Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: SouthEastern WI
Euthanizing a healthy dog
Last week we came to the sad decision that we would have to euthanize Sasha. Sasha was a rescue I got from Alabama. It was an emotional decision, made just after my boy Riggs died, to rescue her based solely on her pictures. Although many people have made the same decision and it's been wonderful for them I personally will never do it again.
Sasha was extremely fear aggressive around strangers. When I first got her I tried taking her to classes to work on it but she just shut down completely. So we ditched the class thing and tried working with her one-on-one. We never could seem to make any progress. She just seemed to hate/fear strangers. Who knows what happened in her first year of life (she was estimated to be 9-12 months old when I got her from the shelter).
So, we decided to just give up and let her be what she was. She liked us and the other dogs so we thought that would be good enough for her.
Then she started jumping the fence and running away.
Again, I'm guessing it went back to something in her background. Why would a dog that had a great home, dog friends, people who loved her and awesome food (she LOVED her raw diet) - why would a dog with all that want to LEAVE?? I had a hard time understanding that and coming to grips with the fact that she would rather be off wandering than be with us.
It got to the point where even if we were in the field WITH her, she would jump the fence the moment your back was turned.
So she was only allowed outside on a tie out. While all the other dogs were running and playing in the field she had to sit and watch.
After many months of this I thought I'd give her a chance to run in the field with the pack. I brought her in and let her off leash and she started running and playing with the other dogs. Then she headed for the fence. I called to her just as she stood in front of the fence. She turned and looked at me and then turned back and jumped the fence.
While it made me mad that she would blow me off like that it wasn't the deciding factor.
The deciding factor was her issues with people. If someone found her before we could and tried to be nice and catch her, I have no doubt in my mind Sasha would have bitten them.
We cannot have a dog that will jeopardize the whole pack.
I did not feel comfortable putting her in rescue for several reasons - the main one being that she would be VERY hard to adopt out and would be taking a space that a "good" dog could use.
So, with a heavy heart I took her in and euthanized her.
The pack is actually a little calmer now. Sasha was being snarky towards the CC puppies and they were beginning to withdraw but now they are running and playing all over the place.
Being outside with the dogs is much nicer, too. We do not always have to be on our guard as to where Sasha is and we don't worry when people walk up and down the drive of the commercial nursery that runs along our east property line.