I put my 4 year old best friend down yesterday and I don't know how I am going to cope with it. Three years ago my wife and I rescued a one year old puppy from a local animal sanctuary. We were in our late 50's at  that time and our children were grown up, married and moved on with their own families and we felt it was a good time for companion. We named this amazing puppy Maksym but called him Maks. We gave him all of our love and Maks gave his love back to us every second of every day. When we first got him I would take him everywhere - dog parks, hiking, walking, Lowes, friends houses, etc. It was wonderful. We had been planning a family vacation for about a year before Maks came along and after about 5 months the time had come to go. We had been taking Maks to boarding places for a few weeks before so he would be used to it. He seemed ok with it. When the time came the place we had planned to take him informed us that they did not have an opening after earlier telling us there were plenty. So based on some positive recommendations  we took him to another place which quickly evaluated him and said no problem they could take him for the week. We went on this vacation, my wife spent most of the time watching him on live cameras and everything seemed fine. We picked him up and he seemed perfectly happy and it was beautiful reunion. The kennel said he did great.The next day I took him to Lowes like we had in the past and he growled and snapped at a number of people. This was shocking and I quickly got him out of the store. From that day forward he would be very reactive and aggressive with everyone except the circle of friends and family that associated with him prior to that vacation. I have no reason to believe that the Kennel did anything wrong but I do think that something  changed in him. To us and the people he knew before-hand he was the most loving, playful, happy dog I have ever seen. I still took him everywhere but was forced to stay away from strangers because he would act so aggressive. We took him to many trainers and attended many dog training and obedience classes over the last years. He was a star at all of these classes, he shined and mastered many  commands but would rarely let a stranger come near. He could jump through a hoop, catch a Frisbee high in the air, spin, go through our legs, go around us, sit, stay, leave it, etc, he was brilliant. We had several personal trainers come to the house and try to help us. We would see hopeful signs that maybe things were getting better but then he would  try to bite someone or go uncontrollably tearing toward them and scare them. He did nip a few people but nothing too serious, but very scary in any case. It seemed this reactivity was  getting worse over the last couple of months. We had our vet do every test possible to see if something was causing this. Every test was negative. It got to the point we called all of our trainer friends to see if there was anyone that we could re-home him to but when people heard that he was reactive they didn't want to take that on which is understandable. The hardest  part about all of this was he loved us like no other pet I have ever known. He would snuggle up and kiss us all day and all night. He would greet us every morning with a wagging tail and kiss us like he had not seen us for a week. He would stretch across our laps and watch tv with us. When we would go to bed he would curl up with us. When he saw either of us or a friends car pull up he would  grab a toy and take it to them and gave each person a personal parade just for showing up. Well the other day he did bite a stranger, not really bad but bad enough to scare us and convince us that we had to stop this before someone got really hurt. So we had our beautiful Maks put to sleep. It was heart breaking, I felt like he knew what was happening and looked up at me for help. It was the most traumatic thing i have ever had to do. He was my best friend  and I loved him more than I can ever express in words. I miss him dearly and can't stop crying.  
Maksy poo
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I'm so sorry for your loss. The fact that you got him from a shelter and opened your home and your heart to him is such a beautiful thing. You did everything right. You did everything that you could to help your baby.I understand how you feel. I lost my baby on Saturday. It's so painful.
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So sorry for your loss.  
Linda *Mom to two boxer angels* Lily {White Girl} 6/22/09 - 10/14/19 Ginger {Flashy Fawn Girl} 6/4/97 - 5/28/09
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Oh my... I’m so, so sorry. Your story brought tears to my eyes. That’s an unimaginably difficult decision you had to make, and my heart breaks for you. My sister also adopted a beautiful dog from a shelter, and faces the same issue: he gets unexplainably aggressive around strangers, even though he’s sweet with my sister and her family, and fine with other dogs. She may have to make the same extremely hard decision you had to make.

I understand the pain and being unable to stop crying. We’re here to listen and give you support. I hope you and your wife are coping a little bit better each day, though it will take time. Take that time. We grieve so deeply because we love so deeply. Sending you hugs...
Cindy (Buddy’s mama)
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