Firstly I want to say that I don’t see myself as a victim although my training shows that I am. I’m sure I’ve never directly stated where I work or what I do on here. I find people make judgements and this is something I would rather avoid. I posted a while ago about my ex husband being charged with a domestic offence against me and the months after. What I don’t think I mentioned was that I worked in the Social Work Team dealing with Criminal Justice reports and more recently managing a case load.
Over the past few months I have been considering how appropriate it is for me to work in this area following the charge against my ex husband. My working role includes writing reports for people who have been convicted of a domestic offence against their partner or former partner. More recently my role has also managed domestic offenders and completing work with them to reduce the likelihood of reoffending.
We were sent an email at work a few months ago to nominate ourselves for domestic abuse awareness training in relation to writing the reports. The email said it was compulsory and so I chose a date and sent it away. During the morning of the training a previous manager caught my eye and signed to me that I should leave if I needed to. She had supported me through the offence going to court and realised before I did that this course was going to have a negative impact on me. I sat through the morning session and realised that I was taking little in and slowly withdrawing. I didn’t want to be part of this training and I wanted a way to escape. So I took notes, lots of notes about the course. When we were asked to do group work, I said little. I realised at that time that I needed to change where I work and quickly.
At the morning coffee break the manager came to sit with me and said she was sorry I should have never been asked to come on this training. And then I explained to her that today was also the day that my ex is back in court for sentencing. She took one look at me and told me that I shouldn’t be there and to go back to the office and work. The relief was instant. But on the drive back I realised that what had been difficult about this was that I had been abused in other ways psychologically and I had never realised it. That’s what was effecting me the most.
I hate that my ex husband has done this to me. I wanted to work in Criminal Justice and now I cant even face the work that I trained to do. I realised during the morning session that I could no longer do this and I need to change the sector that I work in. In the next few days an application should be submitted for me to transfer to a different department and hopefully I will get a transfer quickly.
The call to tell me what happened in court didn’t come through until 4.30pm. He was admonished for the domestic and fined for the driving offence. I have to say this makes me question my work further. What is the point in writing reports for the court if they make up their own minds anyway and drag people through court for there to be no real repercussions.
I can’t believe that over a year ago I had lost my oldest dog and I was looking into re-homing my other one as she had bitten me.
I contacted a couple of behaviourists and one agreed to come out and meet with me. She told me that my household had been through so many changes that my dog was also confused and upset with the changes. She continued that I actually has a well trained dog who was clever and picked up the rules quickly.
I wasn’t so sure. But this gave me some reassurance at the time when our life was changing so much.
But now over a year on I can’t believe the difference (and if I’m honest I haven’t changed much or been training her more than I would before). I’d say she is about the same level of obedience. But she doesn’t wet the floor as much with fear or excitement. I’ve seen no further displays of aggression and she is much happier. She now comes and cuddles in and looks for affection. This dog was always more interested in playing and chasing something rather than paying attention to any human who might want to give her attention.
She is seven years old and I finally feel a proper connection to her. She responds to my emotions more appropriately in general which is helpful these days after my MS diagnosis and the turmoil that we will call the last two years.
For anyone that finds themselves in a similar situation. Please trust your instincts and a reputable animal behaviourist/ trainer. I contacted three animal charities who acted like the whole situation was my fault and did not consider the changes in my personal life. (One of the charities I donated to every month and the other contacted me a year later to ask for help after refusing to help me at all). They made me feel like more of a failure when I believe the behaviourist was right. My dog needed a chance to adjust to the changes in her life as well.
I am honestly starting to think that I am the unluckiest person!
So the decision was made to find a dog trainer/ behaviourist. I phoned someone local who currently isn’t taking any aggression cases as she was badly bitten. To be fair she sent me a photo of the bite and I don’t blame her.
She gave me the phone number or two others. The first one was full and could possibly squeeze me in on a weekend in a few weeks time and said she would normally recommend the trainer who I had phoned first.
So I phoned the second person. Although I had to leave a message for her this was much more successful. We arranged to talk later that night. We discussed the behavior problems that I was having with my dog and arranged an appointment
The evening of the appointment was extremely bad weather and she got it touch to say that trees had fallen on the road so she would need to rearrange.
Maybe we will meet a behaviourist/ trainer eventually.
For those following my blog you’ll know I’ve not been having a lot of luck recently. But it hit an all time low the other week.
It felt like one thing after another one day last week which was finished by our pet dog who we have had for 6 years biting me.
I wasn’t going to blog about this but as things change with this situation I though it might be interesting or helpful to others as well as myself to hopefully see progression.
One night I was dealing with the kids after dinner and the younger dog (6 year old border collie) jumped up at the dining room table to steal the left over food. I came up behind her and shouted at get to get off the table. I think I might have also tapped her back legs at the same time.
She immediately turned and bit me. She just held onto me and didn’t shake or bite harder which she easily could have. It was really a superficial bite.
This was straight after!
I think that I shouted at her to let go and what did she think she was doing? But I know I never tried to pull my arm away. She let go and continued to growl at me while cowering. I was left with only two small bruises.
I bruise very easily!
I had said from the start if any dog ever bites then they have to go. It’s not safe for them to be around children. I started to see if anyone could take her to the vet for me or if someone could watch the kids while I took her.
I was devastated I knew that it wouldn’t be long until I lost my older dog and now I was loosing her too.
No one was about to help with the kids or the dog. So I phoned the dogs trust for advice. They told me that I had to fill out a form to assess if they would take her. Their moto is “they never put a healthy dog down” and I donate every month to them and have done so for several years. It seemed the obvious choice in places to contact.
I got the application form for her the next day, filled it out and sent it back within a few hours.
Now I just had to wait to be told how long it would be before my dog would be re-homed. But at least she would still be alive.