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Posts: 2
3 months ago, I put my 4 year old baby girl to sleep.

She was a rescue that I had for 2 years, who started out a happy and social dog.

About a month after I got her, she started to decline mentally, spooking out at random people.

By the time we were nearing the day I made the decision to let her go, this had evolved into aggression towards most other dogs and people.  One day she attacked another dog at random, and bit a person very badly in the process.

She died in my arms the next day, and I lost it.

I just cant seem to recover from this loss, and the horrible feelings of guilt and self loathing.  She would have really good days, and really bad days.  On good days she would love everyone, and on the bad she would be unpredictable, volatile, and she would spook at random shadows in the yard.  Still, I wonder if I made the right choice. 

I miss her so much I can barely breathe sometimes.  On nights like tonight I wake up sobbing, still reaching for her. 

Does it ever become easier to bear?  I've lost pets before, and it's always been hard, but I have to say the feeling of guilt and loss is more unbearable now than it has ever been.  I dont know what I am going to do.


Posts: 628
Jess---I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet fur baby. 
We lost our Beagle, Bonnie in June of this year.  Those first few days, weeks, months can be horrible.  Everyone of us grief in different ways and there is no time limit on your grief.  I do know we will grieve for Bonnie forever.  You never get over it, you just want to feel better and that day will come for you.
Probably what is so hard for you, is that you rescued sweetie hoping to give her a good life; which I am sure you did.  There is no telling what caused her to become aggressive.  I know this was very difficult for you. 
We just rescued a beagle, this Sunday will be 2 weeks ago.  She is about 3 years old, according to our vet.  We did not think we could love another dog, but we realized that this house was too lonely without a dog. 
I found Emmy Lou on a website of a local rescue. So far she is a very loving dog .  We can tell that she was in an abusive home before because sometimes if we speak to her in a harsh tone, she gets scared. 
Again I am so sorry for your loss.  And I promise, it will get better in time.  Come back here anytime.  The people here are very understanding and have been where you are at now.  

Posts: 11,059
I am very sorry for your heartbreaking loss.  Your dog was so young and I know how difficult it was to say goodbye.  Animals don't know why they act out and that is so sad.  My heart goes out to you!  You are in the early stages of loss and in time, your heart will begin to heal.  Your little dog is a happy little girl at the bridge now and making many new friends!!

precious Christoph ~ my sweet bunny boy ~


Posts: 564
Jess, I'm so sorry to hear of your loss!  The feeling is almost unbearable at times, and I understand so well what you're going through.  I lost both of my sweet pups in July, three weeks apart from one another.  Luke and Lil were 13 and 12 years old, but even if they had been much younger, as your little angel was, I still would've gone through the pain and grief.

Your precious baby knew she was loved!  She didn't want to be the way she was, and now she will only be happy and playing among fur friends at the bridge!!  You will be with her again some day, and like with many of us, I'm sure she will show you signs that everything is OK now!  It will get better!!

May God Bless you and comfort you during your time of grief.  You are among understanding and caring friends here.....please come back often and share more about your precious pup!  LukeAndLilsDad  (Rick)

Posts: 1,821


i am so very sorry, for both of your losses. Sadly, your young rescue's tale 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 how would you be able to live with something really bad happening in that small part of the time when she looses herself 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, newer names - 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 she fought against so hard.


Posts: 5,100
Oh, Jess, I am so sorry for your loss of your baby girl.  I know it must be so painful to fall in love with a beautiful pup and then watch her become ill in this manner.  I think this type of aggression is a brain disease that causes so much suffering.  You were so brave, and your baby girl knew it.  She knows your heart, Jess.  She knows you loved her and wanted so much to help her.  You did the most merciful thing a loving furmother can do:  you helped her get her angel wings.  She is no longer suffering.  She is your shining guardian angel who will always watch over you. 

When you feel up to it, and if it will help you feel better, I would love to hear more about your little one.  What was her name?  I will keep you and her in my prayers.

Sending hugs to you,

Posts: 2
Thank you so much for the replies- I am in tears from that story and I wanted to thank you so so much for writing it and sharing it with me. 

Her name was Piper, and I still dont know how I will live without her.  I spent the first few weeks living in a haze of grief, barely eating. Ultimately I lost my job because I could not battle the grief and guilt at work.  It turned out for the better as I now have a better job, but I am still haunted by the thought of what I could have done better to make her understand. 

I am a trainer by profession, so I am constantly reanalizing what I saw in her behavior, trying to see what I missed, what I couldnt understand.  She was unpredictable, and would have days that she was afraid of garden tools in the backyard. 

What made it hardest was that she also had days where she loved everyone and everything.  She was so sweet to those of us she loved..she would sit next to you and stare lovingly at you waiting for the opportunity to reach up and cover you with kisses.  She liked to spoon every night before bed.

If she thought you were talking too much and spending too little time petting her, she would gently place a paw on your mouth like "Shut up and pet me mom!"

The dark side of her eventually won, and I hate that.  She became neurotic, unable to be happy in the way I had to keep her shut in and away from the world.  She terrorized my other two dogs, attacking them at the slightest sideways look.  She would bark and growl at guests, but I never thought she would hurt anyone.  The day she bit someone in the process of trying to kill another dog was the day I made my decision.  She wanted to hurt the other dog badly enough that she was willing to go through a person to do it.  I could not live with myself if she ever bit anyone again.

I have faced less bad reactions than I thought I would, but I still have faced it.  People from the "why couldnt you just keep her locked up and away from people" camp, and people from the "you didnt work hard enough to fix it" camp.  Because I am so out in the public eye in our local dog community, I feel exposed and open to every person's judgement.

This is Piper, aka Crazy, Baby Girl, and Dot Head (named for the little black dot smack in the middle of her forhead)


Posts: 282

Jess, anyone who blames you for what you did for Piper has no idea of how a dog's brain chemistry works and how this can escalate into deadly violence.  Our little guy who recently passed away from a brain tumour,  had this type of aggression. He was cuddly, sweet and comforting with us.  He was our best friend, our baby,  our little man about town.  We loved him dearly and he made our house a happy home.  But...he would attack our dog and cat if they walked too close to him while he was napping,  bit us quite often for picking him up a way he didn't like or petting him somewhere he didn't want at the moment,  growled and snapped at other dogs and was just generally anxious and neurotic.  Controlling him was a daily battle.  He was very small and that's how we were able to go on,  but I can't imagine doing so with a dog any larger. Dogs who have this type of aggression and anxiety are not happy dogs.  They are constantly in a state of alert and it's debilitating to them.  Piper is with my Captain waiting for us at the bridge.  When we meet them again I fully believe they will be healed and happy.


Posts: 11,059
Piper is adorable.  Her story brings tears to my eyes.  She is a happy and content girl now.  You gave her that.

precious Christoph ~ my one in a million bunny ~

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