mishac

euthanazia guilt, for my young godd cossette

7 posts in this topic

I rescued a laso apso   about 4 years ago.  Right before that i had a maltese  that I raised from puppyhood.  She never bit,  she was so sweet,  unti about 11 and 1/2 She would demand to go on the patio at night and bark endlessly at nothing. when i called her in she would lunch on me and bite about 15 to 30 bites.  They were little bites.  although i was all black and blue there wasn't any serious puncture.  My doc told me she was being dominant over me  because i spoiled her.  This didn't seem likely to me since it was a sudden change.  She was hypothyroid.  and was suffering terribly with skin allergies.  The doc had all the numbers right in front of her and just kept saying, if i didn't get her to a behavior therapist,  she was going to kill me from infection.  Knowing this only happened at night ,  I thought how can a behaviorist help, she's not going to come to my house at night to see what happens.  I also have a brother who considers himself a dog whisperer  and follows Cesar Milan. My brother told me to flip her on her side and hold her pulse points down and that would relax her,  i didn't realize i was being dominant with her,  causing more aggression probably.  I was also screaming on the phone a lot.  After her euthanasia,  i realized there was something physical going on.  

I could not recover from this .  i was shaking every day.I couldn't go on that way.  I have ocd and panic , . and i was falling apart.

next chapter.  i started working at a shelter hoping to heal as a photographer,  i wanted to make the dogs look good and more adoptable.  while i was there thats when i met the laso. She looked like Chelsea and i wanted to save her.  one day they put her in the back which was like doggy jail,  I couldnt stand it.  and even though the administrative assistant had told me she started biting i took her anyway.  They told me to go easy with her.   Well, the first few nights she slept with me and all was great.  very soon, when reaching out to her.  she would clamp my hand and hol.d( extremely painful) I always thought my fingers would e mangled but their were bruises on  all my fingers.  This went on for a year while I had trainers and was working with her and loving her.

    On that final day we went to the store ,and i put her in a stroller,  .  when i went to take her out, she gave me a nip ,not to touch her.  I stood there not knowing what to do.  While looking at her , she sort of lunged up and bit e in rappifd succession, with a puncture.  i thought it was more serious than it was.  because i was in a store ,  the police were called and animal control came. I was comepletely hysterical, without 1 friend to call and help.  I sent animal control away and said i would take her to my vet .  I was so traumatized I couldn't look at her.  But the final straw for me, was when  i walked out side and stood behind the stroller and said" Cosette it's mommy'   she growled and i knew she didnt want me near her.  it was that growl that let me know i couldnt take her home.  2 dogs biting me.  one my lifelong dog, and one a rescue,  I cannot get over the guilt that i put her down without trying medicine.  I have written a million tributes to her.  made a plaque in y ard.  made her a grave at rainbow bridge.  This was three years ago and its in my mind every day.  having ocd which latches onto horrible events dosent help.  I wanted to put my story out there ,  so if anyone had anything simalar they could contact me,  and also the possibility of helping some one else.  thank-you for reading.  I have a beautiful wonderful calm dog now.  but my neighbors called me a killer. I look at cosette's pics and still grieve  i hope someone can help me.  I've had therapy and pet loss support.  i know have ptsd.

cosette beauty1.jpg

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I am so sorry for your experiences and your losses.  I've never had a dog bite me so I can't offer any advice.  If a vet can't shed light on a situation, I don't know who could.  It seems when a dog growls it's a warning shot and I wouldn't proceed with whatever I was doing that upset them.  

You did what you felt you needed to do at the time, and I have learned it doesn't help to second guess ourselves later.  We act with the knowledge that we have at the time.  I'm sorry your neighbors call you a killer, that's very unhelpful.  I certainly wouldn't pay heed to anyone like that.  Of course you loved your dogs and never wanted it to go the way that it did.

I'm glad you haven't experienced anything like that with your current dog.  

With PTSD and having had therapy and pet loss support, I'm not sure what further help you're hoping for, but it seems it's time to lay the past to rest, forgive yourself for what you did not understand or know how to change and focus on enjoying the dog you have now.  I watch "My Cat from Hell" and this week Jackson dealt with a cat that was having problems and it turned out to be that the owner made her cat EVERYTHING to her, and when she was tense and upset, the cat "reacted" to it.  He recommended she stretch her world a bit, and she did, which helped her land a job, and it was amazing how the cat's behavior changed in kind.  Sometimes they try to tell us something the only way they know how.


http://media.wix.com/ugd/0dd4a5_e934e7f92d104d31bcb334d6c6d63974.pdf
http://www.pet-loss.net/guilt.shtml

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mishac, With all the bereaved pet guardians I've encountered over the years, it's been my observation that in situations like yours, only the good people feel guilty. The fact that you're still struggling with guilt is itself an indication that whatever you did with your rescued pups was done with the best of intentions and not out of malice.

I've just finished reading a book that you may find helpful, entitled The Education of Will: A Mutual Memoir of a Woman and Her Dog by Patricia McConnell, PhD. Written by a certified applied animal behaviorist who has treated serious behavior problems in dogs for over 25 years, the book includes several examples of her work with aggressive dogs, as well as the compelling story of her own past and how she recovered from a history of trauma and shame. (Click on the title to read Amazon's description and reviews.) See also my article, Pet Loss: Euthanizing An Aggressive Dog

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2 hours ago, MartyT said:

it's been my observation that in situations like yours, only the good people feel guilty.

Excellent point!

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Thank you so much doctor and kayc . my problem lies in the fact that i should have been able to help her.  and i was impulsive when taking her to be put down,   without trying medication.  Also the experienced trainer from bark busters who said she could help.  quit on me, because she couldnt do anything about the biting.  i wish i had been strong enough to take bites until i could help her. I called everywhere even sanctuaries wouldnt take biting dogs.

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You were the one person that DID take biting dogs, I wish you could be easier on yourself, you're the one person that tried everything you could think of to help her.

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