I’m struggling with the decision of whether to euthanize my dog.
He is a lab/chow mix, about 4 years old. He is sweet, affectionate, and protective… But he also has some aggressive tendencies which originally manifested themselves as food aggression. I rescued him as a puppy, he was abandoned with another dog, starving, and on the brink of death. I took him in, loved him, socialized him, and did everything I could to make his life happy.
When I brought my dog home, I was living with an abusive boyfriend. This boyfriend is now my ex, but sadly, my dog experienced much of the abuse I suffered at the hands of my boyfriend. I can’t even count the number of times I pulled my ex off of my dog and willingly took that beating instead. My dog was never aggressive toward my ex during these violent experiences; in fact, the only time my dog ever bit anyone was over food (food aggression) which the vet suggested was the result of his rough beginning during which the only food he was able to eat he had to fight for.
Since leaving my ex, my dog and I are now staying with my parents because my ex broke into my home and made it unlivable. Furthermore, I would prefer to live in a new place where my ex can’t find me. Unfortunately, however, in the time we’ve been at my parents’ home (a little over a month), my dog has bit my little sister (over food), my nephew (my nephew stuck his finger in my dog’s kennel), my brother (my brother tried to prevent my dog from biting my nephew), myself (I was laying in bed petting him and he suddenly bit me), and my brother again tonight (apparently because my brother put on his slipper). After my dog bit my sister, he was quarantined for 10 days by animal control and neutered. There have been 2 bites within the last week and, as I mentioned before, all of the bites have taken place in just over a month.
I know my dog is stressed out and unhappy. He is not used to living with other dogs, and there are 3 dogs at my parents’ home. He’s not used to living in a cage, and since the biting incidents, I am forced to keep him there much longer than I would like for the safety of the others in the house. He is not an outside dog, and when put on a chain he will not eat or drink, and he is an escape artist who can easily jump the fence at my parents’ house. Because animal control got involved after he bit my little sister, there is little to no hope that he would be eligible for adoption if I surrendered him in hopes of finding him a happy home.
I feel so much guilt over the life that my dog has had. I love him and I want him to be happy, but I know he’s not happy right now. I would never abandon him, and euthanasia is the first thing anyone ever suggests to me because, although he is physically healthy, he is not so mentally. I obviously don’t want to kill my dog. But I don’t want him to be unhappy, and I can’t risk the safety of my family. Has anyone experienced anything similar to this? Are there any medications I can ask my vet about to maybe alleviate some of my dog’s anxiety? I’m desperate to find a way to prevent having to put him down. I’m looking for new places to go, but my options are limited having a big dog. I just need something temporary until I can find somewhere to go so he can really be happy.
I took my dog to the vet yesterday, and my vet informed me that unless I was willing to euthanize my dog, he would provide no further services. He wouldn’t discuss possible anxiety meds, nor would he so much as give me the name of a trainer who might be able to help me deal with this behavior. Firstly, I thought “This guy is a joke! I thought veterinarians were supposed to IMPROVE the quality of animal life??” but afterwards, I just felt extremely disheartened. What am I supposed to do now? Obviously the behavior has to change before my dog really hurts someone, but does he really have to die because of this?
Since writing this post melissa_vanwey may have helped people, but has not within the last 4 days. melissa_vanwey is a verified member, has been around for 11 months, 3 weeks and has 3 posts and 15 replies to their name.
Invite Others to Help
A logged in and verified Help.com member has the ability to setup a Friends List and invite others to help with posts.