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Saga of Oreo – Sad Goodbye

Last week I posted that Oreo had completely destroyed the carpet in our master bedroom after breaking out of a very heavy duty metal kennel.  Well here’s the whole story and what we’ve been up to recently.

Adopted Oreo March 25th

As I posted, we welcomed Oreo into the family on Sunday, March 25th.  She was completely calm, sweet, and loved hanging out with Mr. BFS.  She and our Pug fought for the first evening, but everything calmed down by Monday.  Since she could climb the baby gates we use in the kitchen for Mr. Pug, she slept in her doggy bed in the upstairs guest bathroom.  That worked great Sunday and Monday night.

Since she seemed to be doing really well like that, we left her in the upstairs guest bathroom while we left for poker night Tuesday evening.  Four hours later, we got back and found out that she had chewed on the towel rack above the toilet and eaten through the interior door trim on both sides of the door.  Crap.

Interior Trim Damage

Kennel Attempts

Okay, so now we knew what the HSPCA meant about separation anxiety.  That said, we had a heavy duty plastic kennel that we used for our 90 pound lab about 4 years ago.  Since we were going to see The Hunger Games with friends on Wednesday morning, we put that kennel in the guest bathroom with her doggy bed in it, and placed Mr. Pug and Miss Doxie in the bathroom too to keep her company.

Well, we got home 4 hours later and there was a small hole eaten out on the side of the kennel and Oreo was out with Mr. Pug and Miss Doxie.  There were a few more bites taken out of the trim and a little one on the wall.  Oreo coughed a little but we made sure we found every single piece of the kennel that was missing so we were sure she wasn’t choking.

Plastic Kennel

Okay, so plastic doesn’t work.  Mr. BFS picked up one of those black metal wire travel kennels Wednesday evening.  We placed that downstairs Wednesday night with her bed inside again, but she literally popped the sucker open in less than 20 minutes and ended up sleeping upstairs.

Now Comes the Pneumonia

At this point, we were freaking out a bit.  We knew we had our bowling league Thursday evening for 3-4 hours, so I looked around online to find a heavier duty kennel that should hold up to everything from pitbulls to a small Bull Mastiff.  I found a great, screw together, metal one that looked like it fit the bill.  But while I picked it up from the other side of town, Oreo’s little cough from Wednesday turned into a big hacking cough so Mr. BFS took her into the vet again that did her basic checkup on Tuesday.

After some tests and a few false guesses, they figured out that Oreo had pneumonia and kept her Thursday night to give her a few nebulization treatments of some antibiotics.  We also saw on the xray that Oreo had been shot at by a BB Gun before enough times that one was lodged in her back.  It wasn’t a medical problem, but it said a lot about her sad past.

By Friday afternoon, they sent her home with 6 different medications after 5 nebulization treatments.  Two were antibiotics for the pneumonia, one was for her stomach, and 3 were anti-anxiety meds and sedatives since the vet had seen her separation anxiety up close and personal.  She also sent home a bunch of paperwork explaining how to start kennel training a dog and slowly desensitize it from separation anxiety.

We started the training regimen Saturday and continued through Tuesday evening.   We tested her for 5 minute, 10 minute, and 30 minute increments over and over.  She even spent the whole night in her new kennel Monday night with the help of the sedatives and the fact we were in the room.

The Ultimate Destruction

Since she seemed to be coming along so well, we decided to try out the new kennel along with sedatives for poker night last Tuesday, April 1st.  We gave her the maximum double dose as prescribed 20 minutes before we headed out and she walked into the kennel.  We left on the radio and the kennel was in our room like it was the night before.

When we got home 4 hours later, we saw this at the top of the stairs.

Runs in the Carpet

Yep, that is our Berber carpet with runs in it like pantyhose for a good 3-4 feet.  We knew we didn’t want to open the door, but we sucked it up and saw this.

Inside the Door

That is a big ball of ruined carpet, shredded carpet padding, and the white part is our subfloor.  Everything that was on my dresser or my jewelry armoir was on the floor in a pile with the destroyed carpet.  Further investigation showed that she had scratched up the top of my jewelry case and drawers a little with her paws…she was literally on top of them.  Then we found that she tore up another corner of carpet just a little, chewed on this interior door frame trim too, and ruined the bottom of our bedroom blinds.

After Cleanup

She had literally pulled off a couple of the metal kennel’s bars…

Metal Kennel

Returning Oreo

Since we had run out of ideas for anything to keep Oreo in while we are out the couple of times a week we leave, we drove Oreo back to the HSPCA Thursday morning.  We just couldn’t come up with ideas to keep her and our home safe while away.  And I was already having nightmares about what she could do to other people’s homes if they were kind enough to watch her for us while we are out and then had to leave for some reason.

The volunteer that had us fill out the return paperwork acted like we were just whiny.  She didn’t actually look at the photos and blew off my description with “she’s a rescue”, like that explained it all.  Our other two dogs are rescues too…what BS.  So I upped the ante, explained the entire situation including the fact that we work from home and she was never kenneled for more than 4 hours, and I explained that she could call the vet on file to get a professional’s point of view.  I left crying from some guilt and angrier than I have been in a long time.

The original owner of Oreo should hope to whatever he/she believes in that they never meet me.   If I ever meet the person that shot her with BB’s and damaged her so badly that she couldn’t be alone, I would have to be restrained.  As bad as I feel, I just can’t come to any conclusion that would have meant Oreo could stay with us.

More Pneumonia

The last bit of this saga is that even though Oreo is no longer in our home, Mr. Pug and Miss Doxie contracted the not-easily-contractable pneumonia strain.  They are both on antibiotics now and recovering but they sound awful.  We are hand feeding them to keep up their calorie intake.  It has not been fun.

Overall Cost

In the last 2-3 weeks, here is the my best rundown of our expenses:

  • Adoption Fee plus Small Donation – $20
  • Dog Food (35 pounds) – $40
  • Dog Bed (yes, now washed and adopted by Miss Doxie) – $35
  • Harness – $10
  • Toys – $10
  • Non-skid food bowl – $5
  • Vet Visit for Checkup – $0 thanks to the one free visit you get from the HSPCA with an adoption
  • Vet Visit for the Pneumonia – $596 (the HSPCA covered 25% after also covering the first $500, but that still left us with this bill)
  • Interior Door Frame (estimate) – $70
  • Other Interior Door Frame Trim (estimate) – $70
  • Metal Crate off of Craigslist – $85
  • Vet visit so far for pneumonia for other two dogs – $175
  • New Carpet – $1760

So, our grand total has come to about $2876.  That truly sucks.  And we actually got a great deal on the new carpet that is being installed this Wednesday, but I will cover that in a different post.

Anyway, goodbye Oreo.  Sorry it ended the way it did.

And before anyone asks, yes, I still think pet ownership is worth it.  I truly wish this didn’t happen, but I know we will adopt another dog in the future.  I also know that I will continue to stress that pets can be extremely expensive, so please take that into account before getting a furry cutie.  We had money set aside for something like this (well, I thought it would be for vets, not carpet and trims, but at least it was there…) and I would suggest that for anyone with pets.

FYI:  I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year.  I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $70,000-$90,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home.  If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!).  Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!
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31 thoughts on “Saga of Oreo – Sad Goodbye

  1. Wow that’s crazy. I’m sad that you had to give her back, but I think dogs should have a test run with families before they go to them. Not all dogs are meant for all families.

  2. Its unfortunate but some dogs are meant to be outside animals. Its a shame you have to give her back but at some point you have to do whats in your families best interest. That is a lot of damage in such a short period – they didn’t tell you she had chewing issues?

  3. Our current dog had serious separation issues at first (she was a rescue too). One time, we came home and found most of our plastic blinds ripped off the window and chewed up. Another time, the linoleum floor next to the front door was completely ripped up. It’s tough to see that and a. not get mad or b. be at a loss for how to help your dog.

    Anyway, I would have done the same thing in your extreme situation. I’m sure there will be a person or family that will be a better fit for her long-term.

  4. OMG. I would have taken the dog back too! Although, I probably wouldn’t have waited until the 3rd time – I would have gone crazy by the 2nd.

    I think it’s wonderful to adopt dogs, but I’ve shied away. My mom has had a few and a couple of close friends of mine have adopted dogs and they all have come with some fairly major issues (anxiety, etc).

  5. We have adopted three dogs and you never know what you will get. Our current dog is great, but hated to be locked up. He had some anxiety too when my wife would leave. It passed though. He was not as destructive though. It is a tough call.

  6. Wow is all I can say. I hate that you had to return him but I think you made the right decision considering all the damage he did to your house. You did everything possible to keep him but sometimes things just don’t work out. At least you still have Mr. Pugs…he’s a cutie.

  7. Oh my, that’s terrible. I agree though – you did the right thing. We’re not “pet people” mostly because we can’t give them the attention they need. Someday I’d like a dog though – maybe once we move out of the city. Having a dog in an apartment doesn’t seem fair to them.

  8. I feel so terrible for both you and Oreo. I think you did everything you could have possibly done and that volunteer should have realized it. I would love to have a dog but right now I won’t adopt one–we need our yard fenced in first. Instead we stick with our cat who tends to rule the house anyways.

  9. That is some carnage indeed. I’m so sorry that it’s been so emotional and costly for you. My cousin bought a swearing parrot once, but the worst thing it did was throw the F bomb your way as you walked by. It didn’t actually destroy anything. Poor you. I’m glad you came to the decision before anything else was damaged. I’m sure it was very tough.

  10. @Callme, I couldn’t believe it either…it was shocking. I am glad we had the money too even if this is not how I wanted to use it…

    @Michelle, so true.

    @Thomas, we tried leaving her outside for the 20 minutes it took to clean up her first mess with the interior door frames, but she dug out of the yard and we found her 3 house down when we came down to check on her. And that was in 20 minutes. No, they said she had mild separation anxiety and shouldn’t be kenneled for more than 8 hours a day…ha!

    @Fig, me too.

    @Wojo, I hope so.

    @WorkSaveLive, yeah, the interior door frames should have been a clue, but I really thought this last metal cage was going to be exactly what we needed while training her.

    I don’t think it’s all rescue dogs – our other two dogs are both rescues, one from the same HSPCA and one from Pughearts, and they are awesome (well, the Pug has major allergies, but that is most Pugs, not just rescues, lol).

    @krantcents, yeah, dogs are just as unique as people, you never know how it will behave…

    @Aloysa, I just went and looked at the pictures again…it’s overwhelming. But I took some more “before” photos today and will take some “after” photos once the new carpet is intalled…that should be a happier post.

    @John, not all dogs are destructive. 🙂 We adopted Miss Doxie in 2005 at age 7 and she is 14 now and has never destroyed anything but trash. Thanks for the sympathy though. 🙂

    @Alunda, yeah, Mr. Pug is recovering well. 🙂

    @Nick, Miss Doxie was an excellent apartment dog – middle age dachshunds are a bit like cats – they are good whether you are there or not, lol. But I do understand waiting.

    @bogofdebt, ah, cats. They allow you to live with them. 🙂

    @First Gen, LMBO!!! Even Mr. BFS laughed at the swearing parrot…

    @Jenna, hopefully. 🙂

  11. I’m so sorry it ended this way, but in the end, you had to do what was right for you. We adopted a puppy who had been abused, and for her entire life, every time I raised my voice (she’d be abused by a woman), she peed on our floor. It didn’t matter if all I was doing was calling for my kids or yelling downstairs to get hubby’s attention, she peed. Frustrating, but we could deal with it.

    Pet ownership can provide great joy, but like kids, they are expensive and a lot of work, and it doesn’t always work out the way you think it will.

  12. I’m so sorry that it didn’t work out for you and Oreo. Some dogs are just not adoptable, unfortunately, based on their past treatment, I guess. My Oliver still has separation anxiety even after 3 years, but he has adapted well to crate training and stays in a locked (large) crate while I’m gone. He destroyed several sets of mini-blinds in the few times I left him loose in the house while I was gone.

    I think you went above and beyond in your attempts to integrate Oreo into your household, and I don’t appreciate the attitude the volunteer at the shelter gave you. Don’t feel guilty about returning Oreao, sometimes these things happen.

  13. Our family went through a similar event many years ago. It was one of the most difficult things we ever did as a family. I remember standing in the street crying as the breeder drove away. We still have the good memories with Dylan, it just wasn’t going to work out though.

  14. You know I’m a total pet person, but I think you made the right decision. I do think you should have asked the shelter volunteer if you could speak to one of the actual staff, though. They need to know that Oreo has severe separation anxiety and will likely need to go into a foster home that can focus on that before she can successfully be adopted out.
    I understand the guilt and the anger, and all I can say is that you made the right decision for your family, and that is the best you can do.

  15. I’m truly sorry for all your strife with Oreo. Sounds like you accepted who he was, tried really hard to create a safe and loving home, but the traumas he experienced were too much. Pray he’ll find the owner who can be with him all the time. Good luck with your house.

  16. This is so sad. My dog is currently not doing well and it’s costing me a fortune. I have been scared they will call and tell me she needs surgery. I know you probably feel bad, but this pet was not a good fit for your home. You did what’s best for you, your husband and your other pets.

  17. I’m shure you did what was right for your family, Im sorry the volunteer judged your situation. Being a pet owner, rescue dogs come with issue. One of mine came came with manage, 6 months later and thousands in vet bills he was healed and a different personality. We thought about taken him back several times even called his foster mom, twice. 3 years later and lots love, he is a good watch dog. Im sorry for your experience. I hope you try again for snother furbaby.

  18. Crystal, you should have saw my face as I was reading this post. It went from 🙂 when I saw you adopted another dog to :O when I saw the destruction Oreo caused, to 🙁 when I read that the person at HSCPA judged you for returning Oreo. There’s no way she could have looked at those pictures and not understood what you went through and why Oreo wasn’t a good fit for you and Mr. BFS.

    We had some issues with Frankie when we first got him. He also had separation anxiety and caused a little damage to the carpet in our guest room (good thing the landlord didn’t notice!) He’s also been adjusting to life after moving back in with my folks, so there were weeks where I was trying to figure out what the next step was (should I keep him or rehome him).

    I’ve now had Frankie for almost 1 year now. It has not been an easy road, and I’ve been thankful that the most expensive things for him have been his routine shots, some allergy medicine in the beginning, and getting him neutered. I was a little upset when I got some judgmental comments about wanting to give him back or find a new home for him, but when things get rough, you have to do what you have to do.

    I love dogs so much, and Frankie’s such an awesome dog in general. Poor Oreo had a rough run. No worries and best of luck with the repairs.

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