Feeling absolutely gutted for my father tonight. His partner put his white alasation down this morning without his knowledge after he bit my dad last night. While it may well have been the right thing to do, my father is heartbroken particularly at the fact that he didn’t even say goodbye. I lost a retriever a few months ago to cancer so I know how hard it is but I just don’t know what to say to help him given that it wasn’t his choice. Heartbroken for him. Any advice please?
Quote 0 0
I am so sorry to hear that your Dad is going through this, and that you are in a position that nobody looks forward to. A loved one is hurting and making them hurt less is so difficult.
That has to be devastating. Being bitten by an animal you love can feel like such a betrayal. And the shock of finding them suddenly passed away would be hard to endure.
This is not my place, to pass judgement on what his partner did, but I would feel betrayed by my partner as well if it happened to me. I honestly don't think I could forgive something like that. The decision to euthanize a pet is very personal and a chance to say goodbye at your own pace is critical. To be flatly denied that seems callous and cruel to me.
Of course I don't know the circumstances , and judging his partner won't change the hurt...
I would let him know you are there to listen to how hurt and sad he is. He may feel like he should just deal with it or be embarrassed to cry .
I would also let him know that his dog biting him has nothing to do with the dog loving him, and does not at all mean that he was a bad owner or that he and his dog did not have a special bond. Dogs bite for so many reasons, and the reasons do not have anything to do with the dog loving your Dad. There may be things in the dogs history that cause him to bite that your Dad may not even be aware of. My dog (one of them) has bitten me a few times. I knew when I brought him home that he had issues. I am not defending his behavior and I would perfectly understand if he belonged to somebody else if they had him put to sleep. But I know he truly loves me and I know I never did anything wrong to him to make him feel like he should bite me. I'm bringing this up only to point out that if your Dad feels at all guilty that possibly he was to blame, he should not. Dogs sometimes just have issues. Just like people.
It sounds so cliche, but I would also let him know that his dog had love and a home through your Dad, and that is so important to them. I'm certain he passed away knowing he was loved.
Let him know he can talk to you if he should hear his partner or his friends talk about the dog as though he was a 'bad dog'
And let him tell you all about what a good, loving wonderful dog he was. Because I'm sure he was in your Dads eyes. Maybe make a memorial and say a few words together about what a wonderful, good dog he was.
And tell him it takes time, but it does get better. I have been there many times and it does get better.
I'm sorry again for you and your Dads loss..
Quote 0 0
Thank you so much for your reply, it really does help. I can’t imagine what he is going through right now in terms of feelings of betrayal and guilt for not saving the dog. I have just tried to be there for him and although the circumstances are not the same as with the loss of my dog, I just keep on reassuring him that time is a great healer. Although I can’t personally understand how a decision like that can be done without the other partners knowledge, i am keeping my own feelings to myself as I know it’s not all black and white when you see someone you love being attacked. Thanks again for your advice!
Quote 0 0
I agree that it should have been your fathers choice as to whether or not he wanted to have the dog pts. I can't imagine what he must be going through. My advice is to just be there for him and let him talk with you about you his feelings. It's the best thing you can do for him now.
I'm sorry for your loss as well!
All the best!
Quote 0 0
How awful! Sometimes animals bite, but killing them is never the solution. I would never speak to someone again if they did that to my pet, it tells me that there is something very wrong with that person. I'm sorry your father is being put through this, it's not right. My Dobie had issues, but I loved him and gave him the best life possible. He loved me right back, and I did all I could to protect him from the world, as well as protect it from him. He had aggression issues with other dogs and people he didn't know. But he would do anything for his human and dog family. I got bit occasionally through the years, it's called redirected aggression, and the remorse he obviously felt was heartbreaking. He couldnt control himself in some situations, and it wasn't his fault. We were making amazing progress with a trainer when he suddenly passed from a heart arrhythmia. But to purposely cut his life short was NEVER an option. This story is deeply upsetting, I can't even imagine what it feels like to be in this situation.
Quote 0 0
First I hope your dad is physically ok post the dog bite. I' m wondering if there is more to the story. But that would be between your dad and his partner.
What you can do for your dad is listen and be his
shoulder to lean on just as the others have said.
A lot of his grief work needs to be done with his partner so he reaches a point of understanding.

Many people do have to put their dogs down due to biting. A nip and even a few stitches we can all put up with once. But as someone mentioned some dogs have issues emotionally. It's not their fault and they also need to defend themselves when they feel fear.

I had a small dog and he never bit but I took precautions always. People think they can stick their faces down at small dogs and chat with them. You have to respect their space. I would just tell people William wasn't friendly if they wanted to approach
I felt safer preventing an issue. If William wanted attention he would seek it out. I preferred it that way.

I'm so sorry for your dads situation and completely understand his upset.
Just be there for him
Quote 0 0