Monday, December 31, 2007

Shiner, the teacher

I blame myself for Shiner’s behavior, because I could have treated him differently and let him know he wasn’t in charge. Therefore, I feel pretty guilty. I don’t think we did the wrong thing, because in the end the safety of my kids is more important, and we did exhaust our other options. Still, I loved Shiner and considered him a member of the family, so I can’t help but blame myself and think about how this could’ve been avoided. But I think it’s ok to feel this way, because it’s a product of how much I loved Shiner and how much he meant to me. He’ll always hold a special place in my heart as my first dog on my own (although he was actually a gift to Charlise, the point is that we raised him, not my parents).

Maybe that’s part of the guilt. He was the first dog on my own, so maybe I screwed up. There’s also the possibility that, given his change in behavior over the past year and some of the health problems he’s had, perhaps something physical was the cause for his increasing aggressiveness.

Either way, I’ve learned from Shiner. We’ll never own two dogs at the same time, because Shiner and Ziegy never really seemed to get along, and Shiner definitely became more aggressive once we got Ziegy. Ziegy now seems more relaxed and happy without Shiner bullying him. We’ll see if that changes as time goes by, but that’s how it seems right now. I’ve also learned a few training techniques to let the dog know he’s not in charge.

Because Charlise and I love dogs so much, we’ll probably always have one, and we’ll always treat them like a member of the family. They’ll get tons of attention, be doted upon, and get spoiled. They’ll also know they’re not in charge, and training and care will be split more to make sure they don’t get too attached to one person. The joy Shiner brought to us will continue on and be even better thanks to the lessons he taught us.


Blogger Unknown said...

Really, really sorry! You have nothing to feel guilty about though. I watched you with Shiner and both you and Charlise were kind, loving, and caring. You did everything right. Shiner finally started doing things wrong. You had no real choice. It's so sad, but it happens sometimes. Maybe it was jealousy? Who knows. I know my comments don't help much, but try to give yourself a break.

January 14, 2008 at 11:10 PM


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