Fella – sweet dachshund boy with fear aggression

One of our most challenging fosters has been Fella. He has been with us for more than 2 years now. Fella was purchased as a puppy as a gift for an older couple. He was the man’s companion, but never really received much training. When the man died, his wife was unable to deal with either having Fella around, or finding another home for him.

She put him in the garage, where he remained for four years, alone, and in the dark.

Finally the issue was forced when the wife’s adult children had to find a new place for their mom to live. Something had to be done about Fella. They found me and after a lot of email decided to surrender him. I met them at Perimeter Mall. The daughter was in the car and the mom. The mom didn’t get out of the car, or look at me, or say anything. Fella was in a very old, dirty carrier in the back seat that was being held together somehow with two screwdrivers. It sounded like the Tasmanian devil was in there…he was snarling and growling and barking and the entire carrier was shaking. With much hesitation, I put the carrier in my car. The lady did not make a donation, even though she knew it would cost us a lot of money to catch him up on Fella’s vetting. (When that happens, I just remind myself, “It’s about the dog, not the people.”)

At one point when we’d had Fella about a year, he attacked me and bit my hand 19 times. One of the bites went through my thumbnail.

Fella has been through a lot with us…behavioral training, drugs, and mostly a lot of time and stability. He is a loving boy now but will always have some issues. He cannot be picked up; he will bite. But if we let him have his quiet life, he is happy and just wants to sit on a lap once in a while.

A struggle for me is that Fella takes up a foster space that could have been used to save many other dogs. But when I look into his face and see love there, I don’t know what other choices I could have made. We love him and he will probably live out his life with us.

That is a huge challenge in rescue….the constant lack of space (not to mention money). There are just so many dogs out there.

When Fella sees me pick up his favorite brush, he runs to me, rolls over on his back, and cries.


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