Ever felt like you failed a dog? - Page 3 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #21 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-01-2014, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfy dog View Post
But at least he is alive.....
Its true, he is, but at times I can't help but feel like I have him for borrowed time... Which makes me feel literally sick to my stomach

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post #22 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-01-2014, 08:52 AM
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I may slack here or there on various types of training, but overall I think my dogs have it made! Two of them are dogs I got as adults after going through multiple "homes", being passed around by shelters and rescues. Indy was slated to be euthanized. These were basically stray or street bred dogs and now they have a warm house, good food, a fun yard, other dogs for company, big couches, and comfy dog beds. They do not care if they are not eating premium premade raw diets or getting the best of the best training. My GSDs are usually involved in more sports I can count. We're usually competed in something once a month and April - July more like 2-3 weekends each month. Maybe Nikon could place high in his class at a Sieger Show with a better conformation trainer/handler or maybe Legend could be farther along in Schutzhund but whatever, I don't see them complaining!
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post #23 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-01-2014, 09:03 AM
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Yepp, sometimes I feel like a failure to Titan because we are breaking fron SAR and he is so awesome at it.. but with my lifestyle and schedule and his small issues to work on, I just can't right now. I would love to go back months from now so we'll see.

My biggest failure would be Athena. To this day, I still feel like I could have done something different with her and she wouldn't have been sent back to the breeder and put down at a wee 7 months old. I think about her very often.


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post #24 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-01-2014, 11:25 AM
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Heck, I feel that way every day. I work full-time and have issues with chronic pain and fatigue, so after a 9-hour workday I have NO energy with which to train, work, or socialize. Myself or anyone else. Most of my days off are spent picking up the pieces of the week that fell by the wayside, and I have to have a lot of "down time" as well or I won't be able to work the next week. Fortunately, my current dog is not terribly demanding. She does have a lot of drive, so we play ball, 5 minutes of that several times a day, and the rest of the time she seems content just to hang out with me. But I do see that she would excel at some kind of work and I sometimes feel she'd be better off with someone who would work her, but she's not even my dog now. She is a breeding bitch for a guide dog organization, who lives with me when she's not having puppies.

I have rehomed dogs in the past, and yes, part of me felt like I failed them, but once they get into a home that is a proper "fit" for them, I'm just happy for the dog. I still get down on myself for not being a better dog mom, but sometimes it's simply a mismatch and I think it's a lot better to find a home where the dog is happy, than to try to force a square peg into a round hole.
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post #25 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-01-2014, 11:36 AM
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I kind of always feel like I have let my past dogs down when they get to those final days of their lives. I always tell myself they had a good life and I had done all I could do for them but there is always that little voice in there that expects to do more even though I don't know what that "more" could have been. Regardless, it always creeps in.

On the training front, I was getting to that point with Cruz. I was loosing more control by the day and to me I could only look at it as a failure on my part and the dog was paying for it as much as I was. I would look back to the start and try to figure out where I went wrong or identify gaps in training and couldn't find much but still there he was present day with little control. My fault totally for not exploring other means of training earlier on. Now that we are on a different path, things are looking up for Cruz and the rest of us.
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post #26 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-02-2014, 02:03 PM
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I failed my dog many, many years ago in so many ways and it haunts me to this day. I have vowed NEVER do do it again and I think that is one of the reason my girl that I have now is so spoiled! lol I still feel guilty for the girl that I failed and my husband thinks I'm nuts for letting it bother me still!

I bought her from a puppy store (didn't know that was a bad thing back then), but looking back I KNOW she was from a puppy mill. She had all kinds of skin problems and allergies and thyroid issues. A year after I got her I bought a male one too. I fed them cr*p food from the grocery store...switching to whatever was cheapest. Granted, I didn't have any money back then, but I WISH I would have researched it more. She was my best friend... so here is the worst part... When I got pregnant with my first child I got all freaked out about fur and germs and so they were separated from the main part of the house. I get sick still when I think about how lonely and sad they must have been not getting to lie in the family room with us anymore. Makes me cry just typing this. I hope there really is something similar to a Rainbow Bridge and that I will get to see her again someday and make it up to her. I failed my male just simply because I never loved him as much as I did my girl because he bonded to her and she to me.

My baby today goes everywhere with me, gets fed the best food and vitamins and treats and even sleeps with us. It will never make up for what I did to my previous baby, but at least I know that I have done all that I can for my faithful friend that I have now.
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post #27 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-02-2014, 09:49 PM
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Anybody that worries and suffers over the hurts they may have inflicted on another living being cannot be too bad. But I know what you mean. When my beautiful yellow lab, Max, got to be 13 or so, he started having accidents. My husband also has a terminal condition and with the strain of everything,I don't feel that I was as patient as I should have been with Maxie. He had to be put down shortly before he turned 14 and I cried many bitter tears (and still do sometimes) wondering if he knew how much I loved him and that I knew it wasn't his fault.

Newlie was my first GSD and I have made plenty of mistakes with him. But I don't think the mistakes are as important as the fact that you keep trying. If one thing doesn't work, you try something else, and you keep trying until something does work. I know there are times that circumstances force someone to give up a pet they love dearly, but I feel sick when people appear to be cavalier about it. Commitment through good times and bad: Isn't that what most of us want for ourselves? Well, it's a two-way street.
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post #28 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-05-2014, 12:34 PM
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I failed Daisy . Very smart but had major reaction to female dogs,strangers and kids.I ened up managing her and probably not well. My issue was that I didn't train enough. If a dog doesnt have leash manners and cant go out in public then many things are complicated, excercise being one. Lucky on leash is a dream unless he is jumped by an offleash dog or he sees a squirrel or rabbit.(Just joking) Off leash he is DA. I did not work enough on that.Lucky may have been failed by my overwhelming him with Chevy and Thunder.Chevy and Thunder due to their dog reactivity and my health issues havent got the exercise and training. I had a heart attack about a month ago and Ive been running around seeing specailists so they and Lucky have not had much time w/ me.I think everybody looks back and says I wish I would have done this or not done that. Self evaluation leads us to positive changes.

Daisy 11/26/99-7/25/12
Miss Chevy Cruz - 1/25/2013-1/29/15
Thunder -1/25/13 -7/25/15
Lucky-GSD -Rescue -2/16/03 - 03-21-16
Charlie- GSD-Rescue - 7-4-12
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post #29 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-05-2014, 06:48 PM
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AAAHhhhhhh.....I wasn't going to post to this thread.... I knew it would be too emotional to do it, but finally decided maybe it would be good for me.

One of my wolf shepherds (yeah, I know, I said I wouldn't mention them any more...) my heart and soul dog. When he was seven years old, we found hermangiosarcoma of the spleen, I actually found it myself, stroking his side one day--I could feel it. So he had surgery before it ruptured, although the two vets who did the surgery said they couldn't get it out in one piece, they had to take it in halves. When I came to take him home the next day they asked me if I wanted him to have chemotherapy. At the time I was going to struggle to make payments to them for the surgery, I knew there was no way I could afford chemo for him.

The next 5-1/2 months were great--he healed fast and had so much fun and energy, I realized that he had been ill for a long time and I had missed it. He was like a puppy again.

After those happy months he began to cough. The cancer was back in his lungs, and there was nothing we could do about it, it was too far advanced. My vet told me to take him home and enjoy him for as long as we could, and we would know when it was time.

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.

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post #30 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-05-2014, 07:24 PM
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I do the best I can for my dogs. But I still feel like I fail them on some points. Maybe they don't get as much excersise as they should, maybe they don't get training as often as they should, maybe they don't feel fulfilled.

Have I been a good enough trainer to bring them to their potential? I think about this a lot with my one girl Lena. She is extraordinary. I feel sometimes like I failed her because I did not try hard enough to find that one thing that she loves and excels at. And I know it's out there!!! So as she has aged I am trying now to figure it out. It's never too late. She is almost 10, and I am getting her ready for a BH.

I don't feel like I failed a dog health wise. Working in the field I am pretty good at knowing when it's time. And knowing my financial limitations.

But I often wonder if I hold dogs back. If, in other hands, they would be and achieve more than I could get them to. I see the amazing potential in my young male, and I KNOW, I can't fully realize his potential. But he does not care. He is happy. He does not care if he titles in IPO, certs in FEMA, or just goes on a walk.

So I think the feeling if failure is on US. The dogs are really only looking for a few specific things. And glory is not one of them.

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"So that others may live"

Hannah vom Steffenhaus, BH, Wilderness SAR
Eisenhower v.d Polizei "Ike" Wilderness SAR, CGC
B'Lena z. Treuenhanden
Nixon vom Banach, RATN
Phoster, FEMA USAR(Labrador)
Ch. Pennywise Sticky Wicket(Dandie Dinmont Terrier)
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