Update: Well any thoughts of re-homing Kirby have been put on hold due to the move. I am in the process of moving from one place to another and he is not taking well to the idea. I have spent a few hours at the new place on both Saturday and Sunday and Kirby was so nervous and pacing/whinning pretty much the whole time we were at the new place. He peed and pooped inside the new house even though the door was open to the backyard, he has NEVER gone potty inside. He is continuing to whine/bark if I crate him at the new place as well. I crated him for about 15 minutes while I ran to the store really quick yesterday, I wanted to do a really short trip and have him crated at the new place to help him adjust to when he will be there full time. He was still whinning when I got back. And he has tried to destroy the blinds already when left alone for less than 2 minutes, and he began chewing the carpet when I was still inside with him. I'm not sure how long it will take him to adjust to the move, but now I worry a lot about re-homing since he has had such a severe reaction to the move. On a good note though, him and Franklin have begun to play again....A LOT! Its fabulous to see them getting along so well. Granted its only been 3 days but its a pretty big deal considering they hadn't played together in weeks without getting into fights. Then new place has a jack and jill type bathroom and a hall between the bedrooms and together this makes an excellent racing circuit for the dogs to run circles like crazy. Franklin was going bananas yesterday, I belatedly got out the camera, but was able to catch some fun. He's an old hat when it comes to moving so I'm hoping his mellow reaction to the move will help soothe Kirby. Frank is actually the one who instigated the most recent play sessions which is great.
Tomorrow it will be 4 months since I adopted Kirby. I didn't realize it had been so long. The last few weeks I have been thinking long and hard about whether I should re-home Kirby or continue to stick it out and see what kind of relationship between us develops. Lately I have really started leaning towards finding him a new home. I do have several people who I have talked to who are very interested in him and I think I may begin an interview process to re-home him. I know I'm going to catch a lot of sh#$ for this decision, but I really do think it is in HIS best interest, as well as my own. A few incidents have led me to this decision. First off, a client was wanting to get rid of his lab the other day and was trying to give it to me, my first thought was frustration that I had Kirby otherwise I'd take the lab in a heartbeat. I am ashamed to say this was my reaction. A few days later a good sam brought in a young corgi that she found wandering in her neighborhood, she dropped him off with us and we tried to find his owner, immediately I was more than willing to take him home and was joking about just re-homing Kirby. And now yesterday I was offered yet another adorable sweet lab, again I'm really wanting the lab and not Kirby. It was a big red flag to me at how easy,after four months of constant struggle and work, I can so easily think of re-homing Kirby. I don't feel all that sad about the thought, I don't feel very attached to him, yet after 4 months I should be completely head-over-heels for this dog. I have felt much more connection to some of my other fosters that I KNEW I only had for a short time, and way more connection to other rescues I have helped train, again when I knew I was not going to be able to adopt them.
The second big reason is my observations of his interactions with Franklin. At first I was really not even considering re-homing him because he and Franklin seemed to get along SO WELL. As Kirby's confidence increases, this doesn't seem to be the case. Kirby is an obnoxious, over-bearing, bully of a dog. He is not mean or aggressive in any way, he is just pushy and has zero manners when it comes to dog-to-dog interactions. I noticed this from the beginning and was hoping that Franklin would correct these behaviors and tech Kirby how to be a more well behaved canine citizen. Well the opposite is happening. Kirby is just getting worse and worse and Franklin is looking to me more and more to help "save" him from Kirby. He very rarely will correct Kirby for his obnoxious behaviors and in the last several weeks when Frank finally does decide enough is enough Kirby will retaliate and a fight will start. Franklin isn't a fighter so will often either back down or run to me for protection. If I correct Kirby for the behaviors it just results in me being the mean scary human and Kirby's trust in me and our relationship is negatively affected. Franklin seems to spend more time either stuck to my side like glue, hiding behind me, or up on my bed where Kirby can't get, than he does interacting in a positive manner with Kirby. I was hoping they would figure this out but it seems as time goes on Franklin can't wait for the minute I lock Kirby in his crate for the day.
Last off, I feel like the medications are starting to help a little bit, yet I feel no closer connection to Kirby. I was thinking maybe his anxiety, destructiveness, and the behaviors that followed resulted in me being so frustrated with him all the time that it has made it so I can't really connect with him. Well for the past several weeks Kirby has been great about going in his crate, I can now safely leave a bed in there and he won't destroy it, and he is much less anxious in the house. Yeah we've been dealing with the not eating thing, but that is more annoying than causing any real frustration on my part. Yet with this improvement in behavior I'm not feeling any increase in bond with him. He's just kinda there in my house. I pet him and play with him because I know he is very affectionate and wants the love, but I don't do it because I truly WANT to shower him with my affection. I feel really bad about this too. He is a very sweet and loving dog and its not fair to him that I don't feel that connection at all. I have just been thinking more and more about how much happier he would be in a home where somebody is home more often, maybe as an only dog so he can be the center of the universe, or with a more dominant dog than Franklin who would be willing to teach him manners.
I have had a serious discussion with my family, with his vet, and with some other close friends and done some serious soul searching. I think my own stubbornness has been what has been keeping me from considering re-homing him. I just can't stand the thought that I couldn't make it work and keep thinking it'll get so much better with more time. Just more time, energy, effort, etc and it'll work out fine. But really will it? Or will I be spending the next several months/years experiencing daily guilt that I don't love my dog, frequent frustration towards him when he is just being his crazy, independent self? Wish I could see into the future and see if it does end up working out with him or if its just months and years of me just tolerating him because I can't stand the thought of re-homing a dog who was supposed to be a forever member of my family.
Sounds like a possible maybe (your friend)... give Kirby time to adjust and if it's roses, they'll bloom :-)
I wouldn't give my time of day to the so called Rescue you write about. Not sure what they are, but they're not a Rescue. Fingers crossed for the best, whatever that is.
He does not feel safe, maybe he's seen boxes and moving before and it was not good news.
My guess is that, since you made good progress with him from the time he first came to you, his backward slide will not be as long or as deep as the original behavior. Just be prepared to retrace the early steps for a while.
I would be very careful about giving him to a rescue. I rescued a dog for a friend two years ago, and we had absolutely no issues with him. He was an Australian Shepherd, and as a typical Aussie, was protective. We couldn't keep him, although I really wanted to, so we got him into Protege--a well known Aussie rescue. They put him down less than two weeks later for aggression issues.
If he is showing panic behavior from you just leaving him in a strange place while you are outside, it is very possible that he will become psychotic. Similar to what happens to dogs in shelters when they are there too long. It is just not healthy to be bounced around and around. Look at what happens to kids in foster care. It's the same philosophy. He isn't trying to make you mad, he just has baggage that he can't control.
I don't doubt that you probably do need to find him another home, especially if you abhor him, but I would find an applicant yourself and be sure, REALLY SURE, that the next home he goes to will be his last.
Jennifer, I know you were sad about the Aussie and the end result with that dog and I can obviously not speak to this individual case. The point I want to make is that a good Rescue has to be able to make the hard decisions and occasionally put down a dog that they consider not adoptable, or a dog with a bite history. I have been involved with Rescue most of my life and have seen some Rescues place dogs in the hands of unsuspecting adopters that should never have been adopted out because of severe behavior risks. This does a disservice to the people adopting, as well as to the dog itself. Thankfully, few dogs fall into this category, but some do.
Like you said Anna most dogs don't fall into this catagory but my last Corgi rescue last fall had to be euthanized:( He was a large #43 corgi and I had to keep him seperated at all times as I believe he would have killed any of my corgis...given the chance. We could not take the chance...again had he been properly socialized and trained as a pup maybe this wouldn't have happened...this was not a life for the dog or any unknowing family...
I'm sorry to hear that Jane, I know how hard it can be.
I'm coming into this a little late as I'm a new member (as of today), but your post was the first I'd read and I know exactly what you're feeling about Kirby. I have a Corgi Poo named Sally who's been with me for close to 3 months. I adopted her from the local Humane Society when she was relinquished by her previous owner (and possible breeder? - jury's still out on that one).
I lost my labrador Shelby, aka Bubba, last November after 13 wonderful years. It was the toughest decision I think I've ever had to make, and yet the most compassionate one. I too am more of a Labrador type person (I think) - Shelby was with me the longest and previous dogs were usually of the medium size - border collie/blue heeler type. I considered getting another lab or lab mix, but was concerned about placing too many expectations on a new "lab" to be like Bubba. Bubba and I had each other figured out completely and the cats adored her (she thought it was her job to break up cat fights and protect "her" cats at all times, at least until her hips wouldn't let her anymore).
Sally seemed only slightly timid, was cute they said she'd been there a month and never once soiled her kennel - so I thought I that she would come out of herself and relax once she had a forever home and be nearly house broken (she was 8 months when I brought her home).
I realize that my experience with smaller dogs is limited, but I have a neighbor who has a Pembroke Corgi and I adore that little dog. It was my mistake to think that Sally would be similar (not exact, my expectations were more realistic). She is not. She is clingy in ways I never expected - she's nearly tripped my mother by being only inches from her feet at all times (mom is 72) and will follow me everywhere at all times (something I'm not at all used to). And she's not entirely housebroken. She CAN hold things, if she's kenneled, but if not she seems impervious to training to let me know when she needs to go outside. She's even been known to go outside (which we do 6-8 times a day) and then come inside and soil on the floor/rug within 30 minutes. Most times she won't go outside by herself... she'll stand outside the door and wait for me, or jump back into the porch through the cat door and sit outside the door, then, if I let her in, she'll soil on the flooor. This has gotten better since Dexter joined us - I can close the door and she'll remain outside with him for a time. (Dexter on the other hand will roam the back yard until he's tired, find a shady place and take a nap). She CAN hold things, but more often than not, refuses to and has made little progress in telling me when she has to go - she also has no apparent interest in any type of training or toys at all.
So, with all that said, I'm still struggling with the kind of dog I'd like to have and the kind of dog she is. She would be perfectly suited for someone who wants to dote on her and make her the princess she deserves. Sadly, that is not me. I am no princess and I've never had dogs that were. I like independence and confidence in a dog, something Dexter is already displaying even as a 2 mo. old pup. He's attentive, plays with toys and interacts with me well, and learns quickly. I find myself comparing the two and hoping (once the puppies are old enough) that I can find a better suited "forever home" for Sally.
I too feel guilty most of the time that I haven't "clicked" with her the way I have with Dexter. I take Dexter to work with me (a luxury I know) and we do fine. Sally gets very very car sick - even with a 20 minute drive to the vet - Dex likes to put his nose to the wind and do what a dog does.
If it weren't for the puppies, I think I would have been actively pursuing another home for Sally.. a GOOD home, but another just the same. I often think that it's just wrong that while I feel the urge to hug and kiss Dex and make plans for his future (I'm thinking some agility training) I don't see the same potential, or feeling for Sally. More often than not, I just plain feel frustrated and uncaring.
On a side note though, Sally does seem to be a little happier with Dexter around since I know she was with other dogs before she was surrendered... she plays very well with him and has already taught him well, that the doggie gate to the bathroom is as close as he will be getting to her puppies, at least for now.
Hang in there. I've read the replies to your original post and it's confirmed for me, that I am most likely a one dog person, and that dog needs to be an active participant in the relationship and willing to adapt to the needs of the household. I will do my best to find her the best ever home I can, when the time is right.
Yeah I think sometimes maybe the best we can do for them is pull them from a bad situation and place them in a better one, maybe that "better one" is our home, but maybe it is a place with a more suitable owner who will love and dote on them like they deserve. Watching my friend with Kirby makes me want to just drop him off at her doorstep Lol! They get along so well together and he ADORES her. He's only met her a few times but he is head over heels for her, not like with anybody else he knows. We will see what happens in the future after he adjusts to this move.
I have my fingers and toes crossed!
Love the video...maybe having more room for the 2 to romp will help????