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Zoe's Dad
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It has been an extremely difficult couple of months with Zoe. When times are good they are absolutely terrific, but after consulting a number of dog behaviorists and trainers we have concluded that we can no longer keep her. She has bitten us both several times, drawing blood on each occasion. We were willing to put up with a lot, but have come to the difficult conclusion that she is just unsafe and should be given back to the rescue organization.

It has been a very difficult situation since we have become so attached to her. I know some of you have had great success with Cairn Rescues and wish you all the best. This entire situation is a cautionary tail for both the rescue organizations and people who hope to rescue a cairn that a temperament test and a foster environment that will mimic the new home's environment are crucial to a successful rescue.

Thank you for all of those who contacted me over the weeks through e-mail and the forum about our situation with Zoe. This is one of the most difficult decisions ever.

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I am so sorry that you had to make such a difficult decision but you really had no choice. I understand your pain and sadness right now but what else could you have done...nothing!

You didn't give up but gave it your all so please, find comfort in that.

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Thanks so much Kayharley. It's difficult because some in the rescue group make it seem as if it's our fault but we finally came to the realization that we have no real choice.

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I am so sorry for your news. I have a couple of rescue dogs too, and love them very much, but it does not always work. After all your efforts, when Zoe could not stop biting and drawing blood, you DIDN't have any choice. Good for you for everything you did, and I am sorry for your sadness in having to return her.

pam

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I'm sorry this has happened to your family, and also sorry that the rescue group is making you feel like it's your fault. Shame on them! I think you did all you could for Zoe, and I hope this is a wake up call to the rescue group in trying to get more info on the dogs before they are placed in another home. ((hugs))

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I'm very sorry that you have gone through all of this. What a shame that the rescue group was so unfeeling. You know in your heart you did everything possible and you made the right decision in the end.

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When we place a dog, we always try to make it as clear as we can that we'll take the dog back at any time for whatever reason, no questions asked. There doesn't even have to be a reason, or it can be as simple as the dog just not being the right match. Being judgmental doesn't get anyone anywhere. I also find it hard to imagine that we'd blame the adoptive home for the dog biting.

When we take a dog into rescue, we place it in a foster home for a minimum of 2-3 weeks, it usually ends up being at least twice as long. We encourage our foster homes to treat their foster dog just like a member of the family, to the extent possible, for the very reason that we need to know how the dog is going to act in a real life situation.

If we had a dog that bit in its foster home, we would not place that dog, although I don't know if that was the case with Zoe. I really do give you credit for being so committed to her. Most people would not have worked as hard with her as you have. I hope things turn out well for her and for you.

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Zoe's Dad,

Please don't be too hard on yourself regarding Zoe. I have said this before on other posts of this nature, that you and your family's safety MUST be your number one priority! As much as we adore our dogs and would do anything in the world for them, they are still dogs, not people and we must keep that fact in perspective. You gave it your best shot, and that's all you can do. If you feel the safety of your family is still at risk, then you are making a wise and sensible decision to give her back to the rescue group. I could never live with myself if I had a dog that was extremely aggressive and it bit my child in the face and caused permanent damage to her. Especially if I could have prevented it by rehoming the dog, knowing it was a problem that I couldn't solve.

I would not worry about Zoe. Rescue groups take good care of their dogs, so she will be cared for. And maybe there is a special owner out there that knows just how to handle her personality and can give the staggering amount of time and committment it would take to train her. But it is NOT YOUR FAULT that you couldn' do it. I could'nt do it either, no way. By rehoming Zoe, you are doing the best thing for her, AND your family.

Such a tough situation......But I think you are making the right decision.

Good luck and God bless....

All creatures great and small, the Lord God, He made them all!

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Just wanted to say that I am sorry for your very difficult situation. I just viewed the photos (139) you had linked and I could clearly see that Zoe was very much loved and so welcomed to your home. Please be proud of yourself for being willing to take on such a challenge and give her such a chance for success. Seems that so often, the challenge of a rescue dog is undoing the wrongs of the origianl owner, possibly to no avail but not without your falling in love with the rescued dog. I feel for your saddness in coming to this decision and I pray you find comfort in knowing you gave it your all. Peace to you, your family and Zoe. Linda

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I am so sorry it didn't work out for your family and Zoe. At least you had a safe

place you could return her to...where she still has a chance at a happy home.

You did the best you could do.

Max and Nelly
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I am truly sorry that you had to make this very difficult descision. Unfortunately there we are seeing an increase in very poor Cairn temperments out there in rescue. Another reason to breed responsibly. I wish your family the best in healing from this sad time. And that Zoe is able to find a home.

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I am so very sorry to hear of your news. I'm sure it was the worst and most difficult decision to make. I'm sure you're doing the best thing for both your family and for Zoe. Take care.

Kate, Darcy & Bailey's mom
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Perhaps we've been lucky, but we are NOT seeing an increase in poor temperaments among rescue cairns. Rescue cairns can come with baggage, but fortunately, at least in our experience, poor temperaments are few and far between. Cairns are very resilient, and most seem to recover well from any trauma they have experienced. I'll be the first to support responsible breeding, but since rescue is a necessary evil, adopting a rescue can be very rewarding. Some require more careful evaluation and rehabilitation than others, and it sounds as if Zoe is one of those. Rescue cairns like Zoe are the exception though, at least in our experience.

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Just curious, where abouts is Zoe located.....just by chance I was chatting with a Senior at our local dog park. He's had Carin's before, and Westies. I'm in San Diego ! How is Zoe with cats ?

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I'm so sorry to see you have given Zoe back, it must have been a hard decision to make. You've tried so hard to include her in your family but sadly it wasn't to be.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry - haven't checked the forum in a week or so but was so sad to hear your news about Zoe. I had seen your photos too...no doubt this must have been so very hard for you - I can't begin to imagine. I had been keeping an eye out for you at the dog park.....You must have been so torn....

I wish I had some magic feel good words to say - but, I don't. I just so sorry that things didn't work out.

Best wishes to you and to Zoe.

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