I surrender

The call came at about 6:45 this morning; Super was in the live trap we’d left in our neighbors’ yard. We went down to get him out, and hooked him up to our leash.

Which he bit halfway through, immediately.

The neighbor brought out a steel-corded run line for us to put him on, and I was able to walk him back down the street to our house. I got him into the garage. Up to the door. Halfway inside.

And then he slipped out of his collar and was gone.

I officially admit defeat. We’ve reset the trap and put in calls to both Animal Control and the rescue. Assuming we are able to capture him again, he’s going back. I’m sure someone can rehabilitate him, but it’s not us.

Why am I so sad about this stupid, infuriating dog??


  1. Kathy

    I am so sorry. I was hoping for a happier ending for you and your family. But, better that you found out now than a few months from now. Hang in there.

  2. Jen

    Because you’re a good-hearted woman who had hope. That’s hard. The dog for you is out there, though!

  3. Fran

    I’m sorry – he really was a cute dog. In spite of his Hudini act, you know he could have been a secure happy dog in your home and he just didn’t give you a chance to help him. It’s sad that he is that far gone and it was never his “fault”.

  4. diane


    It’s difficult for us to imagine an animal who’s so afraid of people that he runs from a family who is so very ready to shower him with love, affection and a safe home.

  5. Kailani

    That is soooo hard. I know that you will find the right dog that will choose you back.
    And hopefully Super will find a family he chooses to love, too. Hang in there!!

  6. Sheila

    It’s hard knowing that everything you’ve got still isn’t enough for this poor anxious dog.

  7. pam

    Oh that breaks my heart. I’m sitting here boo-hooin about a dog I didn’t even know.

  8. Em

    Thats why they give you the fostering time though. It’s very sad but you did everything you could do, everything you should have done. Sad for Super that he doesn’t know how good he would have had it but it wasn’t any kind of failure. You spent the time learning whether he was a good fit for your family and being that your family doesn’t roam suburban Georgia neighborhoods all night escaping capture, the answer is no – not a good fit at all. Maybe he’ll find a nice family with acres and acres of fenced roaminess and you all will find a nice dog that appreciates photography and sales and pokemon and vegtables. When you find the right dog, it will be great.

  9. Megumi

    I think that both you and Super are going to go on to find the ‘right fit’, but am so very sorry that you have to go through so much heartache first.

  10. bob

    “Why am I so sad about this stupid, infuriating dog??”

    Why ask rhetorical questions?

    I’m sorry. The right dog for you and your family will come along.

  11. Summer

    It is sad. It’s sad that Super can’t see that all you want is to love him and care for him, and it’s even sadder to think that he is so emotionally damaged because of how he’s been treated by other people.

    It’s hard to fix a broken dog. Please don’t think for a moment that any of this is because of something YOU did. Someone else broke this dog’s heart and spirit. Not you.

  12. Julie

    You are sad because you were trying to do right by Super. You’ve done all you can, don’t let him get you down. The right dog is out there for you guys. Super was hurt long before he ever came to your family, it was not anything that you have done, remember that!

  13. RuthWells

    Oh hell. I’m so sorry.

  14. hollygee

    I’m so sad for you and for him. You all missed out. Dang!

  15. Karishma

    Oh no. I am so so sorry. Don’t feel so defeated… some idiot in this world broke that poor dog’s sense of trust, beyond what can be repaired. He needs so much help, and probably at a professional level. You will find a dog that is perfect for your family, I’m sure of it.

  16. Beth

    Oh, I’m so sorry. It makes me want to track down the people who had him before and slap them around.

  17. Alison C

    I’m sad for you and Super too

  18. Amelia

    “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” –unknown

    Sending hugs your way…and Super’s, too.

  19. JennyM

    I guess because we want dogs to understand that we have their best interests at heart and to trust us, and sometimes they just don’t understand that — especially with regard to those of us poor mortals who aren’t The Dog Whisperer. And having your trust and efforts rejected still hurts, even if its “just a dog.” Well, crap — I’m sad for you guys, but you guys deserve a good dog that fits well with you, and Super deserves a family that he fits with, and that’s why they do the fostering period. Good luck to all of you…

  20. Leandra

    You’re sad because he doesn’t know what’s good for him!! Darn dog!

    You know what? You tried. And that’s the best you can do. This dog is obviously not the right one for you (way to point out the obvious there, Leandra). But you know what? The right dog IS out there. And you will find him or her. And when you do, it will be awesome.

  21. Half Assed Kitchen

    He sounds like he might make a good farm dog.

  22. Aimee

    I’m sorry. I hope that you and Super both find the right match.

  23. getsheila

    Did they warn you about him at all? It sounds like they did not. At least now you can give a full report of his behavior when you take him back so they can warn the next foster parent that he is a special needs dog and how that manifests.

    Good luck with your search for a pooch, both capturing Super again and finding a forever pet.

  24. Megan

    Poor darling – poor terrified, broken, darling!

    And yes, you’re sad because… well, probably at least partly because we all want to somehow believe that love is enough and it’s things like this that remind us that, damn it, sometimes that’s just not true.

  25. Nelson's Mama

    I’m sorry too…

    Find Cesar Milan’s book “Be the Pack Leader”, there’s an excellent section on selecting a dog from a shelter and then bringing your new pet home. He has GREAT advice.

  26. Jamie

    Super obviously doesn’t know there’s a good thing staring him in the face. Best of luck in your search.

  27. Tammy

    So sorry that you’re going through this Mir. It sounds like Super may not be “the” dog for y’all. (((HUGS)))

  28. Randi

    I’m sorry that it didn’t work out for you! BUT you learned a few lessons along the way – including never let a new dog loose in the yard for at least a few days. I hope you get him again soon!

  29. Sharon

    You’ll be doing the right thing in returning him. I’ve raised dogs that are runners and they never outgrow it. We’ve been able to train them in many other ways, but they always have the urge to break out. The more you secure the surroundings, the more creative they become. Very stressful, as you know.

  30. Paula

    I am soooo sorry, for both you and SuperGreat!

  31. hannah

    I have a runner and it is the most infuriating thing in the world. You constantly have to be on alert, is her collar too loose? Did you leave the door open a crack? Did the Fedex guy open the porch door and not shut it completely? Did the kids run outside without making sure she is crated and out she went? These are all the things I have to think about on a daily basis and its stressful. I have to be constantly on my toes as to where this dog is and what is going on in the house. She is the only dog I have that does this (I have three) and it drives me nuts. I dont think you can cure a runner.

  32. Lylah

    Maybe you’re sad because, dogs are like people, and you are a fixer/healer, and it’s difficult to accept that some people — I mean dogs — are too broken for us to fix or heal?

    I know this isn’t how you wanted it to be. Your family has a lot to give, though, and once you’re ready to try again, it will be better. Maybe Chickie’s quote applies not to Super, but to your quest to find a dog that fits with your family…

  33. Kristie

    I’m sorry this didn’t work out for you. Hopefully the next dog will be the right one.

  34. Grace

    I’m sorry Mir. I hope this doesn’t sour you on the idea of rescuing a dog all together. It really doesn’t sound like you did anything wrong here–some dogs just need more rehabilitation and you are right to admit it’s not something you can do. Someone who can will come along to work with Super, and you’ll find another dog.

  35. Crista

    I’m so sorry it didn’t work out. BUT, the right dog is out there for your family. And now the shelter will have more info on Super for the next victim, er, adopter ;)
    And please don’t be discouraged. Once upon a time we “fostered” 3 dogs in a row before we found the right fit.

  36. radioactivetori

    I tend to root for the underdog (ha!) and want to help the most damaged people/animals. I think you are very much the same. I can’t imagine how heartbroken you must feel.

  37. Andrea

    Mir – what a tough time for you and your family. I hope this doesn’t ruin you for rescue dogs. We got a rescue beagle and he was the most loving and well behaved dog. Although a runner, but we knew that, beagles can’t control their nose. Good luck with the next dog.

  38. Jessica

    I am sorry for you also. But I cannot help to laugh a bit. Not for the dog, I love rescues and some of them, demand a lot of work, as you are seeing. I laugh at the antics you are writing about and the adventure that you will never forget. If I dont laugh I would surely cry cuz I know how frustrating this is. Don’t be mad at yourself, at least he had a concerned family who are out there looking for him, instead of expecting the rescue group or the animal shelter to do it for them! You rock!

  39. annette

    I am still learning the answer to that question. In a completely different context. The only solution I can resolve is God has a reason. Sigh.

  40. ben

    I totally understand why you have feelings for this critter you just met and hoped to bring into the family.

    It’s not easy, certainly. And some dogs are born to run, it seems, or do so because they are scared. If you think of it from their point of view, nobody ASKED them if they wanted to go live in a new home, they may have been perfectly content at animal control with their delinquent friends.

    Meanwhile, I have a GREAT dog for you; she’s only a little neurotic and only runs if the door is open for more than three seconds. I’ll bring her over for a test run. Er, drive. Er, visit. And so far she has NEVER chewed through a leash in less time than it would take to get her back indoors.

  41. Tracy

    I am so upset at the people responsible for Super’s fear. I can not understand why anyone would be cruel and do harm to a defenseless animal. I’m proud of you and your family for NOT giving up and trying to rescue or should I say “trap” Super so that you can give him back safely. I just pray he doesn’t keep running and that there are no major roadways in your area.
    Please don’t let this episode stop you from trying another dog. You will get the right one….maybe an abused or sick dog isn’t the right answer. I vote for a spunky puppy.

  42. TC

    There is such a thing as “too damaged.” It’s heartbreaking, though. I’m sorry you’re so sad.

    And I hope whoever scarred him in this way gets what they deserve. Makes me bile-in-the-throat angry to think what must have happened.

  43. Anna

    Oh, no. I was hopeful for you, reading that you’d caught him. I guess you know he likes pupperonis? Maybe you can use that to your advantage.

  44. Katie in MA

    Aw, Mir, try not to worry. There’s obviously a dog out there who is just MEANT to live with your family, and you’re trying to thwart fate by fostering Super (who is meant for *another* family). Life is just course-correcting. Have some a good cry and then ice cream. Then take a deep breath. It will turn out okay, I promise.

  45. Brandy

    Ohhh, I am so sorry. I hope this doesn’t keep you from your intent of finding a family dog.

  46. Karen

    It’s the imperfect ones who need the most love and understanding and much patience, same can be said for people. Sometimes those turn out to be the most rewarding relationships. Super hasn’t had any time to learn that he can trust you, sounds like he’s scared and confused. If you know you don’t have that kind of desire to see what he can become with probably a whole hell of alot of patience, trial and error, and allowing him the time to get to know and trust you.. then returning him to the rescue group is absolutely the right thing to do. There will be the right match for you. Don’t be discouraged.

  47. bonuela

    i can remember running through the snow, barefoot, waiving a piece of cheese and shouting promises of ice cream. all in an attempt to entice my dog to turn around and come home. i know you will find the right dog for your family.

  48. Stephanie O'Dea

    oh Mir, I’m so sorry. what an ordeal.
    xxo steph

  49. Kim

    We adopted a dog when my son was three years old. That dog piddled trails everywhere whenever she was out of the crate, dug up my flower gardens and tore out all the insulation between our house and the entrance hall. I admitted defeat after a week. We gave her to my father-in-law. She dug up his yard and was generally a disaster. He passed her on to his carpenter who had a large property and older kids. She was perfect for him, but not for us. Three years later we tried again. We adopted a wonderful black lab/beagle mix from the SPCA. Housebreaking took maybe 6 weeks. We never could let her run free, but in general she is an angel. She turned 14 years old this month and has been perfect in every way for us. Don’t let your experience discourage you. The right dog is out there.

  50. Catherine

    I’ve fostered small dogs with our local Humane Society. It can be tricky. I’m a little bit surprised that given your history of giving up a difficult dog that they gave you this escape artist. That is not to sound blaming for you, but it surprises me that this dog was matched with your family.

    I really hope you find the right dog for your family. Best wishes to you all.

  51. Sarah

    Have you seen that cute puppy face? I’m sad just thinking about it.

  52. Shemeika

    I so understand exactly what you are going through. After having our family pet destroy my son’s pool, the patio chairs, and deck..we finally decided to throw in the towel. I took him to the animal rescue center. I struggled with this decision on a daily basis however enough was enough. I hope someone adopted him.

  53. Justin

    He’s a very cute dog. I’m sure that someone who is in a better position to work with him will take him. He’ll be ok and you will find a dog that will work for your family. It sounds like he just needs an environment where he can be more closely monitored. You will be able to give the shelter a much better picture of what he needs, and that will help him find that family.

  54. Brigitte

    I’m still sad about the cats we bypassed when we adopted our current rescue cat 13 years ago. I try to console myself that at least we give one animal a better, longer life than he would have otherwise, but it’s still hard not to be able to help all of them.

  55. Nicki

    The answer to your question: you’re a fixer. And we fixers stubbornly refuse to believe there isn’t a soul we can’t rescue, a problem we can’t solve, and a hurt we can’t heal with our special brand of love and encouragement.

    Don’t worry. It’s okay to let go. There’ll be more challenges coming your way that you can conquer.

    Thinking of you.

  56. Jenn

    I’m so sorry that you didn’t get a happier ending. Whatever happened to Super in the past must have been truly awful. I know that you’ll find the right dog for you and Super will find the right home for him.

  57. Deputy's Wife

    Don’t feel bad. We have had our dog for over a year now and we are trying to find another home for him. We have decided our dog needs to run. And when he doesn’t get to run, he retaliates by chewing up everything. Including my new living room sofa.

    My mother-in-law is an award winning guide dog trainer. She said some dogs are just acclimated to do certain things, even with proper training. We have done everything we could possibly do here, with no results.

    I hate to get rid of him, but our sanity (AND OUR HOUSEHOLD ITEMS) cannot take it anymore.

  58. Kim

    I fostered a dog for less than 24 hours, and cried like a baby when her actual owners turned up at the shelter to take her home. Heck, I’m tearing up right now. It was a complicated story with exactly the right ending for everyone, including us, but she had been in my house and she was one of mine. Love doesn’t let go easily.

    But oh my, this was not the dog for you. Poor puppy. Poor Mir.

  59. mythoughtsonthat

    That is rough but you did your best.


  60. Annie

    There is nothing so frustrating as a dog that bolts. I had a young beagle for awhile and we had to run the house like a freaking spaceship.

    Move on, but don’t give up!

  61. Tiffany

    Aww, thats so sad. Hope all works out.

  62. patty

    the dog is not stupid. remember that. he is a dog. with problems. maybe you should stick to fish.

    hopefully, he will be found, safe and sound.

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