View Full Version : The hardest thing I ever had to do...

07-09-2001, 11:25 PM
was put down my beloved dog Lui today. He was a four year old Jack Russell, who, for 99 per cent of the time, was as fun, loving, and as smart as any dog I've ever met. But it was the other one per cent that led to his demise...he had what the Vets termed as a temperment disorder, and/or "Dominant Aggressive" behavior, which made him bite, sometimes violently, without any provocation or warning. It was the responsible thing to do, but that doesn't take away the extreme loss both my wife and I feel tonight. We'll always love him, and we'll miss him :(

07-09-2001, 11:28 PM
I know how ya' feel. I've lost a dog, two ferrets, and soon to be another dog...

The two ferrets were due to Vets' ignorance of the animals, and they got what was comming to them, let's say...:D

07-09-2001, 11:31 PM
My sympathies, CanadaKC. Losing a dog is tough. The great memories will be a comfort, though.

07-09-2001, 11:31 PM
I am very sorry to hear that Canada.

07-09-2001, 11:35 PM
Seriously, putting to sleep an animal with a severe disabiltiy or disorder shows that you really do care for the animal. Compassion for the animal is often not considered.

It takes guts and love man...Sorry for your loss.....


07-09-2001, 11:49 PM
Today was pretty horrible, I was out looking at a house here in KC and as we were walking around the house we noticed the neighbors dog lying there on the ground and not moving. The poor dog had got his chain wound up and couldn't get to his water dish or to any shelter from the heat and finally collapsed. I probably shouldn't have posted this here, but it was pretty damn disturbing.

Brad - I agree. My inlaws would not put one of their dogs asleep, and it pissed me off endlessly. The dog had diabeties, couldn't see anymore, couldn't hear so well and was in pain walking up and down the stairs. You could open up the door for her when she wanted to go outside, but she couldn't even tell that you opened the door. I'm not a dog lover by any means, but this was probably one of my favorite dogs as she was really smart and didn't feel the urge to pester me all the time.

Canada - Sorry about the loss of your dog, I can't imagine losing my cat (his personallity is part dog).

Full of cheer, ey yeah sure.

California Injun
07-10-2001, 12:27 AM
Been there and done that.

Had to let go of two Lab mixes that turned on our cats (iced two of them) and then got snappy with both of my boys.

We only had them less than 6 months but the writing was on the wall. These pups were raised with those kittens/cats but they became violent overnight it seemed.

Whatever the "mix" was appeared to be a dominant trait.

Jim Hunter
07-10-2001, 04:37 AM
I had a dog for eight or nine years and it got jealous of my newborn daughter & I had to put it down for concern of my daughters safety. I sympathize with you.....I had tears in my eyes as I left the vets.

Bob Dole
07-10-2001, 05:19 AM
Sorry to hear about the loss, Canada. But as others have posted, it sounds like you did the responsible thing.

It's amazing how attached we become to our canine pals.

07-10-2001, 05:36 AM

Can you provide me with some info on this disorder. I have a Jack Russell mix (mostly Jack Russell). He acts the same as you describe. They Vet says that he was probably abused as a puppy by his past owner, but I have always thought different.

Rick Stephens
07-10-2001, 05:58 AM
I was given a Springer Spaniel who had been raised by a single guy who had gotten married and when they had their first child he was jelous of the baby. He turned out to be one of the most lovable dogs you would ever find. I had him about 9 years when he died in the back seat of my car on the way to Kansas City from California from what I believe to be a heart attack. It was a long drive without him as he loved to go in the car. I was lost after two weeks of not having a dog around and got the Cocker Spaniel that I now have in Topeka. As I live alone he is my second child. He does't know that he is a dog. Everything that I do he is right in the middle of it.

Anyone who has a dog and in the heat does't provide it with easy access to its water bowl and shade is a pretty cruel individual. There are some people who just should not have any type of pet. I am sure that had to be a very slow death for that poor dog.

CanadaKC- sorry to hear of your loss. It is always hard to give up a part of the family.

07-10-2001, 07:37 AM
i feel for you canada...a couple weeks ago my wife was backing out of the garage and while she was looking for the pup so not to back over it, she backed over my 15yr old lab. best beer drinking, arrowhead hunting partner i ever had. had to take her to the vet and put her down(the dog, not the wife).

i had her cremated and took her down to the river and buried her along the levy...damn, i wish i wouldn't have even started reading this thread.

07-10-2001, 08:17 AM
but if putting down a dog you've had 4 years is the toughest thing in life you've had to do....consider yourself lucky.

I do sympathise with you folks....I've had to shoot more than one of my dogs(I'm not paying a vet $100 for something that can be done by me with a single 22 shell.) and didn't enjoy it at all....A buddy of mine recently had to take his old dog out to the woods, had a beer with him and put him down.....thats the way I'd want to go out if I were a dog.

While I have liked my dogs(some of them anyway) I've never been able to see them as more than a dog.

~can think of worse things.

07-10-2001, 09:35 AM

I have lived that country life too and slaughtered many animals for food. I have always had a harder time putting down dogs though. If I don't like the dog I will get rid of it. If I like it I will spend the $100 to fix it. I think things change a little in city life as you usually have substantially less animals ( I have one dog now ) and you tend to get much closer to them. My dog cost me $1,600 to begin with so I will spend what I need to in order to keep it healthy. (unless it is ridiculous) It has become a member of the family and tends to get treated as such.


Is getting softer in his old age.:(

07-10-2001, 09:55 AM
well put big daddy...i've also put down numerous pets of ours and for the neighbors. it's not fun, but if it has to be done, it should be done quick and right.
old abby was quite a dog though...plus, my cousin is a vet and a partner in a animal clinic in columbia. takes care of all the family pets. she and her staff did in 10minutes what it would take 2days in a hospital if it was me that got run over.

07-10-2001, 10:09 AM
I definitely agree that it is tougher to put down a dog I've had a long time than it is a cow with a broken leg or something. None of that stuff is fun, and I know its tough to put a good dog down, though I don't find it too tough to put down a stray or a dog thats bitten me.(we've had several dogs left at rental properties and I've been bitten by a couple...which was their bad day.)

I was trying to put this in context of the big picture....Putting a dog to sleep pales in comparison to many many other things that a person has to do in life IMO.....I can think of many worse things....delivering news of a death for example, sit in a room and watch someone die of cancer...stuff like that IMO makes shooting my dog a cakewalk. A lady in my offices dad died yesterday...Not even close which I see as tougher to deal with.

Its not my intention to belittle those that are so close to their animals...I know alot of people who think of animals as family...it just doesn't quite make sense to me in the BIG picture. I truely am sympathetic to a degree.

07-10-2001, 10:10 AM
Thanks for all the thougths and prayers. My wife and I have pretty puffy eyes this morning. You could hear a pin drop in the house right now. You are all correct in that dogs are like family,
I don't think we'll be over this for a while yet. 47Mack, I'll post the Vet info we were given about "dominant agressive" behavior later today, when I find it.

Thanks again all. Your words make me feel better:)

07-10-2001, 10:18 AM

That is a health perspective.

07-10-2001, 06:13 PM
For 47mack:

Here are what the Veterinarian says are warnings that your dog
is "Dominant Aggressive"...which he says is very prevalent in many Jack Russell Terriers...

-- excessive barking
-- tendency to snarl, growl, snap to protect food
-- overprotectiveness of possessions
-- fearful in new situations and around strangers
-- attacks
-- attempts to mount people's legs and some dogs
-- snapping and growling when petted
-- frequently chases people walking by and chases bikes/cars/
skateboarders etc.
-- often when meeting other dogs, will have hackles up, stare
menacingly and emit a low growl with lips back and teeth
-- demands to go outside
-- demands attention all the time
-- VERY possessive of sleeping qaurters
-- frequently marks territory
-- when confronted: ears back, avoids eye contact, lowers head
and tucks tail between legs, licks after being scolded
-- resists being touched

Our late dog Lui had ALL these symptoms.

07-10-2001, 06:23 PM
I'm not trying to be an *** and I respect your loss, but if your dog was fun, loving 99% of the time when did he find time to exhibit all these bad behavior symptoms? He sounds like a little monster!


07-10-2001, 06:42 PM
Canada - Tough Break, my condolensces.

We are a houseful of animals - Tropical bird (Juliet), guinea pig (Rosalind), 2 dogs (Hamlet and Ophelia), 3 cats (Romeo, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern), 30 gal fishtank full (the Tempest Tank), and a ferret (Puck). If it isn't obvious, I studied Shakespearian literature in college.

We bought the ferret last year. My dogs were making some noise about 2 in the morning, so I went to the backyard to see the ruckus. They had cornered a ferret. I pulled down my retriever and my wife came out. Right when I told her to be careful, the ferret jumped in her arms. She (Katherine) was totally docile and lovable.

We put an ad in the local papers and never got a response, so we adopted her. She seemed lethargic and I thought it was because she missed her old hom. So I went out and got her a partner - Puck. Her disposition was great, but still no improvement in her energy level.

We took her to the vet and found her body was racked with cancer. Evidently the people that owned her were too cheap or cowardly to have her put to sleep, so they let her out of their car and went on their merry way.

I had Kate put to sleep and we buried her in a local park under a huge patch of wild violets.

07-11-2001, 07:05 AM

Thanks for the info.

Now I am really worried. My dog has everything you listed except one. My main concern is that we just had a baby (11 weeks old). I am a bit nervous about the day he starts being able to annoy the dog.

My wife has really been pressuring me lately about the dog and now this is opening my eyes. Did the Vet offer any other options?

07-11-2001, 08:51 AM
We took in an abandoned puppy a while ago which turned out to be almost 100% wolf! We kept her for three months, actively trying to train her.

It became apparent for a number of reasons that we were not going to be able to keep her: 1) she is a wild animal and although humanized to a great extent, those wild instincts kicked in upon occasion 2) wolf dogs need other wolf dog companions and we do not have the space or environment to accomodate two of these animals.

We have a 10 year old daughter and live in a neighborhood full of small children and we couldn't take the chance that one of them might be injured even accidentally. I don't think she would have ever intentionally hurt anybody, but the fact is the aggressive behavior of these animals can cause injury.

We did not want to put her down - she is a beautiful, good-natured (for the most part) animal. So we found a person who breeds these types of dogs to take her. She has proper facilities and several other wolf dogs, so Coda is much better off with her. That didn't make it any easier to let her go, we all cried for a week, but we go to see her from time to time and still feel like we're a small part of her life.

I don't know if this is an option with the type of dog you have, but it might be worth checking out...

07-11-2001, 09:31 AM
I am thinking that my parents would take him (dad loves him), and there is no one around to injure. The only problem is that he is a great guard dog (like I said, he is a mix, so bigger than that of the average JR) at home, and I would want to get another dog to take over. This might be hard to justify to my parents.

07-11-2001, 10:05 AM
47mack...we tried giving Lui to our parents for a while, who live
in a country farm setting, but Lui's temperment didn't change.
He became very territorial of the land surrounding the house,
as you said, a great guard dog, but that seemed to nurture his
"dominant aggressive"side even more. Then one day, when my mother-in-law was reaching for one of Lui's toys under the bed, Lui bit her hard on the cheek, and she became scared of him ever since, even though Lui was immediately remorseful for what he'd done. Dogs like Lui seem to "snap", and there's nothing you can do about it. So we took him back, and although it was so good to get him back, because like I said before, he was a great dog when he was just around my wife and I (we don't have any kids), we could see that our stress with him around others was too much to bear. We talked to the Vet, who said there's nothing we can do about a biting dog. Drugs wouldn't help, and who wants a doped-up dog anyways, so we came to the VERY hard decision
to put him to sleep. Lui, for the most part, was a very loving, smart, and funny companion...but only around me and my wife, and to a lesser degree, my in-laws. He was even good around most other dogs, the dogs he knew, but the times he showed his agressive streak were scary, and very unpredictable. The uncanny thing about Lui was...one the surface, he was a happy-go-lucky spirit, but it was that ONE hereditary mutant part of his gene pool to which he had no control over that doomed him.

Nelson Muntz
07-11-2001, 11:00 PM
did that dog die or was it just passed out? thats too bad either way

you have my sympathy. we have two great danes and a little terrier snauzer mix. we had another great dane before and it was very tough when he died.

01-15-2002, 04:23 PM
With tears in my eyes, I said goodbye to my best friend today. After a long battle of good & evil, I had to make the tough decision. 20 minutes ago I took Mack to the vet and said my goodbyes. I had the choice of staying or going, but I just couldn't do it. As much as I wanted to be there, it would have only made it that much harder.

Like CanadaKC said, 99% of the time he was the best dog in the world, but that 1% was too much too handle. I never thought that a dog could affect me this way.


01-15-2002, 04:28 PM
Damn, Todd - that sucks. How 'bout a round of golf friday - it won't help, but you'll get a good laugh at my expense..... at least judging from the way I played today.

01-15-2002, 04:33 PM
I've been worried about this, I have a Boston Terrier and he's pretty hyper. He only displays about half of the symptoms though...it's the following:

-- overprotectiveness of possessions
-- fearful in new situations and around strangers
-- attempts to mount people's legs and some dogs
-- demands to go outside
-- demands attention all the time
-- frequently marks territory
-- when confronted: ears back, avoids eye contact, lowers head
and tucks tail between legs, licks after being scolded

Should I be concerned?

01-15-2002, 04:33 PM
sure hope this doesn't happen with my new pit bull pup.

01-15-2002, 04:36 PM

He ever aggressive with you?

01-15-2002, 04:37 PM
Parker, those symptoms simply sound like a dog to me. It's the ones on that list that your dog doesn't exhibit that scare me.

01-15-2002, 04:39 PM

Is he snapping at you or anyone else? We haven't clipped Mack's nails in 2 years because he wouldn't let us touch his paws. Same thing when he was muddy. When we took him to get his yearly shot, it took 2 assistants in rubber suits to hold him down. I know this makes him sound like Kujo, but believe me, this was 1% of the time. With the baby here now (9 months) I just could wait for something bad to happen. I wanted to end on good terms, not wait for my child to be bitten.

I am not ignoring you. I am trying to set up some daycare for Thursday or Friday. I'll be in touch.

Buster's Dad
01-15-2002, 04:40 PM
I know how you feel, a week ago today we had to put down our 12 yr old cat sno-ball, he had kidney failure, we put him down when he got to the point he couldn't do very much, the vet said it was time, some how I managed to hold him thru the whole process, he's buried in a special place in our back yard, now we're down to just our dog Buster.

01-15-2002, 04:40 PM
He used to be.

It doesn't help that my old stoner friends (previous to my marriage and child) would tease him, play "tug of war" with him, and generally teach him to be mean.

My wife punished him early and often for everything she deemed to be "wrong" with her "step-dog". :D

Now if I raise my voice or even act like I'm going to smack him, he pisses himself. He's a true coward, but I know that he's been aggressive in the past and you know what they say about animals when cornered...

01-15-2002, 04:52 PM
CanadaKC -- don't I know it!!

My wife's 10 yr old Lab/Rottweiler got tick paralysis in the spring, we put him down just before Labor Day. We miss him terribly... I just hug the other one more. Still each one is unique.....

01-15-2002, 04:53 PM

I gotta tell you, fixing a dog once he is messed up is very, very hard. I am VERY commited to my dogs and would never attempt it. Nipping at people in the first 3 months should be expected. Post 6mo or 1 year is out of control. If I were you I would do this. I would pick up a good book on dog training that only uses positive techniques. I would work at least 30 minutes a day with him. By positive I mean no shouting or hitting. When he consistanly discovers that you won't hurt him when he screws up but knows you are not happy with him you may begin to lose some of the fear factor. That is probably why he is aggresive, out of fear based upon what you told me. Have your wife do the exact same thing you are doing with him using the same words and you may begin to see a difference. Your dogs basic personality was developed by the time he was 8 weeks old so don't expect miracles. Most of the problems start with the dog not understanding what is expected of him, getting nervous about it and responding in an undesireable fasion. Once he understands what is expected and you are consistant in the way you respond thing should start to turn. Good luck.