We’ve adopted a dog – part 2 – Fangs go wrong!

Rex had been with us a week, settling into his new home really well, getting into a routine, when he bit Carla! I’d gone out for the evening to band practice with heavy rockers Virus, so Carla was on her own with Rex. It was about 9:30pm, so dark, she opened the patio door, Rex came over to her for attention, something went wrong and he bit her on the leg. Carla telephoned me, she was very upset, and very bitten. I rushed home, and took her down to the hospital. They cleaned her up, and gave her some antibiotics and a tetanus jab.

Various experts told us that we must take Rex to the vets and have him put down straight away. Carla said that he couldn’t stay. She was too frightened of him. I was given one month to find him a new home or it was a trip to the vet!

The next few days were awful. Up to then Rex had been perfect, not put a fang wrong. I continued to look after him, and he continued to make great progress. I asked him why he bit Carla. He couldn’t tell me.

I put Rex up for readoption on a couple of ex-pat forums. No takers. The days dragged by, and I have to admit, I was dragging my heels a little, as I’d bonded with the daft furry fecker and was down about seeing him go.

The month was almost up, Carla was almost healed, and Rex had worked his charm. Carla said that she couldn’t see him put down, and neither did she want to see him go to a life on the end of a chain as a scrapyard guard dog. He could stay until a proper home was found.

Meanwhile, Carla was keen to understand why Rex had bitten her. She trawled the internet looking for information on dog aggression. At the same time, we observed how Rex’s behaviour had changed since his arrival. We even took some video footage of Rex and sent it for analysis by a dog behaviour specialist. A penny began to roll.

Looking back on it, it was obvious why Rex had bitten. He’d been taken away from his home, and his people, his whole life had changed. He was stressed, fearful. Carla had been wanting to put some Frontline anti-tick treatment on Rex, she’d tried a couple of times to see how thick Rex’s fur was, he wasn’t keen. We think that on that night, Rex thought that Carla was going to do something to him and bit out of fear….got in first. Certainly it couldn’t have been aggression, if it had the bite would have been much worse, especially when you consider that Carla was stooped down facing him at the time.

Still nobody wanted him.

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