If it isn’t one thing, it’s another, right?
We got our dog Baya from a rescue when she was just a puppy. We were told she was a
German Short haired Pointer and maybe possibly mixed with pit bull. She was super cute and very playful. One of our first adventures with her was a super crazy day of sketchy hiking. She was the perfect puppy for us.
I have very specific rules about kids and dogs, they are never to be alone together. Basically neither dogs nor kids should ever be trusted! I also don’t believe dogs should be treated like people.
So we began our big homeless summer at my +1’s race. Baya was tied to the van and people wandered over to pet her and she happily rolled over giving everyone her belly to rub. At some point, some little dogs showed up and were pretty yappy which caused Baya to decide to bark too. Tajh and Tea were getting ready to run, Seth was out running already, Tay was all over the place, and I had the babies. I grabbed Baya’s leash and took her with me to watch the big two start. Everything was fine, the big kids took off and I walked over to put Baya back and the babies to bed. I stopped to talk for a minute. My +1’s brother was moving about taking care of all the race stuff and happened to duck under the flags next to the little two, Baya, and me. The first pass was fine, but apparently Baya did not like his second go past, and without knocking over the 2 children standing next to her, bit him, on the neck. Not knowing how bad the bite was, I of course freaked out. My doofus of a dog has never reacted to people that way. I had no idea what to think. Hindsight it makes sense, she was protecting her little people.
So I yelled at Seth, said we weren’t taking her, and he didn’t agree. It was decided we would be more careful. Fact is she is a great running partner, amazing pack mule for hiking, the kids best friend, and usually she pays no attention to people. Ok plan B, she will be kenneled anytime there are lots of people around, I can live with that.
Or can I? So a couple days ago Seth was putting Tru in the car, which means the sliding door was open and Seth had his back to it. Tay was playing in the front seat, and everyone else was off somewhere else. A friend of ours (who, yes, knew what had happened prior) came by the car and went to pet Baya. All Seth hears was a snap, fuck. She got him on the face. Clearly his presence in her area with the kids involved was not ok with her.
Please note that both of these times she had already been on a run that day. It wasn’t being over excited, lack of exercise, she was calm both times prior. It was simple protection.
So what do we do? I literally watch my children put their hands in her mouth and take food from her. I watch her go on runs with the kids. I watch them ride her, lay on her, cuddle with her, poke her, why did she have to do this? In no way do I want to get rid of my dog, in no way is it her fault, but she can’t stay with us on our trip. We are around too many people, friends and strangers. This cannot happen again.
So as I write Seth is in Phoenix with her. We contacted the rescue we got her from and they were kind enough to take her in until we get back. Once we are home we will find the perfect training for her and spend whatever it takes for her to learn protecting the kids does not mean snapping at anyone.
Maybe we are terrible people. Maybe we are doing the right thing. But, she is our dog. The kids love her, and we will do everything we can for her to stay a part of our family.
Oh where oh where has our little Baya dog gone..
Categories: Our Homeless Summer Tags: Adventure, Dog, dog bite, Hiking, homeless, Pit bull, Running, Sabrina 2 Comments
I am so glad I read this. I am going through something very similar with my Pit I adopted a year ago. He was severely abused and has physical and mental scars but is a loving resilient soul for all of that. He has started snapping at folks who walk to close to me, approach him too quickly – you know how it goes. I know there is not only a danger to these folks but also to him. I will not discourage him from being protective in instances where a sketchy person approaches. It is just blocks away from me where Pit fights supposedly are rampant. So I have learned to watch his body language VERY closely. Now I know the signs. That dead still stony look means he is getting ready to lunge. I pull him close and choke up on his leash when we pass someone on the sidewalk. If he is good, I over – praise him – he loves that. If he gives even the slightest indication he is uncomfortable I advise the admirer that it is not a good idea today to pet him- he is a bit moody and needs his space. I have no other choice. To lose this dog would kill me. Hyper – vigilance is what I would recommend to you, and a professional if you can afford one. Good Luck – I will be pulling for you! If you have a moment check out my blog. It is about my Pit and it will help you understand why I will go to any lengths to keep him safe.
I would try to meet with a canine behaviorist ASAP. Behaviors that are repeated become more difficult to treat, so try to manage her in the meantime so she is not able to do this. Please try not to use any aversive measures as this could make matters worse. There is hope!
Here are a couple of reputable resources: