Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Traumatic Event & A Good Deed

I enjoy doing odd jobs, anything to make a few extra bucks here and there. I have not yet outgrown the typical teen jobs of babysitting, house sitting, dog sitting, and dog walking. I like them, and they are pretty easy money, usually. I've had the occasional demon child (ex: kid - "I'm going to tell Mommy you touched me if you don't let me have the chocolate." me - "OMG I'm outa here!") or the near dog bite, but I recently had my worst sitting experience yet.

I was boarding three dogs, two Great Danes and a pit bull (whose real name I'll change here), at my home. I had cared for them in the past, they were all intact (not spayed or neutered) which tends to cause behavioral issues, but overall they were fine dogs. They stayed in the yard and the sun room, were quiet, and earned me $45 a day so it was all good. I took them on for a two weeks in June, should have been peaceful.

I had fallen asleep on the couch and at 1am I hear snarling and thrashing in the yard. I get up to find two bloody dogs locked together: the female pit, Chloe, being pinned down by the female Dane, Amber. The pit was lunging, trying to get to Amber, but Amber had Chloe by the scruff of her neck. I called (screamed more like it) for Chloe to get off, but she was in the zone. I called to Amber and she immediately let go of Chloe and began to run to me, but barely made it a step before the Chloe had a hold of her. Clearly Amber was not the aggressor here. I call my dog savvy friend to come over to help me, and as soon as she was on her way I called the owners. Their solution was for me to find a stick and pry the pit bull's jaws open. Hahaha no. Your dogs will die first. I instead grabbed a pot and started to throw water on them. Eventually Chloe chilled out, I locked her in the sun room, and I brought Amber into the kitchen. Both were bloody messes, I couldn't believe it wasn't making me sick. It was really gross.

Well a long dramatic story made a little shorter, the owners would not let me take the dogs to the vet. They came home three days later and were shocked at the damage that was done, even though I had insisted that they needed vet care, even texting them pictures of the 3 inch laceration on Chloe's leg, through which you could see bone. Chloe went into surgery immediately, but they had no intention of taking Amber to the vet. In fact, they planned on rehoming both of the Danes through craigslist and keeping Chloe, even though they had young children. So, that's how I ended up with a new dog, Amber.

Amber needed vet care and with me she got it (you can see her front leg full of infected, draining punctures in the above photo). She healed beautifully, and was obedient and quiet. She slept on her bed most of the day, or layed in the sun on the rug. In so many ways she was a joy, but she was also timid, did not enjoy visitors, tolerated but did not enjoy Milo, and she was terrified of Eric (not all men, mainly Eric). She also ate a lot, and with work being scarce lately, the extra mouth to feed was a strain. But I liked having a big, intimidating dog in the house when I was alone so we decided to keep her and hope that she would warm up to the rest of the family, because she certainly adored me.

The longer Amber stayed in our home, the more I realized that our home was not right for her. I couldn't dote on her, she needed more of my attention than I could give. She hated Eric and scrambled from him when he entered the room. And I feared that with opening the daycare, potential clients would not feel safe with her. I decided to start looking for a home where she could be someone's spoiled baby.

I did many interviews and turned a lot of people away, but I finally found a couple I liked. They had a male Dane that they seemed to adore. They even brought a photo album devoted only to him when they came for their interview. So... Amber is now living with them with her new Dane brother, Jack. Her new "mom" sent me these pictures last night.

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