Sunday, 7 July 2013

Sad day

While the sun beat down on a happy Britain yesterday, we were all set to have a lovely day and then it all went wrong.

I met 2 of my friends with their 2 kids (each) and a dog and we had an idyllic Saturday morning walk.  It was all nice kids, nice dogs, sunshine, chats, fields, river, cafe, icecreams.  Bliss.  Then off home full of hope for Gordie as he had been such a good boy over the last few days.  I'd even let him off the lead in one field and he'd come back without incident.  A few spats but warning had been given and we'd managed to get through them without it kicking off.  We both felt that he had potential and that, with a lot of work, he would be a great dog.

So we're sitting out in the front garden.  I'd given all 3 dogs a bone each but he'd finished his and it was about a foot in front of his nose and he was stretched out on his side next to my chair snoozing in the sun, thumping his tail from time to time.  He had a holly leaf on his belly so started nibbling at it and I idly reached down to pick the leaf off. 

Which is when he went for me.  No warning given, he just snarled and dived straight at my hand and grabbed my little finger and didn't let go.  I have a picture of his face snarling up at me with my little finger stuck in his teeth.  I eventually dragged it clear and then he lunged again and got my forefinger.  Eventually I yelped and he dropped my hand, grabbed his bone and ran for his crate.  Rich locked him in and we started to clean up the wounds at the sink.  It was so violent and shocking that I fainted.  I was standing at the sink running water over the wounds when I said to Rich "I'm going to faint" and just buckled.  I came round to him saying he didn't think he could hold me up much longer!!  Poor bloke.

So, it was off to the minor injuries unit at the Hallamshire in Sheffield.  They try not to stitch dog bites so as to let any germs get out so I just have dressings and antibiotics.  It's my left hand and the index finger is badly swollen and sore.  The punctures are deep but luckily no tendon or ligament damage.

Then we had the sorry task of taking Gordie to the vet in Buxton to be put to sleep.   When we got back from Sheffield he had reverted back to being the sweet, cute, loving little dog we had fallen for.  We got him out of the crate and got a muzzle on him without too much difficulty and then drove over the hills to Buxton in my car with the roof down.  He was loving the fresh air and cuddling up to Richard.  So devastating.

Even at the vet there was no aggression, no fear, just a sleek, healthy young dog full of curiosity prowling round the surgery and playing with the vet and his lovely nurse assistant.  But they told us this is typical of Cocker Rage.  A switch flips from time to time and once it is ingrained there is very little chance of change.

The risks were just too great.  Both Rich and I were clear on that.  Our blood collectively ran cold thinking about our respective walks out with children and to the pub and what could have happened.  Better my fingers than a childs' and as he gets older he will only get bolder and less controllable.  He might have started going for Minty or Shelagh and we couldn't have a dog that had to be muzzled and that you couldn't trust, that is no life.  Nor could we risk rehoming him, even if that was possible.  I would never forgive myself if someone else was attacked and the damage was worse than this (which is pretty bad).

So, he was sedated and then put to sleep and it was all very peaceful and quick.  We have both wept buckets for such a nice dog who was wired wrong,  In fact I'm crying again as I type this.  (And Shelaghy and Minty have noticed and are over here licking my face and making me feel better.)

Poor Gordie.  But we know we've done the right thing and taken the responsibility that his previous owner should have taken.  We know that he had 5 happy last days, lots of walks, treats, dogs to play with, a garden to run around (which he adored) and he wasn't dragged off somewhere else and didn't have to try and make sense of yet another new place.  No more fear and insecurity or inexplicable rages which unsettled him so much.

So, that's that.  RIP little Gordie.

I should have been golfing right now but a working left hand is prettty handy for a golfer so I swapped with a friend and then had to stand in for her litter picking at the local Car Boot Sale.  NOT as much fun as golfing!  But I'm going to get changed now and head up to Rich's golf club to watch the Wimbledon Final and cheer for Andy Murray!!  "Come on Andy"

Have fun in the sun everyone.


Seren said...

I'm so sorry Lesley, that's so sad. What a horrible experience for you - and what an awful decision to have to make. I hope your hand makes a speedy recovery and that you can still enjoy the memories of the good days you had with Gordie - not to mention the knowledge that for a few days at least he felt safe and loved.

Thinking of you all.


Linz M said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. Awful decision to have to make.

Hope your hand is ok xx

beth said...

So so sorry -- that sounds just awful all around. Thinking of you... xx

Peridot said...

I'm so sorry to hear this - for you - but I absolutely know that if you couldn't get him right, that he had the best chance he could have had.

Hope the hand is feeling better.


Isabelle said...

Oh dear, how awful for you. So sorry. Poor you and poor Gordie.