Unsuccessful rescue
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Thread: Unsuccessful rescue

  1. #1
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    Unsuccessful rescue

    My husband and I adopted a dog 9 weeks ago. He was really good...picked up on house rules really quickly, playful without being pesky, always up for a walk but not an overly "busy" dog - actually pretty chill for a young dog. The only thing is that he hates our cat. His foster told us that he was curious but easily distracted when it came to her cat. However, we never found that to be the case. He stalks him relentlessly. He persistently seeks him out. If he can't get near him he'll have an absolute meltdown. We had been working with trainer who insisted it was an insecurity issue and once he decompressed he'd be fine, but it just got worse. Our vet told us that it was a drive that we wouldn't be able to train out of him and that we would only be able to manage the environment. She also pointed out that at some point it would just come down to who's faster. I finally contacted the person who does behavioral assessments for a local GS rescue and she agreed with the vet. In the meantime, the cat just shutdown and developed bladder crystals due to the stress (ironically the only other time this has happened is when we lost our last dog - the cat's bff) which is potentially fatal for a male cat. So we made the difficult decision to give him back to the rescue. He went home with his new family this past weekend and I have been a mess since. I miss him so much. I feel so incredibly awful. But I also felt awful while my cat was miserable. This has been the first time an animal has come to me and not lived out their life with me...I wouldn't wish this decision on anyone

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  3. #2
    Member AddieCrow's Avatar
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    It happens so dont beat yourself up, just keep an open mind for a different dog to rescue that is a better fit for your cat, who was there first so imo should come first.
    We just rehomed one dog a few weeks ago and I'm working on rehoming another, both we rescued from a person who isn't fit to to own a dead goldfish. Would it have been nice to keep them? Sure. But they wernt a good mix for our pack and our pack came first.
    It will get better.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Lillith's Avatar
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    Re: Unsuccessful rescue

    It happens sometimes. It sounds like it would have been a miserable situation for all involved if you had decided to keep the dog. Sometimes dogs just aren't a good fit for a home, and the best thing you can do is let go and allow the dog to move on to a home that is a better fit for him. There are plenty of other dogs in need of a home that get along with cats, and then your cat can have another best friend!

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  6. #4
    Senior Member LeoRose's Avatar
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    Re: Unsuccessful rescue

    It happens. I was all set to adopt an absolutely beautiful pittie that had ignored the cats and kids when she lived next door to me, but turned out to have a much higher level of dog aggression than I was comfortable dealing with (possibly game-bred). I couldn't do that to the dogs I already had.
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  7. #5
    Senior Member NadiaK's Avatar
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    Re: Unsuccessful rescue

    I am sorry you are feeling so badly. But things like this do happen. The first pup we got for our mom was very sweet when we met him. Yet once she brought him home a totally different side of him emerged. He started biting and no matter what we did including hiring a personal trainer, the behavior continued. We ended up rehoming him and were very honest about what happened. Needless to say my mom was heartbroken as she had him for some time. But we ended up getting her a new pup that is as sweet and gentle as the day is long. In the end it worked out better for everyone.

  8. #6
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    Re: Unsuccessful rescue

    it happens and, the dog is better off being rehomed to a place well suited for him or her. Not every dog is for everyone and, a few do have issues that make them difficult and, you can't always train the problem away. While I would not give up on a puppy, I understand that not everyone had the time, patience or means to deal with a problem dog for any length of time. If I accept an adult dog, it has one month to at least show an effort to learn and obey the rules here or it needs a new home better suited to the dog. I've only ever had one like that, she simply refused to show any effort to get along with my other animals and, was aggressive toward all but the cats. Here the critters have to learn to at least ignore, if not get along with birds, rabbits, goats, wolfdogs, cats and the seasonal pigs. Occasionally a calf for a couple of years as well.

    We raise much of our own food, meat included so, any canine here has to at least ignore the livestock and, not attack the cats that keep the snakes and rodents to a minimum.

    In the house we have the wolfdogs, a house cat, a conjure (parrot family bird) and, tropical fish, all of which have to ignore or get along with one another.

    Yes, I know small livestock, cats and pet birds are one heck of a challenge to teach a wolfdog to ignore and accept as part of the home but, I've managed it with three and, working on number 4 now (an 11 week old pup.)
    Last edited by Bluemoods; 06-11-2018 at 10:49 PM.

  9. #7
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    Re: Unsuccessful rescue

    Thanks everyone. On a conscious level I know it was the right decision but there's that little voice that keep going "Well, just maybe, if only..." It stinks because the one-on-one time with him was awesome. He slipped right into the role of my sidekick. But keeping the cat and he separated was exhausting, and I was constantly on edge. When it started affecting the cat's health it just got to be too much.

  10. #8
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    Re: Unsuccessful rescue

    Sometimes new family members just don't get on. Whenever I consider a new animal my biggest concern is "will my current dogs be ok with this?" because at the end of the day, the happiness and wellness of the pets I already have matter the most. Another dog will come along that you will love, and it won't bother your cat. Just keep an open heart and try not to worry too much about this "unsuccessful rescue."

  11. #9
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    I foster rescues and I would much rather you return a rescue back to us than you keeping it and upsetting the balance of your other pets and family. I currently have 6 dogs, 3 of mine and 3 fosters. We also have 2 cats. One of our cats is more laid back and will stand her ground with any foster I take in (I don't accept fosters who hate cats) The cats still have their claws and she will quickly discourage any dogs who tries to harass her. She also lays with, books and snuggles with the dogs. My other cat is not a dog lover and prefers they leave him alone. He usually runs if they approach and once in a while a new foster will chase him because he is running. He wont defend himself from a curious or overly friendly dog.I put up baby gates so he could get in several places the dogs can't and he is now content. If I ever had a foster that harrassed my cat the way your newly adopted pup did I would ask our rescue to find someone else to foster him. Please don't feel bad. Every pet relationship is different. While the pup got along with a previous cat, that doesn't mean he will have gotten along with your cat. Every animal has a different personality and a person never really knows how the adoption will work until some time has passed. I have a lab and 5 doxies. I exclusively foster middle age to senior doxies because that is what fits in with my own family and you need to do what is best for yours. The pup will find a new home that is a better fit for him and you have given the rescue organization valuable information in selecting his new family, or at minimum, better information on the pups biography for future families. Maybe the rescue will let you have a week end or week long sleep over for your new pup so you can better evaluate how they interact with your cat? I appreciate how hard you tried to make things work.

  12. #10
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    Re: Unsuccessful rescue

    Quote Originally Posted by Madcatter View Post
    My husband and I adopted a dog 9 weeks ago. He was really good...picked up on house rules really quickly, playful without being pesky, always up for a walk but not an overly "busy" dog - actually pretty chill for a young dog. The only thing is that he hates our cat. His foster told us that he was curious but easily distracted when it came to her cat. However, we never found that to be the case. He stalks him relentlessly. He persistently seeks him out. If he can't get near him he'll have an absolute meltdown. We had been working with trainer who insisted it was an insecurity issue and once he decompressed he'd be fine, but it just got worse. Our vet told us that it was a drive that we wouldn't be able to train out of him and that we would only be able to manage the environment. She also pointed out that at some point it would just come down to who's faster. I finally contacted the person who does behavioral assessments for a local GS rescue and she agreed with the vet. In the meantime, the cat just shutdown and developed bladder crystals due to the stress (ironically the only other time this has happened is when we lost our last dog - the cat's bff) which is potentially fatal for a male cat. So we made the difficult decision to give him back to the rescue. He went home with his new family this past weekend and I have been a mess since. I miss him so much. I feel so incredibly awful. But I also felt awful while my cat was miserable. This has been the first time an animal has come to me and not lived out their life with me...I wouldn't wish this decision on anyone
    The dog is fine. Trust me on this. RARE is the dog who cannot and does not move on well. I know of TWO in my lifetime with this breed. I was fortunate enough to own one. My decoy currently owns the other one.

    Your GS rescue had a lot of prey drive. The "diagnosis" of drive was correct. It was totally down to one day the dog would get to the cat and the cat would lose. You did the right thing. You did the right thing.

    I currently have two GSD's who are "cat broke." One will sleep with the cat. That said, the cats (two of them and one is completely blind) are dog savvy and do not run away and make themselves fun to chase. They walk right up to the dog and are confident buggers!

    FWIW on the cat if you feed meals (do not free feed) and feed wet food mixing it with a little dry food and add water it REALLY REALLY helps to eliminate the crystal development.

  13. #11
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    Re: Unsuccessful rescue

    Thank you for this. Deep down I know it was right, but I still feel badly. The cat is actually on a prescription diet, which is why I was surprised...I think this dog was just way too much for him to handle, physically and mentally. Typically he doesn't run from dogs. He's lived with a dog previously and we've had numerous visiting dogs throughout his life. He's been disgusted with a few of the younger ones, but not afraid My vet also pointed that out. She said it is likely that he instinctively knew that this dog had different intentions than others.

  14. #12
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    It sounds like the cat's instinct was spot on. I've learned over the years to trust an animal 's instinct about other animals.

    I'm sure one day you will find the right dog-match for both the cat and you.

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