry for what you are going through. My heart is breaking for you and for Booker. I have read so much of your blog during the last few months and I know how deeply dedicated you have been to making this work. You have worked your butt off to do everything to help Booker with his issues. You have given him your best - the best that any dog could ever hope for. It's not your fault and it's not Booker's fault that he is the way he is. I think you are doing the right thing. I will be thinking of you guys all day tomorrow and sending all of the loving energy I can to try and ease your pain a bit. Booker will find complete peace at last and was so fortunate to have someone in his life that has loved him so much. I am so very, very sorry. Life just doesn't seem fair sometimes.

Much love,

Ferndoggle said...

This is such an impossible situation. You are to be commended for all of the work you have put into Booker. They cannot all be saved. You know that, yet it does not make what you have to do any easier. My heart aches for you and your family...and for Booker, as this is not his fault. He is a product of a society I am often ashamed of. Know you are making the best decision to keep your family safe and set this poor tortured soul free.

Bless you and I wish you peace.

Jen & the DoJA

The Devil Dog said...

Oh my God, we are so sorry. We know how much you love Booker and we know how hard you have worked with him. We can tell by reading your blog. But if he bit through motorcycle boots, you are right. What if it had been you and bare flesh.
We enjoy reading your blog so much, we know how hard this is for you. Please accept our heartfelt prayers and thoughts for your peace of mind.

Roxy, Lucky & Mom

The Aphasia Decoder.... said...

I'm so sorry you have to make this decision but it sounds like it's the right one for your family and for Booker. The time you invested in him at least gave him a taste of real love and caring in his life and being a rescue, it might have been the only time he receive it. Be proud of yourself for that and may you find peace in time after this most difficult and heartbreaking situation comes to a close.

Levi's mom

Bolo said...

Please tell Booker we will miss him. We feel for you though. Our thoughts are with you.
Bolo and Family

Toffee said...

I am so sorry. I know you feel guilty but you have gone OVER and ABOVE. He has been so lucky to have had such a loving home with you and your family. I am so sorry but I know that you know that you are making the right decision as gut retching and painful as it is. You need to make this decision to protect the rest of your family.

I am so sorry.

You are in our thoughts.

Sen and Tom said...

We are so very, very sorry about this. These are such utterly heart-breaking moments. A good friend had to have the dog she adored put the sleep this year because he went into a neighbour's field and killed a new-born lamb. The heartbreak was terrible, but there was no choice. You have loved Booker with all your heart and shown him that love, made him happy. Through you, all of us have loved him too, and we will also miss him terribly. Give him a kiss and hug from all of us when you say goodbye.


Noah the Airedale said...

What a sad and heartbreaking situation. We feel so bad for you all. We also understand that it's the way it has to be.
We will be thinking of you all tomorrow.

Big hugs
Denise Noah Willow Tess & Lucy

The Dutchess said...

This is the first time I visit your blog..and read the sad news.I am sure Booker did hist best and loves you ,and is very grateful..and..You did every possible thing you could do!
I wish you(and your family) strenght tomorrow!

Toffee said...

We are thinking of you and sending hound hugs and kisses today....

Alasandra said...

Our thoughts are with you.

More then likely if Booker was ever a hunting dog he was kept in a pen with many other dogs and food was just thrown over the fence. The dogs fought each other for the food and a dog that didn't fight to get the food and keep it went hungry.

I know this doesn't really help, but ...........maybe understanding why he possibly acts this way around food will bring some closure. ~S,S & C

the 4 Bs said...

we heard about this from Tom and we just want to tell you how sorry we are. it breaks our heart that innocent dogs can be turned into beasts by humans (the humans that abused him before he came to you). it's truly sad.


Eduardo said...

I am so sorry! Me & Mommy know how much you loved Booker & how important he was & is! God Mommy is crying now! We know that you changed him & he was a better dog because of you! & he had a better life because of you! Please continue to blog, take it easy for awhile, we loves you
Hugs & Snugs
Eduardo the Snuggle Puggle

Deetz said...

I just got here....I came as soon as I heard. Booker had just become a friend of mine and I sure enjoyed reading about him and meeting him and him being my friend. Gizmo will be there for him and Gizmo was very kind and a good friend to me, so Booker will not be alone. Your mum is a great person for trying so hard and a wonderful human for loving Booker so much. I am with you today my friend
and Carol

Biggie-Z said...

Oh my gosh, I am so sorry to hear about Booker. You have poured so much of your heart and soul (not to mention time and energy) into Booker.

On top of that, your blog had introduced us to an interesting and magnificent breed.

Our thoughts are with you today.

Biggie and his Momma

Sunny,Scooter,Jamie said...

We never met ya'll but we read about your loss and came over to pay our condolences. We have read past posts, and know how very hard you have tried.
Noone will ever know if Booker had a glitch genetically or if he was made this way by humans. What we do know is you did all that was humanly possible, that there was no other choice, and that Booker can be at peace now. We commend you on all your heroic efforts.
Our mom once had a dog from puppyhood-this dog was put down at age 2 because she attacked our mom, whom she loved beyond all else. She clicked back into herself, but mom knew it was a terrible danger(she was a doberman and had leaped at mom's face) She was put down. This was a well bred dog. Necropsy showed a brain lesion. One does what one must do and you did right.
We hope in your grief, it gives you comfort to know Booker is at peace at the bridge.
We are sorry...

nl1990 said...

Thinking good thoughts for you today. I'm glad Booker got to know love from you. Who ever had Booker before, all we can hope for is that karma really is a b***ch. Godspeed Booker :(


Lois Lane/Laney said...

I can't even imagine what you're going through. You and your family will be in my prayers.

Gussie said...

This is what those of us with rescue dogs fear most. What a horrific incident for your family - I am so sorry for you all. Thank you for being so brave and so honest on your blog.

Asta said...

I am so vewy sad fow you..how howwible to twy so hawd and love someone who is sick..you have no choice..I'd like to come lick away youw teaws, and give healing kisses to youw daughtew
You awe wondewful fow giving Booker some times of joy and so much love
smoochie kisses

Cocoa the Beagle said...

We are so sorry to hear what had happened. We know it was a difficult decision made and we know how hard you've tried in making Booker a better dog. Please take care.. our thoughts will be with you.

Cocoa and Barley and Mum

Lacy said...

sad woof's, i iz sooo sorry, that u had to let Booker go to the bridge...but it sounds like u gave him every chance u could...sometimes things dont work out right, to much damage was already done..it wuz the best decision u could make..RIP Booker, and b at peace now...and my thoughts and prayers are with u all..

a sad,
angel lacylulu
and mama..

Maggie and Mitch said...

Our hearts are breaking for you! You've tried your very best and you're doing what's best for your family! Our prayers go out to you!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

BenTheRotti said...

Ive come back so many times and tried to comment, but I just didn't have the words. I cannot begin to imagine the torture you must be going through. What a truly horrible situation to be put in. He should never have been deemed adoptable, but as you say no-one could have known that till they tried and the important thing is that you tried.. dear god you tried so hard. We only recently found your blog but have been overwhelmed reading back at all you have done. You should be proud.. you have given him a good home, a happy home, something he had clearly NEVER had in his past. That will be his final memory, the love and care you gave him. This is an unavoidable situation, I'm sure every one of us would have done the same, you and your childrens safety is paramount, but I know that will not lessen the pain. Just know we understand, we are here if you need support and we know that what you are doing you do out of love, Its not your fault, It's not Bookers fault.. it's the savages (they don't deserve to be described as humans) who first owned him who destroyed him beyond repair.. they are the ones at fault

Our thoughts are with you today

Booker, run free and at peace.. we hope your soul soars.

Sue & Ben x

Ruby said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Take comfort in knowing you did all you could for Booker and loved him dearly.
Love Ruby the Mini Dachshund

The Zoo Crew said...

Our hearts are all breaking for you. I've been a lurker for a while and know how much you loved Booker and helped him overcome so many issues. You are giving him the best gift possible at this point in his life and that is releasing him from his demons.

Thinking of you.....

Shannon and TZC

Two Schnauzers from New England said...

We read about Booker from Deetz's blog. We are so sorry about what happened with Booker. We can only imagine how you feel. You tried to give him a good home - what happened was not Booker's fault. Mama would like to put those "people" who did this to Booker in their place.

Love -

Hershey and Kaci

Tenkiller Airedales said...

I'm soooo sorry about Booker. I would NOT be surprised if he really had something physically wrong with him. You really did your best and you should feel good about yourself. Sometimes we just have to do the right thing.... which is "safety" first. Keeping you in our prayers-

Sherry and Apache

kate said...

There are no adequate words. One day he'll meet you at the rainbow bridge - where you'll find him released from his demons and running free.

hugs and tears.

Penny, Poppy & Patches said...

We are sooooo sorry! We know what a difficult decision you had to make, but you made the right one. About 7 years ago, our mom had to make the same decision for her first Airedale. It was one of the hardest things she ever had to do. Booker knows that he had a great life, with you, and now he can rest and forget about his life before you rescued him. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you!

Poppy, Penny & Patches

Celeste said...

I am so, so sorry for your pain. I know that you have worked hard -- harder than most would. The decision that you are making is incredibly difficult, but you are right that a dog that is unpredictable in this manner is dangerous. Take peace in the comfort Booker felt in your home.

We send you hugs with a few puppy tears, too.

Southbay Girl said...

Mom and I are so sorry for your loss! We can't comprehend what you have been going thru. But our thoughts and prayers are with you, your family and Booker. Rest in peace, finally Booker and be a free happy dog!

Velcro and mom

Mango the Maltese kiddo said...

I'm so sorry to hear this.
Booker just signed my guestbook 4 days ago as I had asked him.
You had to do what you had to do. Booker crossed over the bridge knowing that he had your family caring and loving him.

Mango said...

Mango Momma here.

I know what you are going through. About a year ago we adopted a dog who was characterized as being a "little barky." Well, she was more than a little barky. Let's just say that things escalated the longer she was with us to the point where Mango was afraid to be near her (yes, she attacked Mango) and if my husband so much as sneezed in the next room she would charge him.

We also worked very hard with her using positive training and all the rest. Even the vet characterized her as "feral" and said early on that she might not make it.

I was so grateful that the breed rescue group agreed with us that she needed to be put to sleep. Not all dogs can be saved and a dog that is severely mentally damaged needs to be humanely put down the same way we would put a dog with a physical injury out of its misery.

I know you did everything you could and now Booker can rest easy. I'm sure its been hard on him too.

NinjaCat said...

I am so sorry for you and your family. I pray that Booker is at peace now and that your family will heal from this terrible situation.

Brenda & Ninja

Patience-please said...

We are sending you gentle hugs. You already know you have done the right thing; really there was no other choice. But, please know that I agree that you did the right thing. Absolutely.


Cocoa the Beagle said...

We stopped by again to see how you are doing, and to let you know that we are all here for you, friends (2-legged or 4-legged) from all over the world.

Love & Hugs,
Cocoa, Barley & Mum

T.Allen-Mercado said...

I'm sorry, you and your family are in our thoughts. ((hugs))

Jan's Funny Farm said...

Oh, no. I haven't visited for a while but I used to enjoy reading your posts about the rescue of an older hunting dog. This is such a shock.

I can only imagine the pain you are all suffering now. And poor Booker. What a terrible life he must have had.

I hope as you look back through your tears you will find comfort in the good times you had with Booker.


The Girl said...

Oh, how awful for all of you! We just heard about you over on River's blog and came over to let you know that we're thinking of you all and of Booker. What a horrible situation.

You have obviously given Booker every thing possible. Your hard work and dedication to him shines clearly through your words. This is a situation that no person or dog should ever have to be in. Damn those who abused him in the past!

I have to tell you how much I agree with your decision to take Booker to the Humane Society rather than returning him to the rescue group. You are obviously a well-educated dog person, and in this situation, you are so right in saying that he cannot be safely placed again. I am sorry that the responsibility for this decision has come to you, but I admire you for being able to make it.

Words seem so inadequate... I am thinking of you.



Still on vacation and finally catching up with your blog. You are all in our prayers. That was an extremly hard decision, one I would not like to have to make.

If you need someone to chat with ebark us. We hope in the near future you find a good dog and return to blogging.

Your friends,

Essex, Deacon and Dog Dad too.

Rambo said...

Although there are no words to take away your pain, please know that you have the love and support of all your blogger four-legged friends and their humans. Our heart goes out to you.
Rest in peace Booker.
Rambo, Midget Molly and G-Mom.

Saint Lover said...

Oh honey I am so sorry. I am a little behind reading my blogs and dedicated the day to catching up. I am so sorry to see what you have had to go through as a family.

Sometimes, there is nothing you can do. The demons of the past are too strong for anyone to do anything about. Many times, having a dog pts is the kindest thing you can do. To release them from the demons. I have been there before and know first hand what you are going though. You were put in his path to show him love and comfort and help him along his journey to peace.

I am so sorry... Sleep sweet Booker!