A Dog-ged Day

This was one LONG day! We planned to leave for a couple days in San Diego with the boys. They’re on semester break, and so is Colleen. It was our plan to leave around 11:00.

Until I brushed my teeth. Long story, but in short, I sensed a returning abcess. I was able to get to the dentist right away and he prescribed antibiotics until we could get the tooth permanently taken care of. That was good, but set us back about an hour or so.

Then, as we are loading to leave, Jonathan gets into a scrapple with Charlie, who is our 2 year old Texas Heeler dog. Charlie bites Jonathan right on the nose and gashes him about an inch long.

Charlie has been overall a good and friendly dog, but this isn’t the first time he’s nipped. Initially, it was our decision to get rid of Charlie for this proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back.”

It was a very emotional afternoon for all of us as we talked through the ramifications of the bite, and of the boys having not been controlling enough with Charlie to keep him from biting from time to time. Understandably for two teenage boys, they like to play rough with him without being able to really see that he is a dog that has a hard time telling when it’s OK to bite and when it’s not when you play rough with him.

I called Animal Control, and delayed we were again for about three hours. When the Animal Control Officer arrived, he gave us two options.

We could decide to surrender Charlie right away (which was our intention) for $170. They would quarantine him for 10 days, doing tests and observing him. If he showed to be OK, they would adopt him out, legally bound to tell anyone considering him that he was turned in for biting.

The other option was that we could have him placed under “house arrest” for 10 days. It would mean we would keep him at the house. He would not be allowed to leave the back yard.

At the end of the 10 days, they come out and observe him again. If we still want to surrender him, they take him. If we don’t and his behavior is OK, they sign off the case.

We decided to go that route. Our dogsitter is very good with Charlie and by the time Animal Control arrived, I felt a bit less angry, which the Officer said was common.

He mentioned they often have cases where the dog is surrendered, only to have the family come back a couple days later regretting the decision. When the case is clearly one of over-aggression (this one is not), they take the dog without question. The “house arrest” option also only costs $40.

We knew we were in for rush hour traffic, but finally left about 4:15. A couple hours later, we stopped at Dave & Buster’s in Irvine. It’s a really fun restaurant that has a ton of video games as well.

Finally arrived at our hotel (I really recommend Hotwire.com, by the way …. got us $54 a night for a great Holiday Inn!) around 11:00 pm.

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