This is what my friend posted on FB:
xxx shared Marley's Mutts Dog Rescue's photo.
So difficult. Dog friends, do you know of any rescues or individuals who might want this mastiff? He is in Mojave, he is only a year old, and he has a bite history. He bit a little girl - I don't know the circumstances surrounding the bite - so he needs to go to someone who can supervise him until a comfort level is achieved.
I just hate to see dogs languish (or euthanized) because of one bite. That is the only way they know how to communicate that they need space, are frustrated, are overwhelmed, are fearful, are protecting you against a threat, are mad, etc. Especially a young, big dog who didn't know better and may not have intended to do harm.
Know that I say that as a person who was bitten in the face as a three-year-old child by the family dog. Right after I stuck my head between his mouth and the food dish to see where the kibble went when he ate it. In the same room as my mom, who didn't see me do this behind her while she did dishes at the sink. No one was to blame, not even the dog. Well, actually, I was to blame for sticking my head where it didn't belong (no comments from the peanut gallery). The hospital emergency room was required to report the dog bite to Animal Control, but Mom would not let AC take the dog, because she understood that it was an anomaly. That may be the case with this dog, as well.
Now that I think about it, I bit a kid in play group as a child. (Knowing me, I probably meant to hurt him. However, he was the one ejected from the group because the other mothers thought he was a brat who probably did something to instigate.) Fortunately, my parents decided to keep me, because God only knows how long it would have taken for a kid with a bite history to be adopted. Just think what those potential adopters would have missed out on!
I have also been bitten by dogs several times as an adult. Once breaking up a dog fight at work, once because I touched a Husky on the sensitive part of his neck (which the owner failed to mention was an issue), once by my parents' recently rescued and previously abused dog when I stuck my toe through the dog door to see if it was open (that dog loved me, and went on to sleep next to my bed every night in his later years, but if I tried to pick him up he would snap at me until his last day), and so on. I wouldn't euthanize any of the dogs that have bitten me. They have all been wonderful pets, adored by their parents, reacting to particular situations in the only way they knew how. However, I don't know that they would be "adoptable" if they had to go back on the market because of their bite histories.
Some dogs are dangerous and should not be in particular environments. Some dogs can't be around other dogs, some can't be around kids. I don't let my Mikey around my very active little niece because he can't handle the stimulation and I don't want to take the chance that he will nip her. Junie was put up for adoption because she growled at the new baby in the house when the baby wouldn't stop crying. They are the greatest dogs in the world when they are in their comfort zone, and I recognize that and do my best to keep them away from stimulants and situations that don't suit them. That may be the case with this dog, as well.
One bite doesn't mean all bad. It may just mean that a dog has a particular temperament that isn't one-size-fits-all. Unfortunately, however, a bite history almost always means death. Rescues often won't take a dog with a bite history because it opens them up to legal liability if they adopt out the dog and it bites again. Most rescues couldn't survive the financial blow that would inflict. Kill shelters will euthanize almost instantly in cases with a bite history, and no-kill shelters often have to euthanize dogs with bite histories because they languish in their kennels or, again, are a liability.
This has been on my mind the last few days for a variety of reasons. So, thanks, Facebook, for letting me ramble about it. Long story short: please don't rule out a dog because of a bite history if you are considering adopting, and don't assume that a rescue will step in where you could. Please learn the specifics. Maybe your adults-only home is perfect for that dog that bit a kid. Maybe your family home teaming with kids is perfect for that protective dog that bit the unknown painting contractor who came in the front door toward Mom a little too fast while Dad was away. You might find the best dog you ever had if the circumstances are right and you fit each other. I did.
Last edited by honeypie : Sat, Jul-29-17 at 07:52.