I haven’t wanted to talk about this… which sounds stupid, because it’s about a dog… but it’s a painful topic.
We finally “gave up” on Guinness and his relationship with the cat. It’s been a problem since he came home, but we’ve been putting it off. The separation anxiety was ridiculous, too. He was breaking out of his crate(s) and this was even a bigger problem than the cat aggression. We didn’t feel safe leaving the house. Who knew what he was capable of? Could he get upstairs and get the cat? Would he turn on Apache? Would he hurt himself on the crate trying to break out?
We finally decided on sending him back to his breeder for a few weeks of intensive training. They worked on cat aggression, they worked on the separation anxiety and they drilled obedience into him.
Then we brought him home.
He wasn’t our dog. Something was different about him. He became really aggressive toward Apache, to the point where J got really worried (I mean terribly anxious/depressed) that he’d hurt Apache. (It’s not out of the realm of possibility - Guinness has caught and killed a bird before.) After only four days of being at home, he went after Apache a fourth time and wound up being boarded that night.
I needed to rewatch the videos the videos they sent us and I didn’t like what I saw. Guinness looked broken, afraid. Definitely not our dog.
When I brought it up to the breeder, he went OFF on me. Blamed it on J’s behavior when he picked Guinney up. Said J needed to be medicated. All sorts of terrible things. To say I wanted to reach through the phone and strangle him would be an understatement.
Abso-fucking-lutely uncalled for.
We went there yesterday to pick him up.
We left him behind.
(I wonder what he thinks about us… I feel terrible.)
It was decided - after much clearing of the air - that they would bring Guinness to live with them, in their house, for the next few days. With cats and a dog who really hates cats who should spur Guinness into the bad behavior we’re seeing here at home.
He’s not a bad dog, and he has a lot of elements of both his parents in him (bonus of going back to the breeder - they KNOW what makes Guinnes tick better than anyone in the world. Probably even us.), which was a huge thing when it came to deciding on the best way to work with him.
The change in J’s anxiety level has been astonishing.
I know he won’t be perfect when he won’t be home, but I have hope that he’ll be close enough to the dog we know he can be…
But, holy shit, does it suck being apart from him for this long.