My parents bought a golden retriever puppy out of the classifieds years ago. She was apparently 8 weeks old and the last of the litter to leave, it was a litter bred between family members, apparently one sister had the female and the brother had the male, though we never met either parent. We stayed in the car as my parents went into the house. The puppy was cowering under the dining room table and had to be dragged out by the seller to give to my dad. My dad came out with the puppy in his arms and she became a member of the family. The vet estimated her age to be around 12 weeks rather than the 8 we were told but otherwise healthy
Right off the bat we noticed that she was very submissive; she would hide in the corner and pee if someone came to the door like a pizza delivery boy even if the person never even looked at her let alone touched. She was skittish and would jump at the slightest sound, but otherwise easily trained and bonded to our family. She never needed a leash; she hung out in the backyard with us no problems and never ran away.
As she got older she began turning from fear to fear aggression, rather than hide and pee in a corner she would snarl as she was backing up. She had one episode where she attacked my grandparentís dog when it took a high value treat from her and refused to give it up. The attack resulted in a trip to the emergency room with surgery to install drains and stitch the bite wounds. We separated the dogs after that and she never had any problems with any animals, including two cats she lived with. Her issue was with humans outside of our immediate family. Even if they did nothing she could growl at them and she snapped with no contact at a few people.
My parents relegated her to a bedroom whenever people were over. One day we had a party at our house and someone let her out, she was weaving through the crowd loving the attention and treats people were offering her. One of my dad's coworkers was a huge animal fan and was excited to see her so he crouched down and called her from across the room. She looked at him and sprinted towards him with a big growl, he stood up quickly and my dad caught her just before she lunged for him. There was no provocation for the attack, she was scolded and put back away immediately.
After that attack my parents took her to the vet to see if there was something physically wrong with her, she was only 3 years old at the time. The vet was a young guy we had a good relationship with; she immediately started growling at him when he walked in the room. He ignored her completely as my parents corrected her and she cornered herself and gave him the stink eye even when he sat down on the floor and snarled whenever he talked or shifted. He shook his head and told my parents with her history of being unpredictable since the beginning the chances of them being able to help her was slim. After considering the life she would have to lead, with being either crated, muzzled, or separated for the rest of her life my parents made the hard decision to give her a few days at home being loved on then scheduled the appointment to euthanize her.
I will add that never did she ever show any signs of aggression towards my parents or myself or my siblings, but with anyone else she was unpredictable and they didn't want to have that risk hanging over her head or theirs. Young people, old, male, female, happy, angry, etc there was no pattern to her outburst.
The last day was extremely hard, she was the picture of health and happiness as my parents took her away for the last car ride. I know now what they did was kind, releasing her from the demons we couldn't see but as a child it was hard to swallow the decision.
Mental illness is just as bad as physical even though you canít see it, just because a dog is physically healthy doesnít mean there isnít wires crossed someone in their brains which doesnít allow them to find peace.
Jasmine - Female Miniature Poodle - born Aug 15, 2010
Loker Delgado Von Stalworth - Male GSD - born Jan 26, 2012
Koda & Zazu - 5 year old male cats
Alex - Male Cocker Spaniel (rescue) - RIP Cuddlebug 2007-2010