March 10, 2010

White Dog rushed to my rescue and in her loyalty complicated the situation I have knew instinctively was just waiting to happen. It was inevitable that Quinn would have a blip in his adjustment, an unexpected reaction, a meltdown that was unprovoked. He has been through so much; how could his adjustment be perfect and smooth?

I was putting on his walking harness this afternoon so that Michael could take Quinn for their after school walk. We have put the harness on and taken it off nearly a dozen times since we fit him and purchased it on Sunday. He grumbled as I put the harness over his head and Michael and I both spoke gently calming him as I worked. When I lifted his paw to slide it into the harness, Quinn snarled, whirled and sank his teeth firmly into the top of my hand.

He was all twisted in the strapping so I could not let him go but gathered him against me continuing to talk calmly over Michael's panic and jumping around and White Dog's rush to my defense. I pulled the harness off and stroked him (the poor boy was shaking) as I held White Dog in my other arm and reassured both that momma was OK. Michael was so concerned that Quinn would hate us for trying to put the harness on; and he was worried about the blood rolling off my hand. Drama abounded. Quinn was shamed and remorseful; he hid behind the kitchen door. Michael, although a little afraid of being attacked, reached down and petted the shaken dog. White Dog sniffed my wound, growled with raised hackles at her brother, and placed herself between the danger and myself. I have thoroughly cleaned and bandaged the bite.

Quinn was not malicious or vicious--something triggered a bad memory or perhaps he has a raw spot on his belly under his still matted fur...he was merely reacting to pain. For that I cannot be angry or punitive. He is a frightened boy with I am sure lots of demons that will across time need to be dealt with. Later, as I sat at the computer (with White Dog, my protector at my side) Quinn came and laid in the doorway. I quieted White Dog and spoke to Quinn letting him know I understood. He was not yet ready to come close, but he stayed for a while before going back to his "usual" nap spot in the living room. All are quiet and calm once again.


Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Those of us who have been 'there' with past rescues understand -

I still have a deep dent in my left forearm from where I intercepted an issue between two of mine -

Those humans with sensible heads know these things can/will happen -

We hope the night and coming days will be calmer -

Khyra's Mom
PeeEssWoo: Khyra and Khousin Merdie say hi!

Prinnie and Digby said...

Don't worry - I still have melt-down moments from time to time too becuase of my past, but it doesn't for one second mean that I love my family any less or think they will harm me...it's just the scared eskie part of me trying to protect myself, just like brother Quinn. Please whisper in his ear that I love him and I understand. Please tell him he will be ok, and is loved - very loved.


Scottie the 'Cutie' said...

What a day. Sorry to hear your Mom got bitten, but like your Mom said, Quinn had gone through a lot...he probably acted out on instinct as he had always done in the past. It's great that your Mom knows and understands that =)

Here's to more calm days and better adjustments with Quinn!


The OP Pack said...

Sorry for the glitch in the smooth running, but it sounds like all is well and you handled it perfectly. Just keep an eye on the wound, just to be sure.

Woos - Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

Kari in WeHo said...

As someone who has three rescues I understand. Not knowing a dogs history, you never know what will trigger a bad memory. In time you will learn his signals as he will yours.

TwoSpecialWires said...

What an emotional day for everyone. As we sit here and think about it, we realize that how it has been and will be processed will be different for everyone. For some, with words. For others, nonverbally. Bottom line, it will be the nonverbal that will prove most reliable and accurate for those of you there, in the midst of it all. There will never be positive explanations, but there will be genuine expressions of love and trust and understanding and forgiveness. Now is a time when words fail us, but unspoken communication can say it all. Trust in that. We do. Quinn will. Michael will. And so will everyone else.

Jake and Fergi xxoo

Teddy Bear said...

I am so glad that your Mom is ok. I hope Quinn is ok too. I hope knows that he didn't do anything wrong and that is loved unconditionally.:)

Teddy Bear

Ozark Mountain Cats said...

I'm sorry that Quinn got scared and bit you. Our Princess does the snarly nippy thing if I touch her feet.

I did get a giggle though when you mentioned the harness. When we got Princess she had an old faded harness on. Within a day or two of her arrival we found the harness broken laying on the floor. We promptly bought her a brand new bright pink one. Within 15 minutes of putting it on her we found it laying in the living room with the belly strap chewed thru.

Amy and The House of Cats said...

We understand that Quinn wasn't mean but scared or hurt. It can even happen with animals who have not been treated poorly and who are used to their surroundings if they get scared enough (I have the bite scars from our girl Lola, who was with us since she was about 8 weeks old - we were on the couch and I was giving her eye medicine (which didn't bother her) she heard a noise outside, freaked out, bit me to get away and literally wouldn't come in the room for a week or on the couch for a month because she was scared that badly. And not once did I blame her for it - she was terrified and had to get away - she wasn't being mean). We know this is a bit of a setback because now Quinn is more worried, but we know that with the new wonderful loving family he is in he will get past it. We are sending him some it's ok purrs! And we are sending you purrs that it heals up quickly - I don't know how it is with dogs (Lola is a cat) but when I got bit even the best cleaning didn't help keep it from infection - if the area feels warmer then the rest of your hand I would say you should just pop by the doctor for a check up (of course if it is not hot then it shoudl be ok).

Sagira said...

That is one of the downfalls with a rescue...you don't know the past and what can trigger them. I think you handled the situation perfectly and will need to keep reassuring Quinn that it is okay and going for walk is a fun thing.

Hope your hand heals up quickly.