He lives

Okay, Readers, this blog calls for some audience participation!

I am struggling to gain perspective on this one, and I’ve been struggling for a week- since I last posted.

Scout is not dead.

THANK YOU so much for the sweet messages, text messages and prayers I got encouraging our family through the hard time that didn’t happen. It just didn’t happen, man.

NOTE: If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you’re going to want to start here and then read here.

Last Monday, we were decided. Although Scout had made a completely miraculous recovery- which was wonderful because it meant no rabies, but the saddest because it meant we’d be putting a perfectly happy and healthy dog to sleep- the real obstacle to our decision was revealed at bedtime.

My 6 year old.

Cadence was absolutely beside herself at the idea of ‘killing’ Scout. That’s the only way she will say it. We use the words “put him to sleep,” and she says “killing.” Tomato, tomato, right? NOT right! She was in complete hysterics trying to go down to sleep. She couldn’t seem to wrap her mind around having to wake up and say a rushed goodbye to her dog and then head off to Kindergarten. You know, she made a valid point. Was that even fair to do to a Kindergarten teacher? Am I meant to leave the life and death conversations to her teacher and fellow kindergarten friends?

Yea, probably not.

So after many tears, Thomas and I decided that we would have to wait until Saturday to ‘kill’ Scout, when we could more appropriately give our daughter time to mourn and process the loss of her first pet. Yes, a turkey did die in her hand once, and there have been a few animals-turned-food around here, but a pet is something entirely different. And an adorable Golden Retriever at that!

Thomas warned that the farther we got away from the rabies scare and the illness and the incident, the harder it would be to take action. And Thomas was exactly right.

Saturday came and well… it was raining… so…

And now it’s Monday again and he’s still alive!! So here’s the deal… I was trying to check him for ticks last night- yes this is my life- and he growled at me and hunched over and was definitely giving me all the crystal clear messages that he did not enjoy what I was doing. I was standing behind him, while he was standing up, and I was feeling along the sides of his body. I wasn’t hurting him or doing anything crazy, but he couldn’t figure out what I was doing and so I could tell I was making him uneasy. He even showed his teeth.

This can’t be a thing.

My kids are crazy and I know they’re going to be running and fall on him or something. He’s going to bite again. He’s giving all the warning signs. I don’t want to put a healthy dog down, but I also feel guilty about giving him to anyone else because I feel like it will be my fault if he bites again- even if I disclose the full story, which of course I will.

The gal who was going to take him post rabies quarantine has decided that due to his illness while on quarantine, he’s too old and likely ill and he isn’t a fit for what she wants to do. Another Golden Retriever Rescue program referred us to two ‘no kill’ shelters in Nashville that I feel are strong possibilities. But I just can’t seem to reason what the right thing to do here is!!!

Should we put him down before he bites someone else- heaven forbid a kid, or worse, a kid VISITING the farm? Or should we give him to the shelter and let them decide what to do with him?

He may be fixable. It just can’t be by us. We have decided that he needs to leave. We just don’t know how. Cadence can’t decide if it’s sadder for her to say goodbye to him and never get to visit him again, or if it’s sadder to ‘kill him’ and have a grave on the farm to lay her flowers.

So she is NO help!

Advice is appreciated!

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6 thoughts on “He lives

  1. Tough choices to make for sure ! You’re right Wendy , he definitely WILL bite again – he has already used this tactic and he’s no spring chicken. Although he may be re-trained , there is always that possibility of biting again . And you know kids – even a well meant hug from them could cause him to react . Perhaps if the rescue makes it clear that he won’t be placed with a young family he could live out his time ? How about creating an album with as many pictures of him on the farm as possible as a remembrance prior to his leaving ? Celebrate his new home & continued life with a cake & party – a going away party ? And maybe when he does pass , promise of his ashes being returned to the farm ?

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  2. Is it worth your entire life savings or house/farm if the dog bites someone? Take him to the no kill shelter, you never know if he might be someone else’s best friend. You might have too much chaos at your farm if he’s old. We had to make the same decision 10+years ago.

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  3. Is it worth your entire life savings or house/farm if the dog bites someone? Take him to the no kill shelter, you never know if he might be someone else’s best friend. You might have too much chaos at your farm if he’s old. We had to make the same decision 10+years ago.

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