My moment of being down. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Unread 03-25-2019, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
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My moment of being down.

I just had an initial visit and assessment with a new trainer whom I really liked. She's been a trainer for over 15 years. She felt he was extremely reactive, especially for his young age. She had a lot of great suggestions and commended me for the management I've been practicing. I'm happy to be working with her; she communicates well and was very thorough.

I thought that he was pretty extreme, but having someone who sees reactive dogs all the time confirm it is just a bit hard to hear.

She will be contacting my vet clinic and asking for their support--they know Jett and she'd like to have them consider medication. I have been surprised they didn't bring it up, frankly, but I understand a lot of people would be resistant and it's a subject they might want to broach gradually, after establishing a better relationship and giving the desensitizing tactics a longer try.

So, I'm going to let myself wallow in self-pity for a few more minutes and then get over it. We have a lot of training to work on--not to mention I'm on spring break and have spring cleaning to do. I have a couple of new commands to work on, at the trainer's request. Lots to keep me busy plus great weather, so an extended pity party just won't work

A few deep breaths, and time to move on.

Maureen
Radar, Aussie/BC mix, b. 2/27/2012
Jett, GSD foster pup, b. 7/15/2018
Madison, WI
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Unread 03-25-2019, 12:17 PM
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I remember sitting in my yard nursing a badly bitten hand, staring at Bud in his dog run and thinking "what am I doing???"
We all have moments when we do the if only I had or what if I could.
You have done a great job so far and have continued to seek advice and move forward.

There is a reason that a rear view mirror is small and a windshield is big. Spend your time looking forward not back. On the bright side, at least you have a hobby!
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Unread 03-25-2019, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Yep--and thankfully, a hobby that interests me and keeps me moving. Not the dog I intended, but one I'm happy to have-as long as he needs me--even if that is forever. Thank you for your kind words.
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Maureen
Radar, Aussie/BC mix, b. 2/27/2012
Jett, GSD foster pup, b. 7/15/2018
Madison, WI
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Unread 03-26-2019, 10:41 AM
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I'm sure the pity party is over but wanted to let you know that even though it seems like a lousy type of party to have, your in good company. I've had my share while struggling with the same issues, reactivity. I honestly think that the pp is just part of the whole process and helps one look inward, contemplate the complexities of the issue, try things outside the box etc.

I no longer need to go to my pity parties, cant remember the last one as it's been a long while. the things I've learned from my boy and attending pity parties has taught me what I needed to handle him and myself in an emotionally strong and appropriate way.

I bet dollars to donuts, and you can cash in if you want, that you're going to look back and feel the same way. Just pm me when you get to this stage and I'll send ya a coupon for a dozen. :-)
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"If you can't see his soul when you look in his eyes, then you need a seeing-eye dog"
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Unread 03-31-2019, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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Today I am feeling so overwhelmed. My older son is having a health issue--serious--and that stress alone could explain my feelings. But although I've found 3 places I can take Jett for exercise, I can't get past the thought that "This is not what I signed up for." I thought I was taking him temporarily--and then became aware that there was little chance his owner could take him back (or should take him back). She confirmed this week that she does not expect to be able to do so. And he is so aggressive. The vet stood still, back turned, and he still went at her--that was a few weeks back and she said, "This is an escalation."

We haven't started meds, though; I don't really know what is causing the delay. I guess I should call again.

I have a dog I cannot leave with anyone but my younger son (who is at college) and my 17 y.o. daughter (who has no interest). I don't know what I will do if I have to go to help my older son with his situation (he lives far away). I don't know what I'm going to do for the 5 weeks I plan to be away from home this summer--trips planned and paid for well in advance.

He's only 8.5 months old. It's not his fault he lived in his crate for 3 months at his owner's home and never had a chance to experience the world. It's not his fault he's terrified all the time.

I wish I wanted to do all the work it will take to even see if there is improvement--sometimes I do, but other times I don't. I wish I hadn't offered to take him in the first place. I wish I had no worries about plans made, or my son's health. I wish I had all the time in the world to help him. But if wishes were horses . . .

I am feeling really trapped. I'm just a mess today.

It does help my stress level a little tiny bit to imagine whacking his (unknown) breeder upside the head. But it sure doesn't solve any problems.

Maureen
Radar, Aussie/BC mix, b. 2/27/2012
Jett, GSD foster pup, b. 7/15/2018
Madison, WI
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Unread 03-31-2019, 04:04 PM
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Breathe

I am sorry to hear about your son. I hope he will be ok.

Get on the phone about those meds.

Look, companion animals are supposed to add joy to our lives not stress. I put down an 18 month old pup because his future looked very scary. Intense human aggression, chasing people down was his forte, and uncontrollable dog aggression. Biggest sweetheart in the world with me. At 117lbs to my 130, my choices were to let him spend the next 10-12 years locked in a cage because I doubted my ability to control him or put him down. I opted for the latter and it broke my heart, but I was confident that the right decision had been made.
I am not saying you should consider this, but I want you to know that some of us have been where you are. I got to make a different decision with Bud because he responded to training and his obedience was stellar. I really hope that meds and continued training will turn him around for you but I think at this point you need to make sure that he is used to wearing a muzzle and that you are making use of a trainer who knows what they are doing.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Unread 03-31-2019, 04:11 PM
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https://www.germanshepherds.com/foru...-continue.html

For those who want the backstory on this dog!

My hat is off to you for not giving up on him. But PLEASE be careful, and don't let him ruin your life!
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Unread 03-31-2019, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunsilver View Post
https://www.germanshepherds.com/foru...-continue.html

For those who want the backstory on this dog!

My hat is off to you for not giving up on him. But PLEASE be careful, and don't let him ruin your life!
Thanks--and it made me laugh to see I felt "overwhelmed" in my first post. Ok, not really funny, but still . . . maybe it is just today and tomorrow will be much better.

Maureen
Radar, Aussie/BC mix, b. 2/27/2012
Jett, GSD foster pup, b. 7/15/2018
Madison, WI
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Unread 03-31-2019, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabis mom View Post
Breathe

I am sorry to hear about your son. I hope he will be ok.

Get on the phone about those meds.

Look, companion animals are supposed to add joy to our lives not stress. I put down an 18 month old pup because his future looked very scary. Intense human aggression, chasing people down was his forte, and uncontrollable dog aggression. Biggest sweetheart in the world with me. At 117lbs to my 130, my choices were to let him spend the next 10-12 years locked in a cage because I doubted my ability to control him or put him down. I opted for the latter and it broke my heart, but I was confident that the right decision had been made.
I am not saying you should consider this, but I want you to know that some of us have been where you are. I got to make a different decision with Bud because he responded to training and his obedience was stellar. I really hope that meds and continued training will turn him around for you but I think at this point you need to make sure that he is used to wearing a muzzle and that you are making use of a trainer who knows what they are doing.
Thank you; this is so, so helpful. And I will call the clinic at the moment they open tomorrow.
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Maureen
Radar, Aussie/BC mix, b. 2/27/2012
Jett, GSD foster pup, b. 7/15/2018
Madison, WI
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Unread 03-31-2019, 05:34 PM
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I think that while you proceed with trying to work this out, you may want to also research avenues to place him. You don't have to make that decision right away but at least knowing the resources and perhaps contacting them you will have already got that ball rolling if needed.

I think that the breeder should know if they are a decent breeder. I don't know if you already posted anything about them but they may be horrified to hear that one of their pups spent 3 months in a kennel and might want him back. I would also reach out to any GSD rescue in your and talk to them.

If the woman has a contract with the breeder, then the info on it about Jet may be helpful and at least proof that he is pure bred.

I think making these steps could help a little so you don't feel so boxed in and may provide either more info for you or a way out that won't make you feel so badly.

You sound like you are the kind of parent where if your son calls because he needs help, you drop everything and are already half way there before he hangs up. If that is a very real possibility, then you should let yourself off the hook.

I think that the "maybe tomorrow will be better" and it just might be but you shouldn't allow yourself to stay trapped with the hopes of tomorrow and not explore other avenues for today.

Imho, you have gone above and are doing all you can. Fwiw, there is no way I would have been able to deal with my boys issues if I had the commitments that you have.

I'm really sorry you are in this spot.
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