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Posts: 2
I am new to this site, and this is my first post.

We had a wonderful, gentle purebred dog for many years, unfortunately she died last year. This was extremely difficult for us, as she was the sweetest creature imaginable, and she had always been there for me.

We decided that we wanted a rescue, since there are so many good dogs out there needing homes. We looked and looked, and took our time. We tried to do all our homework, and then we brought home our "new" girl - a young stray that looked like she would be a good match for us.

We trained, and played, went to classes, went to private lessons, fed her good quality food, told her everyday what a good girl she was, and just tried to make her feel loved. She was now part of our family.

Unfortunately as she grew closer to us, she revealed that she had severe dominance issues with me. As a result, I ended up being bit on multiple occasions - thankfully I was the only one ever hurt. The bites were very serious.

After talking with behaviorists, rescue groups, our vet, and our trainer over several weeks after the last time I was bit, we made the EXCRUCIATING decision to euthanize her. I held her through the process, and told her again and again how much we loved her.

This experience has seriously changed me. I cannot figure out why this would happen to us. I am so heartbroken that we lost our senior girl last year, and now we lost our young girl this year. I keep feeling like our rescue girl was overlooked by God - why would he let a little dog that finally found love become unstable? It all seems so unfair to me, and I am just feeling crushed and so sad as a result of grieving her passing - I feel like we let her down. I miss her every single day.

I have tried to put my mind around us getting another rescue, and I cannot at this time. I am very scared of being bitten by a rescue, and feel horrible about my feelings. We are looking to now get a purebred puppy, as we need a dog in our family. We know we will get another rescue in the future, but I need much time to emotionally and spiritually heal before I am ready... This too is just saddening me, as I am a true believer in helping needy animals...

Please try not to judge me for putting down our rescue. We tried everything and more...
Please respond if you have any suggestions as to how I can put this all into perspective and move forward towards healing. Thanks.


Posts: 541
I am so very sorry for your loss. No one here would ever judge you. You did the only thing you could possibly do under the circumstances. My heart is breaking for you as I can only imagine how horribly difficult your decision was. Please don't think this is in any way your fault. You did everything you could to change this dangerous behavior in your dog.

I have read so many posts from people who have had to have their furbabies euthanized for the same reason. You are not alone. It is heartbreaking that some otherwise very good and sweet dogs just cannot help this behavior and there is no choice left.

My thoughts and prayers are with you. Bless you for having such a kind and loving heart toward animals. Your love for them is obvious. I hope you will try again to rescue one day when you are ready. But I can understand your relunctance at this point. It will take time to heal from such devastating heartache.

Be good to yourself and give yourself time to heal.


Posts: 628
I am so sorry for the loss of both of our dogs. 
You did the best you could for the rescue dog.  No one here will hold you in judgement.  The people here are some of the most wonderful people in the world.
I know you hate it that the rescue dog had the tragic ending it did.  You really had no choice in the matter.  It was bad enough that she would bite you, but what if it were a child.
I hope this does not give you a bad picture of rescue dogs.  You would give another dog a wonderful live and a chance at a wonderful life; and in return, this dog would re-pay you hundreds and hundreds of times.

Posts: 233
No one here will judge you for what you have been through. I am so sorry for your heartbreaking loss. As you will see, you are not alone in having to make such an agonizing decision. Your feelings are completely understandable. If you do choose a purebred dog, please do your research and find a reputable breeder who puts health and temperament first. You might also consider breed rescue groups who have purebred dogs whose history and breed characteristics might be a little more consistent. Usually these dogs are in foster homes, not kenneled, and the foster parents will have gotten to know the dog well enough to give you an idea of what he or she is like. Your little girl is at peace now; you did all you could do and more. Bless you for caring. Hugs, Anne

Posts: 596
An aggressive dog is not a happy dog. You did the best you could. Unfortunately, shelters can't tell you anything about temperment or background. And sometimes a dog is so damaged by their circumstances that you just can't help them. Kind of like some people.

You gave your little girl peace. She doesn't have to be afraid or be aggressive any more. I think you should give yourself a break and understand you did the only humane thing for her. Not all shelter or rescue dogs are like this. I have one rescue and one shelter dog, and they are both wonderful. But happy endings aren't always possible.

If you find a good breeder for your pure bred, look at the parents, and watch the behavior of the pups. Watch how they interact with each other and you. You'll be able to pick out the dominant, the shy and the well adjusted puppy.

I'm glad there are people like you who do care enough to try to give the best to a rescue. Don't give up, I applaud you.

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?  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: 2
Thank you to everyone who has been sending me all these kind words. It does make me feel better knowing that other people know how I feel.
One of the hardest things is to explain to others is what happened - I just try to avoid it. Sometimes when people that I don't know very well ask about her, I just tell them she is fine - I just can't bring myself to "expose" myself to people I barely know, and face the chance that they will think she was an awful dog.
I never want anyone to think that our young little rescue girl was "bad" - she just really could not help herself. When she and I were playing, I remember feeling like I was so happy! - Before that I worried I would never feel happiness again... I really want her memory to live on as a testament to all the potential that lies in the hearts of dogs that are not cared for... I wish I could have been there earlier in her life!
Thank you Ghatten for "The Gentle Ones" - I am going to remember our little girl speaking those words as a way to help me through.  

Posts: 1,982
You could also just say your precious girl "was not well and she's in heaven now", they will understand it's just to hard for you to talk about and leave it with that.  And it would be the truth.  The brain is an organ that can be ill just as our hearts or kidneys or all the other organs in our body that keep us healthy and running smoothly in life.

Little rescue sounds like an amazing girl, it was not her fault, and you know she was reacting to those responses and fears her brain felt that she could not control.  She is at peace now, the demons that made her react that way are released and gone now. 

You are an amazing fur mommy and you did everything you could.  This was not something you could mend or fix without the continual fear of someone being hurt.
Take Care,


Posts: 11,059
I am very sorry for the loss of your young rescue dog.  You tried so hard to make it work and showed her so much love.  Some dogs are just aggressive by nature and can not be changed.  Your little one is now at the bridge in her new home and is a happy little girl.  My heart goes out to you.  I hope in the future you will find a puppy that is happy and loving.

precious Christoph ~ 2 years at the bridge ~


Posts: 5,100
"I keep feeling like our rescue girl was overlooked by God - why would he let a little dog that finally found love become unstable?"

I think God was right there all along with you and your little girl.  He knew her brain was ill, and she was suffering.  He needed a very special family for her, one who would show her love for the rest of her short life. He chose you. He knew in giving your hearts to her you would suffer immeasurable sorrow, but he knew you would give her precious life dignity and love her even as she passed into His loving arms.  She is now home with her Father, and she is completely healed.  She will one day greet you with nothing but pure love in her gentle eyes.

Bless you for loving rescue pups.  We rescued a beautiful little Cairn terrier, named Murphy, from the city pound.  His previous owner had dumped him and told the pound staff to euthanize him.  Murphy was only two years old.  Imagine that.  He is the kindest, gentlest, most loving dog.  He is our miracle.  One day you will take a chance again on a lonely little rescue, and you will be rewarded.  God has an infinitely long memory.

You will be in my prayers as you mourn your sweet girl.  What was her beautiful name?


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