So, we got a dog. And then we took him back to the shelter a month later. Before you judge, hear me out.
We’ve been looking to get a new dog for a few years now. We had to put our Rottweiler/Lab mix down a few months after Nolan was born. He was an awesome dog. Loved to fetch. Not a big cuddler, but he was 90 lbs, so that’s fine.
We’ve been going to shelters off and on for that entire time. Our little dog, Goliath, was a mess between our attention shifting to Nolan and losing Rusty. He started peeing in the house (only on the carpet downstairs of course) and crating him didn’t help because it was spiteful. He’d come in from outside and go pee downstairs (never caught the little f*!&er in the act, though). We knew he needed company, but it had to be the “right” dog.
Finally…finally, we were in the SPCA one day and came across Kano, a pit bull (mix, supposedly). His eyes just drew me in. They were a beautiful gold color.
We thought about it for a week and took Nolan and Goliath for the required meet and greets. Kano was super chill and mostly ignored both of them. We went to the pet store to get everything we needed and then went and picked him up the next day.
We were definitely a little nervous about getting a pit bull so we followed all the instructions about keeping a leash on him for a few days and not letting the dogs eat together, etc., etc. Kano LOVED snuggles and cuddling on the couch. He was calm and hardly ever barked.
After a couple of weeks we loosened the reins a bit. Another week or so after that Kano snapped at Goliath because Goliath was eating out of his bowl. We tried to keep them separated during meal times again after that, but there were certainly times I was distracted and it didn’t happen. All was well for another two or three weeks and then it happened again. Kano stopped without my interference (I wasn’t about to get in the middle) and Goliath acted like nothing had happened. They were still playing together.
A day or two later I felt a scab on Goliath and found a puncture wound, quite deep on his shoulder and a couple of other scratches. Of course, we had to assume it either happened when that incident occurred or when we were gone. Oddly, Goliath never acted afraid of Kano or seemed hurt in any way unless you touched the wounds.
We had tried crating Kano, but he busted out within a minute so that wasn’t an option. Our doors have those long, horizontal handles and he’d learned to open them so no keeping him in a room.
We felt like we really didn’t have a choice except to take him back to the shelter. It was really a painful decision and brings tears to my eyes just to think about it. In a home without other animals he was literally a perfect pet. Didn’t shed much, super cuddly, loved car rides, didn’t bark much, etc. His favorite place to sleep was Nolan’s bed, which is what we’d dreamed of in a new dog. But, we just weren’t comfortable having him in the house any more.
It really hurts my heart because we’d all become attached to him. Nolan is at an age where he’s not going to forget Kano quickly. And Kano wasn’t/isn’t a bad dog.
I keep feeling guilty that I didn’t do more. Maybe we should have tried a little longer. I certainly shouldn’t have gotten lax about isolating them when eating. But, while I truly don’t think Kano would have ever hurt Nolan, Nolan is at an age where he does the exact opposite of what we ask him to do and I can totally see him messing with Kano while he’s eating just because I said not to and I can’t guarantee I won’t get distracted and if something happened…I just couldn’t handle it.
The whole thing just sucks. The SPCA does food aggression tests and Kano passed. That was the frustrating part. He didn’t get upset every time. Maybe it was when he was extra hungry, maybe he was in a bad mood…who knows? We don’t even know it happened then, either, because Goliath certainly didn’t act like a dog that got bit.
Shit, we don’t even know 100% that Kano did it. We’ve had a bald eagle (yes, a bald eagle) in the back yard, lately, and Goliath is only 9 lbs. so he’s basically a squirrel to an eagle. Of course, Josh came up with a wild theory after the fact that the eagle tried to take Goliath and Kano saved him. It’s more than a little out there and we definitely had to operate off the most likely scenario, but it did put a little doubt in our heads.
We aren’t those people who think pets are disposable. I promise you, Goliath’s non-stop barking, peeing on the carpet, jerkface little butt would be gone. I actually joked that we should take Goliath to the shelter and keep Kano, but of course we’d never do that. That’s not how pet ownership works.
If anyone out there has a home without pets and small kids or knows someone who is and is looking for a wonderful, calm pet, then please contact me and I’d love to give you more information.