Paige - Brandy - Bahama, NC
April 16, 2006 – May 4, 2012
Brandy was listed on the RescueMe! website and it said she wasn’t good with other dogs and needed to be rehomed. She had been in multiple homes and the current family said she wasn’t getting along with their female Rottie. They said she was a happy girl that loves people.
Brandy didn’t greet other dogs well. Brandy didn’t like other dogs, male or female, big or small. She attacked and luckily mine were submissive and I could end it quickly without major injury. Often, owners do not provide accurate information about their dog and this seemed to be the case with Brandy. As a result, I kept her completely separated from my Berners. I walked her separately, fed her separately and spent time with her alone. She carried around a soccer ball as her security blanket.
I searched for trainers that specialized in dog-to-dog aggression and discovered that most trainers don’t want to deal with this problem. But I found five trainers that would come to evaluate her. Some wanted to try using shock collars and punishment. I declined and told them to update their training methods. Some suggested sedatives and medication. I consulted a holistic vet and she provided some blends, but we didn’t see any improvement.
My fellow rescue contacts were very supportive, telling me about similar situations, but also alerting me to the reality that not all aggression can be corrected. It was clear that Brandy was not adoptable and would become part of our family. She was a puzzle and she touched my heart. I wanted to help build her confidence and sense of security, so she could enjoy life with other dogs.
My husband and I would walk her with one of our Berners, keeping them separate. She didn’t seem to care about the other dog in the least. After several months, we appeared to be making some progress. She still wasn’t able to live in the house with the other dogs.
The day came when she had a different look in her eyes and then unexpectedly pushed into the house and attacked one of our male Berners. He didn’t react initially, and I waited for her to realize he was ok and stop, but she didn’t. Our Berner finally had had enough and responded, and it got ugly quickly. I was able to separate them and luckily, their fur protected them from serious harm.
That episode showed us she could not live with other dogs. It was serious enough that we could no longer ignore the message she was sending. She was not a happy girl and we would not prolong the life of any dog that didn’t have a quality of life. Saying goodbye to any dog is difficult, but when they have emotional issues, it seems in some ways even sadder. But she is running free and happy now and we do not regret her coming into our lives and teaching us the lessons she did.
Carolyn & Don Paige
Blue Ridge BMD Club Rescue Coordinator