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A Dreadful Drama.

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Let me warn you first: this is not for sensitive readers, I do, however, for people who can manage to read this and are knowledgeable enough, wish to ask for some advice.


We have four labradors, a couple (male/female) of black labradors, 6 and 4 years old respectively, and then two male labrador pups (if I can still call them that), a chocolate and a golden labrador who will be one year old on Wednesday 31 October (Halloween).

Both are sons of the couple of labradors.


We also have (or maybe I should say "had") four cats, one three year old black spayed female, which is the mother of a male neutered and female spayed black cat, and we further have a seven year old ginger and white neutered male cat.


Now back to what happened today: I had just started eating my lunch, and the dogs were in the kitchen, so Nanna decided to (as we usually do) let them out in the garden for a little while.


However, all of a sudden I hear Nanna screaming in the garden, and when I look out of the window i see her hitting one of the dogs with a folded up garden chair, something which is very unusual for her, hitting the animals, let alone hitting them with a piece of furniture.


Because I noticed something serious was going on, I run into the garden too and I hear her screaming "They have killed Ebony" (Ebony is the black mother cat).


Before, when I ran into the garden, I had not noticed yet, but I saw the dogs were dragging something around like a rag doll, and at the moment I want to have a look at Ebony, one of the puppies grabs her into his mouth and runs inside the house with her, but he eventually drops her in the hallway.


At that moment I can clearly see poor Ebony is dead, although there is not a speck of blood on her, so I assume they must have broken her neck.


Although I have quite a tough nature and although I have seen a lot of horror in my life and although I used to work for a vet, this is a dreadful sight for me, especially given my very ill health I am suffering from at the moment.


I think I just stood there shaking for about five minutes, I must probably have gone into a state of shock, and later, I tried to have a bit of a nap, but I could barely sleep.


I don't know how it could happen, but the poor cat never stood a chance, and I wonder how she did not manage to get away, as, normally, when any of the cats hear the dogs coming into the garden, they run off like greased lightning.

Or maybe, the cat was stopped, as we have some fencing panels in our garden, waiting to be put on, and it was quite windy earlier today, and some of the panels had blown over, Nanna was going to put them against the fence again while letting the dogs out, did the panel maybe fall on Ebony and stop her from running (although it is only made of very light wood)? I have no idea, as normally, the cats are a lot faster than the dogs.


Now for the advice I want to ask: I am now (obviously) very concerned after what happened, as it is not unheard of that dogs who do such a thing once, are quite likely to do it again.


I also have two granddaughters, two and nearly five years old, and a baby grandson who is now just over a month old.

My oldest granddaughter is coming to stay with us on Monday to spend her half term holiday and Halloween with us, and maybe the youngest granddaughter might come to spend Halloween with us too, so, obviously, my worry is: if those dogs could do it to a cat, what is to stop them doing it to a little child or even a baby when your back is turned for a second?


That is why we thought to ring the RSPCA and ask them to come and take all four dogs away, a very painful decision, I know, but I do not think we should take any chances. (Wonder if they would try to give them a new home or destroy them after what they have done).


I hope someone can offer some useful advice, as I am feeling awful at the moment, and, as if my health was not bad enough as it is, this has made things even worse, i already have heart problems and am on anti-depressants as it is, so this is obviously not going to help.


I hope I have not shocked the readers too much, and I wish to thank everyone who has some advice to offer in advance.

Edited by mrdee (see edit history)

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I am sorry about what happened to the cat. The dogs were simply behaving as dogs.One approach you might consider is looking for a Dog Trainer in your area who could work with the dogs to have them not chase the cats, but this may not help with the children.If you have concerns still, take the steps necessary , ie: keep the dogs from the children. Possibly the dogs need a secure Dog run built for them?

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Sorry you had to witness this. But as jlhaslip said, it is pretty much dogs being dogs. However, the first thing I want to say is that there is a great deal of difference between a cat and a child. Not only to our minds, but the mind of a dog also. Just because a dog would kill a cat, there is no reason whatsoever to think it might do the same to a child. You have labs, they are natural hunting dogs and it is bred into them to help mankind find food. There are a couple of things coming into play here you might not be aware of. I noticed you mentioned it was a windy day. I have noticed that dogs do not like windy days, it makes them anxious, and quite cranky. I see way more fighting and other bad behaviour on windy days than I do on pretty sunny days, or even cold damp rainy days, just as long as it is not windy. Never have really understood why, but it's an observation I have seen time and time again. Another thing is you have 2 young dogs that are just what we would call, coming of age. At nearly a year of age, they reaching sexual maturity and so there may be some issues of changing domint roles in your "pack." Just like a teenager who begins to rebell against the authority of their parents, juvinile dogs go threw much the same thing as they mature. This is all very bad timing of course, with you being sick and all. You sure didn't need the aggrivation. I feel pretty safe in saying that if your main concern is the children coming into the home, you really don't have a single thing to worry about, if that makes you feel better, and I hope it does. I can't however guarantee they won't kill a cat again. But they might not even ever do that again, getting warped with lawn furnature is a pretty good detriment to bad behaviour. I do hope you are feeling better.

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First of all, I would like to thank Jim and Sheepdog for their kind advice.

I, of course suspected there was a difference in a dog's mind between a cat and a child, but, my last bit of doubt in my mind was, with dogs being close relatives of wolves, once they have smelled and tasted blood (only an expression in this case, as here was no blood involved) they are ready (and even willing) to kill again.


However, yes, it is true, labs are hunters, especially the golden ones, why else would they call them retrievers?


They are, however, known as a breed that are good family dogs, because they are good with children, and I must say they, especially the puppies, love my grandchildren.

It even clearly shows now that my oldest granddaughter is staying with her, the dogs are showing her a great deal of love and affection.


We are, however, very careful now where the cats are concerned, Nanna always checks the hallway now before letting the dogs out of the sitting room, as two of the three cats we have left have a habit to lie on the stair carpet, and although cats are fast and smart animals which could outrn and outsmart dogs at any time, we do not want to take any more chances.

Poor Ebony did not make it to get away from them neither.


Anyway, thank you for the good advice, and also the good wishes, but where my health is concerned, I am afraid I have a very long way to go.


Thank you again, and if other friends feel like adding to this topic, please feel free to do so.

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I hope things are settling down for you at home and there have been no more muderous accidents. Even the best of dogs can try our patience sometimes. Fortunatly, 99% of the time the good we get from our pets far outweighs the troubles. I do hope you are feeling better too. I know we have never met and probably never will get to, but from all the posts you've written I feel like I really do know you and think your a pretty good guy.

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