Registered: 1590877862 Posts: 4
We put down our 9 year old dog Izzy today. I keep feeling like it was the biggest mistake and that we over reacted. She has had a past with aggression. Strangers, other dogs, and children and all susceptible causing her to lash out. She recently got off her leash and attacked a dog. We had contractors in our house and my mother in law cane up the stairs and Izzy mist of thought it was one of them and jumped on her and I think would have bitten her if she didn’t realize it in time. She’s tried to bite to neighbor kids but luckily she had her muzzle on and they’re friends of ours. We have a 9 month old and Izzy had only snapped at her once. The hardest part is that she was so good with us but so unpredictable with others. Rehoming he seemed like an option but she was always so nervous and who would take on a 9 yo with a bite history. Every other minute I think we made a mistake and it was already the worst moment in our lives being there to put her down. I couldn’t live with her hurting our baby or any one else’s but I can’t live with this guilt. My wife and I both feel like monsters and don’t know how we can even be good parents if we couldn’t manage to come up with a better solution than putting our girl down. I know everyone had guilt about putting down dogs but she was healthy and relatively young. I can’t sleep or eat because this guilt is eating away at me and my wife.
Registered: 1591029685 Posts: 2
I’m sorry you are going through this. We had to do the same thing yesterday and the only way to describe it is soul crushing. Our 8.5 year old chow mix had a history of fear aggression/biting with other family members/friends and was never keen on strangers. He NEVER so much as growled at me or my husband. The final straw was him nipping our 13 month old on the head who ran by and accidentally fell on him as he was laying down. We realize it was reactionary but his response in those situations are unpredictable at best. The damage was only surface level but it happened so fast with both of us standing right there - it was terrifying. We, too, are struggling asking ourselves if we could have done more or if we overreacted - we knew rehoming wasn’t a viable option. We had spent his life doing training with professionals, separating him from visitors, keeping him on leash, etc. The decision itself was ‘easy’ but being there for his euthanasia and waking up without him this morning was extremely painful. We know it was the right decision for the safety of our son but that doesn’t mean we don’t feel guilt, shame or grief. He still had years left in him and he had only loved on us/our son to this point but the risk for escalation is just not one we could take. Saying bye to our goodest boy was very hard - he had been with us through our entire marriage and was a big piece of our story. I hope you all can find peace in your decision and realize you gave your dog the best life they could have had - not many are willing to go through the tribulations of an aggressive dog.
Registered: 1590877862 Posts: 4
The parallels between our situations are uncanny. The pain is still here but it lessons the more we talk about the good times and the inevitability of something life altering happening to our child or someone else’s. We loved our dog so much and she was with us through college, marriage, and our first born. The feelings of failure hit us a lot but we all (you and your SO) need to remember that we would have never made this decision if it wasn’t the only option. Rehoming always comes to mind but how long would it have taken, how would she ever stop feeling anxious wondering where we were (horrible separation anxiety), and how long could someone else even handle her. Our dogs were not wired right and despite thousands and thousands of dollars spent on training that wiring could not be fixed. A shelter would have been a terrible place for them and there are hundreds of non aggressive, non high risk, dogs that need homes. I don’t feel like we could ever have a pet again but if we do we will be looking to adopt from a family that need help.
Thank you so much for responding and know that our hearts are with you and it will get easier. Please feel free to continue to reach out. Although I have a level of shame that I’ve ever felt before, it helped to talk to those who knew her and tell them about it. They understand that we really did do everything for her and no one else could have handled her for as long as we did. She was a lock picking master and her aggression was something that could not be managed through a muzzle or anything else (we tried). I know you guys did everything for your love bug but we can’t put others physical and mental health at risk. Thank you again and hope you find peace soon.
Registered: 1591029685 Posts: 2
Thank you! I, too, was surprised at our stories likeness and that I came across it when I did. We are still reeling - the euthanasia was pretty traumatic...the sedative had an adverse effect and he panicked so we got no time with him calm/relaxed before the nearly immediate final dose. Knowing he went down stressed has weighed heavy on our hearts, he deserved better than that. Hoping with time we will be able to heal from that experience. We are reflecting on the good times, the funny moments and the monotonous days that we took for granted. Family and friends have been supportive - they know what all we went through with him.
Best of luck to you all as well and enjoy the time with the baby before the walking begins - your world will be turned upside down :)
Registered: 1158205770 Posts: 837
We had a golden retriever that was one of the sweetest, well behaved dogs I have ever shared my life with and then one day with no provocation she attacked my grandmother. Tessa and my grandmother were together all day when my seven year old daughter was in school and I was working. I think Tessa loved my grandmother more than anyone else. We went to the emergency room to have the wounds on her hands cared for and the doctor told me the incident had to be reported. Nothing was found to be physically wrong but after speaking with our vet the decision was made to euthanize Tessa. I could never trust her not to bite anyone else and she could not be rehomed. I did not feel guilt or shame, just profound sadness. Some animals have emotional or mental illnesses just as we humans do. I agree that something in their brains is wired wrong. In my opinion it is not their fault, nor ours. At the end of their lives we have to let them go peacefully with love and compassion. In a situation like ours we feel tremendous sorrow but in time we realize we did all we could to make our time together the best it could be.
I am so sorry for your losses and wish you peace and love as your heart mends.