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Posts: 8
My Sweet Pea. I’ve decided I need to euthanize her.
She is a deaf Aussie mix. I got her a puppy, and she was already showing resource guarding behavior. I didn’t know enough about it then, I thought it was sassy puppyness.

Sweet Pea had a big brother named Slevin, Doberman/boxer mix.
When P was little, they got a long fine. She was constantly trying to sleep with him on his bed, which made for adorable pictures. She was a happy playful puppy.
When she was about 4 months, she broke her back leg. I had it set with pins, and had zero regrets even though it cost me thousands. My little girl was worth it. She’s been on joint supplements ever since.
She was on crate rest for a long time. But she dealt with it pretty well. Esp being deaf, she could sleep and not be disturbed.
Once she was able to be exercised, it still had to be extremely gradual. By the time I could start socializing her, she was over a year old. I put her in doggy day care where I worked one time and she was miserable. She just froze while all the dogs surrounded her. Looking back, that was the wrong way to do that but again, I didn’t realize she was dog selective yet. I just kind of blew it off and decided she was fine with Slevin and I.
I’ll never know if it would’ve changed anything.
While I was transitioning P from puppy to adult food she had some trouble eating. Her food aggression really set in. She wasn’t eating, would just stare at her food and cower but would guard it severely. One day Slevin wandered too close and P attacked him. She was half his size. Slevin showed no bite inhibition and really messed her up. Multiple stitches and a drain in her neck.
That same night, they were on the same bed, licking each other’s wounds. Despite my nerves, they bounced back quickly and easily. I started feeding P in a separate room all together and things were fine.
P never tried to bite me but when she had a high value treat in her crate she would hover and offer a low growl. If you messed with her crate she would lunge.
I stupidly decided I wanted to try and work on her food aggression and that almost ended in her biting me. I flicked a piece of kibble into her bowl (even after working on desensitizing for WEEKS) she lunged over her bowl and cornered me for a second. It was then I decided I didn’t need to fix her, I just needed to manage her.
And that worked.
I started working as a dog trainer and had lots of access to other trainers, training rooms and tools and classes and everything seemed to be working.
Eventually P and Slevin could enjoy bones together, play together with toys, run and chase each other, be left alone together at home etc. With the help of other trainers, I even got P on pack walks with other new dogs with no reactivity, and for a split second, we even got her off leash in a play yard with another dog. At home, P was a true velcro dog and loved snuggling with me every chance she could, she also followed me everywhere I went. Whether she was tired or just laid down, if I got up, so did she. I loved her and Slevin so much. Life was good ❤️
I eventually left my dog training job and went back to horses. I have a seasonal job that is long hours, (12 hour days)
On December 22nd, 2017 I decided to take the dogs to a state park and let them be off leash in a isolated area.
They were running and jumping and having a blast. I did notice P was getting a little overstimulated but it wasn’t uncommon and usually would dissipate on its own within minutes.
P went to pick up a stick. Slevin, still running around, did a fly by and mouthed at her stick in an attempt to play. Sweet P attacked him and they started fighting. I was able to break it up just by raising my voice. Slevin retreated and we leashed up and left. P ended up with 2 punctures on her lip. Things seemed fine between them, they would still snuggle and clean each other’s faces. I didn’t think anything had changed.
14 days later. I had a friend over who’s over regularly. (She also watched my dogs while I was on vacation with no issues.)
I had just bought a horse blanket and we were knelt down on the ground looking at it. Both dogs were somewhat hovering, trying to their turn at pets from our guest. This had NEVER been an issue. Not a week before that, my parents were visiting and my dad was loving on both dogs with no tension between them.
Out of the blue P attacks Slevin again. This time I can’t separate them. It took me smacking Slevin over the back with a glass water bottle. Slevin retreated and P was on her side, trembling.
I looked her over, noticed a few punctures on her muzzle. She had just finished a round of antibiotics, so I smeared some neosporin on her and put her up for a little bit while I did some errands.
I came home to a bleeding and trembling P. I kept finding more punctures and cuts. I decided to take her back to the vet. More clipping and cleaning. More antibiotics.
I fully expected them to come back around in a day or 2. I kept them seperate as best I could in my small apartment. Normally they are looking for each other. Wanting to cuddle or interact.
But not this time. P wants nothing to do with Slevin. She tolerates him being near, but isn’t comfortable. I make sure he’s not on top of her or crowding her in any way. The next fight feels like it’s just around the corner. My once velcro dog is now going into rooms by herself and going to sleep.
Her little nubbin only wags when I give her one on one attention and pets. There’s a hint of excitement when I let her out of her crate but there’s no more playing. There’s no interest in toys. She’s back to her low growl when she goes in her crate with a treat toy or bone. She just kinda stands and watches me uncomfortably. She hates exercise and it’s probably due to her arthritis. She has it in all 4 legs now. She will go on short walks but a long walk and you are dragging her. She’s become nervous outside and untrusting. Startling very easy. Her life hasn’t changed but her trust is gone. She’s startling more than she ever has before.
I don’t know what to think at this point but she’s not herself. The fact that she was born deaf and has so many issues, make me concerned it’s neurological. I refuse to put this dog on daily pain killers. I find myself putting her up when company is over and I know she loves most people. But lately she gets grumpy and agitated and I don’t want to run the risk of her biting someone or attacking Slevin again.

I have exhausted all efforts as far as behavior management goes. Medically I am limited. I can’t afford to put her on long term expensive medication, nor can I afford to do a super throughout blood panel. This feels neurological, with the abrupt change and panels wouldn’t show anything like that anyway.
If anyone read this. Thank you. My heart is breaking for my special needs dog. But I don’t see that my dog is happy. Or relaxed. Nothing makes her happy and I hate seeing her like this. I love her so much 😭

Posts: 580
I wish there were something I could say to you that would put your heart at ease but I haven't experienced this kind of thing. All I can offer you is my prayers and best wishes for a good outcome for you and Sweet Pea. It sounds like you have truly tried to help her. Because of her medical problems she may not be having a quality life and as hard as you try you can only do so much to help her. I know and feel your love for Sweet Pea and I know she loves you right back. There comes a time that we all reach when it comes to our Fur Babies that we need to weigh their quality of life. I wish for you and all of us that we didn't need to ever think about things like this. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Please keep in touch, we are here for your support and help with your hurting heart.
Love and doggie hugs
Termy's mom

Posts: 8
Thank you so much for your reply. It’s the right decision but it’s so hard 😔 at this rate the dogs can go on walks together and sleep in the same room, other than that i don’t trust it so I’m crating and rotating. My husband will be taking Slevin with him on the road for a little bit so P’s last times can be lots of cuddles with mom and no stress. I just love her so much 💔

Posts: 580
I am so glad you found a solution for now. I know how hard this must be and I am so sorry for you and Sweet Pea. I know you love her and I know she loves you. She will never blame you for any decision you have to make on her behalf. I felt a lot of guilt when I let Termy go. I did the what ifs and the maybe I should haves but in the end I knew I made the right choice even if it was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. I believe I have finally found peace. Sweet Pea knows how deeply you love her. Cherish this time with her and make memories to last you until you meet again. Bless your husband for how thoughtful and understanding he is during this emotional time.
Love and doggie hugs
Termy's mom

Posts: 8
Thank you so much for your message. I made the heartbreaking decision and said my final goodbyes yesterday. Things had taken a turn and I no longer trusted them in the same room. Both P and Slevin were on edge and miserable. My sweet baby girl. We had to go to the clinic and she was a little scared but did my best to put her at ease and it happened so quick. I know she was deaf but I just kept telling her she was a good girl. I never want her to think I felt otherwise. She was a good dog. And she did the very best she could.
I love her so so much. We spent some one on one time in the couple hours before. We snuggled on the couch. I just never thought I’d have to make that decision.
I’m having her cremated with her blanket.
It’s hard to be at home without her but everyone’s stress level is down. There’s no more tension and looking around the corner and did I forget anything. That’s no way to live for human or animal. I did the right thing, it’s just one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I love her so much.
Rest easy Peeps. You deserve it. You deserve to be happy and peaceful and pain free. I miss you and I love you so much my sweet baby girl 💕😢

Posts: 37
I am so sorry that you had to make the decision you did. I will keep you in my thoughts.

Posts: 580
I too am sorry that it came to this. You seem to be at peace with your decision to give Sweet Pea her peace. Thank you for loving her for her, and giving her all your love. You were the best mommy to her.
Love and doggie hugs
Termy's mom

Posts: 4
So very sorry for your loss. I cried reading your post.
I posted on the board with no replies and your story even though somewhat different I find myself at the point of deciding to let my baby go or try a bit longer. I’m so torn.
I love that you got to spend snuggle time and she knows how much you Love her even if she couldn’t her the words she felt it in your touch and through your heat. Run Free P

Posts: 123
The loss and despair comes through in your message and how I feel for You. Know that you made the correct decision. I, too had to lay my 16y chihuahua to rest. The uncertainties along the road of Life, are not clear cut, many a curve. I kept thinking that my wee one would pass away in his sleep, quite the contrary. In any case, laying to rest, is the final grace you can give for all the comfort offered during Life. Laying to rest is dignified and humane.Grief is the price we pay for love and as such it endures as long as love does forever. Would I choose not to have had the unconditional love of my wee chihuahua, definitely not and I feel for certain you feel the same of Sweet Pea. As mentioned, you did the honourable task of letting go and that is no easy feat. My heart goes out to You.    Peace be with You,    Sherry/Perryxx

Posts: 8
Thank you everyone for your kind words. It means so much. I got her ashes back today, along with a clay imprint of her paw. My sweet baby girl. I miss her so much.
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