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ASeeker

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Posts: 4
 #1 
Hello All, I've been reading some of your stories and finally plucked up the courage to post my own. It's a topic I'm sure you will all hate me bringing up, because you have all lost your pets and I'm having to put mine to sleep.

Not because he is old or I'll but because he is nervous and aggressive and out of control and I don't know what else to do. I have been to the vets and tried to modify this behaviour I have changed his diet, we have given him more exercise, bought better leads, more engaging toys.

He is a five year old Labrador Akita cross, I got him when he was a puppy, and what a puppy he was. He was the runt if the litter and needed so much extra care, but he thrived and grew to the dog he is now. 35kg and over five foot if he was to stand on his back legs.

The first time he bit someone it was my sister, someone who had only ever given him love and attention, when she got too close to the sofa he was sitting on. He bit or snapped at several more people after that, each time I thought I could understand why. He was guarding food and resources but now I feel like I never really knew anything. Each trigger we took away he seemed to find another I should have went to a professional sooner but at that time we didn't have access to a behaviouralist.

Last week he bit my partner who is essentially his primary carer, he came to him and I'll ndicated that he wanted a rub. Which he got, but then before we knew it he had my partner's fingers in his mouth and clamped down biting through the finger nail.

For the first time the PTS subject came up. We decided we couldn't do it, we would seek out a behaviouralist who would help and change vets. Even though we were advised that all we could ever hope for is complete isolation and we were only prolonging the next incident.

Then a week later I was on the sofa and stroking his paw with my foot as he was on the floor, which I had done a million times before. Again what I feel was without warning he went for my leg. I pulled it up in time so there was no contact. I don't know maybe he sees this as a warning now.

All the professionals I speak to say the same thing. They all recommend I should PTS. But I am distraught and beside myself with guilt and grief. It can't be the right thingdo they say that they cannot help him, citing his age his breed and his unpredictability. Everyone is giving me the same advice! But I'm so conflicted and torn up and distraught about it. It can't be the right thing to do if I feel this way???

I thought I had made my peace with it, but every day that passes after the incident he is calmwd again and I forget that when it's good it's good. But when it's bad it is so bad.

I feel I have no other choice but it still doesn't feel right. So judge if you like, god know I am. I feel like it's the ultimate sin. I only wish I could trust him not to bite us, then at least I could manage the situation and keep him away from other people.

I'm just wondeting if there is anyone out there with similar experience.
Did you have any luck in rehabilitating? If not do you feel you've made the right decision?
twinkiesmom

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Posts: 782
 #2 
I am sorry for what you are experiencing. Many of us have had to make the decision to have a pet euthanized that seemed normal in every other way and it is heartbreaking. Animals are capable of having mental and emotional illnesses just as we do. And as much as we want to fix something like that it is often just not possible. As big as he is it would be easy for him to attack someone resulting in serious injuries or worse. My dog attacked my grandmother (she lived with us) with no provocation. Tessa would lay beside her chair, follow her in the the house or outside in the yard, sometimes it seemed she was more her dog than mine. My grandmother's hand was badly injured, causing her to go into shock but she was able to get to another room safely. My vet could find nothing physically wrong with the dog but felt it would be dangerous to keep her and she could not be rehomed. We felt there was no other choice and I stayed with Tessa as he euthanized her. That happened over thirty years ago and I am still saddened by it. Whatever your decision may be you are among friends who understand your pain and will offer comfort and support. Please take care, you will be in my thoughts and prayers.
Myami

Registered:
Posts: 5
 #3 
You asked if anyone else had a similar experience and you are not alone. My beloved dog whom I've had for 8 years and develops into our family dog is going to the same difficulties. I have to go put her down in a few days and I'm dying inside. she has snapped at many people and I always made an excuse why she was doing it that she was using bite inhibition so it was okay I changed my whole life around many times dealing with her emotional issues of aggression. And it's killing me inside to know I'm going to end existence of my dog in order to keep my children safe.when I first became a mother I was worried I'd never love my children as much as my dog she was my first baby and we have so much in common with anxiety and issues we both lash out and get frustrated so that is enhancing my guilt knowing I'm going to put her to sleep when I lose control sometimes too. Last week was the first time she broke skin and it was on my daughter's face was only 4 years old it could have been so much worse but it was bad enough that she got 10 stitches she was in excruciating pain and had a horrible infection I'm getting nothing but judgment from my family for not putting her down sooner 4 "loving my dog more than my children" I have no support and no one can understand why it's so heartbreaking to end her life when she bit my daughter it should be an easy choice. But the truth is it's not easy I'm dying inside broken hearted even though I know it has to be done.I keep going over all the reasons it's the right thing to do like she'll be at peace my children will be safe I won't be worried all the time but nothing I say to myself makes me feel like what I'm doing is okay. I just can't get logic to meet up with my emotions. I know I'm going to put her to sleep but I just can't bring my heart to understand. So no you are not alone I tried behavioral specialist veterinarians minimalizing her contact with strangers I've done it all I haven't been able to leave my home for over few hours leaving her alone for the past 6 years I didn't give up easy I tried it all and even though I know I shouldn't feel guilty I don't think the guilt will ever go away. I can't tell you that you should put her to sleep or why it feels so wrong when it's the right thing but I can tell you nobody will be safe if you keep her alive and her quality of life will be severely diminished if she's caged away like a wild animal. I don't think anything will be a comfort to you except for time for me I just keep telling myself I will almost die putting my dog to sleep over the guilt but if she pulls my child's face off the guilt will definitely kill me.
ASeeker

Registered:
Posts: 4
 #4 
Myami- I am so sorry to hear that! All the grief and pain and guilt is terrible, but you must be feeling twice that. I'm so thankful your daughter is okay, please let go of some of that guilt. There is no way you could have known it would get that bad.

Like you said my dog is my first baby too! I can't even bring myself to write his name here. The love is real, and unconditional. But you need to do what you can to keep your children safe.

I found some comfort in this message board, it helps to know we're not alone. So many stories, so many approaches and all the same ending. I think sometimes these things are beyond our control.

Twinkiesmom- I'm so sorry for your loss too, it's terrible going through this. I hope none of us ever have to do it again. The scariest thing is when they attack the people closest to them. I have to believe that there is something wrong, I can't see how he can be so sweet sometimes and so enrages the next.

We have booked the appointment for tomorrow morning. I know it's going to be so hard but it's the only responsible thing left to do. My heart is broken.
Myami

Registered:
Posts: 5
 #5 
Thank you for your kind words I just wanted to check in and see how you're doing I hope everything went as peaceful as possible
ASeeker

Registered:
Posts: 4
 #6 
Thank you for checking in, we had the appointment on Saturday morning. We had lots of treats and play time before, he was so good that day. It broke my heart to do it and I can't help but blame myself, but since then while I have been packing away some of this things what broke my heart even more is the fact that we had so many things to contain him.

If nothing else he doesn't need to be contained anymore. I am still a wreck, in fact I think I am making myself physically sick. The guilt just won't leave me, everytime I talk myself around it comed right back. I just can't believe that we did that to him. I'm trying so hard to find peace with my decision, but everything just feels so unfair. It feels wrong being in my house without him and it feels wrong not wanting to be home. We stayed with him until the very end, and long after he had gone just holding him. We hadn't held him like that in so long. He could never let us.

I just hope that I made the right decision in the end. I hope all this heartbreak was worth it.
Myami

Registered:
Posts: 5
 #7 
If only our hearts could adjust to the logic in our heads. I never thought of all the things to contain them I appreciate you saying that because I think that will be something really helps me. I have to go tomorrow evening with my beloved dog and I feel the same kind of guilt I feel like I'm betraying her because I'm the only one she truly trusts. I see it now her nervous about the vet approaching her and I'll be telling her it's okay you want to meet him when for once her fear and aggression might be right.
don't forget that the grief will pass with time and even though nothing you say to yourself more than anyone will tell you will help you have no reason to feel guilty as you did more for your dog than most people. it must have been so hard to not even be able to cuddle your dog while they we're in that state of mind. It sounds very similar to many of the posts on that website. I feel so bad because it was different for me I was the one that my dog trusts I could have climbed inside her kennel and ate her last bit of food from her dish and she would have just laid there licking me. It's unfortunate that she targeted my daughter as protective as I am of my children I can't comprehend fear of my own dog because she treats me with such respect. I don't know how I'm going to get through this I just keep trying to imagine how terrifying it must be for my children. Talking with someone who is currently going through this has really helped me as I come from a family where a dog is just an animal. I hope that something takes your pain away and I'm so proud of you for taking your pups pain away.
tunk26

Registered:
Posts: 2
 #8 
Hi everyone,

Sorry to hear of all your stories. Sadly I am going through the same thing. We have a golden retriever who is about 4 and who we rescued 8 months ago from Egypt. We were told he was friendly, adorable and had some food aggression. All these things are true. However he also has significant fear aggression. He wants to love and meet everyone but his trust threshold is very low. He has bit a number of times but every time we made excuses and blamed our selves. He has bit 3 times where the bites have required medical attention- stitches, IV antibiotics and lots of time healing. He is very aggressive at the vet and anytime we try to clean his ears, or handle him in a way that he perceives as a threat. BUT 95% of the time is the sweetest, goofy, loving golden which makes this all so much harder. He doesn’t seem to be aware of his snaps either. We don’t seem to have any options. The rescue and our behaviourist said PTS is the only realistic option at this point. We don’t have to break his heart and risk him being mistreated further if we give him to someone who claims they can help him. It will be a vicious cycle of fear and aggression.

Our hearts are breaking. We feel like we have failed him. He did not deserve only 8 months of being treated properly. He did not deserve the abuse he clearly endured in Egypt Egypt. I have so much anxiety about the apt and how we are even going to get him him there peacefully without a fight. Please tell me it all gets better.
Myami

Registered:
Posts: 5
 #9 
If only our hearts could adjust to the logic in our heads. I never thought of all the things to contain them I appreciate you saying that because I think that will be something really helps me. I have to go tomorrow evening with my beloved dog and I feel the same kind of guilt I feel like I'm betraying her because I'm the only one she truly trusts. I see it now her nervous about the vet approaching her and I'll be telling her it's okay you want to meet him when for once her fear and aggression might be right.
don't forget that the grief will pass with time and even though nothing you say to yourself more than anyone will tell you will help you have no reason to feel guilty as you did more for your dog than most people. it must have been so hard to not even be able to cuddle your dog while they we're in that state of mind. It sounds very similar to many of the posts on that website. I feel so bad because it was different for me I was the one that my dog trusts I could have climbed inside her kennel and ate her last bit of food from her dish and she would have just laid there licking me. It's unfortunate that she targeted my daughter as protective as I am of my children I can't comprehend fear of my own dog because she treats me with such respect. I don't know how I'm going to get through this I just keep trying to imagine how terrifying it must be for my children. Talking with someone who is currently going through this has really helped me as I come from a family where a dog is just an animal. I hope that something takes your pain away and I'm so proud of you for taking your pups pain away.
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