Losing a friend

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Opa, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    Today was one of the worst days I ever had and I guess it was my fault. Twelve years ago we bought a Jack Russell Terrier. She has been a joy to own. Extremely well behaved and very calm. When we bought her I mentioned to the breeder that I might want to get a second one. He said what ever you do don't get another female, that eventually one would kill the other. When it came time to get another dog we fell in love with the cutest most affectionate little puppy imaginable. We thought that since our dogs are very well behaved and spayed that it wouldn't be a problem. Daisy accepted Jasmine right away and mothered her constantly. She wouldn't eat until Jasmine was fed, they played tag, tug of war and all the the things that dogs do that brings joy to your heart. When friends would come over they would be amazed at how well behaved the dogs were and would ask "are you sure that these are JRTs. Everyone would like Daisy, but would fall in love with the extremely loving and affectionate Jasmine. Our fairy tale dog experience lasted for 7 years. Suddenly, we were having dog fights. Jasmine and Daisy would be playing, or lying quietly next to us and from out of the blue Jasmine would attack Daisy. Oft times these fights would occur in the middle of our bed at 2 or 3 in the morning. Trying to separa te 2 viciously fighting dogs is almost impossible. Several times the aftermath required stitches for them and bandaids for me. We tried everything to prevent these episodes. We tried to make sure that each dog got equal attention, we removed any toys that they might fight over, eliminated anything that might cause jealousy. Each time we would have one of these events it would become worse and each time within minutes after you wouldn't think that they were capable of fighting. Daisy would be her normal quiet reserved "old lady" and Jasmine would be back to her super affectionate self. For three years we have lived with baited breath dreading the next incident. Unfortunately, Jasmine seemed to initiate these attacks with ever increasing regularity. Tonight Daisy walked into the family room and Jasmine launched of the couch and the fight ensued. The last one was only about 3 weeks ago. Now it looks as if Daisy, who's now 12 years old, is going to be blind in one eye from tonight's fight. So after much heart rendering and tear stained discussion we decided that we must put Jasmine down. She had become much to unpredictable. We didn't trust her around little kids anymore and often she would growl at us or even snap, and as always she would immediately return to her super affection self that would melt your heart. We discussed taking her tomorrow to have the Vet put her down but decided that it would be better if I did it now rather than having her begging for attention and loving us all night and us unable to sleep because of her decided fate. I can only say is that when reputable breeder give you advise you should take it. We loved Jasmine
    immensely for 10 years but the heart ache we are feeling tonight could have be avoided. If we had bought a male we wouldn't have had this situation and Jasmine would have been bought by someone else and she would still be alive. Please don't be as I was and think that you can go against experienced advise.
  2. lurky

    lurky Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    [​IMG] Sorry for your loss. What a difficult situation to be in. It sure sounds like you did the right thing.
  3. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    [​IMG] I know how you feel, having to decide life or death is a terrible thing. A lesson lived is a lesson learned, and hopefully your future experiences will be better.
  4. Robin'sBrood

    Robin'sBrood Flock Mistress

    May 8, 2008
    North Carolina
    Opa, I'm so sorry for you. I know the pain of having to make a decision like you had to make.

    Several years ago I was at an animal shelter looking for a small dog to be a companion for my little dog, Wolfgang. I didn't find a dog that I thought would be right for him, one that he "clicked" with (he was with me) so I was headed to my car when I ran into a couple that was taking one of the most adorable puppies I had ever seen into the shelter. I struck up a conversation with them about the beautiful puppy and as we talked, Wolfgang and the puppy played. This puppy was 8 weeks old, the daughter of a Boxer who got out and got pregnant by an unknown dog. She was the last in the litter, all the other puppies had found homes and they were taking her to the pound. Well, as I watched Wolfgang playing with her, I knew she was the companion I wanted for him. So, I offered to take her from them right there in the parking lot and they gladly handed her over to me. She was 8 weeks old.

    Long story short... the first time I noticed her aggression was when my dog loving aunt reached out to pet her and she snapped. She was only about 9-10 weeks old! She snarled and snapped at one of my vets and he said she was mixed with Chow Chow and would only become more aggressive with age. I couldn't believe that, she was the most LOVING and adorable little thing to me and my family. So, I ignored what he said. As she started growing (with her 1/2 purple tongue) she started getting HUGE. She wound up being about 100 pounds of pure muscle so she became an outside dog in our fenced 1/2 acre back yard. She loved any dog, big or small, but she was always wary of people. She didn't bite but she seemed to have a type of fear aggression and would growl at people as if she felt threatened by anyone that she didn't know who might approach her.

    And sure enough, as she aged, that aggression became worse. She started growling at my children. She started growling at other dogs. She was changing and it wasn't a good change. After I found out that some young children were cutting through my back yard to go to their friends' houses and after I found out that one little girl would stand on her side of her chain link fence and antagonize Morgan, I knew I had to make a terrible decision. I was so afraid a child would come into my yard and she would attack. It felt like having a loaded gun lying in my yard... one that a child might or might not get too close to. It kept me awake at night.

    So, I called my vet and talked with her about Morgan and her behavior. We discussed how she had to be muzzled when she went to the vet the last time because she was snarling at them. And how she snapped at the little old lady who approached her in the waiting room (without asking first.) My vet said she saw dogs like Morgan all the time and most of the time they just got worse and worse with age. It was a gut wrenching decision but with my vet's blessing I made the decision to have her put to sleep BEFORE she hurt someone. I don't know if I could have forgiven myself if she had bitten a child. It was a hard, hard decision to make but one that really had to be made. She wouldn't let ANY strangers touch her so I don't think I could have found her another home.

    So, I really do understand what you're going through. [​IMG]

    How is Oma handling the decision? (My high school best friend had a German mother, so I was used to hearing about Oma & Opa. [​IMG] )
  5. Calebs Acre

    Calebs Acre Songster

    May 17, 2008
    Long Island

    I wasn't sure when I read your post if you were actually feeling like Jasmine would still be alive if she had gone to a home without another female dog? If that's what you are thinking, I really, truly doubt that would have been the case.

    Although I am far from being a behaviorist, I did receive a great deal of training during my time as an adoption manager for a major shelter in NYC. I have seen countless puppies display VERY aggressive tendencies (of all different breeds). I've seen very angry dogs at only 10 weeks old!

    While doing rescue at home, I have even seen rescue dogs who gradually become very dog aggressive who NEVER became people aggressive. If she started to growl and snap at you as she grew older, that would most likely have happened in another home environment.

    There are some dogs who are aggressive who just start with dog aggression, or possession aggression or food aggression and they graduate into various other forms of aggression as they age.

    You did the right thing and I know that it hurts. It's never easy to make these kinds of decisions. Just remember that it will get a little bit better with each passing day. You've got friends all around you.

  6. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    Thank you everyone for your kind words. Something like this is never easy even when you know it is best. Your kindness helps

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