|Barked: Fri May 31, '13 5:46am PST |
|Whew. Lots of passion going on in this discussion.
I will say, OP, that I don't think anybody has outright attacked you. They made judgement calls based on the initial story they were given, and again based on the full story. Although, you are in a very emotional state right now. Your dog just bit your son. You don't know what kind of scarring he may have or emotional trauma. You were given bad advice that you took and now your worst fear has been brought to life. You're probably a wreck right now! I certainly know that I would be. It's easy to see where you may feel attacked. But as someone who came to this thread and just sat and read through it, I think if you get past some of the "personal" feeling stuff, you may see that you've been given quite a bit of sound advice and opinions.
Now, I do not have children. Not even sure that I want one, so no, I have no idea what you're going through. But I do think that your behaviorist and/or vet (there was some implication that they may be one and the same...?) gave you shoddy advice that lead you to make decision that you felt was safe, but it wasn't. I can totally see where you would be blaming yourself, your dog, everybody under the son for that. You, as a mother, feel like you're supposed to protect your kid, and because of the guidance of a fool, you didn't. Would I be a mess from that? Absolutely.
What I think you should do is give yourself time to breathe. You said you've been letting Sampson out while your son is napping. How is that working? He's 11, so I cannot imagine he needs a lot of exercise, and it sounds like he's content to be left well-enough alone? Is that a manageable situation for you long-term?
The reason I think you should breathe is because I also think one of the reasons that you are so upset about this is because of all the energy and effort you put into Sampson over the years. It's easy to be angry and hurt that this dog that you loved despite everything that makes him unloveable would hurt your child! That ungrateful turd! But like you said, Sampson came to you damaged, and like with some human people, there is some damage that can never be healed. Shattered glass can cut. It's a fact of life. What I would hate for you to do is to rush into putting him down because now you have TWO sides that can judge you... One side says not to put him down because it wasn't his fault, and with the other side the implication is there that you aren't a good mother if you don't destroy this monster. If the situation is manageable how things are right now, I encourage you to give yourself time to think. I would hate for you to give into "the other side" and put him to sleep because "any good mother would" (and I KNOW that the unspoken implication of that is there), and then hate yourself because you destroyed the unloveable dog that you grew to love, despite his demons.
Good luck. Although I'm not sure I ever want kids, this is something that I think about often because my Reyna does not have the "love kids" gene as Addy puts it. She, in fact, finds them pretty scary and overwhelming and will try to hide from them. If the day comes that my bf and I ever do decide to expand our family, I know there will come a time where things will have to be managed for her emotional sanity and for the safety of the child. Although she's never shown any signs of biting, it's not something I'm willing to risk with a 165# Mastiff. I know it scares her, thats enough for me. I'm truly not sure what I'd do in your situation, except allow time for things to settle, emotions to cool, and THEN make a decision based on what is best for ALL involved.
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