Tell me I am doing the right thing

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by RedheadErin, Dec 22, 2014.

  1. RedheadErin

    RedheadErin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 30, 2011
    I need backup, y'all. My mom died in Septhember, leaving behind a small terrier. She is the sweetest dog ever, and of course I took her in. I love her to bits.

    However, she kills chickens.

    At first, I thought we could handle the problem. Keep her on a leash outside, never let her be unsupervised, etc. The problem is, she is OBSESSED with chickens. She sneeks past us and gets out. She gets in the basement where the sick-chicken pens are. She NEVER misses an opportunity to chase, spy on, torment, and catch the birds. The way our house and yard are laid out, there is just no way to keep the dogs and birds separate. My other 3 dogs dont bother the chickens, except once in a while to chase one and see it fly.( I still dont let them out unsupervised, however.)

    Friday we went out for lunch and put the dogs in the ouside run. When we came home, my mom's dog had got out of the run and attacked 12 of my 19 birds. 7 were dead or almost dead when we got home, and 5 more injured. One of those injured was my beloved Molly, the last survivor of our original 6. She passed away last night. [​IMG]

    So the dog has got to go. I've had other animals that got obsessed with something or other, and I know that once they get something in thier heads there is no stopping them. I have done some research on the internet and most people say, you can manage a dog like that, but you can never really trust them. I know my family; we are sort of airheads, and there is no way we could mamage the dog perfectly and never make any mistakes. The mistakes we have made already lead to chicken injuries and deaths. My 13-year-old son is home with the dogs on days I have to work, and it is too much responisbility to put on him. Too much worry to put on me. I am an EMT and I can't be at work all day, wondering in the back of my mind, what is going on at home.

    I have been giving this much thought all weekend long, going back and forth, trying to find a way to make everything work out. As Molly was dying in my arms, I realized, THERE IS NO WAY TO MAKE THIS WORK OUT. The dog has to go.

    It is still a very painful decision however. I have been crying all weekend over it. I promised my mom I would look after her dog, but I never in my life thought this would happen. I thought I could portect everybody and keep everyone safe.

    So the dog is going to the shelter today. I am heartbroken. I feel like a real **** for not keeping my pormise to my mom (which as my husband pointed out, is rather stupid because my mom never kept a promise in her life, as far as I know.) I feel even worse for abandoning the dog in a shelter. I'm certain she will find a new family soon, because she is a very nice dog in all other respects. But still......

    So please, everybody, tell me I'm doing the right thing.
  2. sdm111

    sdm111 Chicken Obsessed

    May 21, 2013
    S. louisiana
    I believe you are doing the right thing. Aside from the terrier teaching your other dogs terrible habits probably IMO that one dog is destroying what you have worked hard for including your family with the drama it's causing.
  3. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

    Jan 10, 2013
    I also think you have made the right decision. [​IMG]

    So sorry for the loss of your mother, and the catastrophe you have experienced with your chickens. Try to put this behind you and focus on your life and family.
  4. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

    May 22, 2009
    North Central Florida
    You have tried.
    Looking after your mom's dog might actually mean finding it a good home, a home where it is loved and not endured.
    Looking after its welfare might mean taking it to a no kill shelter and keeping it visited.
    Dogs without farm manners, do not belong on a farm.
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    You tried.
    It did not work out.
    You are doing the right thing.
    1 person likes this.
  6. happy-bird

    happy-bird Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 14, 2014
    Northern Virginia
    I agree, you are doing the right thing. The health and safety of your animals should be the top priority. Obviously, the chickens are not happy to have this dog around and your dogs are probably negatively affected by the stress of you trying to constantly control the terrier. I know when one of my dogs gets yelled at or spoken to sharply, they all think they are in trouble. It sounds like the situation has been very stressful for all the animals and humans in your home. You tried to make it work and have unfortunately suffered severe consequences. Please don't feel guilty- you are definitely doing the right thing. I'm so sorry for all your losses.
    1 person likes this.
  7. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    This not a doing the right or wrong thing. There is no right or wrong. Only what needs to be done. It's a sad reality that we all can't do everything that people ask us to do. If it was my situation, the dog would have to go. I love my mother, but I don't care for the dog even tho he's cute. Your decision is not going to make everyone happy. Offer them the dog.

    I "loved" these 2 roos I had, but they crowed 24/7, and I worried about the neighborhood complaining and then the other 5 would have to go. . So the 2 had to go. I hated it, but I had to think of the other animals that I'm supposed to protect.

    Everyone is not going to agree with you. Offer them the dog.

    ps. Terriers are not good students when it comes to don't kill a chicken.

    I'm glad you posted this, I think I have the courage to post my delemma.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Terriers are tricky little things. You've tried, and honestly sounds like you've done more than I would have. Kudos for making an honest assessment of your family and your ability to manage this dog and taking the appropriate steps. I agree it sucks, but honestly this dog will probably be a lot happier at another home where it has more freedom. If you mom were like my mom, she would be so, so upset to realize her dog was stressing you like this and fully support you in your decision.

  9. JensChickies

    JensChickies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 26, 2014
    Awww I'm sorry. I have had to give up a dog before and it was one of the hardest things I have done. I ended up finding a family that's a real good fit for him. They even send me pictures occasionally. That has really helped me giving away my dog.

    You really did, but that's what terriers were bred to do. I am so sorry about all your chickens, that's truley heart breaking.
  10. RedheadErin

    RedheadErin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 30, 2011
    Thank you everyone so much. You really gave me the strength to do what had to be done.

    We just got back from the shelter. It is a really nice one, where the dogs all live together in a big room with couches and dog beds everywhere. There is a nice big yard where the dogs go out to play. They put her in a cage in the dog room, where she cuold see the other dogs and everybody could get used to her. Immediately, she was barking and wagging her tail, eager to get out and play with the other dogs. She is going to love it there!

    I feel much better now. I am sort of relieved, now that's it done. I know I did the best I could for everybody involved.

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