Another dog fight has occurred–although calling it a “fight” is a stretch. More realistically, the Pit has again attacked the Chihuahua. These two dogs have lived in happy cohabitation for all of the 5 year old Pit’s life, at least until about six weeks ago, when the first unprovoked attack happened. This one, yesterday, was shorter in duration but more damaging. I took the Chihuahua in to the vet to check on the bite wound. At 3:30 pm today we went back to the vet to collect him after his having been anesthetized in order to insert a drain.
We had no clue what we were getting into. We collected a terrified, shrieking dog that wrestled and thrashed and screamed as I tried to hold him still and he scraped my neck and face with the wild flailing of the cone of shame. The drive home involved the same, with periods of him laying, rigid, in whatever grasp I was managing to hold him in, gasping and wailing until the next time he tried to get away. The drain is horrid looking, and there is no way I’m getting close enough to it to clean it tonight. He is still bug-eyed and terrified, periodically crying and fussing.
Now, everyone in the household has felt the stress of the situation, and we’re all mad at each other for some reason or another, and really what we all are is freaked out about how badly hurt the dog seems to be and how unsolvable the problem is. Ultimately, the issue is that unless we can manage to somehow keep two dogs that live together entirely separated for the rest of their lives, someone’s heading to the vet for one final trip. The Pit is the dog of my heart; I adore her, but I have to say that now I am feeling like I can’t trust her.
I suspect it is motivated by stress and by resource guarding. She was stressed by our absence and a new pet sitter. Our feeding schedule was restricted by nighttime pooping in the house, so she is stressed by that. Finally, she is deeply attached to me, to the exclusion (or sometimes grudging inclusion) of all others. Insecurity about my presence, territoriality and excitement led to striking out at the other dog. None of that is an excuse, nor do I find it easy to solve, since dogs don’t speak English. I can’t sit her down and explain to her that she is not to hurt the other dog.
I dread a sleepless night with the Chihuahua that will just set up a day of household unhappiness tomorrow. I see no real way of being able to keep them permanently separated in the same house. I also don’t feel ready to have my dog put down. It’s a shitty situation that makes everyone feel helpless, and therefore irritable. I don’t know what, if any, long term solution exists that doesn’t involve making a permanent, irreversible decision.
Fortunately there remains plenty of mundane issues to keep me focusing on that. Like, I need to get the Chihuahua to drink some water and go outside so I can give him more medication. That will take some creativity and patience, but I think it can be solved. The bigger issues will have to wait at least until tomorrow.