"Bear" in Indiana

Yesterday I picked up an owner-surrender named "Bear". Here are a few before & after pics:




The owners gave Bear some tranquilizers before transporting him :evil: I think this only made matters worse but he's looking better today. It took about three hours to completely shave him down. :pupeyes:

Bear has shown aggression to people so he may not be be adoptable. We're taking one day at a time. :-)
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Poor boy :( Good luck with him. He at least looks more comfortable :D .
Poor boy. How is he adjusting?

Please tell us more about hiim. Looks like he was in terrible shape. Was he healthy under that matted mess? What's his personality like?
Bear was in pretty good shape under all the matted hair. He had a lot of scars on his back, probably from fighting with the other dogs he lived with. :-( His diet was Old Roy dog food.

I've been given conflicting information about Bear. He originally belonged to a family and had "nipped" their child. They were going to put him down on the spot. The current owner was a co-worker of the child's mother. As a dog lover, she offered to take Bear rather than let him be euthanized.

During my communication with the current family, they said he had "dominance issues" with their other three dogs. None are spayed or neutered :evil: They said he was a good dog and was not aggressive toward people.

Sunday I received a call saying they needed him removed immediately. He would not come indoors in the below-freezing weather and snapped when they tried to bring him inside. All of a sudden he went from a dog who was just misunderstood to one that needed to be sedated to be handled. They reminded me to bring a muzzle as well...

Unfortunately, these people admitted that the kindest thing would be to euthanize this dog but didn't want to be the ones to do it. Now it's up to us to make that decision. I've heard a lot of horror stories on this forum as well as from other Rescues. We can't afford to let another person or pet be injured by this dog. If I was Bear, euthanasia would have been preferable to the life he led the past year or so. :cry:

We'll give him every possible chance but may not be able to save him. :cry: I feel terribly at the possibility of having to euthanize him. For now he has a warm, cozy crate in the sunroom, sleeping off yesterday's sedatives.

Thanks for letting me vent. I know I'm not the only one that has been faced with this decision. :lmt:

Give him a chance and see how he is with you.

That he nipped a child is no surprise - they're a mouthy breed. Oh, if I had a nickel for every time I've been nipped.

I really hope they were overreacting and that he shows himself to be a lovely boy who will thrive in a healthy environment.

You'll be fostering him for the next while then?

Bless you for giving him a 3rd chance. :phew:
Nita, it is very difficlut but please don't set yourself up for hearthache. Some dogs cannot be saved, not through their fault but the fault of their past treatment by humans.

It is not unknown for people to downplay the dog's behavior so they are not to blame if it doesn't work out. It is also known for people to exaggerate issues, as an excuse to "get rid of the dog".

Please be very careful. Dogs need to be able to experience stressful situations throughout their lives without being a threat. Unfortunately that is the way things have to be.

You need to be realistic, and if you need to please feel free to drop me pm. Been there, done that....with results at both extremes...

What a sad situation. I feel for poor Bear - he obviously needed some TLC. Keep us up to date on his progress. I hope he makes some.
Nita you are doing a great thing by giving this boy a chance. He's got a very soulful face and who knows maybe with some love he will turn out to be a great pet!
Thank you so much for giving this poor guy a chance...his sad, stressed face just broke my heart! Please keep us updated...your right, even if Bear does have to be put down, that will still be better than the misery hes obviously been living with. :cry:
Maybe the poor guy became extra snippy because all that matted hair is pulling on his skin and he's in pain (at least I hope that's the case).

I'm so glad that you're giving him another chance.

He has such sad, sad eyes. Poor sweetie.

I need to win the lottery, be able to buy 100 acres somewhere and take all these babies in. (I probably should start the process by actually going to the store and buying a lottery ticket, huh?)

That is so funny that you say that about Lotto - I do play for that reason. People laugh at me because they know that's why I play!

Maybe we can all win and never have to worry about homeless pups.

BatonRougeSheepies wrote:
He has such sad, sad eyes. Poor sweetie.

I need to win the lottery, be able to buy 100 acres somewhere and take all these babies in. (I probably should start the process by actually going to the store and buying a lottery ticket, huh?)

I do not play the lottery, but always think about what i would do with the money if i did play and one of the first things would be to buy a place big enough for a few more of these sheepies -
Me, too. If money weren't a concern, I'd have some acerage and more dogs.
Nita - bless your heart!

Thanks for taking this boy in and giving him an opportunity to prove himself. You may find that all he needs is good food, a loving human and some time to show what a great boy he is. It's very possible he's just been in bad circumstances. I certainly hope that proves to be the case.
Bears are often a little wild at first but then they get better-- my Bear did. ;)
Gosh Nita, poor boy. :cry:
I just spoke with Nita, she still has bear but no internet service due to the ice storm that passed through. She has some hard decisions to make due to this boys behavior. Please keep her(and bear) in your thoughts, rescue is a hard job to undertake.
Nita you are an Angel for taking this boy in, I am sure you will make the best possible decision for him. I could just cry everytime I look at his pictures, his eyes are very haunting, he looks as if he could tell a horrible story about his life :cry: Please keep us posted, my thoughts and prayers are with you both :hearts:
I appreciate everyone's encouragement and apologize for not getting back sooner. As Cindy mentioned, we were hit by the ice storm and were without power for 24 hrs. Poor Bear was shivering from fear and cold, luckily we had a generator and were able to get some heat in our house.

Unfortunately, Bear gave both my husband and I nasty bites. Partly because he was so messed up on tranquilizers and scared, partly because he's been seriously abused. We have to wait ten days before he can be put down, with or without a rabies vaccination certificate. I didn't have the heart to take him to the clinic or shelter to live his life out on "death row" in a cold, damp kennel. He's warm and cozy here but with his history we cannot in good conscience let anyone adopt him. Keeping him is taking a huge risk as well.

As Nicole said, the damage done to some dogs can never be corrected. We still have several days to decide what to do. Keep us in your thoughts and please understand that whatever we do is in the best interest of everyone... including Bear.

Good luck to you and Bear....I know from reading previous posts you are able to do the right thing. Poor guy, I hope he realizes that life is good somewhere.
I'm sorry Nita.
I don't understand people, they wanted to save this dog but never even bothered to run a comb thru him or take proper care of him. :evil:
Nita, I'm so sorry you are having to experience this with Bear. I understand the courage it takes to make the decision to do what you must if there is no other alternative. I am praying for a miracle - his eyes haunt me and resembles Panda when he arrived at my home.

You have stepped up where others failed and whatever the end result is you did your best. I'll keep you all in my thoughts.

Marianne and the boys
I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this horrible, painful situation. All of us who love dogs owe a huge debt to those of you willing to do such hard work and make such rough decisions.
Nita -- I have tremendous sympathy for your predicament. You are an angel to take this on. It is the hardest decision to make particularly when our heartstrings are pullled by a sad story and wishful thinking, but safety first. Poor Bear. I have alot of sympathy for that sad boy too.

I hope your bite wounds are healing well.

Good luck getting through this difficult time.
Nita, I am keeping you and Bear in mind as tomorrow morning I am picking up a foster that has biten twice. I know that you are making the best decsion for Bear. I am so hoping our situation turns out differently. Please keep your fingers crossed for us.
Wyn, I'll be thinking of you as well.

So sad that humans failed these dogs early in their lives and you both have to pick up the pieces. Hugs to you both.

Please be careful.

2 years ago I took into foster care an 8 month old puppy, that apparently was becoming "mouthy and agressive". He lived with a single, working woman, and never left the apartment except for potty breaks. We were told that on occasion, when he saw people he would growl, and nip at their heels behind them. I figured it was normal herding behavior, so I took him in, doubting any "aggression" problems.

I had him for a few days, and things were fine....Then we had company and he decided, for whatever reason, he did not like the gentleman visitor. Barking and snarling everytime he passed him or was in the same room....For no reason that I could understand....Then he started the nipping at my son's heels, in the hallway...bad, hard nips..that left red marks on his ankles..And always from behind, and as my son was leaving to walk away....and growling at the same time....not in play.

I had him assessed by a behaviorist, who advised that it would take months of consistent, dedicated work, but he could be turned around.

Well, as a foster home, we could not afford the months of work that he needed, so took a few days to contemplate what to do..And my son was nervous around him...One night the dog was sitting under my chair, in the kitchen, and my son came in for a glass of milk, and left....The pooch snarled, came out from under the table and went after him.... bit him in the thigh ripping his pants and breaking skin...left a huge welt the size of the palm of your hand.

We made a decision and brought him to my vet...They had to wait 10 days, and the vet tech got really attached to him. I signed the papers to have him euthanised, and to release the rescue group of any liability, but we agreed that she could take him and see what she could do with him. She had him for 5 weeks, and worked hard on his training, and socializing. Then one day her sister came to visit her and he went after her...Totally unprovoked. ....and bit her.

The unevitable was done.

Yes, many of these dogs can be fixed....but at what cost? Tie up a foster home for months, and perhaps having to let several other dogs die due to lack of room?

And just because a dog seems to settle in after a while, they often go right back to their original behavior, when they are uprooted again and adopted out...

Rescue is very difficult, and tough decisions must be made.....There are so many homeless dogs being euthanised every day it is mind boggling.

It is not the dog's fault, as they are a result of what has been done to them.....or sometimes genetics...but reality is what it is. Please be careful with any dog with a high potential to bite.
Bear had to be sent to the bridge yesterday, as he was deemed unadoptable. His continued unpredictable and dangerous behavior was a liability in Nita's household, and he was not safe to be around. Nita was with him until the end, patting him until he was gone...so he was not alone...The demons no longer haunt him and he is at peace.

Decisions like this are never easy to make, and even harder to carry through, and then live with afterwards. It takes very strong dedicated people to take on canine rescue work....The good times and the bad.

I think we need to understand that it is not often we see this side of the rescue world, but it is there....and rescue folks live it....

Nita needs to heal emotionally. She is having a hard time through all of this...as she was really hoping it would not turn out this way....

Poor Bear.....and Nita, you have my support and my sympathies...Hugs..
Poor Nita. :( :( :( :cry: :( :( :(
I'm so sorry, Nita, that you had to go through this. You are a angel to have given Bear a safe, comfortable place to spend his final days. I know the decision to let him go must have been agonizing. Bless you, and all the other rescue folk who are brave enough to face these kind of situations.

I am very sorry for the difficult decision you had to make, my heart is breaking for both you and Bear. His demons will not haunt him any longer.

Bless you for being there for him in the end.

Brenda, Dudley and Murphy
Dudster wrote:

I am very sorry for the difficult decision you had to make, my heart is breaking for both you and Bear. His demons will not haunt him any longer.

Bless you for being there for him in the end.

Brenda, Dudley and Murphy

Sorry to hear the news. Please don't question your decision in any way. You did what was best. I admire your courage.
So sorry to hear about Bear. At least he will suffer no longer.

Thank you Nita for making the tough decision, and being there for him, so at least he knew love once in his sad life.

I am going to hug Oscar now.

I'm saddened to hear this, but it is what's best. Thinking of you and your family, Nita.
This is the hardest part of rescue... Even through loving hands and hearts some dog's spirits cannot be saved. Bear had more in his stay with Nita than he ever had in his short life. He was no longer matted and left in a cold wet back yard. He was on a warm blanket ,had good food and treats. He got to go for walks every day. He was a very frightened and damaged dog. He was given a chance and still could not make it in this world. He has crossed the bridge ,hunting with the hounds and swimming with the retrievers. When Nita reaches the bridge I am sure bear will run up to her and kiss her on the face and let her know he was thankful for her dedication in trying to save him. I am so angry at the people who did this to him. My thoughts are with Nita today, she had a very hard job to do and made the right decision for this Sheepie........Sweet dreams Bear
I am so sorry that you were faced with this decision. I do know that you made the correct decision for Bear. Please know that he at least knew love before he crossed to the bridge. God bless you both.
Nita, I am so sorry! :(
Sending big :ghug: your way.
I am so very sorry Nita. This is, without a doubt, the hardest part of rescue. It makes me so angry with the people who let this happen to him. Unknowing or uncaring, either way, it costs this poor boy his life. And you were the brave, kind soul who had to do the hard thing. Please know you were right to do what you did. The best days of his life were spent with you. I admire your courage and fortitude.
Nita- Sheepdogs everywhere are lucky to have you. Thank you so much for giving Bear a chance, and a few good memories.
I appreciate everyone's support with this difficult decision. During the time we had Bear quarantined at our house we thought there may be some hope at turning him around. He started wiggling his butt when I approached to take him out on the leash and was less fearful of his surroundings. Then, for no reason apparent to us, he'd just go berserk. He was a serious threat to us as well as Nelson and our foster dogs. He would never have been able to be groomed, vaccinated or examined without sedation. He could not have been placed in a new home and since we travel with our dogs, it would not be safe to take him along or leave him with a dogsitter or in a kennel.

The reason I posted about Bear originally was to let everyone see how badly some dogs are treated. Why anyone unwilling to properly maintain a dog should not have an OES. Bear's family actually said they were animal lovers! Bear was left outside during the extreme cold Indiana weather and lived with two unneutered males and an unspayed female. And they thought they were responsible pet owners. They knew Bear had problems and should be put down but said they didn't have the heart to do it. Well, I didn't have the heart to do it but somehow, with support of my friends here and seasoned Rescue experts, the decision was made and followed through with.

Bear was a dog that was not comfortable in his own skin. Practically speaking, by letting him go we now have the resources to save another OES who isn't a threat to others. There are plenty of those out there that are euthanized every day. :x
I had never have to put one of my dogs down and I can't even imagine how I am going to feel if I ever have to. Be strong you did what you could..he is resting in peace now
I am very sorry to hear about bear. :cry: That was a terrible thing to have to do but now he is free. He will thank you later at the bridge. This is from us and the fur babies :ghug:
Oh - what a sad, sad, situation. It wasn't his fault he turned out like this and now at least he's experiencing a release from years of pent-up problems. . . :(
Hugs to you for doing the right thing with regards to Bear. He is now happy and free of pain.
damn those owners!

I read the thread and have been crying. Bless you Nita for the difficult decision you had to make.
:ghug: Hugs Nita, hard decision that had to be made, Bear will finally know what peace will be like. Poor fellow, at least he had a chance to experience some comfort from you and your family in his short life.
Bless you for all that you tried to do for him.
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