Saturday, January 21, 2017

Lessons and hard decisions

I thought about not sharing this...but maybe it'll help someone.  It took me 7 days to write and finish..

Last weekend I learned a valuable but embarrassing lesson. My pack has always played so well together. However, I've known that Cora can be "fun police" and loves to get in Lizzie's face. When Lizzie and roxi are rough house playing, I often am holding Cora with one hand while photographing with the other. But in my naive head, Lizzie was tolerant. Lizzie and Cora have fought twice before...minor scuffles that were more loud than anything. But both time Cora came away with a small cut that I could treat at home.
I've owned dogs all my life. I've owned multiple dogs in my house for 14 years and greyhounds for 11. I know how it all works. But I, admittedly, loved watching my dogs play and smiled thinking they were so happy together. I forgot that one important thing...they are dogs and they are a pack. And Lizzie.....could only take so much.

Last Friday..I came home from work like normal. They were excited and I let them out and went to get the groceries out of my car. I heard them playing and then I heard the play noises tune serious so I raced outside. I yelled and they stopped. Lizzie came to me and she had two punctures in her forehead and blood was coming out of her nose. I knew her nasal bone had been punctured. Cora had two minor lacerations on her shoulder. So I thought let's take them to the vet. So I took them inside. Cussing myself. I called Jason and walked down the hall to retrieve their leashes. They all followed as normal. But...apparently someone still held a grudge. In the hall a huge brawl broke out with Lizzie, Cora and roxi. It was serious and all aggression was funneled to Cora. I won't describe it...let's just say it was terrible and red zone dogs are ruthless. In that moment, they weren't Lizzie and roxi.
Once I finally got them apart and separated, the damage was significant.  I called a friend (thank you Gyeong) and in two cars with everyone separated and muzzled ...we went to the vet.
After four hours,  Cody had a small puncture likely sustained bc he was in the wrong place at the wrong time..two staples. Roxi..with her hound skin only sustained a gash on her ear (2 staples) and a cut on the tip that won't stop bleeding. Come of shame for two days and now I have a bandaid on it.
 Lizzie had a punctured nasal bone ( in two places) and pretty significant soft tissue damage to her shoulder. Luckily, the piece of bone between to the punctures was not dislodged. So this will heal. She 'breathed' through it for a few days which was weird. 
 cora..Cora sustained the brunt of the attack. It was obviously geared toward her.  Roxi and Lizzie didn't hurt each other at all..all of their injuries came from Cora.  Too many queens...
Cora received over 80 sutures to repair numerous huge lacerations on her neck and front legs.  I won't show the 'during' vet visit photos..they are too graphic.
 She went back a few days later for surgery on her neck and leg.  By Wednesday, she was less swollen and in much less pain.  Even sitting up and getting on the couch.
 The problem then became...Lizzie and Roxi were a tough duo who had her 'marked'.  Cora's 10 months of 'fun police' had finally caught up to her and Lizzie would have nothing to do with her.  If they were out together, lizzie would try to dominate and show aggression. Which is very unlike Lizzie.  and Cora was obviously distressed being around them. When I kept them separated, Lizzie, Cody and roxi were fine.  No problems.  So I came to realize Cora was in danger.  I would never be able to let them in the yard (even muzzled) without fear of a repeat.  My mental toughness had been tested and my pack was sending me  a clear message. 
Luckily, I knew of a family who had inquired about a brood mama.  I contacted them and once Cora was released from every 2 day vet visits and seemed to feel normal, I had them meet her.  Hardest decision ever but it was for her well being and her safety.  I had too many alpha females.  Cora went to her new family's house today.  They are smitten and I think they are wonderful. They aren't far away, have a very submissive and sweet male greyhound and three very nice children.  Cora seemed to be in her element.   It's been 8 days since the fight and 50% of her wounds are completely healed (sutures will come out tomorrow).  Her major neck wound is almost healed.  Her leg will take longer but I will continue to make 'house calls' to care for that wound.  She will be loved by many in her life. 
On the way to her new home, I got her 'guilt nuggets' and she seemed to enjoy those.
 It's still the first day so I know things can change..but I think this is a happy ending to a horrendous 8 days.
 The support I've received from the greyhound community has been amazing.  My other three are healing well.  Roxi is completely healed. Cody's wound is on its way to being healed.  Lizzie still looks frightening but she feels great and no longer breaths out her forehead.  Peace has been restored.  and my goal will be to keep my little family happy and healthy. I'll never know if they could have lived peacefully together again...but I do know Cora will not be hurt like this again.  And that is what is important.

6 comments:

Honi said...

So well written, and such a selfless act of love on your part. She will be cherished and remain your sweet "Cora" - our nod of appreciation to you. Thank you for all you do, not only for us but for all the greyhounds and families who love them!

IHateToast said...

Well written. So tough to do but very selfless that you did. It's an important read for those with >2.

Sue said...

(((Trina))) Sending heaps of hugs.

Well done for taking such a tough decision. You love Cora enough to let her go to another loving home. The new home sounds just right for her, with even a brother to snuggle up with.

Take care
Sue, Polly & Honey

lovinglifewithhounds.com said...

Very sorry this happened. Tough decision for sure. Glad to hear they are all on the road to recovery.

Greyhounds CAN Sit said...

Very brave of you to write this post, Trina. Well done on doing the best thing for everyone, no matter how much it hurts your heart. A heartbreaking experience for you, I know.

Patty E said...

I am so sorry this happened. I can't imagine going through it. I hope everyone is healing well. Hugs!