Monday, 14 February 2011

A sad day

Today has been a sad day. It's a long story...

Three years ago our family of Mother Badger, Father Badger, A-cat and W-cat were joined by S-dog: a bumbling grey ball of fur. S-dog came to fetes, welcomed postman and delivery drivers into our house, went to obedience training (with mixed success - he understood ok but sometimes just couldn't be bothered) and generally became a huge part of our lives.

Something went awry about 18 months ago. Something spooked S-dog. No idea what. Maybe it was adolescence kicking in? What we ended up with was a 10 stone dog that was a happy companion most of the time but defensive of his food and aggressive to visitors. Perhaps worst of all, he bit me twice while I was pregnant with Baby Badger.

That might have been the final straw for some, but we love him and feel a huge responsibility to give him the best life we can, so we consulted dog trainers, brought in a behaviourist and spent a year trying to sort out his behaviour. The result? A much improved S-dog but still not an animal we would consider letting near Baby Badger until she was much, much older. We realised that we couldn't guarantee keeping them apart without excluding S-dog from family life, and he deserves so much more than that.

Which leads to today. S-dog has gone back to the family that bred him. They still have his father and one if his litter mates. The aim is that they will help him overcome whatever has made him nervous and find him a new loving home.

I know that we have done the only thing we could for the sake of our daughter, but it hurts.


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