I have been taking Analaigh to the Montgomeryville BarkPark since she was inoculated enough to go. My baby girl is a pretty shy thing. She is so sweet and so timid. The first time she passed through that gate she submitted to the toy poodle greeter, Henry, then to her first violater, Jake. Since then she’s gained confidence and loves the park and her puppy friends. She has never met a dog she didn’t immediately figure out, except for one: Duchess, the bully.
Duchess started coming to our park last September. She was up for adoption through an animal rescue and living with a foster. She was introduced to us as a pitbull mix because of her blockhead and muscular build. The first day Duchess came into the park, she stalked and stared down Analaigh and then lit into her. It was the first time, I had seen Analaigh defend herself instead of submit. No one made much of it at the time because it’s a dog thing.
Within a month, Duchess had a prospective adopter except he wasn’t interested if she had any bit of pitbull in her. My thought was that her foster-mother should flat-out refuse to let her go to anyone with such a stipulation. Instead, Duchess became a “corgie mix” because she had pointed ears and short legs. I began to think this might not go well.
Since this rocky beginning, Duchess has been in an altercation with a dog every single time she has come to the dogpark. A few months ago, there was an altercation (shocker!) and someone breaking it up got bit by Duchess and went to the hospital for stitches. Duchess was back to the park that evening. The response of her foster-mother? “Duchess plays rough, the other dogs just don’t know what to make of her.” Really? Dogs, who read each other by sniffing the essence of butts, somehow can’t figure it out? I call bullshit.
The foster-mother has been talked to a lot about Duchess’s behavior and aggressive nature. Every time, we are met with another excuse as to why the altercation was not Duchess’s fault.
Duchess isn’t a bad dog but she needs help. How can she get it if her caretaker refuses to acknowledge that there is a problem? Who is trusting this woman with the care and placement of this dog when she refuses to accept and chooses to remain blind to a potential threat of safety?
Duchess was just adopted by her foster-mother due to policy changes at her housing development – so at least, we don’t have to worry about Duchess quietly passed off as “enthusiastic” to some unsuspecting person . But now, the chances of her getting help are even worse than before. There was another fight yesterday. Henry’s dad (the toy poodle greeter) suggested Duchess not come to the park when dogs are around since they just don’t play well together. Nothing changed. The fight wasn’t Duchess’s fault. She just plays rough. Dogs just don’t understand.
I’m at my wit’s end but I’m not sure what I can do.