Post # 1
We got our Dog Walter almost a year ago, rescuing him after he was a stray for most of his short life. We fell in love with him right away and our family was so happy to have a furry friend who seemed to be really happy that he finally had a home. He began to show signs of aggression shortly this, but we attributed it to the fact that he had to fight for food most of his life and we figured it would get better over time.
It didn’t get any better, and in hindsight, I wish we could have contacted a specialist, but from what I’ve read they are hard to come by in these types of possesive aggression and I was in wedding mode so all of my extra money was going to wedding expenses. (I regret that sooo much and wish we had eloped) Walter bit me, my husband, and my kids several times over the course of the year and broke skin every time, yet he really loved people and had heart of gold despite this problem. He loved attention and was a true lap dog as well.
Since Walter was a poodle mix and he was so cute no one would ever expect that he could turn into a vicious dog, but this past Monday he became so aggressive that I couldn’t control him, distract him with a treat or toy, or come near him without getting bit and hurt. I called the rescue and asked what next steps to take in order to sign him back over, or get him placed in another home. Then it occurrred to me: if he hurts our family, he will hurt someone else. The rescue informed us that if I sign him back over he would have to be euthanized or we could go ahead and do it ourselves….
So that night we took him in….It was the saddest night of my life. I felt we had betrayed him, and I felt (still feel) like (even though possesive aggression is very serious and often can’t be cured even by a specialist) we could have maybe saved him. The drive there was grueling. Saying goodbye to him was even worse. The only thing that gives me any peace is that if he had ever seriously injured one of my kids, we would still have had to put him down and face one of us being seriously injured or disfigured.
In the end, I am hoping we did the right thing and am trying to to blame myself but it is so hard. We have pictures of him up and I can’t bear to look at all of his things, which are tucked away in the laundry room. He was our fur child, but there was nothing I could do besides what we did that fateful night….
Has anyone else been through something like this? Please don’t judge, I’m hoping for some words of reassurance or maybe a similar experience and hope that I will get through this someday.
Post # 3
I’m so sorry for the loss of your dog. Dogs are such special parts of our families, and losing one always hurts. For what it’s worth, I think you did the right thing protecting your human family. It sounds like it would have been just a matter of time before he seriously injured one of you.
Post # 4
I’m so sorry. My husbands dog has become aggressive and bitten us over the past few years and when he bit our youngest child, we decided to kennel him. His aggression is age-related, so we’re trying to make the decision of when it’s best for him to euthanize him. My husband can’t even consider it at this point; it is such a difficult decision. I’m so sorry you had to face the decision and I totally understand how you feel you’ve let him down. I feel horrible with a dog locked in a crate all day, but if he’s that fearful that he’s biting the people who have loved him all this time, then he must be more comfortable in his “cave”. The final decision will have to be my husband’s… and I know it isn’t easy.
Post # 5
I am so sorry you went through this. This is a terrible place to be in, I know because we have an aggressive rescue dog. Had it been me, I think I would have put our dog down if we had kids. I don’t like the idea of pushing a problem off onto someone else, no matter how willing or educated they are about it.
We didn’t put our dog down and ended up contacting and utilizing (extensively) a specialist, but in our case, there we only two adults in the equation who both know what the risks are and how much we can handle.
You can’t really control kids like adults can control themselves, so even with specialized training I would say that your home was not the right place for Walter and one of your kids would have been bitten. Seeing his things will always be hard, but remember, you did what you had to to protect your family and he is in a much better place. (He probably lived in a constant state of high anxiety and stress to have become so aggressive.)
Post # 6
I am so sorry. The death of a pet is always so heartbreaking. ((hugs))
Post # 7
Oh no, I’m so sorry. Pets are like family, so it’s just as hard losing one.
Post # 8
Thanks so much ladies for all of your stories and words of encouragement….it helps a great deal when it seems the sadness and guilt has no end in sight:-( I’m thinking maybe I’ll post a picture of him when I get home:)
Like fvsoccer said, it was so hard to control how the kids and him were when they were together. They loved to get close to his face and I always worried about whether they would one day get seriously bitten. If it were just my husband and myself it would have different.
Post # 9
Here he is: May he rest in peace:-( you would never know based on his appearance that he would ever hurt anybody.
Post # 10
@19801111: Awww he was so adorable! I am so sorry for your loss. 🙁
Post # 11
I’m so sorry….sometimes dogs can have mental health issues, and this can cause biting and aggression (same as humans)….I think what you chose was likely best for him…it would have been a long hard road for him….he’s probably happier where he can’t hurt anyone