Author Topic: HEART-WRENCHING DECISION  (Read 17791 times)


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« on: November 02, 2005, 08:20:00 pm »
Well, I am informing all of you who have kept up with the antics of Petra that I was advised by her vet(s) who have to muzzle her every time she comes in and have to have 2 vets and 2-3 assistants struggle with a nearly 6 month old puppy, by an attorney in our church, the neighbor looking forward to suing me because Petra growls and barks at him that unless I find another alternative or someone who is bigger and badder than me that I will most likely have to euthanize Petra.

I had to muzzle her, lie down on her and use a prong collar just to trim her nails.  I took her to her first puppy class and was asked to leave when she began advancing on some much smaller and sweeter puppies with teeth bared, hair raised and the most God-awful growling I'd ever heard.  I had to put the prong collar on her to get her out of the place.

She has been fine as long as she is alone with me.  Even after cutting nails, she returned to normal and licked my face.  She follows commands so well when we are walking and doesn't bother w/other dogs and lets people pet her and she plays with the grandkids just fine.  But if there is a lot of activity going on and a lot of people running in and out, she starts this biting routine that soon turns into her trying to pull someone to the ground!

I don't understand it.  She cuddles with me and is so lovable.  When we are alone, she is a different dog.  Then last week I heard about the pitbull attack and the story behind the dog sounded like Petra.  I can't have her turning on the kids, me or a neighbor if she should get loose.

I have cried the past few days thinking I can come up with a solution.  I just haven't found that ray of hope...God help me if I miss something and she could have been saved. 

Should I turn her over to a rescue?  The other rescue I got her from hasn't returned my e-mails, so I beginning to wonder about how much they worked w/or tried to find out what she was like.

I've lost one "baby" this year and Petra already is part of my life (even if she is Linda Blair) and I just don't want to make the wrong decision. 
If she was your dog...what would your options be?  I am desparate here. 

I will NOT be angry.  I'm just searching for for your thoughts and asking for your prayers.

Offline Anky

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« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2005, 08:24:34 pm »

I am so sorry :'(  I'm even sorrier to say that I highly doubt a rescue will take Petra in.  I think your best bet is to call some remedial dog trainers from all over the country.  Tell them they are her last hope.  Maybe they will take her in and train her and rehome her, or keep her themselves.  Quite a few of my trainer friends ended up with their best dogs this way.  I hope you find out something to do.  I really do.

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Offline dober_gurl

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« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2005, 08:32:35 pm »
I know this is a long shot but here is Cesar Millian's e-mail address. Why don't you ask him for help.

edit: also his number is (323) 235-3431
« Last Edit: November 02, 2005, 08:33:44 pm by dober_gurl *grounded* »
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Offline Stacey

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« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2005, 08:34:59 pm »
I am truly sorry that you are going through this especially because we all know how much you love Petra just through all of your efforts to help her.  IMHO, I just think that you have done everything that you can do, and there is probably nothing or no one that can rehabilitate her.  It is just so hard because you don't know what Petra went through or was exposed to before getting to the rescue, but I imagine it has a lot to do with the problems you are having with her.  I agree that it is just to risky and dangerous to have a dog with her Jeckyl and Hyde tendencies around other people and especially children, she just seems too unpredictable.  My thoughts and prayers are with you and Petra, and you just need to do what you feel is best for everyone involved.
I am kind of a big deal!

Offline VdogLover

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« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2005, 09:08:49 pm »
I sense that you already know what you feel is the right thing to do. If you are still having doubts I suggest you do not call a dog trainer but an animal behaviorist instead.
Please keep in mind even if you work with a behaviorist who feels they can teach you ways to manage her aggressive nature it will be just that "managed" not cured. You will invest alot of emotions, time, and money,  into a dog who you can never really trust.
Also I think you need to look at the legal side if she was to bite down the road. Having already shown past aggression you will be held as knowing you owned a vicious dog. To me its just not worth financial risks.

Rehoming her should not be an option. You can not place out a dog with this type of history. How will you feel if she is rehomed and then bites a child or the new owner?
I'm sorry you are being put through this type of decision it is never an easy one.....
« Last Edit: November 02, 2005, 09:12:26 pm by VdogLover »

Offline sobe

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« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2005, 09:20:51 pm »
this is a tough one for sure.  I think what it comes down to is the quality of Petra's life. If she always has to be muzzled, leashed, wear a prong collar , can't socialize, can't be trusted around anyone, has an owner who is forever on guard something might happen ( dogs can sense that ) , then I would do the following if she was my dog.
I would call these people :
United States Neapolitan Mastiff Club
  Secretary : Sue Luedemann
  Address: 4050 ZOO LN, BRENHAM, TX , 77833-8651 
  Website: www.neapolitan .org
  Club Type: Specialty 

I would explain the complete situation and ask if they have any honest advise, or a place to go for Petra.
If so, then you might have a solution ( which is what I hope for you )

If they say no, then I would have Petra put down, as hard as that is going to be for you. Unless she gets help, Petra is not going to have a life you'd want her to have and it's going to be nothing but struggles and stresses. That is not fair to either one of you.

My heart goes out to you , this has to be one of the hardest things to have to go through.

Btw, has she been checked for a brain tumor?


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« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2005, 10:46:51 pm »
I have no advise for you, my dear. This is a heartbreaking decision, that only you and your family can make. But once again, however it turns out, you have my support and prayers for you and Petra.

Offline doglover

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« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2005, 11:32:42 pm »
You are still in my prayers. I know you are going through a very difficult time. We support you no matter what you decide.  :'( :'(

Offline Good Hope

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« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2005, 12:45:33 am »
Man Smohr, you have tried so hard... but you know Petra is an attack waiting to happen at this point. She has made leaps and bounds with you, but do you honestly think you will be able to train her to trust others or to trust you enough to stop her behavior when you say no? If the answer is no, you know what you have to do,but first be certain to rule out medical. If there are no medical issues and you are not certain, call a behaviorist. Have them come to your home to evaluate and give you his/her opinion. I do not see another option here. There are so many dogs that need someone like you, so dedicated, loving, and willing to invest time in training. If Petra cannot be trained to be an obedient and SAFE dog, there will be another dog in your life, many if you are willing.

I hate that this has happened. :'( But I do believe that everything happens for a reason... even though not evident now, someday you will see how perhaps Petra has taught you enough to save 10+ other dogs.

You will be our prayers,

Offline brigid67

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« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2005, 12:59:15 am »
Wow - this is to bad.  Maybe get a really good trainer to see for a last attempt.  I am so sorry

Offline Kermit

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« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2005, 01:22:43 am »
I feel your pain.  :'(
I have had to make the same decision in my past, about 6 years ago. I had a lab/rottie mix who weighed 105 lbs and wanted to eat children. He was great with everyone else and other dogs and even cats. But he had it out for kids. Given his size, he was potentially very dangerous. My veterinarian said this: "you can never train it out of them." 

I made the decision to have my dog euthanized. I always wonder if there was something else I could have done. It was one of the worst experiences of my life. But I personally couldn't live with the fear of him hurting someone. For me, I felt like I had a responsibilty to my community to not keep a dangerous animal. I knew that if I gave him to someone else, he was still the same dog and then it would just be someone else's problem. I will never feel comfortable about what had to happen, I think about him all the time. But the way I try to look at it is that his soul could come back as a different dog and he could have another chance that way.

It is such a hard place to be.

Whatever decision you make it will be alright. You do what you need to do. Stay strong, breathe deep.

Offline suzanne

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« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2005, 03:55:57 am »
I'm so sorry you are having such a sad and difficult time.  I went through a somewhat similar problem a year ago.  Ripley, the litermate of my nearly 6-year-old Pyr, Sophia, bite me 3 times...once quite a 3-week period.  I worked with Patricia McConnell, a nationally known animal behaviorist (author of "The Other End of the Leash") as well as with a local behaviorist.  Additionally,  my vet put him on Prozac, in case there was some kind of imbalance. This went on for over 2 months,...with me fearing each day that he might attack someone else.  He had always been "Mommy's boy".  He was Puppy #5 from the one litter I had (under the guidance of a long-time Pyr breeder), and we bonded from day 1.  Of course, we all speculated that he might have a brain tumor, but decided not to do a CAT scan as after spending the approx. $1,300.00, to check it out...if he did have one, there really weren't any practical options.  Believe never comes into play with my dogs if $$$ can fix the problem.  On top of the health ins. I have carried on all my dogs for the past 20 years, I have willingly spent thousands of dollars to give them the best possible quality of life.  Then one morning, I realized that there was a look in his eye that fightened me.  Plus his behavior was a little "off".  But, as someone who always wants to give her beloved pets every possible chance, before I made the "final decision", I called a long-time, highly respected Pyr breeder to get her opinion.  She guided me to the choice I knew was necessary, and my wonderful vet came over to my house that evening to perform the sad task.  (Of course, like all of my deceased beloved dogs, he was creamated and his ashes have a place of honor in my bedroom.)  Like someone else mentioned  in a previous response, one always must consider the quality of life possible for dogs who have physical or behavioral problems.  And, of course, risk to self, and others must factor in.  Dogs know yesterday and today, they do not know tomorrow, and...a peaceful death by euthansea  is sometimes the kindest and most loving thing we can do for them.  My thoughts and best wishes are with you and Petra.
Suzanne, Sophia (5 yr. old Pyr) and Riggs (10 month old Newf)


Offline greek4

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« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2005, 10:26:21 am »
I have always said with my dogs that if they ever bite someone that has not provoked and I in a manner that the dog actually felt in danger of bodily harm that I would put them to sleep.  But since I have never been faced with that issue I dont' know how it feels.  I think you do know what needs to be done to keep you and your family safe legally and physically.  Petra is probably just as miserable as you are when she gets into her fits.  I always think of how I feel when I get unreasonable and think the dog must be feeling 10 times worse to be so unreasonable. 
Good luck and don't worry no one will think less of you for doing what needs to be done. 

You have tried harder than anyone I have ever heard of to turn Petra around. :'(

Emily and 1 husband, 1 boy, 1 on the way, and 4 crazy dogs

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« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2005, 10:40:05 am »
How very hard for you!...I am so very sorry that you are & Petra are going through this. :'( I would try a behaivorolist (not a trainer) as a last ditch effort if everything medical has been ruled out...I often think sadly that some dogs just come with baggage too heavy for their shoulders to carry...& too massive for their little souls to contain...No matter what your descision please know that I am in the same corner with you & Petra....You've tried so long & hard with her...B.t.w., did you e-mail Cesar Milan?

Offline Rachel

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« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2005, 10:40:13 am »
I just wanted to say that I agree with everything that was said above and that my thoughts are with you during this tough time.
Rachel and Sophie

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