I am sorry this is so long. I wanted to share this so it might give hope to those who rescue naughty dogs.
What have you done? Are you mad? These were the words I constantly heard.* Friends, family, a trainer, the vet said I was insane to take him. I knew if he went to another home there was a good chance he would be mistreated. I couldnít sleep at night not knowing what happened to him. He was part of Kassa and she loved him.*
When Ernie came to live me he was untrained, his coat, and eyes were dull, he wasnít used to being inside so wasnít house trained. He was terrified of all house hold noises, kettle boiling, TV. plates clattering together,birds, etc. If anyone went to pat him he cringed. He wouldnít sit still, didnít really care about people. He tore up the garden, shredded washing and chewed everything. He ran all over the yard and house never stopping. If I said walk he looked at me blankly.* I couldnít take my eyes off him for one second.
When he peed inside or did other naughty things and I tried to put him outside he would flip over on his back. I would have to drag him outside, biting, kicking and squealing. Previously he had done what he wanted,slept in the garage and went to bed when he was ready. When I tried to put him to bed he refused. Night after night he would rear up on his back legs, claw at the walls and try to bite. I would grab him under the collar and twist it. If I didnít he would flick his head out and run around laughing at me. One night after he managed to sink his teeth into my arm I knocked his back legs from under him and he fell to the ground. I had another 4 stitches, and Ernie rarely did it again.
He has what family call a ďmad dog frenzyĒ. He would be ok and suddenly he would leap up growling, biting our clothes, jumping on the furniture, and coffee table, spilling our coffee. It was frightening. The only way to calm him was for me to push him to the ground with all my body weight praying he didnít bite my face, and then gently stroke him until he calmed down. Often he would get up do it again, and back down we would go for three or four times. Friends and family would watch all this with astonished expressions, and unkind words. I would sit on the back of the couch waiting so I could get him before he jumped on top of me and out of control. I donít let anyone play chase, sit on the floor with him or rough games. First growl play is stopped. I learned his previous owners would get him in an excited frenzy like this, then leave him in the garage to bash himself against the door.
The first months there were days and nights I was beside myself with frustration, and I am ashamed to admit there were times I even told him I hated him and why was such a naughty dog no one wanted here when my Kassy was gone. I missed Kassys sparkling fun, full of life eyes. Erns eyes showed nothing. No emotion, empty. He didn't seem to care about anything.
A few weeks after I got Ernie he was diagnosed with Hip Displaysia. This together with his behavourial problems had people asking what if I canít do anything with him. Could I loose two dogs in a year. I had no intention of loosing. I like a challenge, and a dog with character.This time it wasnít a puppy I was dealing with. It was a fully grown over weight, very stubborn 3 year old street boy.
edited to add. his previous family loved him very much. They had been told not to give him toys or blankets to sleep on. They didn't realise the black furball would grow into a big black lab. Instead of training him they left him to do his own thing thinking this was how you dealt with a dog.
Wow. I've always gathered from your Ernie posts that you've been a devoted mom to a naughty dog. I had no idea the extent of Ernie's problems or the poor treatment he had in his prior home. You've put up with a lot whereas others would have just walked away.
You have the patience of a saint. Bless you for continuing to be Ernie's mom.
HEY! ALLIGATOR DEATH ROLL!! I know that move!When he peed inside or did other naughty things and I tried to put him outside he would flip over on his back. I would have to drag him outside, biting, kicking and squealing.
Great story, Chris. Can't wait for the next installment. You are a brave and very stubborn girl
Connie and "The Boys":
Angus, Yellow Lab, CGC, RE, CD
Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD
Gone ahead, but forever in my heart:
Crash, Pit Bull x Rottweiler x Golden Retriever
Thanks for sharing...I look forward to part 2.
Chris, I give you credit...yes, you must be twice as stubborn as Ernie. He is very fortunate to have you. (((HUGS))) to the both of you.
Linda and ZoŽ, the Umlaut
Bless your heart, Chris, for saving Ernie. And I don't just mean taking him in... but saving him from himself.
I was just thinking about you and Ernie today and was wondering how he is doing. Guess I'll need to wait for part 2!
Sharon, loved by Moose & Sky
You've done wonders with Erns. I know he still has his moments, but he's not the same dog as the one who came to you last year.
Well I'm going to zoom over to Part 2 now because Ernie is a gem! I think... most of the time... some of the time? Okay, only now and then but he is so post-worthy!
Seamus and Flynn
I love that Ernie is with you...someone who won't give up on him. You're amazing.
Teresa, mom to Brigetta and Prudence
You have done a wonderful job with Ernie, and at the end of the story you will see how much he loves you for it all.