clevymd
I let my Zoe go 2 days ago.  I am still crying and feel awful, guilty, sad, and I miss her.  My house is so quiet now.  Zoe was a GSD mix we had adopted as a stray puppy from our local shelter, 6 years ago, to live with us and our other three dogs.  Three years ago, she developed aggressive behavior towards all of us, which got worse despite positive training, full medical evaluation, vet psych treatment with many different meds, and just plain love.  I even tried aromatherapy. Our home became a jail with gates everywhere.  Our other dogs are older, one is blind and deaf, one has arthritis, and the other was just plain scared of Zoe.  I would not let family or friends visit, and my kids didn't enjoy being home anymore.  I tried for the past two years to find a new home for Zoe, but shelters would not take her and I could not find anyone willing to take her.  Our vet, trainers, and people at shelters, even no kill shelters told us to let her go.  I had to finally admit that Zoe was dangerous, and that we had to let her go.  

I had a vet come to our home, after giving her a really good day.  All our family had time to say goodbye to her.  She played outside and chased bunnies.  She got lots of hugs and kisses. She had a great lunch of filet mignon and whipped cream.  I gave her Benadryl and Ativan, so she was very drowsy when the vet gave her the strong sedative.  She was asleep when he gave her the last injection, and my husband and I held her as she slipped away...died.  I know she did not suffer, and I hope she felt the love from us as she went.  I am still crying today.  I have lit candles around the house, have her collar and photo displayed on the mantel.  I missed her so badly yesterday at walk time...she really was the only one of the four that walked well and we always had a great time together.  

I know I had to do this, and everyone who knew Zoe says it was the right thing to do, not just for her but for our whole family, but I still feel awful.




Carole, Mom to Zoe, who crossed the bridge on 7/5/18, Jasmine, who crossed on 7/14/18, and Layla, on 12/1/18, all will forever be in my heart, and ongoing mom to Roxie.

https://www.rainbowsbridge.com/residents/ZOE085/Resident.htm
https://www.RainbowsBridge.com/residents/JASMI151/Resident.htm
https://www.rainbowsbridge.com/residents/LAYLA022/Resident.htm
Quote 0 0
Tankie12
I truly don’t know what happens, or what horrific thing happens that can determine a dog’s temperament. My 2 girls that I bottle fed and never showed any preference towards grew up with extremely different personalities. One, Tankie who’s gone, was a gentle giant with a heart of gold and was Always happy. Her sister grew to be almost a complete opposite. I know, in my heart if I hadn’t had her I would have believed she’d been extremely abused. She nipped her first child, female at 3 months for nothing more than an outstretched hand, her next was an adult female friend who Adores dogs. She got nipped from behind. The last was my granddaughter, again from behind. Never broke skin but I’ve never seen a bruise so large or deep unless it was from domestic abuse. She was very, very close to being put down after that. I think the only thing that saved her was I couldn’t bare to separate them. The bond and love they always had was that strong.
You went so above what I’ve even heard of, the measures you made available, I can’t think of anything you didn’t do. Still, I know that doesn’t make any of this any easier, in fact it shows how much you’re grieving now. You had to have loved her deeply to have done all you did. It’s the depth that we love that makes this pain so overwhelming. She felt your love, never doubt that. I think Zoe walked with you yesterday and she’ll continue to be by your side. I am so sorry for the pain, we all understand the grief you’re in. Write as often as you wish, you’re not alone,,,,,
Lynn, Tankie’s mom, forever
Quote 0 0
clevymd
Zoe did break skin, and I have a scar on my right leg from her.  I have a big bruise right now that is fading on my left knee from her charging at me and striking me with the muzzle.  It was really a mystery to us why she behaved the way she did.  I used to say that I just wanted five minutes for her to speak English to me, and finally understand how she felt, so I'd know how to make it better.  I did love her so much.  It feels awful to euthanize a perfectly physically healthy dog for a mental issue, but there just wasn't any other way to resolve it.  I miss her terribly, but I have to admit that it's nice to not have gates all over the house, to not be attacked when I go up the stairs, and that the other dogs seem a lot more relaxed and happy to be free in the house again.  I wish there had been another way to achieve this peace, but have to accept it and focus on good memories.  
Carole, Mom to Zoe, who crossed the bridge on 7/5/18, Jasmine, who crossed on 7/14/18, and Layla, on 12/1/18, all will forever be in my heart, and ongoing mom to Roxie.

https://www.rainbowsbridge.com/residents/ZOE085/Resident.htm
https://www.RainbowsBridge.com/residents/JASMI151/Resident.htm
https://www.rainbowsbridge.com/residents/LAYLA022/Resident.htm
Quote 0 0
catiebee
I'm terribly sorry, Carole. It's a horrible decision to have to make, but I can't see where you had any other choice remaining. That does not make your grief journey easier. It hurts and unfortunately the pain can last a very long while.  I hope writing here, being heard, and receiving understanding from others will ease your way some. You loved her, you tried so hard. Did everything you possibly knew to do, to avoid having to say goodbye and the broken heart you now have. I wish you much comfort, peace, healing. 
Catie
-Missing Marissa deeply
Quote 0 0
clevymd
I took the other three girls on their walks last night, and that’s when the pain hit me hard. One of the few times that Zoe was a good girl was when we went for walks. I had great walks with her. I cried all night just stayed in bed all day today. The grieving process this both emotional and physical. I still feel guilty that I couldn’t have looked harder for a new place for her to live instead of euthanizing a strong, healthy girl. I keep telling myself that her aggression was her illness and that was not curable even with all the love I gave her. It’s not helping me much right now.
Carole, Mom to Zoe, who crossed the bridge on 7/5/18, Jasmine, who crossed on 7/14/18, and Layla, on 12/1/18, all will forever be in my heart, and ongoing mom to Roxie.

https://www.rainbowsbridge.com/residents/ZOE085/Resident.htm
https://www.RainbowsBridge.com/residents/JASMI151/Resident.htm
https://www.rainbowsbridge.com/residents/LAYLA022/Resident.htm
Quote 0 0
CK1991
clevymd, I have to wonder if Zoe might have had something physical wrong that was causing the aggressive behaviour. Did the vets ever check to see if she had any type of tumour near her brain? I have a friend whose dog became very aggressive and it turned out to be a brain tumour. I would think though that any type of physical pain could cause this but you did everything you could possibly do. You gave Zoe such a peaceful, easy death. Try and remember she is at peace now and well and happy again. Someday you will meet up again and she will let you know how much she loved you. Hugs and peace!
CK
Quote 0 0
clevymd
CK1991, I wondered the same thing, and had our vet do a full medical work up on her when the aggression first started, and again earlier this year, but nothing.  All the vets and trainers felt Zoe had a fear based aggression, which is very difficult to overcome, and may have arisen from something that happened before we adopted her from the local shelter.  We adopted all four of our dogs from the shelter and raised them all the same.  Three turned out to be complete sweethearts that are affectionate and gentle, but Zoe did not.  Our older GSD, Jasmine, was beaten by her previous owners, and when we brought her home, we could hardly touch her as she would cry, cringe, and growl.  Now she rolls over for belly rubs and we can touch her anywhere without problem.  Jasmine is now also blind from a sudden retinal degeneration (a rare disease for dogs), and mostly blind from chronic otitis (which her former owners had let fester), but we have been able to help her to adjust.  It was challenging because Zoe had played with her originally, but once Jas went blind, Zoe attacked her.  Zoe also attacked our oldest dog, Layla, who has developed significant arthritis, causing her additional pain.  Our other GSD, Roxie, would never fight back with Zoe, but she was afraid of her, although bigger, and I had to escort Roxie around Zoe to protect her.  I also had to have Zoe wear a muzzle and harness to protect us and the other dogs, and had to have gates up all around the house to keep Zoe from charging at us. She didn't like us to go upstairs, or near areas that she felt were hers, although those areas changed unpredictably.  

I still miss Zoe terribly because she wasn't 100% crazy, and actually was perfect when she was alone with me for walks outside, but that was the only time.  I realized she was a huge stress for our dogs, and for our family.  I didn't let my elderly parents visit as fights would break out--Zoe had a weird habit of not letting us or the other dogs go near anyone who came to visit us.  She loved my son, but would attack him or the rest of the family when his friends were here.  The vet psychiatrist said she'd never see that kind of behavior, and could not explain it.  

We tried drugs, training, gating, e collars, muzzle, harness, more training, and just plain love, but nothing helped.  I tried to re home her, but once people knew she had bitten humans and dogs, no one was willing to risk it.  Our local shelters said they'd likely have to euthanize her, and no kill shelters refused her.  Our dog sitter would not do overnights any more, and would not send anyone else due to the risk of harm.  I really hit the wall, and I knew we all could not go on like this.  It's only been five days now, and I am still bursting into tears every day over this, but I had to let her go.  My only comfort is that we did give her over 6 years of a loving home, probably longer than others might have given her, never hit her, always gave her love no matter if she attacked us and bit us.  Her last day was a good one, and her death was as easy and painless as I could make it, and she was held by us during the whole process.  I so wish it could have been different.

Sorry to go on but it helps to get it out, as you all know.  Thanks so much for your support here.
Carole, Mom to Zoe, who crossed the bridge on 7/5/18, Jasmine, who crossed on 7/14/18, and Layla, on 12/1/18, all will forever be in my heart, and ongoing mom to Roxie.

https://www.rainbowsbridge.com/residents/ZOE085/Resident.htm
https://www.RainbowsBridge.com/residents/JASMI151/Resident.htm
https://www.rainbowsbridge.com/residents/LAYLA022/Resident.htm
Quote 0 0
kimberly17

Hey Carole,

I am so sorry you had to make such a hard decision.  You are a kind person to have opened up your home to a shelter dog and for a time in Zoe's life she was loved and had a great home!  I will sending prayers that God will heal your heart and give you and your family peace.  

Kim forever Roxy's mom.   

Kimberly Shirley
Quote 0 0
TobiasMan
Hi, I'm so sorry to hear about Zoe. It sounds like you made the best choice in an extremely frustrating and heartbreaking situation. You very likely did give her a longer life, and one with much more love and patience, than she would have gotten elsewhere. Having an anxious pet is very difficult, and I empathize with you.

Please come back and write to us about Zoe as much as you want or need. Having to say goodbye to our dear friends is awful no matter the circumstance, and I imagine many of us feel a fair bit of guilt and regret, even when it was truly the only option left. It's so hard to work through, but it will get better. Wishing you peace and comfort this evening.
"How it is that animals understand things I do not know, but it is certain that they do understand. Perhaps there is a language which is not made of words and everything in the world understands it. Perhaps there is a soul hidden in everything and it can always speak, without even making a sound, to another soul." ― Frances Hodgson Burnett
Quote 0 0