Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Biting the hand

A friend of mine adopted a Lhasa Apso when one of her greyhounds died from cancer. She had decided that she wanted a small dog. The Lhasa had a temperament problem from the beginning. He was an un-neutered male who was crate protective and who growled whenever anyone would try to pet him.

She had him neutered and worked with him extensively. He went with her everywhere. She could groom him and hold him up near her but there were also times when he would suddenly get a demonic look in his eyes and growl.

She asked me to let him out one afternoon as she was going to be away until late in the evening. I was supposed to walk him on a leash of course. However, he wouldn't let me put a leash on him. He looked at me and growled menacingly. So I lassoed him with the leash. The problem came in trying to get the leash back off him. He barked, growled and lunged when I tried to take the leash off. So I left it on him and beat a fast path to the car.

Eventually, my friend revealed that the dog had bitten her toe and then her little finger. She took him to a no kill shelter to see if he could be adopted but no one wanted the growling Lhasa. I urged her to work something out to place him because it seemed that it wouldn't be long before someone would be hurt by this little dog.

The other day, she called to tell me that he had bitten her hand, hung on and had put deep puncture wounds in her flesh on the top and bottom of her hand. She went to the emergency room. And she called to ask if I would take the dog to the Charleston County SPCA.

So I picked up her little dog and took him to the shelter. I'd never dropped off an animal there or even been to the shelter. Thankfully, there was an open house going on so there were lots of staff available. I found someone that I knew and told her about the problem of the aggressive Lhasa. She helped me to get him to the intake staff who gave me paperwork to fill out on his owner's behalf.

The dog is now at the shelter and will be there for 10 days because he bit his owner. He has been deemed unadoptable. I realize what the result will be. But it makes me sad that this little dog had a great home, but due to poor breeding and perhaps lack of socialization early in his life, he now faces death.

I wish that things had turned out better for all concerned.

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