To the innocent, scared German Shepherd that died in my arms at the Humane Society... - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 59 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
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To the innocent, scared German Shepherd that died in my arms at the Humane Society...

At the end of my Animal Care program in College, I did a two week field placement with my local humane society. I had many tasks during my placement, and the worst one BY FAR was assisting with the mass euthanizations every day. Black cats were euthanized for being black, some cats euthanized for being less social than others, dogs euthanized for every reason under the sun.

Yet there is one dog I could never forget. A big black and tan male German Shepherd that had been there for three days. Nobody came looking for him, nobody came to claim him... even though he wore a pretty custom collar with the name "Titan" on it.

He stayed in quarantine for three days... curled up at the back of the run terrified out of his mind. When people would come near him, he would tuck his ears and tail as far as they would go and curl his lip, showing clear avoidance with his eyes and head. They handled him roughly with those restraint poles anytime they had to handle him. He was very, very scared.

When three days were up, they immediately and easily made the decision to euthanize him. He was too aggressive and too far gone, they said. They told me there was no hope for a dog like him. He hadn't bitten anyone, or even tried. All he did was try to protect himself and warn anyone who came near him.

When they brought him in the room to die, I couldn't breathe. He was beautiful, and his eyes were bright yet clouded by fear. He didn't understand any of this, and just wanted to go curl up in the corner. He kept trying to back away, tail tucked tight against his belly and ears back. He didn't show his teeth or make any noise.

They asked me to help restrain, and I felt the blood pounding in my head. I couldn't say no. I had to hold him. Had to somehow let him feel loving hands even for a moment. I cradled his back end while the tech took the front and held his head and arm out firmly. The vet administered the euthanol while the beautiful boy whimpered and resigned to his fate.

Gosh, he fought it so hard. He thrashed hard against the tech who held his head, knocking her over. He backed right up into my arms and folded into me. He pushed his head into me and sighed so deeply, a mournful whine accompanying his final breath. I cried so hard my tears drenched his neck as he relaxed in my arms and slowly fell into a deep, deep sleep from which he would never wake. I held him for a moment as the two emotionless people in the room watched me. I cried, and cried and cried... I said sorry to him about a thousand times. It was so awful. I was hoping for a peaceful passing like all the others, and what I witnessed was the hopeless fight of an animal who didn't want to die.

I write here in our memorial section in his honour. I think about him all the time, and I will never forget him. I beat myself up for not stopping it, not saving him, even though I know the humane society wouldn't have surrendered him to me.

I am sorry, baby. I hope you felt my love for you before you left this world. Even just a moment of it, I hope you knew I loved you.

SG S-Hunter vom Geistwasser CA CGN TT ATD (Service Dog, Retired Airport Wildlife Control K9)
Zenna vom Geistwasser NTD


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Last edited by WildWolf; 07-20-2012 at 12:15 PM.
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post #2 of 59 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 12:26 PM
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Tears are literally running down my face right now. How incredibly sad for the poor shepherd and for you for having to go through that.
I hope he's running free at the bridge!

Bear GSD 10/16/11
Elsa GSD 12/23/03 - 11/10/11
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post #3 of 59 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Bear GSD View Post
Tears are literally running down my face right now. How incredibly sad for the poor shepherd and for you for having to go through that.
I hope he's running free at the bridge!
Sorry to make you cry! It was very difficult to write this and re-visit the memory in detail.

I hope everyone who reads this will open a little room in their hearts for this boy. I don't want him to ever be forgotten or unloved, even if he is gone now.

SG S-Hunter vom Geistwasser CA CGN TT ATD (Service Dog, Retired Airport Wildlife Control K9)
Zenna vom Geistwasser NTD


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post #4 of 59 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 12:31 PM
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Wow.. what a story. It made me tear up at work.. He is in a better place now, watching over you. He will no longer be abondoned or subject to fear. He's happy now. I'm so sorry you had to go through that.. just terrible. My best friend is a vet tech and has to assist in these situations frequently and she cries every single time, she said it never gets easier.. especially when they are being put down for no reason. Again I'm so sorry you had to experience this, I can only imagine how heartbreaking it must have been. He is in a much better place, chin up friend.

v/r,

Whitney
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post #5 of 59 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 12:34 PM
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i`m sorry you had to do this, at least the dog felt some love before the end,

Max Von barkstoomuch, T.D.Inc, EPI Survivor, Bloat Survivor
Heidi Von affraidofpeople
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post #6 of 59 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by wyoung2153 View Post
Wow.. what a story. It made me tear up at work.. He is in a better place now, watching over you. He will no longer be abondoned or subject to fear. He's happy now. I'm so sorry you had to go through that.. just terrible. My best friend is a vet tech and has to assist in these situations frequently and she cries every single time, she said it never gets easier.. especially when they are being put down for no reason. Again I'm so sorry you had to experience this, I can only imagine how heartbreaking it must have been. He is in a much better place, chin up friend.
Thank you so much.. your comment made me cry again.

After the event, I got up and left the building. I got in trouble for leaving early, but I couldn't handle it. I thought I was going to scream at the manager. I spent the entire afternoon in tears, my parents did everything they could to try to cheer me up.

Like you said, he's not scared or dealing with the pain of abandonment anymore... that brings me a lot of comfort.

SG S-Hunter vom Geistwasser CA CGN TT ATD (Service Dog, Retired Airport Wildlife Control K9)
Zenna vom Geistwasser NTD


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post #7 of 59 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 12:38 PM
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Working at a vet for so long (before my most current vet job), I had to assist with these situations very frequently as well, and it never once got any easier. We used to have to euthanize the dogs that did not qualify for the NY State Trooper K9 program due to medical/behavioral problems. Beautiful working GSD's that had mild elbow dysplasia or fear problems. It broke my heart every time.

If I could have taken them all home, I would have. My fellow kennel workers and I took care of thee dogs every day. They felt like our pets. Nothing can stop the pain of losing them, but it feels better knowing that they were held by people who truly cared for them and loved them until the end.

I hope this boy is running free with all the ones that I have lost as well.

Feuergarten German Shepherds

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post #8 of 59 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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Working at a vet for so long (before my most current vet job), I had to assist with these situations very frequently as well, and it never once got any easier. We used to have to euthanize the dogs that did not qualify for the NY State Trooper K9 program due to medical/behavioral problems. Beautiful working GSD's that had mild elbow dysplasia or fear problems. It broke my heart every time.

If I could have taken them all home, I would have. My fellow kennel workers and I took care of thee dogs every day. They felt like our pets. Nothing can stop the pain of losing them, but it feels better knowing that they were held by people who truly cared for them and loved them until the end.

I hope this boy is running free with all the ones that I have lost as well.
Thank you for your comment.

I work in the Animal Care field and worked in a vet hospital for quite some time. You are absolutely right, it will never be an easy thing to experience - not when you truly love animals. I have seen a lot of pets put to sleep and I have never NOT cried my eyes out.

I can't imagine seeing those working dog prospects get euthanized for those things. I cannot imagine your sadness at their deaths, especially considering the fact that you cared for them. If I had been there longer and was his caregiver, it would have been so much harder... I can't even imagine.

SG S-Hunter vom Geistwasser CA CGN TT ATD (Service Dog, Retired Airport Wildlife Control K9)
Zenna vom Geistwasser NTD


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post #9 of 59 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 12:53 PM
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Thank you so much.. your comment made me cry again.

After the event, I got up and left the building. I got in trouble for leaving early, but I couldn't handle it. I thought I was going to scream at the manager. I spent the entire afternoon in tears, my parents did everything they could to try to cheer me up.

Like you said, he's not scared or dealing with the pain of abandonment anymore... that brings me a lot of comfort.
Oh no, no more tears! Smiles, lots of smiles! He's running around and probably thanking you for being his last touch of attention you hav eot know he sensed your energy and knew you wanted to love him so bad! Now you just have a pretty awesome guardian angel

v/r,

Whitney
and
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post #10 of 59 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Wild Wolf View Post
Thank you for your comment.

I work in the Animal Care field and worked in a vet hospital for quite some time. You are absolutely right, it will never be an easy thing to experience - not when you truly love animals. I have seen a lot of pets put to sleep and I have never NOT cried my eyes out.

I can't imagine seeing those working dog prospects get euthanized for those things. I cannot imagine your sadness at their deaths, especially considering the fact that you cared for them. If I had been there longer and was his caregiver, it would have been so much harder... I can't even imagine.
I really was horribly upset by it for a very long time. I began to accept it by recognizing the fact that they got lucky by having someone like us hold them because we genuinely felt love for them. This includes the Shepherd that you held. So many animals don't get to feel that way during their final moments and I think we played a very important part in helping these dogs move on.

Feuergarten German Shepherds

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