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Posts: 6
Today, we put my pekeignese Benny to sleep. He was only 3 years old. Benny started showing aggression at the early age of 3months old. He would growl at children. He absolutely hated strangers. The first bad bite was at only 1 years old, Benny bit my face, causing 9 stitches in my lip. Benny frequently attacked me for sometimes just walking past him. He would have me backed in corners of my room sometimes. He wasn't a small peke, he was 21 lbs, and strong. There were times when Benny heard me getting out of bed and start growling at my door. I was afraid to leave my room.

But there were good times. Benny was also very loving and happy. He loved walks (even though his short legs couldn't go too far) he loved belly rubs and playing fetch. He was honestly my best friend and a huge part of my everyday life. There were definitely days where Benny was an angel, which makes this all the more hard. I was a great owner, I did everything right raising Benny. I know this was something in his brain that did this to him.

We had to put him to sleep today after he attacked my mother when she was just simply getting up from the couch. The vet said there was definitely something wrong with his brain, and he would only get more aggressive. 

I am completely heartbroken. I can't stop crying. I feel like I gave up on him and turned my back. I never felt this kind of grief. This was my first dog and to loose him at only 3 years old is really horrible. It's just not fair.

(I Wrote 2 years old in the title, typo, obviously meant to type 3)

Posts: 282

I'm so sorry to hear about Benny.  I can completely sympathize with you.  Our little Captain passed away in July from what the vet thinks was a brain tumour. There wasn't time for a proper diagnosis.  We loved Captain with every inch of us,  but he also had aggression problems.  At only 8 or 9 lbs,  this wasn't as hard to handle as your Benny would have been at 21 lbs.  Captain starting biting us when he was a couple of months old.  He would thrash around like "the tazmanian devil".   He would attack your feet if you walked near him while he slept.  But after he bit or snapped, he would come out of it and kiss, cuddle, apologize.    So I know how you feel.  You want to keep those two things seperate - the aggression and the love because you're afraid that people will think he was mean and bad.  But he wasn't. He had a brain imbalance no doubt.  And no-one is going to judge you for what you had to do.  You could not allow your Mom, others and yourself to be attacked.  With time I hope you can realize that you did not give up on him.  You loved him and he knows it.


Posts: 1,405
I am so very sorry for your loss of Benny. He is at peace now at the Rainbow Bridge. Benny is demon free and he knows you love him so very much. Your love for him gave you the courage to set him free. I know this might not make sense now. But many here have lost beloved pets to the demons I am talking about. When you are able, search through some of the posts here about aggression losses. I think it will help guide you through your grief. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Your petloss family is here for you.
God bless, Linda

Posts: 8
I agree with Linda that your love set Benny free.  During his loving and happy moments, he probably felt great guilt for behaving so aggressively.  Now, you have allowed him to move beyond that uncomfortable state.  He's now the lovely dog you knew he could be.  He had an illness that you cured with your love.

Posts: 11,059
I am so sorry to hear about your loss of Benny.  It is very heartbreaking when a dog has aggression issues.   No one wants to see them go the bridge, but many times it is the only answer.  Benny is a happy pup at the bridge now and making new friends with all of our special babies.

precious Christoph ~ sweet bunny boy ~


Posts: 80
I am so so sorry for you loss of Benny. Many years ago we had a BEAUTIFUL Gordon Setter, Mac. He was devoted to me but at age 2 he  suddenly started showing signs of aggression. When we put his food bowl down he'd start to shake and growl at us if we didn't move away. He weighed about 75 lbs and was scary when he morphed into that zone.....later to be just as sweet as ever. I was the only one who wasn't terrified of him and I was probably in denial. He bit me on the arm once that really shook me up. It wasn't a "playful" bite was for real. We too had done nothing but love this dog from the beginning, dog obedience, 3 mile walks/runs and a large yard. Fast forward about 8 years and we then had a new(human) baby in the house. I was getting extremely concerned even tho we were keeping the baby seperate from Mac. I was afraid of jealousy and mostly that Mac was so aggressive without warning. Mac would growl at us if he were sleeping and we walked around him. Clearly HE was in charge, the "alpha" dog in our pack and it was not working out. My vet kindly explained to me that aggression like Mac's  IS like a "brain disease". I kept  thinking I had failed in raising him as a pup....but the vet disagreed. He said esp when it shows up suddenly at about age 2 (and he had already been neutered) it is unfortunately VERY difficult to control. I tried to find another home for him even having him "interview" with the police but Mac refused to do anything for anyone but me. It broke my heart but when our baby was 4 months old we had Mac put to sleep.  I sobbed and sobbed......the guilt was overwhelming.....but I was comforted by the fact that it was quick and painless for him. I could not have lived with myself if he had gone to another home and they had dealt with his aggression by chaining him up or beating him etc.  And.....I to this day can't even "go there" about what could have happened with a baby in the house.
You did the most responsible, loving, kindest thing for Benny.  I thank you for your story b/c I haven't told too many about Mac.....even after all these years thinking if I'd *just* done something differently in the early days I could have prevented the aggression. Sometimes loving them to pieces is not enough to overcome a genetic tendency to aggression and you and I and others have had to learn the hard way.  Hang in there. Somewhere out there in the future may be a sweet loving pup for you who will be as loving as you. xo

Posts: 1,821


i am so very sorry. Sadly, this is not a new tale here ~ it is a sad choice so many have had to make. Sometimes we have no real choice, and mental illness is so hard because our babies look so normal and healthy most of the time. But as you said - how would you be able to live with something really bad happening in that small part of the time when Benny looses himself to the demons? 

Sadly there are times we simply cannot help our precious furbabies defeat the demons, all we can do is set them free so they can find peace (the demons cannot enter paradise) - just as there are times no matter how hard we try we cannot cure physical illness.

hope this helps  - 

The Gentle Ones


It seemed the day was even grayer than even the greyest of days. The pup found she was suddenly at the edge of the most beautiful place she had ever seen. She could still feel Mom and Dad's tears, hear their sobs. "I'm so sorry Mom and Dad, I really did try but the demons are too strong and sometimes they pushed through." She lowered her head and began to walk away, to be sure she did not deserve to be someplace so lovely.


     A radiant being in white suddenly stood in her path, surrounded by many other pups of all sizes and breeds. "Please," she implored, "I don't want to, but if you stay near me sooner or later the demons will win and I may hurt one of you. I don't want to hurt anyone, its best if I just go."


     The radiant being just smiled at her - a soft compassionate smile, at that moment they reminded her of her Mom and Dad. "I let them down so many times, I didn't want the demons to win but sometimes they do. And I left them no choice, I let them down and hurt them yet again."


     Hero, Seabreeze, Heather, Charlie, Molly, John, Stashie, Hershey, Samson, Morgan, Niko, Jordan, Timber, Dixie, Buddy, Tina, Snickers, Dizzy, Harley, Jack, Kimmi, Sammy, Fender, Tosca, Bruno, tried to gather around the newcommer but she backed away. Seabreeze stepped forward, "We won't hurt you little one." She looked to the radiant being and whimpered, "Please make them leave. I don't want to hurt anyone else."


     Now the radiant being smiled and actually seemed amused. "Little One, reach within. Can you feel that? Can you feel the demons are gone?" The little one got quiet and after a moment looked up in amazement, "They ARE gone!!" Then she looked at the others around her, "But I've done so many bad things, I don't deserve nice friends. I don't deserve to be in such a wonderful place." Now the others all looked amused. Dizzy spoke up first, "We all felt that way at first." Slowly Dizzy's words filtered in. "You mean . . . ., I am not the only one?" she asked quietly.


     Tina pushed to the front, "Of course not, all our humans had to make that same choice as yours. But now you're free - the demons are gone." The Little one thought on Tina's words. "What about Mom and Dad? Can I let them know I am free, that I'm sorry?"


     At that moment all the others grew quiet, the Little One looked to the radiant being and realized they were gone. She looked to the rest afraid their silence meant no. Just then a large silver wolf walked up to her, she knew she should fear a wolf, yet, somehow knew she could trust The Silver One. "Have you all finished monopolizing her time yet? If you are done she still needs to be shown the reflection pond, to be shown . . "


     Just then the Little One heard a familiar sound, her Mom and Dad. "They are here?" she asked, and she followed the sound. She found herself by the clearest crystal pond, and when she looked into the pond she saw her Mom and Dad." Concentrate on them, Little One. Send your love and thanks to them - from your heart to theirs - and they will feel your love." the Silver One said gently. As she watched her Mom and Dad seemed to calm even thought they were still crying, and her Mom looked up at her Dad, "She is at peace now wrapped in our love."


     The Little One looked at the Silver One and the others, "Thank You." The Silver One looked at the others and back at her, "You can see them anytime you wish from here. The others will show you how to send them your love, Little One."


(c) Candace 11/13/09


All too often people do not want to discuss this type loss, so those who experience making the decision due to aggression issues feel they are alone.

All the names of the other ones are real – Fur angels we have seen at PetLoss because their parents had to make that sad decision due to aggression issues. i am sure there are other names also - names that are more recent and names I have accidentally left out.

We understand - know that you had no choice and we understand that you are in pain. But your fur child is with the other fur angels now - free of the demons he fought against so hard.


Posts: 6
thank you everyone, your words really do help me begin my road to acceptance.

its still so new, i keep thinking i hear him barking or scratching at his bed. i have battled anxiety and depression and this has just increased it so much. i don't see i'll be able to move on. 2 days after i moved into this house, I got Benny, and now with him not here, its just not the same house. he was apart of my transition moving, and without him.. it feels colder in here. even with all his anger and aggression, i still only think about the good times, and its becoming so unberarable for me. 

<3 Benny <3
Dec. 27th - October 19th.

Posts: 80

Dear Lauren, Bless your heart. Reading your words reminded me of how painful those early days/weeks are. I too at first kept "hearing" our late "Bennie"..I'd wake up in the middle of the night absolutely sure I was hearing him drink water from his dish. It was horrible in the mornings not having a reason to rush out of bed to get my old Bennie to the back door. Honestly, it will take time, but it will get better. We just have to live through the grief when they are so newly gone. YOUR little Benny was so lucky to have someone as loving and kind as you and you gave him a QUALITY of life he may never had had anywhere else.


Posts: 6
thank you Liz. each reply from everyone is really helping me. i check these boards so frequently. you dont know how much i appreciate all your words.

Posts: 29

I am so very sorry for your loss.  I know only too well the pain you are going through, my heart breaks for you.  My 75 lb nearly 1-yr old Buddy was put down August 23rd for aggression, just about 2 months ago.  These first few weeks are going to be enormously painful, but let me tell you, it does get better!  We all heal at our own pace, give yourself the time you need.  Come here often, this site was my saving grace!!  {{HUG}}  ~ Buddys Mom in NC


Posts: 6
Buddys Mom- nearly  1 year old! So you know and can imagine and much harder it is for such a young pup to have to be put down, for somthing as sad as aggression. its just not fair.

i need it to get better. i cant imagine my life going on. i miss him every second of the day. i only have peace when im sleeping. the moment i wake up in the morning my mind is already on him and my heart aches.


Posts: 39
A physically disabled friend of mine took a dog back to the shelter for similar reasons after a good long while.  My friends family was afraid the dog wouldn't let paramedics in if my friend ever needed them.  Now my friend has another dog from the same shelter and it has worked out quite nicely this time.
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