Lucy spends part of her life in a muzzle. It’s for Poppy’s protection, it’s for other dogs’ protection and most importantly, it’s for Lucy’s protection. If Lucy bites or maims another dog, she will be put down.
In our house, any time that Lucy is free range and has access to other animals, she must have the muzzle on. Now don’t think that poor Lucy is stuck with a muzzle on her face all day because she lives with another dog. Our house has baby gates everywhere and we are constantly segregating the dogs into different zones. When Poppy gets Amanda’s bedroom, Lucy gets the rest of the house. When Lucy gets the kitchen, Poppy has the rest of the house. When Lucy is downstairs, Poppy is upstairs. When everyone is hanging out in the same room, Lucy is on a leash. Lucy sleeps at night in her cage. It’s our new way of life and it ensures that everyone is safe.
Even with a muzzle on, Lucy can still take Poppy down in a heartbeat. And having a muzzle on has not stopped her predatory drift. She still gets startled and she still freaks out. The only difference in the dog fights with the muzzle and the dog fights without the muzzle – Poppy is not bleeding and in need of stitches. We still have to break the fight up because Lucy doesn’t back down just because she can’t get in a good bite. She rips out as much of Poppy’s hair that she can grab with her little muzzle opening. Even as we haul her off Poppy, she’s struggling to go back for the kill. Her fight technique has changed a bit since she’s gotten the muzzle. Along with the hair grabbing, she tries to stomp Poppy into oblivion. I’m serious. She looks like she’s doing motorized grape stomping. Her front paws slam into Poppy so fast that they almost become a blur.
To the sanctimonious idiots who object to Lucy’s life in a muzzle. You say: It’s cruel to put her in a muzzle. I say: It’s crueler to kill her. You say: You need to see my behaviourist. I say: I could barely afford the first highly recommended and expensive behaviourist we had for Lucy (who couldn’t help us) so what makes you think that your outrageously expensive behaviourist is any better? Being expensive doesn’t mean that they are better. It simply means that they think that they are better. I think you need to recognize that Amanda and I actually love both of the dogs in our house and that we are doing everything that we can to make sure both dogs get a good life. As I write this, Poppy is curled up in her favourite chair near me (upstairs) and Lucy is curled up in her bed next to Amanda’s feet in the office (downstairs).