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In the year since we adopted Sparky, we have grown to love him very, very much. At first I think because we wanted to be fair and love him as much as Sadie. Also because he seemed to really need it. After a very short time, it became a genuine love for a great little dog.
As most rescues do, Sparky has issues… or “baggage.” There has always been that hint of mistrust. That paranoia. He’s gotten better. There have been moments when he has seemed completely relaxed… with his eyes closed and fallen asleep in our arms.
Anyone remembering my posts from this past year may recall the struggles we’ve had. The “out of the blue” aggression towards Sadie… The attack-reaction to being startled awake by one of the cats… And the usual, laughable beagle stuff, like poop eating.
You also may remember that we’d been talking to professionals, and settled on starting with a basic obedience class to give him purpose and structure. Next… The lengths I went through creating a barrier in my truck so both dogs could ride to classes without there being blood shed.

Sparky is being picked up to go back to Tampa Bay Beagle Rescue in the morning.

The Jeckle & Hyde behavior, instead of getting better, has been steadily building and has just become too much. The attacks on Sadie more frequent. The quick snap at a cat has gone from just that to, pursue in full rage, and corner with intent to kill.
As much as we love him, every living creature in this house is afraid of him. He snapped at Karen when she tried to pick up poop he wanted to eat and lunged at her face when she pushed him away with her foot, in order to let a cornered cat escape.
He was thoroughly enjoying me rubbing his belly the other night, then something clicked… If I hadn’t seen the look of rage in his eyes when they snapped open , I would have gotten a whole lot more than wet dog lips across my nose as I jerked back… Then he just laid there staring and growling. A minute later it was like it never happened.
He is such a sweet boy… then something clicks… then it’s gone again just as quickly.

I really wasn’t sure I wanted to post about this. My feelings of guilt over giving up on Sparky make me afraid I’ll be told, we should have done this, or shouldn’t have done that. I know you are all very caring people, so I don’t feel like I need to come fishing for sympathy.

I’m posting this for Sparky. He needs a home.

I know that I just described a monster, but 99.9% of the time he is a sweet, fun and loving boy. The people at Tampa Bay Beagle Rescue have been great. They started out with a behaviorist volunteer offering to make the 2-3 hour trip to evaluate the situation in-home and give us some hard-work ways to make things better. We were working out a day to get together, but called him back after we had another incident. He then accepted the fact that we just can’t do it anymore, and they have been very gracious about removing him from our home as soon as possible. There’s a girl picking up a stray in Naples, and she will meet me to collect Sparky, at an interstate exit on her way back north. They’re really tight on space but said they’ll manage somehow.

We feel so bad…Placing him isn’t going to be easy… With this “criminal record” and all.
Please… If anyone, or if anyone you know is up to the challenge, ask them to contact TBBR about Sparky.
Maybe, someone without other pets. He’s worth it… We just can’t…

Things I’m going to miss about you, Sparkers…
The intensity with which you hunt lizards.
The way the word, “SQUIRREL!” gets you going.
The boat rides.
The way you played with Sadie and got her to chase you out through the flapper door.
The way your build will make you always look like a puppy, even when you’re old and grey.
The way you bounce up and down at meal time.
The way you look like a small child saying, “Pick me up, Daddy.“ when you jump up to greet me.
The way you snore in your crate at night…
You will always be my “Little-dog-with-the-big-dog-paws”.
Godspeed, Sparks.
 

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I am sorry it didn't work out. Maybe the beagle rescue people can figure out what is going on with him. You obviously love him and you have tried to work it out. Hopefully they will place him in a foster home trained to deal with behavior issues. I will keep you guys and Sparky in my prayers.
 

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I can feel the sadness in your post. I'm sorry it had to happen this way, but hopefully Sparky will get over his aggression.
 

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Please don't blame yourself. You gave him all the love and caring that you could, and for whatever his baggage, he tried, too. But with another dog in the house, he might need to be the ONE and ONLY dog for awhile. And no one could have guessed that without your taking him in. There will be a home for him, I know that, and you will find a playmate for your pup. You did a good thing in calling the rescue people, now both pups can have the love and care they need and deserve

Cathy
Casie and Cobi's mom
 

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I'm so sorry things didn't work out with Sparky, but hopefully there will be someone out there that can deal with his issues. Please don't feel guilty, you did everything you could, and it's very evident that you love him.
 

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I'm so sorry. I know you feel terrible, but you did the very best you could. You have made the right decision, heart wrenching as it is. The Tampa Bay folks will find the right place for Sparky.
 

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I'm so sorry... my heart goes out to you as you obviously tried so hard, but ultimately I really do think you made the right decision as Sadie and your cats (and you) can't live in fear - as hard as it must be to have to make this decision.

As you were describing how Sparky would just snap I immediately thought of a beagle we almost adopted before Popcorn. Her name was Ruby and we took her for a weekend from her foster family because she had bitten a neighbourhood child and couldn't stay there anymore. She would be fine and happy and everything would seem okay, and then she would snap and go into a rage and go after us or Booker or Moose or whomever else was in the vicinity. It wasn't clear what would set her off. After several of these episodes over the weekend we realized we simply couldn't do it - we didn't have the skills and Booker and Moose were traumatized and that wasn't fair to them. But we knew that returning her meant she would have an uncertain future - especially having bitten a child already.

However, Ruby DID find a forever home as an only dog with a wonderful woman and we found Popcorn who clearly needed us desperately as well. I know Tampa Bay Beagle Rescue will find Sparky a forever home - and I hope that you will be able to open up your hearts to another rescue one day, too.
 

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I'm so sorry to hear about this, but you have done everything in your power to make him a part of your family and its just not working. He will find his forever home and you can atleast say you tried.

We had a german shephard that we had to give up as she would just snap for no reason. We went through the behavorist and trainer and nothing worked. We figured she is a one person dog and should be the only animal in the house. (at the time we had 3 cats, another german shephard and two small kids) It hurt at the time, but I can now look back and say we did the right thing for us and her....

Your in my prayers...
 

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Sorry to hear it. You weighed the safety of you and your pack members vs. Sparky. You ared doing what is best for all concerned.

Hopefully TBBR can work on the issue and find him a forever home.
 

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What a sorry state of affairs. You did all you could to give Sparky a good loving home. This boy must have something deeply ingrained in him, you gave it your best shot but alas its come to this. You are totally doing the right thing, maybe Sparky needs a home where he is the sole pet and the total centre of attention. Good luck on your new adventure Sparky.
 

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I'm so sorry to hear this. I know exactly how you feel. I had to return Kip earlier this year, we had, had her almost 5 years. I felt like I had let her down. But, like you, the attacks were getting more frequent and more severe. Plus, she would go after me to get to Murphy. I'm sure TBBR will find Sparky a new good home.

Rest assured you did the right thing. Don't be too hard on yourself. There is a home out there for Sparky.
 

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I have tears for you and Karen and for Sparky. I remember what a wild pup he was at our last BW get-together at Fort De Soto and it was obvious at that time that you and Karen loved him dearly. As others have said, you are definitely doing what is best for all of you. Sending gentle hugs!
 

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I'm so sorry for you and Sparky and your family. I have no doubt this was a very hard decision for you and I know you've tried everything and given Sparky all the love you have.

Take care.
 

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You have made the correct decision, however hard it is. I'm sure the dog centre will look for a home for him where he is the only pet. To put your mind at rest ask the centre to let you know once Sparky has been rehomed.
thinking of you
 

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Your post just about brought me to tears. It reminds me so much of a shepherd mix I had growing up. He had some fear anxiety/aggression that we tried for years to fix. We never figured out why he had the problems because we got him when he was only 8wks old. As he got older the aggression got worse and worse. He would snarl and bare his teeth over anything that was even remotely frightening to him. We tried trainers and vets and meds and nothing worked. For many years we dealt with it. Then he started getting possessive of one of the vehicles. If he was in it and you walked by he would act like a killer, lunging at the windows like he wanted to eat you. Then one day he was in the car and my dad was getting him out and he went nuts. My dad ended up with a pretty severe bite on his hand and more minor ones on his legs. It was the most heart wrenching decision but we finally decided to have him put down. We didn't think anyone would be able to deal with him or would want to, especially since the trainers we talked to were hesitant to work with him. He was almost 10 years old when the final attack happened. We were terrified he would go after one of the children in the neighborhood. It was the hardest thing my family had to do and I really understand the guilt feeling. But please don't beat yourself up, you have obviously given your heart and done everything you can for Sparky. I'm sure he will find a loving home!

You will be in my prayers and Sparky too!!
 

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Bruce,

please don't feel sad although I know it is difficult. You and Karen have done 1000 times more than most people who return dogs to us. Know that we will do everything in our power and Sparky will get a home. That is our promise to each and every one of them. Sometimes a dog just needs to be the only dog in the home. I'm sure we will find that for him.

Sending out a big {{{{{{{{{{HUG}}}}}}}}}}}}} for you, Karen and Sadie .....

Julie
 

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Bruce, I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes. You've done so much for Sparky and we all know that you really wanted this to work out. You had to do what was right for your entire family. I can only imagine how hard this is for you. I know enough about TBBR to know that they will make sure Sparky finds the right home. You'll all be in my thoughts...
 

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So sorry to hear that. Sparky needs professional attention that you can not provide. Perhaps he is happier later on when he is trained. Godspeed.
I can imagine Charlie being that way. He used to be very mean to Marlin when he was still with us. Would not ride or even walk along with Marlin. Very jealous. I do not think I can adopt or have another pet.
 

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Honest to goodness, you could do no more right by Sparky than what you are doing. You are so selfless and kind, and your family too, to release him to a place that he will be happy and thrive.

You walked the extra mile. You did everything you could. I know of the pain you feel about having a precious beagle that can not or will not integrate into the home/pack. You did nothing wrong, everything right, the circumstances just weren't the right ones for little Sparky.

And you know, he will have learned from you and your family, and that will manifest itself at some point. Perhaps he is more comfortable in a one-dog home. I don't know. But I DO know what it means to give your heart and soul to a precious animal and somehow that not be enough. For whatever reason. The universe knows more than we do. Bless you for your love for Sparky. You are doing the right thing by Sparky and your family. He will be fine. You all will be fine. Your decision is right. Hang on to that thought. All is well.
 
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