Hi, everyone! I just joined this forum yesterday and already feel at home. I’m so incredibly comforted just knowing there are other people dealing with the same sorrow I’ve been dealing with. I’m going to share the story of my sweet little boy, Kyrie.
It was June 2018, and I had just graduated college and moved in with my boyfriend of almost 4 years. It was an exciting time for me, and things were just so good in my life. The only thing missing from my life was a pup. Days later, we were at the humane society falling completely in love with a little, black, one-year-old baby pittie mix. We had only looked at 2 other dogs when they brought him in, and it was love at first sight. I knew he was the one. We brought him home and named him Kyrie after Kyrie Irving as we were big Cavs fans. We spent the first 6 months together in absolute bliss.
After about 6 months, things started taking a negative turn. One night, my boyfriend and I went out with some friends. When we returned home, admittedly somewhat intoxicated, we had an incident where Kyrie attacked both of us and left bloody puncture wounds to both our hands. I don’t remember much else about that night, but I remember us deciding to leave him in the crate for the night and just went to bed. Nothing further was done about the incident, and things seemed to be totally back to normal by the next morning.
Throughout the next 5-6 months after that incident, we started to notice progressively worsening behavior, especially when he was around other dogs. Now this did not happen JUST after the biting incident, but we definitely noticed it worsening. In June 2019, my boyfriend left me. It was devastating - I thought he was going to propose that day. The very first thing out of my mouth was “Kyrie is staying with me.” He had become my absolute best friend, and absolutely nothing was going to separate us.
He became my little companion after that. I know he sensed my sadness and was there to comfort me always. We spent the summer being completely inseparable, and I’ll cherish that time together forever. We found a new apartment and moved there together in the late summer, just me and Kyrie. We made new friends and started our new life there.
Fall 2019 is when things started making a turn for the worst. There was a series of aggressive behaviors scattered over several months. Snapping at me if I touched him wrong, completely losing control around other dogs, and eventually another attack. On me. I can’t remember specifics and quite frankly don’t want to. He tore up my hand, but I never seeked medical help and swept it under the rug because despite everything, he was still my sweet little baby I absolutely adored. We made a visit to the vet, where they gave me some options and ultimately decided to place him on Trazodone. I also got a highly recommended trainer and thought things were getting better! We saw the trainer once a week, and I diligently gave him his daily Trazodone every night.
Unfortunately, things in reality were not getting better. Over the next 6 months or so, he had multiple episodes of unforeseen aggression including several bites to my hands and feet and unfortunately several times to my mom. He stayed with her sometimes when I had to be gone for work. These bites were significant and drew blood almost every time. We stopped seeing the trainer regularly, and I hid the fact that he had been having these episodes for fear he would be taken from me or worse would have to be put down. Now to clarify, this was not a daily occurrence. We would go weeks with absolutely no problems, and then suddenly he would have several episodes within a few days. Then the pattern continued. The attacks were usually completely unprecedented and without any patterns. It was like his eyes became glazed over, and he forgot who he was during the attack followed by him seeming to have no recollection of what had happened. We went back to the vet for testing and more options. All that landed us was an increase in his Trazodone and negative test results. We ended up seeing a vet tech who had worked with some vet behavioralists in the past and could give us some insight. She was concerned this could be seizures but sounded like it could also be a behavioral issue and recommended further evaluation. We also discontinued the Trazodone as recommended by the vet tech.
By this time, we had moved out of our apartment and back home with my mom. I felt that I needed the help, and my mom was the only person who seemed to understand my love for him and loved him herself! We never got the chance to have him evaluated by any specialists. One evening while I was out with a friend, my dog attacked my mom in a blind rage. He tore her hand apart, and she had to go to the ER.
Over the next couple days, things were just bad. I knew I had to make an impossible decision on how to move forward. I talked to one of my cousins who raises farm animals and has a lot of knowledge on domestic animals as well. She recommended euthanasia. She knew Kyrie very well (I’m extremely close with my cousin), so she was not making that recommendation lightly. She told me she’d help me no matter what decision I made, but her stance on the matter was obvious. I also received a call from another cousin during those couple days (I’m very close with all my cousins!!). He had heard about the incident and wanted to help. He’s not an emotional guy WHATSOEVER, so when he called me with obvious distress in his voice, explaining to me that he once had to put a beloved dog down due to behavioral issues, it hit me that I was going to have to euthanize my baby Kyrie. I called the vet that day to discuss my options and made an appointment for the following day.
April 10 at 2:30pm. I was in utter agony and disbelief that this was going to be how my little boy’s life was going to end. I agonized over the options - have him taken from me, surrender him to a shelter where he’d be euthanized alone and afraid, keep him and risk serious harm to myself, my family, or anyone for that matter, or put him down myself.
We spent our last day together playing, going for a very long walk his favorite way, laying in the sun (his favorite!!!), and eating steak and an ice cream treat. At 2:30pm that day, my baby boy went to doggy heaven. I held him tight and sat there and cried with him for an hour. I couldn’t even bear to let go. I felt alone and just completely devastated. I couldn’t believe it was even happening. I’ve loved and lost a lot of people in my life, but nothing compared to the pain I had that day. Walking away from him was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
I wasn’t able to keep his body to bury nor have him cremated because they had to take his his little body to test for rabies and other diseases. This was because I chose not to do the 2-week quarantine period with him before euthanasia. I couldn’t bear the thought of having him locked up and alone for 2 weeks before being put down. The thought of that was far worse than doing it immediately. Now I have nothing of him physically left. I sleep with his collar and his favorite toy in my hands as I cry myself to sleep every single night. I picked up his paw print 2 weeks ago, and they also did a little print of his nose. I can hardly bear to look at it, knowing he was gone when they made it for me. So much pain, regret, guilt, and sorrow. I miss him crawling under the covers with me and curling up against my legs every night. I miss his morning kisses. I miss his doggy breath. I miss walks and runs with him. I miss his intense excitement every time I walked in the door. I miss watching him play in the yard. I even miss him drooling everywhere any time there was steak or chicken. He absolutely LOVED food!!
The worst part of all is that I don’t just miss him, I also have so much guilt and regret.
If I had never adopted him, could someone else have done more for him?
Is it my fault he had these behavioral issues? Did I mess up somewhere?
Did I make the wrong choice putting him down? Was there more I could have done?
When we walked into the vet that day, his tail was wagging with excitement. He had no idea what was going on or why we were there. Was he afraid when he suddenly became sleepy and could no longer stand on his own? Does he know I was with him? Is he mad at me? Did he suffer at all?
3 nights ago, he came to me in a dream. I had been hoping for this - to get to see him and hold him and kiss him again. The dream was not happy nor what I wanted. We were back in the vet’s office together, and I had to endure the pain of putting him down yet again. It was like a cruel joke. I woke up in tears.
I feel like no one loved Kyrie like I did, not even my mom. I fear that she hated him the day he died because the attack on her was so fresh. I wish I could have given him more. He deserved all the love in the world. I take comfort only in knowing I truly gave him every ounce of love I had in me and adored him every single day, good or bad.
I think about him constantly and cry for him daily. Sometimes I have physical pain in my chest at just the thought of him. I feel guilty going outside or even smiling. How can I be allowed to be happy when he is gone? I long for the day we are reunited in heaven. I just pray for God to take care of him and love him. I pray that he has new doggy friends and gets to run freely outside every day.