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  Topic Review (Newest First)
12-02-2016 03:57 PM
shakariah Had Shiloh shepherd that was never a problem for me. Got her as a return to a breeder at a year old. I never had a problem with her but she bit someone going into my house when I was not there. Prior to this she would only nip people to let them know who was boss and whose house it was. Paid a professional person who said the dog wouldn't be good around anyone else ever, especially kids.
After that bad bite, I took her back to that same breeder to be rehomed. Hope she got a good one as the breeder was several hours away and would not answer me about her. I think I did the best for her under the circumstance and that was probably why she went back the first time, yet never was like that with me.
Now I got a puppy with no unknown prior history or issues. She is fine with all. But like everyone else you think you failed them and hope you did what was best for them. Thought pill to swallow.
11-11-2016 12:29 PM
Jenny720 These stories are making me pretty sad. I can see this as a great therapeutic thread. Dogs/animals can bring us great joy but also great heartache. It reminded me of the guilt I still carry with one of our dogs we had when I was in 5th grade. Her name was Fica- she was a poodle terrier mix and looked like a medium sized Irish wolf hound. We had adopted her and had her only about a year. This was back in the day where kids roamed free my best friend, sister, myself and Fica my dog would ride our bikes around the neighborhood. Fica was often off leash. She would always ride by my side and not wander. We were looking for a van that we heard that was hanging around and tried to grab a kid at local bus stop. I must of read to much Nancy Drew back and watched to many murder she wrote episodes. We were riding down a fairly busy road and I noticed Fica was not by my side. I kept calling her and calling her without looking back as I was on my bike. I heard a car screeching its brakes and a scream of a dog-my dog. We turned around and dropped my bike and ran to the corner where I was with her moments before. I ran over to the now tan/brownish car that had its door open and woman standing outside the car. My dog was laying in the road lifeless.

I knew at that moment because I called her name, Fica came to me and was hit by the car. She was good girl such a good dog so smart. She was listening to my calls is why she got hit. The woman put Fica in her car and followed us home. I remember crying so much feeling like this was just a bad dream. I watched her lifeless body trying to will her back to life. Waking up the next morning was the worst. We went to school the next day as my mom thought it keep our minds busy. It was picture day in school. We still have those school pictures - my sister and my eyes are are red and our faces were puffy from crying all night and day. Even though I was just a kid I still feel very guilty going on that busy road without a leash and calling her without looking back. I still can cry a river over her even so many years later.
11-11-2016 02:30 AM
L0b0 I failed a dog once. My wife and I decided our Saint Bernard needed some canine company. We opted for a rescue and I immediately gravitated towards this beautiful female puppy. She was 6 months old and we were told she was a German Shepherd/Staff mix. She looked like a Shepherd with a brindle coat and floppy ears (although I'm convinced she was a Dutch Shepherd mixed with a breed that gave her floppy ears). We named her Rogue. Within a week I noticed when I would approach her she would roll over and pee. This progressed to her emptying her bladder anytime I came near her and she would cower away in fear with her tail tucked. She only got this reaction with me. I firmly believe she was abused and came to fear men. This went on for a year, never seeing any success. It became very stressful because I wanted very badly to bond with her but she was just too afraid and stressed.

I suffer from PTSD and I think we were both feeding off of each others stress and anxieties. The last weekend she was with us I had fallen asleep on the couch. I was covered completely with a blanket and Rogue ran in the living room excited and energetic and jumped on the couch not knowing I was there. When she realized it was me, she peed on me leaving me and the couch drenched in urine. I became enraged, the stress of trying to make it work and not having any success and some rage that comes in bouts from my ptsd kicked in. We made the decision that day that she needed an environment where she didn't have to live in fear of me. We re-homed her to a young lady who had recently lost her dog to old age. She lived in a house with no men. We still keep in touch with this young lady and Rogue is doing great. She lives in a great home were she is not living in constant fear. This young lady's boyfriend started coming around slowly and she does great around him apparently. This is what makes me feel guilty. Although I feel that we just didn't match up, I sometimes feel I could have kept working with her longer than 1 year. At least she's happy now.
11-01-2016 04:05 PM
Brodi Zane and Abby, two dogs we really never should of gotten.

We got them both as puppies months apart. Zane was a Pit Bull mix and Abby could of been a mix of GSD, Boxer or Shiba Inu. Neither of them were stable and my families lack of knowledge probably made it worse. Neither got trained or socialized properly.

Zane had been tortured with fireworks and shot by the time we adopted him at 8 or 9 weeks and Abby had been born in an empty lot.

They became almost like litter mates until they hit about a year old and started fighting. My dad got Zane fixed (Abby was spayed before we got her) and the number of fights decreased but never stopped.

Zane became anxious and started having health problems as he aged, including a sensitive stomach, skin allergies, and a pellet that traveled around his body. Abby became unpredictable.

Abby became to bare her teeth at us and the last straw was her attacking and almost killing one of our cats who had just been sitting there doing nothing. We rehomed her at the age of 6 to a couple who had experience with unstable dogs and the last we heard she was living a pampered life as an only pet and we still have Zane who is now 8, but won't be getting another bully breed or mix in the future.
10-29-2016 05:02 PM
maxtmill This thread is difficult to read, but at the same time it is a bit therapeutic for me to read how other folks have struggled at times with failures. It is so hard for me to forgive myself for stupid failures, because I love my dogs so much!
10-29-2016 04:43 PM
Originally Posted by Lilie View Post
You only fail if you don't try. Not every dog is a social butterfly. Not every dog will 'fit' into your lifestyle. You may not have the skill, location, time etc. to fix every dog.

I've had a dog that I re-homed. She and I were on totally different planets. She wasn't happy and I wasn't happy. I found her a good home. I would have failed her if I kept her out of any type of obligation I felt.

If I purchased a dog for a specific sport and the dog wasn't happy doing it, then I would fail the dog if I forced it to participate.

Failure is over rated.
I tend to agree. I have failed a couple dogs in my day, and have beat myself up over it. But a wise lady told me that rather than feeling like I failed, think of it as that I did not have what that dog needed. Maybe that just makes me feel a little better.
10-29-2016 02:04 PM
Dnr2d09 I adopted a male supposed GSD mix, but I now believe he was full blooded shepherd. He was a clown, he was hyper, he loved life, and had a temperament to die for. My 2 year old niece could give him treats and he just knew to be gentle with her-that was a lot coming from a dog who could take out grown men in his excitement to greet new friends.

He wasn't without his flaws, he was absolutely neurotic about lights (flashlights, laser pointers, etc) and developed a habit of bolting. I tried to manage it myself and work on his recall. One night he bolted past me and out of the house (a new spin on an irritating trick) and I told my boyfriend we were only going to get lucky so many times. It drove me nuts when he did it because it was so unpredictable.

I finally conceded and met with a private trainer to work on a plan. I purchased a remote collar which he was to wear for a week and then start classes. That evening, I missed his asking to go out and he peed in the entryway which he never did unless the circumstances were desperate. I cleaned up the mess and then leashed our other two dogs to go out and decided to take him with so he didn't slip out and bolt. I had his leash and my boyfriend's heeler mix in one hand, when we were walking down the steps, the heeler got traction and yanked both of their leashes right out of my hand. They took off without looking back. Thankfully she got distracted by a neighbor so I caught her and then went out to look for my boy. It was just getting dark, and he was jet black. That in addition to the fact that I could hear the heavy traffic outside the heart just sank.

At first I didn't even want to go looking because I was afraid I'd find his body in the road. Finally I made myself go and it didn't take long to notice the car on the side of the road with flashers on. I just knew he'd been hit. I walked up to the woman not wanting to look down and asked if it was a black shepherd. Yes. In a panic I asked if he was hurt and she said "he's gone". In addition to being absolutely heartbroken, I felt so guilty looking at his body laying in the grass. He was absolutely perfect, not a scratch on him, but it was instant. I just sat with him and sobbed and told him how sorry I was. He looked asleep, but his body felt so different to the touch, just like stone. To this day I feel guilty for not training him sooner, for failing to keep him safe. It's been almost a year and I drive by that spot almost daily and it kills me. He was two, and was shaping up to be such a great dog. And I let that happen. I have friends who are vet techs and trainers who say there was no guarantee that behavior could've been corrected at his age but I still feel like I let him down.

We recently started the search for another shepherd (this time through a breeder, I want to start with a clean slate and hopefully avoid my boy's bad habits) and one of the 8 month old pups looked just like my boy. Pulled at my heart strings in the best and worst way possible. We ended up choosing his brother, thinking it wasn't fair to bring home a dog that looked just like King...that just seemed too much like trying to replace him. An impossible task, but nevertheless.
01-31-2015 07:39 AM
Anubis_Star OH yeah. Big time. When I euthanized my boy Luther for fear aggression at 3 yrs old. Granted that was the first BIG death I had ever experienced, but I woke up the next morning and it was the single worst paint in the world. I don't think I hurt that much even after losing my dad, simply because I felt SO guilty and like I had done the wrong thing. I regretted it for a LONG time and parts of me still wonder, but at the end of the day it's not fair to have to live with a dog like that for 10-15 years, and it's not fair to him to be so scared and stressed of everyday life.

Geesh even now I'm crying again thinking about it. I miss my Lu-dog SO SO SO much and wish things could of turned out differently :'(

Sometimes I like to think Berlin is Luther reincarnated. Berlin is just so happy go lucky, and nothing phases him. But his goofy personality reminds me so much of Luther! The way he shoves toys in my lap, then nudges my leg and sits back and looks at me. Or crawls into my lap and rolls over on his back, whining to be pet. So vocal like him. If you took all the bad parts away from Luther and left just the good, you would have Berlin.

I also like to think maybe some cosmic force knew my dad would be passing away soon after, and neither of them could be alone if there is somewhere after. Because I couldn't imagine my poor Luther waiting for me alone, but he didn't even have to wait a year to have my dad with him. I hope they're together and happy
01-31-2015 12:00 AM
pianocandy Yup. The girl we had before our current pup. She was my family dog growing up, and when my husband and I bought our house we took her. It took about two weeks for me to notice she wasn't as I remembered her, but my parents and siblings all said it was her personality lately and she was just slowing down and aging. Well one day her stools started getting soft, and then she started losing hair (which we thought was normal shedding due to temperature) and then one day this pup who had loved to go with me for miles on end couldn't keep up when I went to get the mail. We took her in and her red blood cell count was 8. It's supposed to be 28-32, and most dogs die when it drops to about 13. At that point we decided to let her go before she had the trauma of vet visits and tests with small chance of success, but I hadn't brought anything with me to the vet's expecting it to be an hour visit and we stayed for 4. She hadn't had food, and the poor girl was stressed. I wish I would have thought to make her more comfortable and brought her toys and such with. I also wish I'd listened to my gut earlier telling me something was wrong with my pup no matter what anyone said. Poor girl should have never gotten that sick without us catching it. Having said that I'm glad we caught it before she was in actual pain as opposed to just low energy so that's a small consolation. Now with Shayna, I will go with my gut.
01-30-2015 09:12 PM
Originally Posted by Susan_GSD_mom View Post

I took my boy's huge head into my arms and promised him I would not let him suffer. I would know enough to take him back before it was too late.

One morning I knew. I just knew it was time, yet I told myself I had to wait a couple days, I had to be sure...

That was on a Tuesday. Friday I took him in to my vet, and his eyes showed the pain he was in. I had broken my promise to him, it was in his eyes. Yet he was so stoic--if it was possible for a dog to be forgiving, I could see that in his eyes, too. I cried so hard as the life drained from his body, and I cry now, 31 years later.

I have never forgiven myself for breaking that promise to him.

This makes me cry too. Not because of what you did (you loved him and did your best with what you had at the time) just sad because we know what it is like to PTS our furry loved ones. The loss is so mind boggling. Ugh I feel a lump in my throat now, just sad reading all these posts, and recounting my story too. I am glad we are all here though to share and be support to each other. THANK YOU ALL from the bottom of my heart.
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