If I’ve scheduled the publishing of this blog correctly, today is March 25th.
Today, ladies and gentlemen, is the two year anniversary of the best traffic day this site has ever experienced.
She had been gone for a few weeks, and we had all but given up hope that Hope would return.
Fortunately she did.
So what’s been going on in the last two years, you may ask?
Let me assure you, ladies and gentlemen that a continued examination of The Pit Bull Diaries may not be the trollop through a field of dandelions and daisies that you and I would have hoped it would have been.
In the first year Hope was back, we put her through two sessions of obedience training. Understand that Hope was not completely culpable in the reasoning behind repeating the class.
We also had an invisible fence installed around the entire compound which keeps both of our dogs safe at home. That particular device has proven to be worth it’s weight in gold when it comes to warding off evil solicitors, freaking out people who walk by, and generally keeping the dogs here.
The occasional remote control continued to be sacrificed to the pit bull altar as well. I don’t mind telling you here and now the I’ve hijacked quite a few Google searches for the term “Uverse remote”. I’m pretty sure that when people look that one up, they’re looking for how to obtain or program one, and not an accounting on the attraction that various pit bulls have to them.
Things started facing south about a year ago. I can remember being on staycation last year at this time and noticed a new dynamic with the dogs. Right around 9:30 am each morning, they would play with each other. Basic horseplay was involved which usually resulted in a reorganization of the couches in the living room. Things like that are bound to happen when each of the dogs are banking off of them. It was my assumption at the time that Faith had completely warmed up to Hope and they had become texting BFFs. This was a good thing.
One night around the same time, we had just finished dinner and the kids were starting to clean up the kitchen. Without any provocation that we could initially interpret, Hope attacked Faith. Faith didn’t fight back, and I was able to break it up as quickly as it had begun.
It gradually got worse though.
It happened again when I had them both out in the front yard while exercising their training and obedience. Hope had done something right and when I praised her, she got excited and turned it into an attack on Faith. As I corrected the issue, the neighbor came out and pretty much got the only impression of my beloved pit bull that he would ever need.
We spent the next few months putting rules in place which would mitigate additional attacks. They seemed to have been born of jealousy, so it was just a matter of eliminating those particular moments. No problem.
A few of the attacks which took place in June and July resulted in stitches for Faith around her neck. Faith then started fighting back. One time when I was breaking up a fight, my hand got in the way and Faith bit it at the base of the thumb. Nine months later, the nerve damage in my thumb has just about disappeared, yet remnants of the wound are still there.
Both dogs wear a harness now. It’s easier to pull them out of a brawl without getting bit.
The rules with these two are more strict now. They each have a kennel to keep them separated. When they’re out, they’re highly supervised. It’s rare they’re out together at the same time unless we are taking them for a walk. That’s about the only time those two behave when they’re together nowadays while tethered to a leash and a choke chain.
Hope’s aggression appears to be limited to not just Faith alone, but to other animals as well. She’ll bark at people, and I haven’t ruled out the possibility of her making a move on someone if she feels that any of us in her family are in danger. As a result, she wears a muzzle when we take her on a walk, or even to the vet.
Speaking of the vet, she hates them too. The group of people who work there have been instrumental in literally saving her life and making sure she’s healthy. Regardless, she barks at the doctor and the technician who take care of her on her regular visits.
Even still, that dog is one of my favorites. She is very loving and fiercely loyal. She’s responsive to the training and correction we’ve provided, save for the animal aggression. We continue to work on that, and expect to do so for a long time.
The problem is that we have a couple of dogs who should be the only dog in the house. The problem is that we don’t want to give either of them up. We won’t either, until we’ve exhausted every last option to bringing a sense of harmony back to those two.
More to come.