A Loss of Trust

Zuri had been working out so well; we have not had a single ‘accident’ in the house since that very first day, we’ve worked out what was causing her separation anxiety (easy – just let her see us leave), and we were dealing with her digging fiercely in wherever dog pillow she chooses to lie.

Zuri is showing a great learning ability, and has learned to quit surfing the counters with her nose, and she has learned so many ways to fit in with our daily routine. You walk down the hall and there is this loving ‘ghost dog’ walking along with you. You don’t feel her bumping into you, but she’s there. If you happen to swing your arm too far backward, you’re startled because there’s a wet and friendly nose right at hand. Even so, she was never in competition with Pepper. She accepted his role in our household from the very start.

Her capacity for love and affection is amazing. She can be sound asleep, but if you call her name, she’ll unbend, lever herself to standing, and come find you for ‘pets’ or whatever you called her to do. She loves deeply, and my wife tells me that Zuri looks around for me for a while after I’ve left for work.

But Thursday night she crossed a line which must never be crossed in our house, and in doing so, she lost our trust.

We periodically care for some friends’ Miniature Schnauzers, and have come to love them as our own. We’ve been watching one of them for years. So essentially, they were here before Zuri, and more important in the dog-heirarchy. And Thursday night, Moki and Ziva came to stay with us for a week.

But Zuri could not tell the difference between ‘prey’ and ‘play.’

This recalls the time we rescued a beautiful Australian Shepherd named Rose. Rose (in asserting herself) went after Max, our willful-but-lovable Miniature Schnauzer. (See Max’ page.) And it’s the same case now as then: Max was here first.

So Thursday night our wonderful nephew and niece agreed to take Moki and Ziva for a while, to give us time to figure this out. We stayed up late into this morning, talking it out, and working to a sad conclusion.

And Friday morning, we unfortunately had only one course of action: We are so sad to have to do it, but Zuri must go back. We were committed to her, but we just can’t trust her with the little dogs. She has come so far in just a couple weeks, and we were growing to love her very much.

A responsible owner will acknowledge a breed’s genetic characteristics and agree to live with them. Some characteristics are stronger than others: for instance, some Greyhounds are just fine with cats and smaller pets. Zuri isn’t – her instincts are strong. We are up against the hard reality – it’s not her fault, she is just made that way. But unfortunately this means she can’t be trusted with the little dogs.

Meanwhile, I praise God that we got to have Zuri and love her for a while. Who can know God’s mind? There has to be a higher purpose, but I don’t know it; I trust God to know what the best for Zuri will be. But sadly, this is where her story with us must end. She can’t be “our” dog any more. And we will miss her greatly.

We pray that Zuri will find another home. Chances are beyond good because Oregon Greyhound Adoptions is a great agency (I’ll throw in a hyperlink here), and Vicki has been absolutely the best to work with. In the two weeks since we got Zuri, OGA has placed two other hounds, so you can see they’re good at what they do. We also had a number of questions about Zuri and Vicki was wonderfully helpful in answering them.

If you have space in your home and in your heart, I urge you to consider a Greyhound; they are wonderful, fascinating, elegant, and above all loving, dogs.

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