January 3, 2003
Hey Amy, it's D. Today we've been having some problems with Lucky. She is being very vicious towards us and we havn't even done anyhing to her. We yell at her to stop growling and she bites us. She bit my mom's foot and bit my hand. She drew blood. I can barely type my hand hurts so bad. What can be causing her to act so vicious?
I'm really sorry to hear that you are having problems. I wanted to call you but I can't find your phone number. You need to contact the trainers at the humane society. You can get some advice from them over the phone, and they also might want to evaluate her in "person." Please call [info removed]. She is in charge of training and education. She has more experience with behavioral issues than I do and will be able to offer you advice and possibly some training. It would also be a good idea to take Lucky to a vet to make sure she doesn't have a physical problem that is causing her to act differently.
I have actually just left a message for her within the past half hour for a similar problem. My current foster dog has not bitten but has shown some aggression (barking and snapping). Do not despair, but also please don't take this problem lightly. Please get a professional trainer involved so you can make an educated decision about how to proceed from here.
Hope your hand is feeling better.
January 4, 2003
I am Lucky's attorney and I am entering a plea of not guilty to the charge of a malicious unprovoked attack on humans. I wasn't home when it happened but I'm certain that there were extenuating circumstances. For instance, it is a known fact that Lucky was trained in her previous life to defend all sleeping humans from all other humans. This includes anyone lying down anywhere, anyone pretending to sleep, and anyone occupying a place that she percieves to be a nest. Lucky has come to understand that I am her master and that D and D are my other pets. When D got out the water mister and said "I'm gonna spray your face" Lucky misunderstood her. She thought she said "I'm gonna spray you with mace" and she had a flashback to the time her previous owner had a run-in with the cops and both of them got maced. At that point she snapped and started biting. She also told me that she was protecting her master's lair and if it had been another room she wouldn't have been quite so short tempered. She says that since she has had no other biting incidents in the year that she has been here, it is quite obvious that it is the human animals that need training and discipline, not her. Case closed.
Thanks for the update. It's always a tough call, because it's entirely natural for dogs to bite, and sort of unfair of us to not just let them. =) Still, it's definitely something to keep an eye on. Lucky has that "terrier" personality. She is feisty and won't back down. It wouldn't hurt to be a little extra careful anytime you have visitors over (especially if little kids ever visit), because most people see it as a black and white issue, and you could have a real lawsuit on your hands. (Not saying I believe it's right -- just that, if she ever drew blood on anybody outside the family, things could go bad pretty quickly.)
Still, I think if she had wanted to do major damage, she would have. Dogs tend to bite exactly as hard as they meant to, and not any more or less than they think is necessary. =)
I'm not at all saying that you have a dangerous dog on your hands. It's just the safest policy to always say "see a vet and a pro trainer." I remember Lucky had some other issues with toy guarding and not wanting her feet handled, so I know she can be a touchy girl sometimes. Not necessarily a big issue, as long as you don't allow any lawsuit-happy folks to mess with her.
I have aggression on the brain these days anyway, because my current foster dog barked and jumped on my grandmother over Christmas (she swears it "attacked" and "bit" her), and now she is telling all our friends and relatives about this dangerous dog that I am harboring.
Anyway, I hope you were able to get Lucky's itchiness under control.
January 24, 2003
Hi Amy! I took Lucky to the vet today for a checkup. She had been chewing her hindquarters lately til she looked like a baseball glove. It turns out she had fleas. YECCHHHH!!!!!!!! as they would say in Mad Magazine. She sleeps in bed with us! She got her rabies shot and a cortisone shot and some Frontline for the fleas. Now she's moping around like she's sick, but I think the shot made her sleepy and her hip has to be sore from the shots. I bet she can taste the Frontline, too. She weighs 46 lbs, the fatass. The vet said she was part Scottie with no pitbull in her. Remember to dry your dogs' feet when they come inside so that they don't get frostbite. It's NASTY out there.