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Euthanasia - such a hard decision

oh me nerves
September 27th, 2010, 09:40 AM
I own a 2 year old BC/Husky called Woof. He came from a puppy mill last spring, he's been a constant source of stress and trouble from almost day one. Boone my GSD/ACD adores him, I love how since adopting Woof he's turned into a new dog. Boone was very attached to my Lab/Pit mix but due to multiple health issues that couldn't be helped we had him put to sleep to end his suffering. Boone was very clearly depressed by this for months after. But since Woof he's been back to himself and gained the small amount of confidence he had back.

Woof being from a puppy mill is very likely inbred to the 9's. Wires in that furry head of his just aren't right, either their missing or are crossed. He's a happy dog, not at all aggressive but his lack of understanding and ability to retain training is dangerous for him. We live off a highway, a small country town where seeing a bear or moose walk down the road or hang out in your yard isn't a rare thing. Woof runs off any chance he gets though I try my hardest to not give him that chance he does happen sometimes, when he gets loose there's no catching him until he's ready to come home. I worry about the risk of getting attacked by a bear or moose or even getting on the highway where not only could he get killed but he could kill some poor soul trying to avoid him. Basic commands need to be taught every day and by the next day or two he's forgotten them. He goes into blind panic sometimes, sometimes over way seems to be nothing and just about kills himself, espeically should he be tied on he'll start choking himself.

I don't want to put Boone through another loss, I don't want to go through another loss so soon. I don't want to put this happy go lucky, 2 year old dog, beautiful dog down for something that sounds so minor but can cause so much risk. I've been told I should put him to sleep, he's a risk to himself and other people. There are dogs in the system that need a home so badly, many who are trained or can be trained far easily then Woof, that would cause me less stress and worry. Other people harp on me for considering "murder" to a healthy, young dog. I don't want to give up on him but I've had him since May, he's been in the shelter system since before then for a month+. I've been told all his siblings/the others from the mill have had issues with training or just being overly flighty and can't be adopted. I just don't know what to do, I love him despite all the stress he causes me I don't want to loose another so soon, don't want Boone to loose another friend so soon. I'm so confused. Am I giving up to easily? Is the thought of putting him to sleep such an awful one?

Love4himies
September 27th, 2010, 09:50 AM
Please don't give up on him. I don't have experience with dogs, but there will be some very, very knowledgeable people who can give you some.

A lot of people may be at work right now, if you don't get a response this afternoon check back tonight or tomorrow morning.

Frenchy
September 27th, 2010, 09:55 AM
I've been told I should put him to sleep, he's a risk to himself and other people.

ouch , you may not like what I have to say but , I think you didn't know what you were getting into by adopting a puppy mill dog. You are giving this dog way too much liberty. I have one puppy mill dog , and another who has been kept in a barn all her life. I would NEVER walk them off leash. I also have a fenced in yard , there's no way I would have it any other way. You need to keep this dog safe.

Can you build an enclosure for him to keep him safe when he's outside ? Also , it's very simple , put a leash on him when on walks. Maybe after a few months , you will be able to trust him but , this takes time. You have to understand that the puppy mill is the only life he knew.

If you think you can't do this , do NOT put this dog down , contact rescues in your area and see if one would take him.

14+kitties
September 27th, 2010, 10:25 AM
I don't know. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Is, by chance, this dog an outside dog? The "especially if he's tied on" makes me think he may be. If that is the case is may be as simple as making him an indoor dog who is getting much, much more positive attention from you. It may not be that he is "wired wrong". Maybe he is just plain bored. How much time do you spend playing with him, walking him, spending time with him? Dogs will do a lot of silly things when they are bored and filled with pent up energy. You know that old saying - A tired dog is a happy dog. JMO

oh me nerves
September 27th, 2010, 10:31 AM
I knew what I was getting into.

I don't let him off leash. When he's outside he's on leash or on his tie out, I don't purposely let him get loose. But there are times he does get loose, usually when I'm not home and someone else in the household is handling him or going in and out of the house. I've asked about building a run or just fencing off a small part of the property but seeing as I'm currently living in my parents basement on their property what they say goes and they don't want their property fenced in even one small section despite having plenty of land to do so without causing issues.

I've taken him up to the baseball field, the only place that is fully fenced in where I can actually let him run loose without fear but he's learned he can easily scale the fencing and now I can't even give him that little bit. He gets walks, every day, ranging from 2 - 4 hours, somedays more depending on work and weather. He's quite content to laze around the house or out in the yard however until your ready to go somewhere with him.

You have to understand that where I live homes that would understand him even the slightest are few and far between. People let their dogs run loose around here 24/7, or they are chained outside to a dog house all year round day in and day out. There are homes that treat their dogs like family, but even then they wouldn't know what to do with Woof. They think its the end of the world when they can't stop their dogs from pulling on the leash let alone dealing with a runner who has a problem retaining training and has panic attacks. Not to say there are homes that might be able to handle him but I've seen the shelter here put down perfectly well trained, young dogs because their time ran out. Woof wouldn't have a chance in a shelter here.

Golden Girls
September 27th, 2010, 10:41 AM
I've taken him up to the baseball field, the only place that is fully fenced in where I can actually let him run loose without fear but he's learned he can easily scale the fencing and now I can't even give him that little bit. He gets walks, every day, ranging from 2 - 4 hours, somedays more depending on work and weather. He's quite content to laze around the house or out in the yard however until your ready to go somewhere with him.Good for you - you seem to of done more for this dog then many do or would do :highfive: Reading your other post it seems you work at the shelter right?

May I ask who is suggesting to you that this dog be pts?

aslan
September 27th, 2010, 10:44 AM
OMN,,,if woof is a husky mix then he is prone to being a runner/escape artist..if he's from a puppymill he's going to be abit more work,,funny newfie is known for byb's can't say i've ever heard mention of a puppymill...just curious what highway is it you live close to,,Botwood highway? That's not near any schools that i know of.wireless rd is but that's not really a highway..:shrug:

14+kitties
September 27th, 2010, 10:47 AM
OMN,,,if woof is a husky mix then he is prone to being a runner/escape artist..if he's from a puppymill he's going to be abit more work,,funny newfie is known for byb's can't say i've ever heard mention of a puppymill...just curious what highway is it you live close to,,Botwood highway? That's not near any schools that i know of.wireless rd is but that's not really a highway..:shrug:


:thumbs up BOTH Border Collies and Huskies are high energy dogs. That's why I suggested more exercise/playtime.

oh me nerves
September 27th, 2010, 10:57 AM
I used to work at a shelter. I wouldn't make this decision without thinking it over heavily. I love my dogs, I loved them enough to bring them with me when I moved across the country so this is not a snap decision or an easy one.

My parents, some of the townspeople I've enaged in conversation with, people on another forum and a vet have all suggested (some of them rather savagely) that I put him down.

Aslan, he came from a puppy mill in Quebec. I've even thought that maybe he just didn't understand english and spoke basic commands in french but he didn't take much notice. I'm not far off Botwood highway.

14+kitties
September 27th, 2010, 11:01 AM
Please contact a BC or Husky rescue. I am sure there are many members who can give you the contacts for them. Why put down a dog who is simply needs more training? One of our members has 8, or is it 9, BCs. Maybe she can help. I will PM her.

aslan
September 27th, 2010, 11:02 AM
hmmm i might avoid that vet and the other forum...at the age of a year and a half he finally found a new home,,but there is a year and a halfs worth of damage that is going to need to be un-done. First off,,no more off leash until he learns recall,,get him a long training leash or a horse training tether,,he can still run but can't go anywhere,,i would highly suggest keeping him leashed to you all the time,,he needs to learn " nothing in life is free". make him earn everything and seriously you need to do stuff to tucker him out and stimulate his mind. He sounds more bored than anything.

Golden Girls
September 27th, 2010, 11:07 AM
I used to work at a shelter. I wouldn't make this decision without thinking it over heavily. I love my dogs, I loved them enough to bring them with me when I moved across the country so this is not a snap decision or an easy one.

My parents, some of the townspeople I've enaged in conversation with, people on another forum and a vet have all suggested (some of them rather savagely) that I put him down.

Aslan, he came from a puppy mill in Quebec. I've even thought that maybe he just didn't understand english and spoke basic commands in french but he didn't take much notice. I'm not far off Botwood highway.Can you not contact the shelter/rescue you adopted him from? Most have that stipulation anyways, give them a chance :shrug:

oh me nerves
September 27th, 2010, 02:17 PM
Its not like I want him to be put to sleep, I'm just exhausted by him most days. He's a sweet dog, very loveable, loves to just lay with you and cuddle. At night he sleeps on my pillow... 40lbs dog curled up in a ball on my pillow. Its too cute. There are days I think giving up is a good idea, the best for both of us and then other days I can't believe the thought ever crossed my mind. Yesterday he was the spawn of satan, even Boone steered clear of him. Today he's been a saint despite all the noise and such from the reno guys.

The shelter I got him from won't take him back. :( Not that I'd want to return him to such a hectic place that he clearly disliked. He didn't do well in the city at all.

Love4himies
September 27th, 2010, 02:21 PM
He is a teenage dog and needs lots of stimulation and proper "rules".

Do you jog? Could you tie a long leash around your waist and jog with him?

Otter had an issue with recall with her current dog, perhaps I can PM her and see if she is around to give you some ideas.

Rgeurts
September 27th, 2010, 02:30 PM
Those are both high energy breeds. I doubt he doesn't have the ability to learn, or retain what he's learned, though it may seem that way. Have you tried a treadmill? I know it sounds silly, but believe me, they work very well at draining the energy. Once he's drained he will be more able to focus on training. If he is a dog that just won't learn, or be trained, can you build him an enclosure so when he is outside there is no chance of him escaping and injuring himself or others?

I definitely wouldn't even consider putting him to sleep. Worse comes to worse and you find you are not able to handle or take care of him, finding a rescue, as others have mentioned (specifically Husky or BC) would be the best option.

Good luck! :)

Gail P
September 27th, 2010, 02:30 PM
I don't know about wires being crossed, I've read some pretty scary stuff about dogs that really weren't right in the head. Why do your parents want to see the dog put down? It sounds like the running away is the biggest problem and that could be managed with a fence. Have you gone over with them what the alternative is if you can't put up a fence? Even if he is a fence climber, there are ways to construct them to discourage or eliminate climbing. A covered top, a hot wire, top edge inclined in...etc, etc. These are all ways to deter a climber. A good solid fence would really help. If not that, maybe and invisible fence? if he would respect it and if your parents would let you put one up. The wire gets dug underground so they wouldn't have to look at it.

As for the panic attacks, some border collies can be very reactive to things that you might not even notice. I don't really have personal experience with that (mine aren't reactive like that) but if you want to find some border collie specific help you can check out the BC boards at http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.php?act=idx That forum has a huge membership of BC owners and are a wealth of information specific to the breed. Several of the board members are also active in border collie rescue and there is a rescue and resources forum on the board where you can look for help if you want to get him into rescue. As for husky rescue, I'm not familiar with any in your area, however there is a rescue called Siberian Husky Assistance and Rescue Program (SHARP) that may be able to direct you to someone in your area. Their website is www.shccrescue.com

One other quick thought (sorry, I'm in a bit of a rush at the moment)...re: not retaining training. Make absolutely certain that every time you give him a command you do it in exactly the same way. Same verbal command, same tone of voice, same body position...everything the same. Some BC's are actually so smart you end up thinking they're untrainable. They learn the command on the first or second try...then you ask for it again and they blow it...but...your arm was up instead of down, or pointing somewhere else or something else was different...you get what I'm saying. They sit there not responding because they're trying to figure out what you want. They think you're asking for something else and their little minds are working on what that might be.

Rgeurts
September 27th, 2010, 02:40 PM
Its not like I want him to be put to sleep, I'm just exhausted by him most days. He's a sweet dog, very loveable, loves to just lay with you and cuddle. At night he sleeps on my pillow... 40lbs dog curled up in a ball on my pillow. Its too cute. There are days I think giving up is a good idea, the best for both of us and then other days I can't believe the thought ever crossed my mind. Yesterday he was the spawn of satan, even Boone steered clear of him. Today he's been a saint despite all the noise and such from the reno guys.

The shelter I got him from won't take him back. :( Not that I'd want to return him to such a hectic place that he clearly disliked. He didn't do well in the city at all.

Believe me, I completely understand where you're coming from as far as being exhausted. I won't get into the long version of it here, but since hubby and I added a new baby to the family back in April, I have been lucky to get more than 4 hours of sleep a night. My days consist of getting up an hour earlier for work so I can give medications, timed feeding, supplements that sit in the food a half hour before it can be fed etc. That mixed in with daily stress of new problems occurring, risk of torsion, seizures and many other things to be watched for (not to mention all of the financial strain) and cooking a special diet, I feel like I have no time for myself anymore. It has been suggested to us that we should put him down (by 3 different vets) from the beginning, but we would never just throw him away without giving him a fair chance. And for the most part, it has paid off to this point. PLEASE give him a chance at a good life. If you can't, please don't put him down just because you are tired. Find someone who is willing to put time and effort in him (not saying you aren't willing, just maybe you can't for reasons we don't know). There are people out there who will do it :)

14+kitties
September 27th, 2010, 09:30 PM
Believe me, I completely understand where you're coming from as far as being exhausted. I won't get into the long version of it here, but since hubby and I added a new baby to the family back in April, I have been lucky to get more than 4 hours of sleep a night. My days consist of getting up an hour earlier for work so I can give medications, timed feeding, supplements that sit in the food a half hour before it can be fed etc. That mixed in with daily stress of new problems occurring, risk of torsion, seizures and many other things to be watched for (not to mention all of the financial strain) and cooking a special diet, I feel like I have no time for myself anymore. It has been suggested to us that we should put him down (by 3 different vets) from the beginning, but we would never just throw him away without giving him a fair chance. And for the most part, it has paid off to this point. PLEASE give him a chance at a good life. If you can't, please don't put him down just because you are tired. Find someone who is willing to put time and effort in him (not saying you aren't willing, just maybe you can't for reasons we don't know). There are people out there who will do it :)


Very very well said!! :thumbs up I too am tired. As are a lot of pet owners. Thing is we took on the responsibility of the "jobs" we do. So why should that give us the right to just give up on a pet we chose? You take the bad with the good and work hard to get through the bad.
A bit more than four months does not constitute working hard to get through issues a dog that is on his fourth home in less than two years is bound to have. I would think someone who has had extensive working knowledge of animals (shelters, pet stores that sell dogs, vet offices, etc) must know a bit about temperament of certain breeds. :shrug: Are there no trainers around who can teach you the proper way to train a high energy dog?

bluestar
September 28th, 2010, 08:09 AM
I can just imagine what some people would have said about putting him down. I am from Botwood and know how backwards the people there can be. It sounds to me from your posts he doesn't have any aggression issues, he's just a nervous runner. Why people would be so gung-ho on putting him down is beyond me. Plenty of people have to deal with a dog who is a runner. I've got a beagle mix that never gets off-leash and can never be trusted outside unsupervised, so I simply never let it happen. I do quite fine without a fenced in yard for him, we have a condo, so we just spend a lot of time walking. Granted he's not much of a runner, he would just slowly wander away.

Unfortunately there aren't any places that he can go off-leash in that area. The fence on the ball field is too low for a high-energy dog like him. There used to be a fenced field between Hugh Twomey drive and Harbourview Rd behind the old mayors house where they kept horses, but I doubt the fence is in good repair so I wouldn't trust it. He needs to be on leash at all times if you are that worried about him getting loose. And I would never tie him out unsupervised. I would only tie Duke out if I was sitting outside with him, and usually he is tied to me so he can't get loose. For in the house, he should be gated so that he has no access to the door as people are coming in and out, so that he can never make a run for it.

Is there an off-leash park in Grand Falls? It might be worth your time to let him get some off leash time there and work on his recall. Maybe start working on a petition for the town to put in an off-leash park. That dirt field across from the Arena by Adams Ave could easily be fenced in for one. It's never used for anything except ATV's. Or maybe they'll finally tear down the sulfur shed by the ball field.