Saturday, August 08, 2009

more pics of Sam

This boy loved to be held, but this is one the very few times I let him climb up (mostly because he could never figure out where to put his back feet. In this pic, his foot is hooked into my bra which was really uncomfortable!) You can tell here that he wasn't a very large dog; I don't think he weighed even 50 lbs (20 kg).
His favorite place to be...on your lap, with his head on your shoulder.
Second favorite activity after hugging...sitting on lap, covering your face in doggie kisses. (Yes, I learned very quickly to take off my glasses when he climbed on my lap.)

Checking out the world...well, the back yard anyway.

So the story behind Sam's death is very sad. I was having trouble leash training him because he got so excited when he saw another dog and very frustrated if he couldn't go over to say hi. He was not dog aggressive at all, even the folks from the rescue group whom I asked to help said the same thing. "Leash frustration, not leash aggression." 

However, it was decided that he needed a more experience trainer than I to evaluate him and so he went to spend a week with a professional trainer and he was signed up for a Pit Bull specific class at a local dog training center. (Between the first and second classes, Sam was with the trainer.) After the second class, the leader of the rescue group said he needed to stay longer with the trainer, so he couldn't come home with Oscar that day. (I didn't make it to class because I was working.) 

The next day, the leader of the rescue called me and said that she'd decided that Sam had too many issues and had him euthanized. 

I was heartbroken and spent most of the afternoon crying. And I was furious because she didn't even let me and Oscar know that this was a possibility. Was it a question of resources? I would have been happy to pay for training (and Oscar talked to the trainer, who said she was willing to continue working with him. She didn't think he was a lost cause. She also said that she refused to foster for that group because of their ridiculously high standards.) 

I know that Sam was technically their dog and was told at the very beginning that if a dog didn't meet their standards, euthanization was a possibility. But seriously, most dogs I've known have had more issues than Sam, regardless of breed. Hell, even my own dogs wouldn't meet their standards--Seamus because he can be dog aggressive and be possessive of his toys (only to other dogs, not to people). And Kate, sweet, lovable Kate, is a ferocious defender of territory, and if she's in the front yard will bark fiercely at anyone who walks in front of the house. All these behaviors are no-nos for them.


L J said...

My own Fisher wouldn't meet their standards it seems. (Loves people, but ONLY one other dog. aggressive towards all other dogs) So sorry that Sam's passing was due to such exacting behavior requirements and not an underlying illness. (that was my thought) They should be more lenient and willing to work with a non-aggressive dog. This makes me sadder for you than I was already.

Hugs Sweetie!

Rachael said...

I am flabbergasted. I can not believe that they would end a life for that reason. For the love of Mike, there are many many people that are less worthy of life than it seems Sam was. I am so sorry to hear about this.
Hugs and Smiles for you and Oscar.