Sunday, January 13, 2013


We suffered some casualties during the Great Accidental Move.

Those of you who read along regularly know that before our big shift we had two dogs of varying loveliness. (Archibald the delightful eternal puppy, and Panzer the hell-hound. You can read about Panzer's adventures here and here.) We also had two extremely large goldfish. I'm pretty sure that (if  he had entertained the thought) the enormous gold fish could have climbed clean out of the tank and strolled off, evolving, down the road.

However, we are now short two fish and a dog.

The fish first - we tried to move them, transferring them to an occasionally lidded bucket, stopping their food and generally following all and any directions we could find online about moving fish. It was a disaster. The black fish didn't last the night, and goldy wasn't far behind, splashing off our mortal coil soon after.

Of course I hoped that was the end of the losses, but the biggest was yet to come.

We're down a dog. Panzer to be precise.

She's not dead, just... relocated.

She was always a little different. As a puppy, she was abnormally psychotic, chewing and bouncing her bulk around with the best (or worst) of them. I was exceptionally glad when she started to outgrow her energetic ways, but unfortunately she then developed what can only be described as "violent tendencies". She was wonderful with the immediate family, but would chase and growl and bite at anybody and anything that came near us. Including my great aunt, an unsuspecting German backpacker, all children, and any dog smaller than her. She had issues.

We tried. Oh, how we tried. Endlessly. Exhaustingly. Expensively. Including professional training in home, then three weeks of residential training with one of the state's best trainers. He could fix police dogs, rescue dogs and other problem animals, but he was lost with our Pan.

It was becoming increasingly obvious we couldn't keep her. The new house had no spare backyard to hide her when little friends came over, and the dog park was full of small fluffy Pan-bait. We were 24 hours from a date with the RSPCA, and since she clearly going to fail the initial re-home-able personality test, she was 24 hours away from a date with death. We were beside ourselves. I even tried calling friends who might take her in the Northern Territory, hoping her particular brand of crazy would be more socially acceptable in the land of pig dogs and anarchy. No luck.

Finally, as a last ditch effort, I called the breeder. And even though Pan was desexed, that wonderful lady agreed to have her back. Panzer was heading off to a family that would love her as much as we did, full of her-kind-of-dog, back to her mum and dad, brothers and sisters, with plenty of space to run and play. It was an enormous relief. 

And now she's gone, our house is so much calmer. The children are confident running down the hall or playing on the floor without being blindsided by a boisterous, heavy playmate. Our visitors can move around the house as they please, without being trapped on the couch at Panzer's discretion. And we can take Archibald to the park without fear of bodily injury and a lawsuit.

In fact, Archie's life has improved considerably. Panzer dominated him terribly, to the point he barely ventured from his corner and knew if he asked for a pat, it would come with a side of dogfight. It's taken him a week to come back out of his shell, but he's clearly far more confident and happy. We all are.

But I do miss Pan.


  1. oh wow, how lucky that the breeder took the dog back, just shows that it was a good place to get a dog, they must love their dogs to bits...which is so good to hear these days of breeders....

  2. sorry to hear. We have the related-by-spirit Ben-girl Twelve here in South Africa. And my sis had to give away her beautiful Irish terrier after having a baby.
    That happens. You'll enjoy the good memories later.
    (We still have a stuffed toy Boxer called Sasha...bought in Aus after a temporary move there, for which we had to put down Sasha Bardot, the original Untamed One).

  3. Gosh, that sucks. Some dogs are just like that, though. At least you can take comfort in knowing that you tried EVERYTHING and that it wasn't you, it was Panzer. And he's off to a good home where he can be happy - some dogs just aren't suited to certain environments.

  4. I know how incredibly difficult that can be--our dog was perfect within our family, but there were some problems with him protecting us from other people (that we didn't need protection from). It resulted in us having to give him back as well, and I haven't really ever gotten over it. It sounds like this decision was best for all involved, and I'm glad it turned out well.