Registered: 1578221538 Posts: 1
Gidday all and thank you for providing an outlet to express my guilt, grief and distress at losing our beautiful 8 year old Ridgeback/Beagle X Gypsy. Our situation is different from many others here insofar as our dog was healthy and not suffering any major medical or health issues which has made our decision even more gut wrenching.
Our girl was adopted from an animal shelter in 2012 when she was 8 months old. She quickly attached to us (family of four) after being given another chance at life. Over the years she developed hyper attachment anxiety to myself (adult male of the household) as I was fortunate to work from home as well as feed her most days and walk her every day (some days with my wife and others just with me). Over the years it became increasingly evident she couldn't be apart from us for any period of time if we left her alone at home. We received complaints from our neighbours in relation to howling and whining and if we left her inside she would often poop on the carpets even after a short time. The problem was compounded by my change of employment from a home based role to a mobile job being on the road for 5 days a week. We sought specialist training and therapy for her and this was unsuccessful as the specialist identified that as a previously surrendered dog, high day to day anxiety and nervous conditions and other personality traits identified during observation sessions that the success of re conditioning her behaviour would be difficult. We had the options, of rehoming her to a family that were home permanently (we live in a very good community where Gypsy was very well known and we had many people searching for us via friends etc), surrender her to a shelter or rehoming centre, or have her euthanised. We couldn't find another home for her despite best efforts and the thought of sending her back to the shelter would terrify and stress Gypsy to the max ( as well as us plus it wouldn't solve her issues). Gut wrenchingly we opted for home based euthanasia and I was present when it was done, and we know now her anxieties and stresses are at an end. She is now buried under a tree in our back yard. However, I am now feeling as if I have murdered our beautiful girl and I have shed a bucket of tears and felt gut achingly sick since it was done on Friday. I could accept this more easily if she had a terminal illness or died suddenly, but the fact she was healthy and active feels as if I've taken away the best years of her life by having her put down at aged 8.
Registered: 1578369840 Posts: 1
I am so, so sorry for your loss, and for the terrible situation you and your family were in. I can't image how difficult this has been for you. It sounds like you tried thing possible to help your beloved Gypsy. Sending her back to a shelter would have been the worst thing for her. Even re-homing her would have been terrible, too. She may never have recovered from either situation. There were no good options for you. I think you chose the best of the worst options. You did what was best for Gypsy. She would never have understood why you abandoned her if you had rehomed her or sent her to a shelter. She would have been devastated. I hope you can take comfort that you gave her a wonderful home that was attentive to her needs for many wonderful years that she would not have had otherwise. And ultimately, you chose not to put her through losing you. Instead, you chose to lose her in order to save her the trauma and pain. It was a selfless thing. I understand the guilt, but I hope one day you will be able to forgive yourself and recognize that it was your last gift to Gypsy. Please take care of yourself.
Registered: 1518362927 Posts: 4
Oh my, I too have been battling this with my anxiety filled Rescue for 11 years. I’m not sure I can manage him with meds much longer. My grief and guilt is so extreme and I have not even let him go. It’s so hard but I may soon need to make this painful decision. My guy will be 12 February 23rd. I’m now and have been so broken over this for many years. I’m his only human since over time he developed extreme fear about anyone but be touching him but me and has someone bitten 2 years ago (after being told not to touch him). He’s beautiful, vibrant and very healthy otherwise. He acts like a young dog full of life. He is now a danger to others and now once again maybe a danger to himself. I’ve been watching him via camera the last couple weeks when I’m not home since destruction of my home started again. He is so distressed for a good part of the day, pacing, howling, scratching at the slider door and well as tearing at the front door frame. (Waiting on our vet to call with med options). My family thinks I should let him go. He has been pretty good with no destruction for two years and for a good 6 years before that. I just dint know if I can handle this since I too have PTSD from a near death experience 8.5 years ago. Aussieguy1 I hope you have come to or are coming to a place of peace with your honest decisions. ❤️🐾🐾 Thanks for listening.
Registered: 1582166945 Posts: 8
I was asked to adopt a rescue dog, Stan, by a friend who said he was mistreated by a family who no longer wanted him. My husband and I assumed that this was a lovely young small to medium size dog who was 'misunderstood'. Unfortunately, it became evident that Stan had a raft of anxiety and behavioural issues (including biting people) that had we have had kids would probably have meant that we couldn't have kept him beyond the first day. What's more, his anxiety became worse as he became older - like anxiety attacks EVERY night for no apparent reason. We tried various medications too and none seemed to work! I was almost dead from sleep deprivation. I actually ended up keeping him until he died of various physical ailments including liver dysfunction about 11 years later, but keeping a dog with extreme behavioural issues is so often not in the best interests of anyone, including the dog. You indicate that Gipsy was adopted via an animal shelter? I thought dogs from shelters were usually screened to ensure they were safe for adoption by being given stress tests? Those who show overt anxiety are humanely euthanised. People sometimes think this is mean, but Stan was simply adopted privately and I can quite see the logic of screening now. It's absolutely heartbreaking having to call time on a dog due to behavioural concerns, but meaner still to perpetuate the cycle and perhaps even place them with a family who might respond aggressively to the behaviour in turn. You absolutely did the right thing and you did it after exhausting every other avenue. Just imagine if you had let the situation continue and how much worse it could've been for Gypsy and your family if she'd inadvertently caused a tragedy.
Registered: 1309098374 Posts: 629
Good Evening, Dearest Paul,
It was with a heavy heart that I read about your beloved Gypsy, and the heartbreaking decision that you had to make. Dearest Paul, if I may, I wish for you to know in your heart that in no way did you do anything wrong, nor should you feel any guilt for what was clearly a decision you made out of love for your precious girl. Dearest Paul, you mentioned that your beloved Gypsy did not suffer any physical health issues, hence the pain in your decision. Dearest Paul, if I may, I wish to offer to you the thought that not all illnesses of our beloveds are so easy to see. There are so many illnesses of the mind, many that have been posted by the members of this wonderful, loving community, that can create as much suffering for our beloveds as a physical illness or injury. When we welcome these wonderful beloveds into our lives, we make them a promise to forever love them, cherish them, and to protect them from suffering, pain, and discomfort. It is so clear, Dear Paul, from your words, that your beloved Gypsy suffered from fears and terrors from her history that were far above what any normal being would face, and thus, created, in her mind, a condition that left her extremely vulnerable and afraid...... Dearest Paul,. please know that your decision was based on honoring the promise we all make to our beloveds. While the "illness" may not have been so easy to see or detect, It was, nonetheless, an illness that you were absolutely right from which you would want to protect your beloved Gypsy. Dearest Paul, it is my wish that in the coming days, you may know that your beloved Gypsy is now at a place where so many beloveds of the members of this community are now living together, waiting for the reunion of their beloveds whom are here, but sharing wonderful memories of those who love them, and forever know that their beloveds made the ultimate loving, selfless decision to ensure the health and well being of their beloveds. Given your circumstances, Dearest Paul, you did the best for your beloved Gypsy, and she knows it. And so do those who Im sure know you, as well as those who may read your words.... Dear Paul, please accept my thoughts, hopes, and prayers for you, your loved ones, and of course, your beloved Gypsy..... All is well with love, John