Registered: 1511220101 Posts: 3
Our very sweet, cuddly, lazy, walk loving, sunbathing, napping, goofy baby boy Lobo passed this past Saturday with mom & dad by his side. He would have turned 6 on January 2nd. Lobo had always been a nervous dog and was dog aggressive. He did have a few dog friends but we always avoided dogs on walks. He also didn't like kids very much or stranger men but never did anything more than a light growl or bark. He was well behaved, new some commands, could be walked off leash on hikes (if we knew no one else was around, to avoid conflict with other dogs). He had a pretty unstable life with people in and out & moving place to place. Who knows what happened to him before we adopted him- the poor thing was always afraid. 1 week of living in our new home (that we wanted specifically for Lobo due to the deck (so he could sunbathe) & fence) he lunged at my boyfriend's 3 year old nice and bit her face about 3 times. He was being petted by her mother and the child ran up to him. She had sutures from a plastics doctor. We followed the rules, quarantined Lobo for 10 days, which was excruciating because of his separation anxiety, and dove into looking for a trainer. We were prepared to work with him and isolate him from guests and walk him with a muzzle. The child's parents invited us over to "talk" about the situation which turned into a tongue lashing from especially the father (my boyfriend's brother in law) and a threat to put Lobo down or they would "sue us for everything we have". We felt hurt & betrayed and frankly, I don't know who to move on from this with them in my life. Feeling hopeless we decided it was best for us and for Lobo to set him free. I am trying to cope by knowing he is no longer nervous, anxious, doing self-destructive/compulsive behaviors such as licking his paws raw, barking at every little sound, or crying- probably the entire time we were gone. I never thought of Lobo as an aggressive dog and truly believe he was just shaken by the recent move and scared. I feel immense guilt toward the child and Lobo for not having him trained sooner and not putting him up when they came by. I just didn't think there was a significant reason to until it was too late. I keep reading posts about other folks who had to put down truly aggressive dogs, dogs who had bitten and hurt their own family several times, dogs who cornered their owners or caused them to fall down a flight of stairs. I am truly sorry for these people. But Lobo was not like this. He was my cuddle bug, my walking buddy, and we absolutely adored each other. Everyone loved Lobo. I can't help but keep thinking that if the child's parents had ever spent time with Lobo and got to know him like my other friends & family, they would have allowed for a second chance. I feel so alone and devastated. Is there anyone out there who was driven to do this due to an ultimatum and threat of a lawsuit? Anyone who is agnostic/atheist who won't tell me someday I'll meet Lobo at "rainbow bridge". As nice as that sounds, it is not my belief system and I need real-world advice on how others are coping. Thank you for listening.
Registered: 1511173960 Posts: 9
First of all, I'm really sorry for your loss.
I don't think the question you should be asking is if you did the right thing or not. As you said, nothing can be changed now. Maybe instead you could ask yourself: did Lobo have a good, happy life? From what I have read, the answer to that is yes. You took care of him the best way you could.
Registered: 1497225051 Posts: 71
I'm very sorry for your loss. Lobo sounds like a fine dog. You should know, for a matter of fact, you are not alone - most certainly not.
I'm wounded, but going for long walks (as long and as often as I can take them) are helpful to me. I know it's nearly winter, but you can wear layers in a way that works for you. Perhaps, taking a light backpack to hold water may also help (or help to hold shed layers, if you get too hot along the way).
There are pet loss support, grief, and counseling resources available by phone. I spoke in sessions, over a period of weeks, with a veterinary social worker from the University of Tennessee, for free.
Iams (the pet food people) and either the ASPCA or the Humane Society also have hotlines. Maybe, both do: I don't recall. There are more, even besides these.
You may also find this link, and the links on this link, helpful.
I also found this page helpful:
I read the stories here, on this website. That's how I found yours. Lobo will not be forgotten. You may find help and healing through this website. You're not alone.
Registered: 1511220092 Posts: 2
Thank you very much, Christopher. Walking/hiking definitely dies help-something I did with lobo in all weather. I'm going to make an attempt for a day hiking trip each weekend. Thank you for all the helpful links, I will look into them.
Im Thankful today for all of the cuddles, kisses, walks, fetch, and belly scratches with my sunshine today. Im also thankful for this group. Reading stories and kind replies has been very supportive.
Registered: 1510451043 Posts: 22
I am so very sorry to hear of Lobo's passing. I don't have anything to add that I think will lessen your pain, just reaching out a hand because I am also going through the loss of my dog Bella. Bella passed away and was cremated about 2 weeks ago, and I do not believe in a rainbow bridge, much like yourself. Bella is now ashes, and I too will be ashes someday. I hope that my ashes will be scattered near hers. I promised her before she passed that she and I would be together forever in our hearts. Our love endures cruel, but inevitable, death. The memories we made, the way we cared for one another, the energy and new life created by both our our passing... it all exists here in this physical universe. And so in some way, I tell myself, we are somehow together forever. I hope you can find some peace. Take care of yourself. Steph (Bella's mommy)
Registered: 1511220101 Posts: 3
Steph, I'm sorry to hear about your Bella and thank you for the support.
Registered: 1511437849 Posts: 4
I'm so sorry. I'm atheist as well and I just lost my bunny who was 7 months old and in that short time he was my absolute favorite pet I've ever had by far. We were buddies and he loved my boyfriend as well. He was the true definition of a snuggle bunny. I think it's times like these that being an atheist is the hardest. I want to believe if anything could have a soul, it would be an animal. It just goes against everything I feel inside of me but I do know for a fact that we are energy, and science proves energy is a constant so our energy has to go somewhere. While I don't believe energy is a soul, I do believe the energy goes on and it goes beyond boundaries throughout the universe. In that way, we live forever. I'm sure you feel torn and heartbroken. I won't be that person that tells you to think about it another way because I'm sure you've beaten yourself up over it and you did nothing wrong. What ifs suck and never solve anything. . I think you did the right thing. We had a dog that had been abused before my father found her and no matter what we did, she was always terrified. I feel awful for Lobo and can't imagine what he went through before you took him for him to behave like that. I know it's hard but find solice in knowing you gave him the best life you could and he went knowing love.
Registered: 1510451043 Posts: 22
That was really nice Maria. I am so sorry about your sweet bunny.
Registered: 1511883727 Posts: 2
Oh my I feel your guilt and pain , I had to have my dog Monty put down at the request of my vet and everyone else , Monty was never totally relaxed but he was the most amazing dog for me , he would greet and play but then he would turn to a dog I dident recognize, I made every excuse for Monty, changed my whole household , I wanted Monty to have a totally stress free life and on reflection that was not possible , he bit my son and he needed stitches, the impact on my son has been awful , he loved his dog and although for the last few days I've been unable to function without Monty, I'm realizing it's not normal for a well looked after dog to turn and bite , you can, like I did blame everyone and everything, it's hard to see the full picture when you love something so much .... I couldent , but in hindsight I realize how hard it must have been for Monty, you must look at the big picture, that little girl did not deserve to be bitten , she only wanted to say hello , grieve for lobo and let the guilt go, you had no choice, everyone was telling me it could have been worse and I couldn't believe what I was hearing ... how ! I had killed the most beautiful dog , I will never get the image of that walk to the vets it will never leave me , it replays over and over , he greeted the vet with his tail wagging, the vet had tears he knew Monty well , he was healthy happy and he trusted me ! But he wasent healthy, his brain was stopping him from being the dog he should have been , the vet asked me if a human had inflicted what Monty had done to my son , would I be so forgiven .... and of course I wouldent have been ..... you have to let the guilt go and don't blame yourself , you done what you had to do and loving something is letting go , forgive yourself and in time you will get on with your life. Not all dogs that bite are aggressive and unruly , but unless severely provoked it should never happen , ask yourself , did that little girl do anything to provoke lobo and deserve what he done ? And once you can answer that honestly , you will begin to heel .
Registered: 1511904531 Posts: 10
As you know, people who are atheist/agnostic don't do good things because a book told us to, or because we will be punished by a man in the sky. We do good things because we all exist together on this earth and we need to help one another if we want to thrive. Loving a pet is the same way. Knowing that you took care of Lobo and loved him, in a world that can be cruel and violent, should give you some satisfaction because you know that you did help another living creature. He helped you too. In that way, you did the best you can do as a person alive on this planet. I just had to euthanize my poodle yesterday and I'm in horrible emotional pain, feeling guilty and angry, wishing I could call the vet and say "I've changed my mind...give him back to me". But I can't...and it tears me up. I have to keep reminding myself that I was his protector and his "daddy" and it is my job to care for him. On his last day on earth, caring for him meant making a decision that ripped my heart in two because it was what was best for him. It's one of those times where your head knows that, logically, you did the right thing, but your "heart" doesn't get that yet. Just keep reminding yourself why you did it, talk to others about it. Verbalizing your reasoning for your decision out loud helps you to hear that you did the right thing. I'm also not a fan of the Rainbow Bridge, or people telling me that now he is young and healthy in another place, playing with toys, etc. I can't see him doing that, so I don't KNOW that this is true. Sure, I'd love to believe it (and I do try at times, because I want to feel better). I believe in something more than us...I just don't know what it is, and therefore, I can't conceptualize it as a place in the clouds. But we will always carry our pets with us in our memories. We'll always take the lessons we learned while caring for our pets with us. In that way, they do live on in a sense. They didn't live and die for nothing. I hope you feel better soon. Alan
Registered: 1511904531 Posts: 10
And another thing...Don't let people make you feel bad about what Lobo did. People act as though dogs are just inherently bad when they bite someone, but think about this. When you put small children together in a room, they sometimes hit, bite, kick or in other ways hurt one another. Conflicts like this arise all the time for reasons we will never understand. It makes me angry that anyone would try to force you to euthanize him. I hope their daughter never hurts another child...what would they do to her if they followed their own logic in this situation? What if someone started threatening to sue them if they didn't put their daughter down? I know this is absurd, but it's the same logic, and it's just as wrong as them giving you the ultimatum they did. Shame on them, and shame on ANYONE who tries to make you feel like Lobo deserved this.