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Posts: 6
Looking for support, not judgment (i think there's enough of that coming from my own self). Our 4-year-old Brisco was put down on Thursday. He was getting more and more aggressive and had bitten several people. We looked into getting him a new home with no kids but nothing was panning out. We took a 5-hour trip to the nearest SPCA to put him up for adoption and were told, just as we finished filling out the paper work amidst our tears, that he was too aggressive and unadoptable.

We made the decision to put him down- knowing that he could never go to another home and couldn't go home and risk our child being bitten.

I feel like whatever I write or say is an excuse and my heart is so broken. To us he was so much more than some aggressive dog. He was our baby. He was my walking buddy, my best friend, my couch cuddler and bed hog. 

I miss the smell of his feet, the feeling of his fur, the sound of his feet tapping on the floor. I miss his sense of humour and his expressions.

I know there are positives to this decision- a safer home for our child and company/guests, our cats are less stressed and happier. But oh man, I miss him so much and feel so guilty and horrible.

My husband is coping better than I am. He keeps reminding me that we did everything we could (training, exercise, special collars, etc) and that we have to put the safety of our son first. But I can't stop crying. So many little things remind me of him. I tried to go for a walk tonight and bury one of his favourite toys on our usual walking route, but I couldn't do it- I had to turn back before I broke down on the street.

I know this is working through grief, and I am so happy I found this forum. 

RIP Brisco- you are in my heart forever.

Posts: 2,465
I am so sorry for your loss and the decision you had to make.  You tried everything, but your baby needed release from the torture of his aggression.  I hope you find some peace and comfort here where so many know how you feel.  Hugs to you, it will get better with time...........

Posts: 762
Judgement is the last thing you will ever find at petloss.  So many people, including myself, has had to do the same thing.  Two years ago I adopted a rescue who was totally loving to me but hated everyone else.  She bit my son in law quite badly, went after my other little dog and I was terrified that she would get progressively worse.  When I explained to the rescue organization they determined that it was best to euthanize Pansy.   Some dogs are born with aggressive tendencies and others develop it due to abuse, neglect or some other unknown reason.  You absolutely did the right thing.  I think we all feel guilt but in cases such as Briscoe's there can be no guilt.  You did everything possible to help him.  He is at peace, his demons gone.  I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.  Rest in peace Briscoe.


Posts: 561
I am so sorry for your loss.  I truly understand the heartbreaking decision you had to make.  You may find some comfort in my previous posts.  See, I found this site while looking for a way to save my darling Archie, some magic pill or place as an alternative to putting him to sleep.  This past summer my 1 1/2 year old coonhound developed Canine Rage Syndrome and bit my husband and son.  I will not go into details, you can read my thoughts if you like.

You did the right thing for your family and for Brisco.  There is no fantasy place that takes agressive dogs, you feel hopeful until you read everyone's bylaws - even "no-kill" shelters will not keep agressive dogs.  Why would they keep a dog they can never adopt out, when their resources could be spent sheltering gentle, adoptable pets?  No farms or faraway, remote places want a dog who will bite it's owner when agitated.  People mean well suggesting them, but they do not exist.  A cried for a day when I realized my search was futile.

And sure, you can just be constantly vigilant, but that would be a 24/7 job, and with a child, your nerves would be shot.  Not really a home if you and yours cannot feel safe inside, and you should not live in fear of someone you love. 

Once Brisco bites someone and he becomes registered as a biter by the county, he can no longer go for walks, he would have to be constantly confined.  What a terrible life for a large dog who loves going for walks. 

You and I both know that Brisco, and Archie, did not mean to bite.  Something in them just short-circuits for a moment.  Archie would actually collapse and whimper after an attack.  And my husband and son, the two he attacked, both loved him and felt very guilty - although they did nothing wrong either. 

You did the only thing left for you to do.  I was with Archie when they put him to sleep, after his 10 day home-bound quarantine, and he was relaxed because I was with him.  Before they gave him the final injection, he laid across my body, put his chin on my shoulder and started to snore  - Archie's way of telling me he loved me and trusted me. 

For me it will be 6 months since he is gone on 1/16/13.  I still cry sometimes because I miss him and his dancing happiness and clowning around, but more often I remember the funny things and laugh - which is what Archie would want anyway.  

If you read my posts, I also had to address the "Oh, you didn't have to do that" people.  Maybe what I went through and the very good advice from the people here will help you address your own problems.

Peace to you and your household.  I know that Brisco is now at peace at the bridge.  I bet he and Archie are now friends, Archie would greet EVERYONE new and I am sure when he heard Brisco's story - they would realize that they are kindred spirits.  And then, knowing Archie, he would drag Brisco into a game of soccer, or just go swimming in the river.  No one mopes with Archie around.  

Let go of the guilt.  You were stuck in a situation where there could never be a perfect outcome.  You chose the solution that brought peace - even through the heatache there is a sense of peace.  Brisco loved you and you loved him - and you did what was necessary.  Ponder this, if he bit someone who reported him, the county would come and put him in a cage in quarantine for 10 days and then put him to sleep.  He would have been alone, and scared.  As it was, he was with you till the end, in his home, with the people who loved him best.

Hugs and prayers,  Donna - Ben, Oscar, Archie, and Basil's mom


Posts: 155

Here is a poem that I hope well help you.

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, AND Muffin 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 radient 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
Gizmo's Mum


Posts: 6
Wow, thank you all for your replies and kind words. I just finished crying and your words have realllllly helped. From myself and my husband (who I have shared this with) thank you and you too are in my prayers.

Posts: 200
Reflection pond.... Yes i am here smiling quietly to my self nodding my head yes. So true. So true.

Posts: 561
People do not realize how exhausting and nerve-wrecking it is to live in fear 24/7 - in the one place where you should be safe. Archie was amazing 95% of the time, but you never knew when he would get an attack and go after you. It's easy to give the advice to confine the dog to the house, but until you have had to actually do it - do not try to advise someone going thru it. And if there are children around - you cannot put them in physical danger in their own home.

The decision to put your beloved pet to sleep is not an easy one. It is usually made after a futile and exhaustive search for a nonexistent miracle. A last resort that you finally accept is your only choice.

My heart bleeds for anyone going through this. I wish I could pluck the guilt away from all of you.

All my heart,

Donna - Ben, Oscar

Posts: 596
I believe some dogs are pre-disposed to aggressive behavior. It has nothing to do with breed. Dogs look for balance, and living with this overwhelming aggression is a horrible thing. They never find peace in their lives. Doing "the right thing" sucks. It's not fair, it's playing God, it hurts like hell. Because we love our canine children, we are charged with doing what is best for them, not us. It's hard to take our emotions out of the equation. I think it would be like living with a brain so charged as to never stop whirling and raging.

I can speak to making a decision based on the needs of our fur kids. I allowed my beloved Bubba to linger when I knew he sent me every sign possible to let go. It wasn't about him, it was about me. I think you gave Brisco the gift of freedom he never knew in life. While we feel guilty over these decisions, our beloveds know we did the right thing.

Posts: 74

I just checked in to the message boards after taking a bit of a break. Wednesday it will be twelve weeks since I held my own loving, goofy, smart, but aggressive and unpredictable special boy in my arms as my wonderful vet administered the drug that would take him away from this world. The guilt was overwhelming and I found this place. There was never any judge,net here. People shared their stores and their experiences. Though all logic pointed to the fact that it was the "right" decision (and I know it is always the right decision to keep our children and others safe) it is a profound loss. I'm so happy you found this place, and these people. They will help you as you make your way along.

T's Mom

Posts: 311

I am so sorry for your loss.  I too had to put down my beloved dog on Thursday, due to aggression.  I rescued Sophie 2 1/2 yrs ago, and she has always had many problems, both physical and emotional.  I had her on many different medications, hired a specialized trainer, and gave her as much love as my heart could possibly give.  She has bitten several people in my family, including me and my husband.  She attacked me a couple of weeks ago, unprovoked, and I had to go to the hospital.  We had her chemical levels checked and everything was fine, so there was no physical explanation.  The vet said she likely had a problem with her brain, because she was having seizures for a few months, then the seizures stopped, and she became violent and unpredictable (more than before.)  I made the decision to euthanize her, but I feel like I made the wrong one.  I thought I would be relieved because the household would no longer have to live in extreme fear (which I did for years) but in fact I am just incredibly heartbroken.  I miss her all the time.  This forum is an absolute godsend.  Thank you so much for your kindness and lack of judgement.  All I feel is intense guilt, like I could have done more.  I didn't think that anyone else felt this way or ever had to go through this pain.  Knowing that there are others makes it easier, somehow. 


Posts: 561
Oh, Lepercann - I wish I could find the words to help you with your guilt.  I went thru the same thing in July - however, my baby just started out of the blue.  No warning, one minute he is my darling, the next minute, his eyes changed and he was completely gone and attacking the people he loved most, and the next minute he is laying on the ground in my arms - shaking and whimpering.  The attacks were torture on him, but he could not help himself. 

And while we were afraid of him, we also knew that the life he would have to live would be torture to him.  We had an electric fence and Archie was outside running, hunting, socializing, resting, every minute that he could.  He even loved the rain and would go out for hours - not coming in until he was ready.  That would have had to stop - he would not be able to be outside without a leash.  He would spend most of his life confined indoors.  He also could no longer socialize with anyone, and for a social animal like Archie this would have been a living death.

The life he was now condemned to because of his sickness (Canine Rage Syndrome) would have killed him, slow and lonely.  I could not have that just because I was incapable of making a difficult decision, to save me the pain of making a very difficult decision.  Letting him live this half life would help me, but not Archie.

We are all put into a situation where there is no happy solution, no matter what, there was going to be pain and sadness.  However, not for Archie.  Animals are not afraid of death, only people are.  But they are afraid of pain - and Archie was  very afraid after his attacks.  I know that I made the right decision for Archie, even though I miss him every day.  However, I called him my laughing boy, or my dancing boy, because he had such a joy of living - every thing he did was over the top, every minute he lived was full of as much as he could get into it.  He would hate for us to mope or mourn - he loved us and would want us happy.   We loved him, he loved us, and we made the best decision possible for all of us. 

Honestly, consider the life your baby would have been condemned to.  Add to that, him having to watch the ones he loved become terrified of him, watch love turn to fear and resentment.  For something he could not help, and something you could not cure.  You are not God, you are only human and you did the best you could with the situation you were handed.

Take care of yourself.

Donna - Ben, Oscar, Archie, and Basil's mom

Posts: 295
May I ask if the dog was neutered?  Sometimes, they are aggressive until they are fixed and then they calm down.  What a shame the poor thing had to be put down.  I can think of a lot of humans that should be put down because of their killing instincts!!!!!

You did the best you could, please do not feel the least bit guilty.  My heart always aches when a dog needs to be put down and is not sick or dying.

Posts: 6
Prayers to you all as I recently (last Thursday) had to put our aggressive dog to sleep.  It's one of those things that no one understands unless you have been through it...the love you feel for the dog and the dog shows to you but doesn't show to others.

Why can't the dog love others as much as he/she loves us?  This is a question I posed to my husband a few times, and unfortunately, we could not find an answer.  Even with additional training, etc, would you have ever felt comfortable or safe with your dog around your child again?  I asked myself this question many times before making our decision, and without questioning, knew the answer was no.

I applaud you for trying your best and wish you all the best.  You will be in my thoughts...

Posts: 561
Ltb3105: Archie was neutered and had just finished obedience class - not for aggression - just regular classes. In fact they wanted him to train as a therapy dog, if they could just figure out how to convince him that he was NOT an 80# lapdog. When I called the trainer during his quarantine week - she could not believe it. As I said - out of the blue with no warning. If you saw his eyes, you would know that there was something wrong. H e bit my husband for no reason and then my son when he tried to get him off my husband. When I called to him he came to me and started to shake and cry. He was so scared. The day before we put him to sleep it happened again. We were across the room and my husband said oh no. I looked at Archie, but it was not my Archie. It was a terrifying wild animal. He once again tried to attack Mark and I stood in the way until Mark got behind a door. Archie then started to cry and shake.

It is not something I ever want to see again.

Donna - Darling Archie's mommy

Posts: 4,690
I am sorry for your loss. I know how hard it is to make a decision such as this.

Posts: 295
Again, my condolences go out to you.  I guess there was nothing that could be done.  Please know others are thinking of you during this sad time.

Posts: 6
I had this nightmare last night- we lived in a different house and I went to the basement to find something- instead I found Brisco- he was in a room and looked absolutely horrible and close to death. It turned out my husband had gone back to the vet and took Brisco home but was hiding him. I was so angry and mortified that he would do that- not the "bringing him back" but the "hiding him in the house."

I let him outside right away and gave him food and water and was just holding him and petting him and furious at my husband.

I'm not sure what the dream means- the guilt still of having him put down, how much I miss him, anger at my husband and blaming him for this.

This morning I'm just crying here- thinking of the dream (nightmare!) and missing Brisco. Feeling guilty. Like he's haunting us and is in pain somehow.  I wish I could tell him how much I loved him. How much we miss him. I wish I had those moments with him again before the vet took him into the other room. To kiss his nose once more and tell him we love him. Give him another chance.

I re-read the poem that someone left in here and bawled my eyes out- it really resonates with me. I'm not a religious person but I'm finding comfort in believing he is somewhere where he demons are gone and he is loved and happy and free to run and play and chew on as many socks as they give him. 

I miss you Brisco.  And I thank everyone in this forum and who replied again- reading your stories and kinds words remind me I'm not alone and many of us have had to make this hard choice and have lost a truly wonderful friend.

Posts: 561
Love does not blame, or hate, or haunt.  Brisco loved you, he would NEVER do anything to harm you or hurt you.  Dismiss those thoughts immediately - because it would never happen.   That is how the unconditional love of a dog is. 

Your dreams and nightmares are your own unresolved issues.  I believe that you and your husband should have a talk - the sooner the better.  Talk, but also listen very close to what the other is saying. 

When we put Archie to sleep, he had bitten my husband first and my son when he tried to help his father.  It was sudden, and vicious, and unexpected.  And just that fast it was over.  But it was not our Archie - it was horrible.  However, my husband felt so guilty.  He had to go to the emergency room for his hand and that lead to a report to the County.  It was a terrible time, and no one was to blame, but Mark harbored that guilt for a while until we talked it out.  I had already had many heart to heart talks with my son, but my husband was a different matter.

Talk - do not let this go unresolved.  There was really no happy ending to be had here.  You did what you had to do, for Brisco as well as yourselves.  And he loved you to the end and beyond.  And he is having a grand time at the bridge with Archie and the others - healthy and happy - and waiting for you one day to join him again.

Love,  Donna- Archie's loving momma


Posts: 311
I've been reading a lot of pet grief books and one of them addressed this problem about nightmares.  It said that after experiencing a traumatic event like the loss of a pet, sometimes owners will have recurrent nightmares about their pets.  The book stressed that the nightmares mean nothing except that we are upset and emotionally unstable right now, and our subconscious is picking up on this.  I was having nightmares about Sophie a lot in the first week, now three weeks later I still am not sleeping well but the nightmares seem to be gone.  I try not to be disturbed about the dreams and try to remember that she is safe and free now, not upset and aggressive like she was in life.

Posts: 1
What can be more heartbreaking than having to put a healthy dog to sleep for aggressive behaviour. I also am broken hearted when my dog Sam a German Shepard was put to sleep two days ago. It all started when he was a young dog and was always on guard and nervous . He never showed real affection to the rest of the family but loved my wife . He had bitten my son and broke the skin he was in his teens , he was ok. We decided to give the dog a chance, we loved the dog, a year later he then bit my other son on the arm again he drew blood. We got a dog trainer out to asses the situation , and he made it clear that we should get him put down due to his aggression. I was feeling like the world was being pulled from under my feet thinking of getting him put down so gave him a last chance . Sam was always unpredictable growling and on high alert , a great guard dog , he followed me every where , but loved my wife out of all the family. When he bit my son again my wife rang me and we decided the best thing was to put him to rest, family comes first but the hardest thing to do. We brought him to the vet but couldn't stay with him and left him there because we couldn't bear to see him being put down, hence the guilt pain and emptiness we are now feeling. We all loved him but couldn't trust him. What a painful thing to to. When I go out the back, his area , I break down because he is not there to greet me.

Posts: 561
Dear Michaelhaggertay:

I understand.  My Archie was 1 1/2 years old when he developed Canine Rage.  My story is documented on this website, so I will not go into it - but it is an ache that even after a year and a half (for me) my heart still stutters at times when I remember.  Thankfully, most of my memories are happy and they make me laugh.  And I know that there was really nothing else I could have done, but sometimes I long to dance with him, or need him to plunk himself down on my lap (he was 80#) while I am trying to read the paper.  It is not the desperate ache from at first, more a momentarily sad and hopeless longing at times.  He was too full of life to "only" remember his death and mourn, but sometimes I just want him here with me and I cannot seem to rationalize the emptiness and make it go away.  

You did what was best for Sam and for your family.  There can be no happiness where fear exists.  And I can tell you that it will not always hurt this much.  But you must give yourself time.

You and your family are in my prayers.


Posts: 3
Hi everyone, 

I am seeking some positive and emotional help with the decision that has been made by my boyfriend and I to have my darling sweet baby Gracie put to sleep. I am very hysterical and emotional as i am 34 weeks pregnant on top of it all. i hope that i can somehow get some kind of grief relief or hope that someone else will tell me I'm making the right decision. 

I rescued my sweet gracie from a man who was breeding fighting pit bulls. Her and 8 others were saved from this horrible living situation and life style. I immediately rushed her to the vet the next day as we were unsure if she was sick or how old she may have been. The vet stated she was in good condition and gave her vaccinations and told us she was approx 5 weeks old. Gracie was too little to be taken from her mommy. But he mommy had died as a fighting dog. So i was blessed with this wonderful healthy beautiful dog who i could nurture and love to my fullest ability so she would never have to fear or worry about anything. She showed me an unconditional love that i will never be able to explain to anyone else. She was my baby. She went everywhere with me. To the doctors, to the store, to my families house. It was a rare occasion for you to see me without Gracie. 

Gracie was very loving with my friends family members and everyone around... but to her demise it was other dogs that she did not care for. She began acting out shortly after me and my boyfriend moved in together and he had a bulldog named Ralphie. Gracie became very territorial of me and my boyfriend and would get extremely anxious if we showed attention to any other dog other than her. The first time they fought i ruled it as rough play. the second time we ruled it as he caught her off guard. We finally decided to get a training collar which just my luck didn't seem to help. He would frequently take her to the dog park and take her on walks daily for exercise and she would be fine as long as our full attention was on her. There was an altercation with one of my moms smaller dogs that left her dog unable to walk. we looked for many trainers and they all claimed to be the best but could offer us no guarentee that she would stop being aggressive to other dogs. They would simply tell us that it might be a mental thing and bread into her. 

as i have said before i am close to being 9 months pregnant. On Saturday morning i was sweeping the floor and she brutally attacked Ralph again, this time, for the first time ever, locking her jaw on him. I have never seen her be so aggressive and not be able to get her off of him. immediatey after she was crying and licking his face knowing that she could not ever take back what had happened to him. he has several deep cuts and open sores now on his face but she still lays at his feet and licks at them in which i assume is her apology. 

we called every single rescue and foster, all of them with stipulations and can't guarantee that she would ever be able to be adopted due to her aggression and unstable behaviors. I've opted to surrender her to APLs or shelters but i was told due to her age and that she is a pit bull it was highly unlikely that she would be adopted in a timely manner. The thought of her being scared and alone in a cement cage to eventually being put down and being alone breaks my heart more. 

I feel as if i am losing my child. I cannot risk that there would be an accident involving my new born baby and i then would never forgive myself either. I have caught a lot of negative responses from people saying that i am not a good person for coming to this decision, but i don't see any better decision with a better outcome. I am very distraught and unhappy by this. I feel as if i am losing my best friend, but my mind and heart are worried for her future. 

any and all feed back and support or ideas would be greatly appreciated. I'm trying to stay positive but my whole heart is broken and i am in unbearable emotional pain

-Kesley, Gracies mommy. 


Posts: 1,821

1st - i am so very sorry for your loss - making the decision is always heart breaking - and seems so much worse and even unfair when they are young and/or physically healthy. it is never easy - and i can only imagine how hard it has to be when they seem so healthy physically. But the sad truth is they are not healthy - mental illness is still illness.


The truth is your baby was sick - no, not a physical ailment that could be seen this time - but still sick. And as with some physical ailments, some mental ailments cannot be successfully treated. You set your baby free. Even when we free our beloved companions from catastrophic physical ailments like end stage cancer we often go through feeling that same way, it is normal. Guilt is very often the 1st steps on grief’s path, the what ifs and if onlys are simply our grief tormenting us. When we loose these precious souls why really doesn't matter - love is a shared bond and when that bond seems severed it hurts. But your baby will be with you always - free of the aggression they could not control - simply in a form you cannot see.

You gave your baby a safe place and you loved them - and you gave them a lifetime of love and care in their time with you then allowed a dignified good-bye allowing them to leave with dignity surrounded by love. You gave them chances where many would not. Please know you did try and in the end had no real choice - what were your baby's options? Life in a cage? Intervention 'on the spot' by the authorities when things got too out of control? Someone scarred and their death happening at the hands of someone trying to stop them? An end that likely would not have been with ones who love your baby or care if they is frightened? You gave your baby a wonderful life where elsewhere they may have known abuse, and gave them every chance you could and you tried to give them a home where they would be safe. When your baby passed to the hands of the angels it was be from love to love, they carried your baby to a place where they is free of the demons that made them aggressive and at that instant your baby understood that you acted out of love and compassion. Your baby is free and happy. Please know all you are feeling right now is normal and no matter what the circumstances is what we have all felt. i am so very sorry for your loss.

Know we are here for you and your family. Sadly, we have seen this tale before and we do understand and we know sometimes there is no choice.

When you can please share a photo. I feel certain there are so many wonderful memories with
your baby, and sharing those sometimes helps. And if you just need someone to sit by your side - well you now belong to a family that circles the globe.








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 radient 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 - free of the demons she fought against so hard.




Posts: 2
In reading all of these posts, I find some comfort and relief that I am not the only one feeling this guilt and regret in making the heartbreaking decision to euthanize our big guy. We adopted Dominic, who happened to be a pitbull mix, into our loving home of other dogs. My husband don't plan to have children, so essentially our dogs are our kids. 

Looking back now, there are some red-flags that we just didn't see or didn't want to see. There was an incident where my female dog, and dominc were playing and she had snapped at him, causing an all out war where we couldn't get them apart. Needless to say, our female ended up at the vet a short 30 minutes later, with almost 10 stitches sewing up her arm and elbow. We didn't see this as a "red-flag" as she had initiated the fight. 

Fast forward a few weeks later. Our 13 year old beagle, who's famous for laying in the front yard sunbathing, where people thing he's died in the front yard because he doesn't move all day. This dog, the most gentle, carefree dog, was attacked by dominic, unprovoked. I found my beagle copper, standing in a pool of his own blood with his chest ripped open and too many puncture holes to count. Upon looking at Dominic, he had blood all down his face and mouth and neck. I immediately kenneled him and rushed my poor copper boy off to the vet. On the way to the vet, Copper kept going in and out of consciousness, and I kept screaming his name to keep in awake while he lay almost lifeless in my lap as I drove as fast as I could to the vet. When I arrived, I realized I was covered 80% of myself in his blood, the towel I wrapped him in, soaked.

I opened the door to the vet and walked right back to the surgery area where they started to work on my Copper. Upon examination, they were worried that his lung had been punctured from the amount of air that was filling up in his chest as he breathed. They had to open him up, and realized that his body cavity had been punctured, but his lung was left unscathed. His chest and Left arm, mangled with muscle damage so bad, they don't know if he'll fully regain full movement in that arm.

He is not out of the woodwork yet, he's still critical and there is an extremely high risk for infection. When I finally stopped crying and was able to gain enough composure to think about this whole scenario, I realized that my loving, caring and sweet boy dominic had a switch. A switch that was unpredictable and was a risk to others in our household, and our fur children.

From the advice of 2 vets at our clinic, the rescue group AND my dog trainer - they all agreed that the best thing for him would be to euthanize him.  I bawled and looked for any alternative to not have to make this awful decision. 

We decided and beforehand, we took him to get his favourite, and ice cream cone and a truck ride. He was so happy. He passed on October 3, 2016. My sweet boy. 

What has made this even harder, is the woman who fostered him before we adopted him, has made this decision a nightmare. She's posting on facebook how she failed at finding his perfect adoptive parents, and that we should be put on a Do Not Adopt list. That we should have called her to take him back and that she would have found him another home. Our main concern was Dominic going to another home and in most cases, doing this again. OR never finding a home and being quarantined to a kennel for rest of his life, making him angry and lonely. I couldn't live with myself if he did this to another dog, or a child and anyone. I've been getting a lot of backlash on facebook that has just made this whole thing worse. 

Posts: 2
We have just had to do the same with an old dog we got from a rescue centre. He had nipped/bitten 6 people and was showing agressive signs around our newborn. Yet he was so lovely with us and was the best dog ever in that regard. It is the worst devision I have ever had to make. We tried rehoming but centres would not rehome dogs with agressive tendencies. It is two days since his passing and I just cannot get over the feelings of guilt and regret. Maybe we could have trained him more or kept him. But if we had done the latter there would have always been the risk of him biting our child. I feel empty without him. I just hope time helps ease these feelings.

Posts: 6
Hi MikeM. I just got a notice about your reply on this and first want to send my deepest condolences. As you already read, there was so much guilt and sadness with putting down our dear Brisco, and so I know exactly how you feel. 
I wish I could say time helps ease these feelings. It does I suppose. But I still get teary-eyed when I see a picture of our old dog or a story comes up about him.  And even seeing your reply today (more than four years after I posted), i still feel some guilt and sorrow.
Anytime I bring it up, my husband still reminds me of what could have happened and that even if we did find another home for him imagine how horrible we'd feel if he bit someone there or hurt a child.

But time helps. We have a new dog now (took us about two years to be ready) and he's an amazing dog- very well-tempered, total sweet heart. Having him in our lives is a reminder of what a normal dog feels like, if that makes sense. 

Be kind to yourself, know that you did your best and I found that poem that someone posted in this thread was deeply touching and helpful. Still makes me cry to read it, gah, but it's touching to know that this is something other people have gone through and I think what shows is our compassion and the fact that this was not a decision we took lightly.

Posts: 3
I'm so sorry for your loss. I just went through placing my 2 (almost 3) year old companion down due to aggression. She was a good, a great dog, once in a while her aggression would come out sporadically and she had a habit of harming other dogs (and people whenever we tried to break up the fight) she wasnt a bad or angry dog, she just had a bad aggression towards other dogs. But because of me having a husky who is my shadow and is a little baby, I couldn't let this go on longer. But i could not give Ivy up, no one would take her. In fact, most people were trying to get rid of their own malamutes because of the same reason. and I did not want to wander the rest of my life wondering if she had a home or was stuck in a kennel with no one to love her. I also did not want her to harm anymore dogs or worse...children. I had to make the hardest decision and put her down and the way it all happened tore me apart. I still sleep with her collar around my wrist and close to my heart. 

Posts: 1
I’m so sorry for everyone’s loss. I found this website while desperately searching for some kind of reassurance that I did the right thing for my sweet Zoey. I made the gut wrenching decision to put her down just 3 days ago. She was sporadically aggressive and her triggers were different from one day to the next. I won’t go into a whole lot of detail, but she has bitten me on 3 separate occasions and caused enough damage for stitches. She has bitten my mother before and as well as my girlfriend. Serious enough for them to need stitches as well. She has attacked my other 2 dogs more times than I can count.
Anyways, she attacked one of our fosters puppies. Thank god she wasn’t seriously injured. But I had to pull Zoey off of her and I’m not sure how I didn’t get bit in the process.
After that I decided it was time to put her to rest. I couldn’t even fathom re-homing her for obvious reasons. I couldn’t just drop her off at the pound and forever wonder what happened to my baby girl. I’m typing up all of this because I cannot forgive myself for the decision that I made. I feel so much guilt and doubt that I can barely function. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. I can’t work. Maybe I should have tried harder. Or maybe I should have tried a little longer. I feel like I failed my baby girl. And now she’s gone. These thought are literally tearing me apart all day every day. Maybe it will get better with time, but I’m scared it won’t.

Posts: 1

A nervous, quiet, bundle of fluff
The day I brought you home
Never did I imagine back then
How much you'd struggle just being alone

So quick your boisterous soul came out
In puppy class you ruled the rest
"Don't worry, he's just a typical male"
My joy, my pride, my test

My monster dog, my baby boy
Filled with love most of the time
But now and then a switch would flick
Was that angry dog still mine?

The list of things which made you jump
And snarl and snap at me
It seemed to grow each day, each month
Each year, and I started to see

That while I tried to rid your faults
With the love I had to give
There were just some things I could not fix
My boy, that was no way to live

And though I fought so hard to find
The path which kept you with me
Somewhere in my heart I always knew
That today would come to be

One snap too far, one bite too much
When you had to be at home
I had to work, I had to go
Now I'm broken, home alone

My puppy dog, my baby boy
6 years you tried your best
You gave me joy and unending love
But now it's time to rest

It's almost a month since that day. The first few days were so hard, so filled with guilt, with grief and the house so empty. Every part of me felt broken. I have slowly been building a new normal, but today it has hit me all over again and I feel like I could cry and never stop. I miss my milo so much. The joy he did bring, and knowing he is at peace now is what I'm trying to hold on to.

Posts: 1
Glad to find this thread so I feel a little less alone.
I had to put my 4yo Pit-Mix to sleep yesterday after he bit (and nearly killed) his fifth dog in 2 years. The county had labeled him dangerous, and his fate was sealed. 99% of the time he was a loving goofball with a heart of gold, but when he saw another dog on a walk, he lost his poor little anxious mind and became something else.
Its only been 24hrs, but the guilt is overwhelming. If we lived in the country (not the city) maybe we could have rehabilitated him. If I made more money (I am a teacher) maybe I could afford to have done more/different medication or training. Maybe if a different human adopted him who had more knowledge or experience (he was my first) they wouldnt have made the training missteps I made. Maybe if I wasn't 7mos pregnant, I could have fought in court and kept him alive. These maybes haunt me.
I'm hoping it gets better. I'm trying to not become too despondent as I have a little human inside me who needs me. But I miss my Little Man so much...
My heart goes out to anyone who has been through this. Here is to hoping that time can heal this hole...

Posts: 14

It's coming up on a month since I had to make this impossible decision for my pit-mix Koba. I met him on Christmas Eve after having volunteered for a few weeks at the shelter. I hadn't intended on getting another dog being I had just lost my 15 year old childhood dog, Bella, in August. Koba came along on Christmas Eve, flopped himself down on my lap, and that was it. He chose me. Despite his issues, out of every dog there.. he had this thing about him that really spoke to me. It told me that he just wanted to be warm and loved. Our bond grew pretty fast. I loved that dog more than anyone and am now awake at 3 am unable to stop crying. I only had him home for 2 months but it was the most rewarding 2 months of my life despite the tragedy.

His presence is missed so much that I feel like my chest is catching fire from the inside out. He was a rescue and known to be dog aggressive and a resource guarder but his guarding had been food specific in almost all contexts. He had been working with myself and the trainers at the shelter once I expressed interest in taking him and was to the point where he had no problem with me touching his bowl. All it took was me training with 'drop' at the shelter before taking him home, then introducing the command to his food bowl. I continued training but because he didn't guard anything else at home, especially not food. We shared ice cream cones, but he still knew what was mine and understood sharing. I assumed it was food specific but was still extremely careful with the kids and with toys on the bed with my family members/visitors overall. He loved my grandmother, who was my landlord. This is where it gets tricky. My aunt lives in the upstairs apartment with her two kids, who Koba met and was really gentle with. She also has two cockers that are unsocialized and bark like crazy. I took this into consideration before taking him home as I got to know him for a month before taking him.. but since I made strides with her dogs I assumed she could take the lead with hers once Koba came home.

That didn't happen but Koba was more tolerant than them , given a barrier was present or distance. Despite my best efforts to avoid a run- in (leashes, locking doors, one-sided communicating on my part) everytime I'd walk him, use the yard, feed him (in my own apartment which was downstairs) one happened that was out of my control a month in. Both cockers came running down with my clueless uncle who didn't know Koba was visiting my grandma, but we didn't think he would leave the kids alone up there and come down so suddenly with the dogs at 9 pm. They came bursting in and Koba obviously was threatened despite his progress as it seemed they were charging him. He bit her dog on the neck after freezing and her growling at him. My grandma and I both pulled him off as my aunt screamed bloody murder which made him hold on more. He didn't redirect on anyone, my grandma and I both having our hands in his mouth.

Ever since then things changed between my aunt and him but I just didn't realize he was capable of doing what he did on that fateful night as all the guarding I had seen from him.. which was not much, always involved some warning, except his first vet visit. Although we weren't sure if he was guarding me or if he was getting comfortable and disliking the vet in general. He was fine and the second she reached over him and towards me, he growled and lunged at her trying to bite her arm. (First regret. Not knowing then that no question- he was guarding me.)

So my aunt came down one night after hanging with no incident after the dog scuffle happened. The night before his guarding had popped up again for the first time at home.. guarding his new toy from me, again, warning me by freezing, air snapping, and standing over the toy baring teeth when I tried to trade.. all warnings. That sunday he had tried to snap at a shelter staffer while visiting from my vehicle which previously had not been an issue for him as I've had friends in the car, always having them get in first and he's greeted a lot of people from the window. I decided to use caution with car, told my trainer, was set to meet the next day for training. I applied that same rule with the bed that night as I always do but something was definitely off.. he was too excited. I put his toys in his crate to ensure there'd be no issues. Then I let him get up on the bed and he layed near my aunt, between us. I felt better because if he were to guard anything he usually would lay on it or put his paw on it as signal of ownership. He was relaxing at first like normal on his back and then he had his head back, drooping like he usually does before falling asleep. I couldn't see his face as he was smushed against the wall and my aunt's body.

Suddenly his body tensed up and he looked up at her, almost past her, in this weird way, head on her chest snout pointing at her chin. I told her he was looking at her weird but wanted to grab him before telling her to make any sudden movement, I didn't want him to get more fixed or to growl. I was about to go for his collar when he jumped up at her face and bit, close range.. her face was the only real area he could have bit too, being his head was up against her chest with her arms folded under his neck. This is why I feel so guilty. It's hard enough making the decision on your own, but when other factors are pressuring you that you cannot escape.. it's impossible. He's a big dog and because he was so close and bit from such a strange angle.. he slashed her face rather than punctured. I had to get him off of her but he only held on for a split second in comparison to the dog. He didn't redirect on me and calmed down once she left the bed. She needed plastic surgery but in my opinion, it's healing really nicely. I am lucky it wasn't worse. She doesn't seem to get that.. which I guess I understand. I've seen dogs who have taken chunks.. and the fact that it wasn't a puncture made me feel like it was just bad luck. Maybe these are excuses.. but I'm just so torn up.

The second my grandma saw my aunt's face I knew that they would want him gone even though I could keep him in my apartment only, fully separate. I had no choice. She agreed to letting me keep him during his hold, but after the 10 days I had to be out or put him to sleep. Sending him back to the shelter would have just been a miserable end as they woulda held him and done the same, except in the conditions I rescued him from. Don't get me wrong though, I took it seriously and I was conflicted myself and knew that I would possibly have to come to the same conclusion BUT that'd be after working with him with a behaviorist, getting a full vet work up.. and finally getting his dislocated and artificial hip replaced. The appointment was literally made for a week after the incident occurred for his consultation. So I keep feeling that if he were just healthy and not in pain that maybe this horrible tragedy would have never happened. I had the money for a behaviorist, or for a month's rent in an apartment that 1) allowed him & 2) I could afford & 3) I could move into ASAP.. not both.

My entire family was against me keeping him, even though they were all raving about him before anything went down. It made me feel like they didn't value his life or that he used his one chance. My mom who has a house with her fiancee that is empty the majority of the time and has way more space, said no to me moving in with her with him until exhausting those options. I begged her and my grandmother to let him stay with a muzzle on whenever out of my room. He was guarding me, and it cost him his life. Resource guarding is caused by a fear of losing a beloved resource. In this case.. it was me. That means he feared to lose me and that's what caused him to act aggressively. That tears me apart inside. I feel terrible saying this but I feel like I'd rather it be almost anyone than my dog. I just said goodbye to my Bella but this is so much worse. Though I tried to make peace with it and maybe will forgive myself for more than a split second one day.. I feel like I'd be happier right now with him and living in my car. 

Guilt is flooding my insides despite knowing the amazing 2 months I gave him. I made sure during his 10 day hold to go above and beyond with a bucket list, where we broke a rule or two. It was worth it. He saw the beach and I could tell it was the first time. I now read this book called "Mine" by Jean Donaldson and can't stop crying. I wish I could go back in a time machine and give myself this book. My boy was amazing in so many ways, I would do anything to have that dog back. 

How do you guys cope? I'm completely lost. I've been through losses before. I'm still seeing my regular therapist along with a pet loss specializing art therapist (she's new) My father died of cancer when I was 11 and I've lost a friend in Oct, Bell in August, now Koba... and Koba is the worst pain since losing my Dad. I never would think that I would be this conflicted about euthanizing a quote on quote "Aggressive dog".

The worst part is that he'll forever be labeled as "that pitbull you got that bit your aunt" to my family, who's supposed to help me through the hardest decision in my life. That's what he'll be to them... instead of the lovable mush that I knew him to be .. who would protect my aunt's 1 year old, myself, and my grandma at all costs, loved strangers, his chair, car rides, pooping on trees, eating cheez doodles from my mouth, never went in the houseand so much more. They didn't see the nightmares you suffered with. They didn't aknowledge your progress. Don't know what else to say... I'll miss you forever Koba Doba Doo.


Posts: 2
I’m very thankful to have stumbled upon this message board. Tonight will be the last night I have with my Sweet Evie. She is a rescue that has has more homes than we can count in her short 3 years of life. But her dog aggression just can’t be predictable and yesterday she attacked her canine sister who is her best friend. Trainers have been consulted but I
thought I was the one who could save her because I had never witnessed it in person until yesterday.

Posts: 1
Hi, I Know this is a really old Post but I'd like to know how you're feeling now, it would give me hope to know if even five years from now my greif and guilt would subside. I had a very similar situation, I had a darling girl who only loved her family (us) but was really aggressive to anyone else, she'd drag me on walks and bit two people including my ex landlord, I had to move into a tiny apartment, I couldn't find anyone or any pitbull rescue to take her because of her aggression. I have four kids and I had to move and I couldn't find an apartment that took her breed. I can make excuses for putting her down but I still feel like I could of tried harder, that I should of lived in my van if that's what it took to save her life, I gave up on her and now she's dead. My kids think she was adopted out, I couldn't tell them the truth. It's been three years soon and I'm literally suicidal. I see her in my dreams. I'm on an antidepressant now but it's only a little better. Nobody understands why I'm so sad to this extent over this, is this normal? She was so in love with all of us, I never felt she was a threat to my kids. I've never felt so sad. Anything will help to hear, I know I can't justify what I did but will this feeling ever go away? Please don't be judgemental I'm really sad already.

Posts: 14

I know exactly how you feel hun. I had a pit mix who had a horrible past to which we never really knew the extent of. Rather than being aggressive to outsiders, he was a mush to everyone but was a resource guarder with food at the shelter. He overcame it with my help.. or so I thought. I loved him, loved him so much. He was my sun and my moon and my stars. I still don't think I will ever find a dog like him let alone any human that could love me as much as him. Despite his dog aggression, which was improving, I never thought it was too much or "not worth it". One day I had my aunt over and she was on my bed with us which she had been before. He did show minor signs of guarding in that moment but I thought it was because his crate was filled with toys right next to the bed. I'll regret my lack of action forever as he bit my aunt in the face 5 min later. Because my grandmother is my landlord, she wanted him (so basically us) out in 10 days. Due to financial circumstance, lack of support, and time constraints (the bite hold) as well as a bunch of other factors.. I had to make the decision to euthanize him. It tears me up to this day and I had to go back to therapy and even enlist a new one to cope. Being busy helps, but it's only because I don't have the time to think about how empty my home is without him. I feel like I could've done more just like you. I feel like I would have been happier had I just been homeless with him living out of my car as well, as I've said it and thought about it countless times. You're not alone. Others may not find it normal, and that's part of the pain!! But after being through it, I can tell you that your feelings are absolutely justified. It feels like murder that no one else can feel the weight of since to them it's "the right thing to do". Humans don't realize that it's ridiculous to expect a dog to never show aggression at all through their lives. It's like going through life without cursing someone out on the road or yelling at anyone. Carrying that burden and having to constantly defend the dog your baby truly was is no easy task. I'm here for you !! Take it day by day and feel free to message me whenever the going gets rough. 

Posts: 6
Keelee- I am so sorry to hear about what you're going through. I wish I could come here and say "yes, it gets better after five years" but the truth is I'm still struggling too.  I frequently think about Brisco and still feel so guilty. I still feel like I could have done more. My husband doesn't feel the guilt at all. He always assures me that we made the right choice and what if he bit our child or someone else's child. I still feel the guilt though. I think though that everyone here will tell you these same things. There is no judgment- we all are here because we've had to make similar hard decisions and there is no easy path when deciding to put down a pet due to aggression.  I find so much comfort in the posts here and even seeing comments years after of people going through the same thing.  It means, and I mean this in the sincerest way, that we are indeed loving and kind people.  

I know your girl was loving and loyal to your family, but the truth is, what if she did bite someone else and worse yet, what if it was a child or someone's face or killing someone's dog or cat?  I have a friend who put down their dog after she killed a friend's dog and it was heartbreaking for her too. In many ways, it makes me realize that I did the best for my Brisco. 

I have a new dog now. His name is Raylan and he is the absolute most gentlest, loving dog in the world. I still think about Brisco all the time, but I look down at Raylan and think "yes, this is what a happy and healthy dog is like."  It makes me think of the irresponsible breeders out there that don't think about the puppies they adopt out or sell, and those dogs with inherent aggressive traits and perhaps mental disorders from inbreeding. 

I want to give you a big hug and really remind you that you did do the best for your dog and you are a caring, kind person.  Do you have a new pet? I do find comfort giving a good home to my dog- it's not that he replaced Brisco but more that I was ready to love again and do something good for a dog in need of a good home.

One thought too- if you are suicidal- medication might not be enough here. I would really recommend a grief counselor so that you can talk this out and get it off your brain.  Medication will help for depression, but with grief and the thoughts in your head, I think you deserve to release some of that stress and find peace. 



Posts: 3
I am so glad I found this today. Today me and my fiancée made the most incredibly hardest decision of our lives. Tonight will be the last night with our 2 year old sharpei malnois mix,Dobby, due to his aggressive behavior. I rescued him from the pound at just 8 weeks old and the lady who took care of them had them since they were so small she had to bottle feed them. I've grown up with so many dogs in my life but I have never had to deal with this. This is the first dog me and my fiancée got when we first moved in together and he is our baby. He was a wonderful playful hyper puppy and loved everything. But as he got older his aggression started to show and every time we had some sort of excuse as to why he acted out. It is now to the point where we just bought our first house and cannot have anyone over because he will attack them. We rescued another puppy, bull terrier mix, and they are the best of buds until 2 days ago when Dobby attacked him for jumping on the bed with us and when my fiancée separated them he bit his hand. And than again that morning he attacked my other dog again but this time he got hurt and would not walk on his leg. We took Dobby to the vet and warned them he was aggressive. He came in with his muzzle on and would not let anyone near him without trying to attack them. The had to sedate him and it took 3 shots to finally get him down enough for them to get near him(he is only 40 pounds). We have spoken to many trainers and our vet and all of them have said he will only get worse as he gets older. We cannot have people over and now I am afraid for the life of my other dog. We are not coping well and think we have failed him. I did not know who to turn to since I don't know anyone who has been in this position. Reading everyone's posts and stories have made me feel like I am making the right decision and there are people out there going through the same thing we are. I am so heartbroken but I would rather have him put down with the ones who love him most around him than surrender him to the pound where he will sit in a kennel afraid and heartbroken and than put down. I have not stopped crying all week and I am emotionally drained.

Posts: 12
I am sorry for that difficult decision you had to make. Coming from my place,I have a different opinion on dog aggression now. I had a beagle that was recently attacked by a pit mix and her injuries were so severe, she passed away. I know we love our babies, but owners need to be responsible for their pets! If you have an aggressive dog, DO NOT TAKE THEM TO A DOG PARK. Even if you are unsure of your dogs behaviour, please do not have them mix with other dogs. Because the owners were not responsible of knowing their dogs aggression, I am left mourning the death of my dog. It makes me so sad and angry. 

Posts: 16

On Sunday we put our girl Penny to rest after she attacked our other dog. The fights have went on for years.. each one more aggressive and injuries more severe. Before we "rescued" her she had been abused. She was nervous, anxiety ridden and fearful of pretty much everyone. in that first week she bonded to me and I to her.

You can read our full story if you want.

I'm just here to tell you that you know the best decision for your pet. The pain and guilt are overwhelming but trust your heart that you gave him the most love and the best life.

I wish you and your family the best. You have an entire "family" here that knows exactly what you are going through. I'm so sorry.

Posts: 2
Hi. I have just read these messages and it has brought it all back for me, almost one year on. I think you have made the correct decision and, in reality, the only decision. It is so sad I know and you will be racked with feelings of guilt and what ifs but in reality it is unlikely that you will be able to change the dog's behaviour if you don't know what caused it in the first place. Ours was also a rescue dog and clearly had issues from day one but I kept ignoring these as I was blinded by love. The truth is it is the previous owners that let him down as I suspect he came from a violent home as he would cower at first when we went to stroke his head. It is sad knowing that a human was responsible for breaking what was a lovely dog deep down. The pain is still there and always will be but in time the reminders become less frequent.
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