Sam and I have come to a very sad, very disheartening realization/decision. We're going to have to find J.J. a new home.
We both love J.J.--he's an absolutely adorable dog, very smart and very playful. Unfortunately, he is not a good fit in regards to our cats. J.J.'s first instinct is to hunt--he has what is called a "high prey instinct." As such, if you toss a toy, he doesn't just want to fetch it--he wants to rip it to shreds.
The last couple of days have been very rough, especially Monday. When we awoke Monday, this is what we saw out of our back yard:
It was a very, very rainy day. So rainy, in fact, that this has been termed a once in 500 year flood. Because of this, we had to keep J.J. inside all day. This was very rough, as J.J. is a high energy dog that needs to burn off lots of energy, and he did not want to go outside into the rain--even to do his business. This meant the entire day I spent in the back room with J.J., trying to watch for signs that J.J. needed to eliminate and to keep him from tearing up everything in the house.
We were doing okay in the morning. In the afternoon, though, he was becoming very aggressive towards me--constantly biting at my fingers and toes, even when I was trying to distract him with his chew toys. By the time Sam returned home from work, I was a nervous wreck from trying to deal with J.J. all day.
Eventually we got through it, however.
Yesterday (Tuesday), the weather was much improved, so we were able to let him be outside. This made the puppy happy, as he very much wants to be outside where he can run around and burn off energy.
Unfortunately, however, he was still being very aggressive with me--particularly after I'd had Nala in my lap for about an hour. When I brought him in that afternoon, he was aggressive/snappy at the cats as well, and had I not been there I think he would have figured a way over the doggie gate in order to chase them.
Last night Sam and I had a long conversation over what to do about J.J. We both like the dog and want him to be happy. However, we don't really want a strictly outside dog, as we're both inside people. (Sam's sunburns from that first day should have hinted at that.) But J.J. wasn't happy whenever we'd bring him inside, as he needed space to run around. More importantly, we didn't feel comfortable about having him around the cats.
Then we did a little research, to see if there was a way to keep him and train him with the cats. As we read, however, we found that the two breeds of dogs that have the hardest time with cats/other small animals, are hounds and terriers.
J.J. is a Beagle (Hound) / Jack Russel Terrier (Terrier) mix. No wonder we were having such issues with him wanting to attack things!
The two of us both still want a dog, but we need a dog that is a better fit for our home. We do not regret taking J.J. home at all--someone needed to rescue that puppy! However, we don't want to keep him long term. Therefore, we've put out ads in a couple of different places for J.J., in hopes that we can find him his permanent home. Once that's done, then we can look at finding a dog that will fit in with our lives.
Still, it makes me very sad that we will have to part ways soon with J.J., as he's a very lovable puppy.
To err is human, to forgive, canine.