[Note: This post is being written under the influence of a head cold, lack of sleep, Advil Cold and Sinus, and coffeh. Please excuse any incoherence resulting from this perfect storm of dizziness.]
I have made a very, very tough decision. Though it feels right logically, it feels wrong in my heart.
In February of 2008, Superbitch and I adopted a dog. The pet store we adopted her from claimed she was half poodle, half shepard. At two months old there was no way for us to dispute that. Seven years, later, however, I’m calling bullshit. I don’t think either of those breeds are within her blood.
Pepper-Ann was fun from the get-go. She loved to play. She was fairly easy to house-train. She behaved well for the most part. She didn’t tear things up and we could leave her out to roam the house while we were at work.
There was an incident, however, that changed her demeanor towards children.
One day that summer we had Pepper tied to a tree in the front yard. It was a nice day out and we were all outside. The twins and a friend of theirs decided they wanted to play wiffle ball in the front yard. They also decided the tree Pepper was tied to would be second base. During the game the twins’ friend was running for second and he and Pepper collided. Since then Pepper has been aggressive towards people she doesn’t know, men and children in particular.
Not even a month later the twins’ friend came inside to play Xbox with the them. Pepper came up behind him and bit him on the ass. From that moment on we kept her locked in her cage whenever he was over. There have been other instances throughout the years where she’s shown aggression. She once bit my next door neighbor. She once bit my aunt. Just a few months ago she bit the vet. Any time a man she didn’t know came into our house she growled at them. It was always a low, gurgling, and threatening growl, too.
Once, when Baby C was about a year old, she growled and snapped at him. C was just learning to walk and was pulling himself along the couch. Pepper happened to be leaning against the couch. C barely tugged on her ear, but that prompted her to turn around and snap. Superbitch and I were both there and walloped her out of reflex. I don’t stand up for much, but don’t fuck with my kids.
I thought that was the end of it, but I was wrong.
Two weeks ago, my mom told me that Pepper had snapped out my two-year old nephew while I was at work. I made a decision at that point to try to find her another home. I have a three-year-old, three nephews under five (with another on the way), and a two-year-old niece. There are always toddlers running around my house. I felt it best to find her another place to live since it wasn’t fair to Pepper to keep her locked up the majority of the time simply so she wouldn’t bite my niece or nephews.
But then last night happened.
Baby B, Baby C, and I were in the living room. We’ve had Jake and the Never Land pirates playing on repeat via Netflix because his Highness has demanded it. I was at the computer playing a game because I can take only so much of that show. While my back was turned, Pepper growled and snapped at C. Again.
I’m at the end of my rope now. I can’t even trust that dog around my own child, so I have decided to take her to the pound. I don’t feel right giving Pepper to another family knowing how aggressive she can be. She’s seven years old now and I don’t see her demeanor changing. In fact, it will probably just get worse as she gets older. And God help that dog if she hurts my child.
So I have made my decision, yet the very thought of dropping her off at the pound is breaking my heart. I know what the likely outcome is for a dog who is aggressive towards children, but I can’t have an aggressive dog in my house when I have toddlers perpetually parading through my house. My child, niece, and nephews (and their safety) are far more important to me than Pepper is. But I still love her.
I’m not really sure what I wanted to accomplish by writing this post. I just needed to talk this out with myself, I guess. I know what I have to do, but I really, really don’t want to do it. This fucking blows.