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Posts: 1
I am struggling with a decision that I feel was forced upon me. I'm angry and bitter and sad and I miss my dog.

I got Remy when he was 8 weeks old from a breeder in Pennsylvania. He was gorgeous and demanding and he velcroed to me. The breeder informed me that he had fallen and hit is head at 6 weeks old but that his vet said that aside from a cosmetic issue, he was okay. I was in love. I drove 14 hours one way to get him. He had a Dobie sister waiting at home to meet him. 

The seizures started when he was almost a year old. We got levels tested and started him on meds. He had extreme separation anxiety. He would throw his food dish and wail if we were seperated by so much as a gate. He was jealous of attention paid to his sister. He was aggressive towards her but they still played together and slept togethet.

We met with a behavorialist. I worked hard on curbing his prey drive. I could give him baths now, without getting bit as he went after the spray nozzles. We never got passed the swifter. He hated it, and sponges on counters, too. But he learned the vac wasn't a danger, though he still quivered to attack it. We put him on a med to calm the anxiety and separation issues. I thought it was helping.

We were making so much progress. I swear we were. He ate a bottle of ibuprofen that I didn't know I even had. I rushed him to the vet and $1000 later, he was home again. Months later, he attacked sister dog and fell on her snapping her hind leg. $3000 later, she was home and resting and kept seperated from him. We discovered he had vWd. We shopped around looking for a vet to neuter him at 18 months, hoping that his aggression would go down without the testosterone hyping him up. $1200 was quoted because of the vWd. He ended up eating the legs off a toy and ended up at the emergency vet for an obstruction surgery and to get neutered. $10,000 later, my savings was drained but I was clinging to this dog that I loved so much and who loved me. He came home. We continued working on training.

The seizures began again before his second birthday. Bad ones. We went from one a day to 7 in a day in 3 days. Everything we tried worked for a week but the seizures came back. After a month long battle to control his seizures with medicine, we finally got them under control. 

We lost all of his training. He regressed to basically only understanding sit. The vet told us to begin his training all over. We tried. He couldn't focus. He was attacking dust particles. Chasing shadows. He was sucking his thigh more and more and his anxiety skyrocketed. I was losing a battle I didn't realize I had been thrust into. 

He became unpredictable. We didn't know what would set him off. I was running him daily, trying to wear him out. He was jumping on us, i was constantly getting hurt. He was randomly attacking the sister dog. He was knocking over people because he couldn't calm down. We muzzled him. It helped, but it broke my heart as well. We tried the thundershirt, the calming chews, different cbd oils. I was losing. We found the calming cap. He didn't like it but he didn't mind it. It helped immensely. He settled down and was a good boy. Until it came off, and he tried to make up for all the cap took away. 

We reached 100 days seizure free. The agression was worse than ever and you never knew when it would strike. He would come off the couch for no discernable reason. I wanted to try clicker training but I didn't know where to start. I thought there were other drugs to try. 

Everyone was concerned for the children in the house. While he knocked them down running around, the 7 year old was able to lay against him and cuddle and he never once went after a person. 

I was sat down by everyone who was concerned. They all pointed out that we had to take care of the kids and the sister dog. I argued that the calming cap was helping. There was more to try. They all pointed out that with his neurological issues, he couldn't be happy. He wasn't living his best life. I argued that he loved me and I loved him. He began obsessively licking the carpet and biting furniture while chasing the dust particles.

I reached out to 12 different rescues, seeking help in finding him a single dog home. Of these 12 rescues around the country, 11 of them were special needs dog rescues. I was rejected by all because he would pose to big of a liability and that he would never be adopted.

Finally, my husband and I talked to the vet about his future. The vet supported "our" decision to put him down. The date was set for December 4. I spent the whole day with him. We had Starbucks and a walk/run along the river. We had McDonald's and destroyed several toys. We cuddled on the couch. I told him I loved him and he was the bestest dog ever. I broke and cried and cried. We took him in and I stayed with him through the shot. The vet gave us our own room. I held him as he slipped away. I didn't want to leave him. The clinic closed and I was still there cradling my dog. The kids all believe he was rehomed, that we found someone he would fit in with better and I guess maybe we did. I resentful that I can't be ignorant. I couldn't mourn my dog openly because i had to hide the fact that we put him down.

This whole story leaves me devastated. Everyone said I did the right thing. I made the right choice. But if it was so right, why do I feel so guilty? Why does it hurt so much? Why do I feel like he loved me so much and I turned around and let him down? There was so much more to try. I'm sure of it. He didn't make it to his 3rd birthday.

I regretted my decision the moment they sedated him. I wanted to run away with him. Save him. I'm so angry! I want him back. I miss him so much. It wasn't time.

Posts: 43
I am so sorry.

Anyone could tell how much you loved Remy and how hard you worked to meet his special needs. No one could have or would have done more. But we don't know everything and we don't control everything and ultimately, what we can do for our beloved animals is limited. Our knowledge, our time, our money, our ability to protect them, our ability to protect others from them, our ability to find medical solutions to their problems or provide medical care--these all have limits, not because we don't want to take care of them, not because we don't love them, but because we can't.

If you stay on this board long enough, you will see that, regardless of the circumstances of death, everyone both grieves and feels guilty. Everyone questions themselves, both their decisions with regard to their animal's end of life and even things they did during the animal's life. That is because we love them so much, and they are so dependent on us, and we want to make their lives perfect and be perfect for them. Sadly, they do not live as long as we do: and when we love them, guilt is almost always part of the ending of things.

The good news is that you loved Remy even though he wasn't perfect. He loved you the same way. Remy was blessed to have someone who loved him as much as you did. Every dog deserves someone who is 100% convinced that they are the Best Dog in the Universe.

Big hugs to you.
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