Hi! Those of you who have been reading blogs forever might remember me; I was hilzoy at Obsidian Wings, and now I am hilzoy here. Anyways: I’m writing because I want to adopt a dog, I wrote to John asking for advice, and he suggested I post here. So here I am.
I Need Help! (Adopting Dogs)Post + Comments (116)
I love dogs. Unfortunately, though, I have Vicious Dog PTSD. I did not grow up with dogs, so I don’t have that basic, gut-level knowledge. I adopted two dogs, sisters, back in the late 90s. They were very sweet in the pound, but I realized pretty quickly that that was their “OMG I am scared to death” behavior. I knew that they had been kept outside instead of being socialized, but I didn’t know that they had been abused until I saw their reaction to my then-boyfriend, one of the least threatening guys ever to walk the planet. When he moved his arms in any way (never a violent way, just gesticulating calmly), they ran for the corners. Besides that, they wanted to kill my cats. I ended up partitioning my house into the Dog Zone, the Cat Zone, and the Neutral Zone (sort of like the airlock on a submarine: if you make a mistake and open the door that separates the sub from the sea, it will only affect the airlock, not the whole submarine.) They were vicious, so I basically didn’t invite anyone over to my house for three years. Not a happy story, and it didn’t end well for anyone. They would, with no notice, turn into two halves of a joint homicidal wild dog mind, and attack. I tried all the trainers I could find, and in LA, there were a lot. (Movies.) All of them told me: these dogs cannot be trained. I left them with the best dog trainer in LA for a month, and at the end of it, he had taught them to heel some of the time, maybe, if they were in a good mood. He suggested maybe getting several much larger dogs to keep them in line. That might have been a good idea, but on the other hand, I was really not sure I wanted to “solve” this problem by adopting even bigger dogs, at the time.
As best we could tell, they were certainly part coyote and part some sort of Spitz dog, probably Shiba Inu. Not, really, a good combination, especially for someone who had never had dogs before. Anyways, the point is: I have Vicious Dog PTSD. I love dogs, and I would love to get another. But I don’t want to go through that ever again.
I have a cat who does not like strangers. (She has her reasons: a friend of mine found her in a cat carrier in an alley. What sort of horrible person would leave a cat in a cat carrier, where there was no reason to think that anyone could find her? And though she must have been owned by someone, since she was in a cat carrier, she truly had no idea what stroking was when I got her. “Wait!”, she would say, “why are you invading my personal space??!!” She has become a total snuggle-bunny since then, but she still distrusts strangers. Like strange dogs.) She has accustomed herself to them before: when I took her in, I had two other cats, and while she never exactly liked them, she made a sort of chilly peace with them. I expect that the same would happen with a dog; that said, I would really rather not get a puppy that she might kill, or a dog who might respond to her dislike by killing her. Here she is, threatening to eat the world:
I work at home most of the time, but I have to be out for 4-5 hours at a stretch about 3-4 days a week. So a dog that needed constant company would not work. I would prefer a dog who would make muggers think twice before going for me; thus, probably not a toy. But most of all, I just want a dog who will not attack my friends or threaten to kill my cat. If anyone wants to help, I’m in Baltimore.
PS: Further problem: A lot of the dogs in Baltimore pounds are pitbull mixes. I don’t want a pit mix, since, as I said, I have vicious dog ptsd. Just a friendly medium to largish dog who will neither threaten my friends nor kill my cat, nor take it the wrong way when my cat gets all possessive about the house.