Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde


Our relatively new, little adopted dog Scrappy is starting to freak us out. He has such an unpredictable personality. I can practically lie on top of him at night and he doesn't care, however if our other dog Midge gets within a few inches of him, he growls and screams as if he's being tortured. Poor Midge jumps into my arms quivering, not understanding what she did wrong.

Then the other day my son was walking through the room carrying an exercise ball and his foot accidentally brushed up against Scrappy, who was lying on the floor. Scrappy jumped up screaming as if he were in pain, then lunged at my son's bare foot. I grabbed him before he could sink his teeth in, and he started to attack my hands, but stopped himself because he realized it was just me. My son tried to pet him to apologize and let him know it was an accident, but Scrappy kept trying to bite his hand. The dog was completely out of his mind. He thought he was under attack.

I scolded him for trying to bite, and that brought him back to his senses. He then let my son pet him. I really suspect that he got that deformed rib from being kicked in the side by a previous owner, and that's probably why he overreacted to having a foot nearby him. We have accidentally stepped on or run into our other dogs plenty of times, and all they did was move out of the way. They seemed to understand that we didn't do it on purpose. We always followed up the accident with lots of sympathy and petting.

Abused animals are affected for life, even after they've been placed in a kind, peaceful home. If abusers think they can hide their offenses from society, they are wrong. Their victims carry the effects of their abuse in their reactions.

12 comments:

fernvalley01 said...

Poor Scrappy! I hate to think what the poor little dude would have gone through

Sydney_bitless said...

That reminds me of my grandpa's dog pookie. Right before pookie died (she was 17) she started to get dimensia. She would bite family members randomly but we never thought anything of it because she had no teeth until one day my aunt nudged her off guard and she freaked out shrieking and barking like someone beat her. We brought her to the vet and he did an evaluation on her to confirm she had bouts of dimensia or related symptoms. Maybe that could be scrappy's case? It just reminded me of pookie.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Oh, the poor little thing. My daughter adopted an Australian Sheperd from a rescue when she was 9 months old and to this day (she's 18 now) you still cannot grab her by the collar or she will go for you, even if she loves you more than anything. Nothing else gets to her but don't dare grab her collar, even to keep her from getting hurt(like running in the road because she's deaf now), she freaks at that. Such a shame what people do to their animals.

Weaseldancr said...

I'm a canine behaviorist. I greatly recommend William Campbell's book "Better Behavior in Dogs". You can also read some of his information on his website. Which I can never remember. LOL. If you type Behaviorx into your search engine it should send you right to it. I've worked with hundreds of abuse cases and in never fails to amaze me how dogs can still love people after all people do to them.

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Yeah, he sounds like he's overreacting from fear. Poor thing!!! It's hard to teach him that you're different from his previous owners but hopefully with time he will come to understand that you are all good to him.

Katharine Swan said...

It's true that the abuse will always be with them, but it can at least get better. It does take time though. We have had Grace for three and a half years, and it wasn't until the past year or so that she started behaving more like a normal dog. It may take a while with Scrappy, but over time he will come to trust you more and fear the return of the abuse less.

duffylou said...

Poor baby. Hopefully he will feel more trusting as time passes. He's in a the right place.

My newest dog was a puppy mill mommy. She didn't know how to be a dog. It took eight months before she even wagged her tail to express happiness.

Anonymous said...

So true. Poor little Scrappy must have gone through h***.

Reddunappy said...

Poor little guy. Yeah as our Chahuahua mix got older he got more defensive. I think it has a lot to do with loss of sight and hearing and smell. Old age. Teddy went across the Rainbow bridge in Feb. of this year, he was 15 years old.

Mikey said...

Awww, that poor old guy! I think you're absolutely right. Dogs don't forget that kind of thing. I'm so glad he's with you. You understand his issues. A lot of people would send him back just for that. You're good people :)

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Awwww, sweet little guy. It's sad that he's so afraid.
As you know Dobbie lived her first two years in a cage at a puppy mill farm having babies. I was told that noone gave her any attention but to dump food and water inside, and to shoo her way when reaching in to take away her puppies. Her rescuers believed too, that she was smacked and hit whenever she tried to protect her puppies, which explains why she is still wary of anyone, but me and my daughter, that move their hands quickly in her direction or tries to pet her head.
I take her everywhere with me and encourage her to allow people to approach and pet her(she always does much better if I am holding her, though. She usually tries to escape by running behind me if she is on the ground)....on her terms, reaching underneath her muzzle first.

And she is getting better, but we've had her for a year already and she "only" suffered through two years of abuse. Poor Scrappy suffered for much longer. He may never get completely past his fears, but I'm guessing that he will learn to be less reactive and more trusting....at least of you and your immediate family.

Poor guy, give him a cuddle and ears rubs from me, please.
~Lisa

achieve1dream said...

Poor Scrappy. So sad. I'm glad you're son was okay and that Scrappy snapped out of it.