Friday, April 27, 2012
We've been having some issues with Rufus. He's the sweetest, cutest boy when he's not trying to eat the chickens or running on a rampage through the house. About 6 months or so the dogs all started fighting. I'm not talking the occassional growl. We're talking snarling, growling, biting, viscious fighting. It was almost always Rufus that started it and he was almost always picking on Riley. Every second of the day the energy was in the air. Rufus became extremely possive of us and his things. He wouldn't let anyone near us or a fight would break out. Heaven forbid another dog would walk through a doorway before him or to even think about it.
Then it got really bad. He started to terrorize Riley and Riley definitely got bumped to bottom of the totem poll because Reese even started picking on him. If a fight happened with him and Rufus, Rufus would pick him up by the neck and shake him. Riley would try to stick up for himself, but as the smallest in the bunch he didn't have much going for him. It started to get scary and not just because of the fights. The other dogs wouldn't let him go outside. They wouldn't let him eat. They wouldn't let him go to the bathroom. He lived under our bed for weeks.
Nothing we were doing was helping. No amount of training or seperating was helping. It got to the point if we tried to train Rufus and another dog wanted to participate, a fight would break out. It was exhausting and we need we needed to change something. I talked to our vet about it and she wasn't very reassuring. Rufus was finally an adult in dog years and was trying to stake his claim. With two older dogs no one was taking it well and what about poor Riley? He wouldn't keep living under the bed and having accidents all over the house.
We decided we needed to rehome Rufus. He's a good dog and really does know what he should and shouldn't do. If we told him to stop he would, but that didn't mean the other dog would and Rufus wouldn't have anything to do with that. If he was never allowed to cross that point he'd be fine, but we couldn't always keep it from happening. We talked and decided to list him on rescue sites and to see if our local Humane Society could take him. We were willing to wait to find the right fit for him. About 2 weeks later my coworker called. Her niece was looking for a dog and liked Jack Russells. She works from home, goes on daily walks and he'd be the only dog. It sounded like the perfect situation.
Two weeks ago we took Rufus over to meet her and things went really well. He warmed up to her fairly quickly (which is amazing for him and shows just how far he's come along) and we decided to leave him there to see how they continued to get along. As of today, things are going great. Rufus is loving his daily walks and it's great that he has someone that can spend plenty of time with him and get him the exercise that he needs. Plus it's great to know who he's with and to be able to get the occassional update on him.
That day we came home and already there was such a change at our house. There was peace once again in our home. The change in the other dogs was almost immediate. Reese and Riley are best friends again. Riley is back to his loveable self again and only sleeps under the bed at night. In a way it's sad that we are almost happy about it, but it really shows that it was the right decision for everyone.