I’m sorry

I adopted a second dog in early summer. A shelter dog. She wasn’t what I went looking for… and when I passed her kennel, she had her back to me. She felt me standing there, and slowly turned around. Then she sat down and smiled at me. We sat there looking at each other for several minutes. I felt a connection to her that I didn’t understand.

The shelter was closing soon, and I only had a quick moment to talk to one of the volunteers… they informed me that she wasn’t good with other dogs. I left with this in my head, but for the next week I couldn’t get her out of my mind.

The following weekend, I was sitting at home and all of a sudden I just knew I had to go. I put my dog in the car, and we drove to the shelter. She was outside with a couple and a child. The man was in a wheelchair and she was playing with the little girl. I found myself praying that they wouldn’t adopt her.

My dog was along the fence line, and she ran over. Friendly. The couple left, and we got to go in the yard with her. This volunteer said she was fine with other dogs and she didn’t know why they told me otherwise.

So, we paid her fee and went home. And she was the biggest cuddle bunny I’d ever had. When I was sitting or laying down, she wanted to be draped all over me. I named her Maggie.

But then I found that she had food aggression issues. Treats turned into fights and twice I had to pull her off my other dog ( who is elderly )  I was afraid to try to take something from her myself, because of the aggression I could see on her face. There was no doubt in my mind she’d hurt me.

Time outside with other dogs in the dog park started with really rambunctious play time… and then it turned into fights.  clear signs of aggression. I wasn’t sure if she was trying to protect me.. or what… One time she got away from me because of her strength and her leash wrapped around my ankles…pulled me down and ripped a good chunk out of both ankles. It was painful ( still is ) to walk.

I have huge scabs around both ankles. My knees are scraped and scabbed. I have a huge bruise on my thigh.

It got bad enough that I knew I needed to keep her away from other dogs, except for mine and a neighbor’s boxer that she was friendly with. We avoided the dog park. We stayed inside as much as possible. I did the best I could to avoid any interaction with others.

Then one morning, we were surprised on our walk, and she got away from me. She was so strong I couldn’t control her… and she knocked me down so hard that I lost my bearings. I stood up and fell down….got up and fell down…got up and fell down again.

Finally I was able to get up and go after her. She had knocked a woman down and bit her dog a couple times. I grabbed her and smacked her…she dropped to the ground shaking, and scared… and looked so pitiful and sad, that my heart ripped in two.

I knew that neither she nor I could live like this anymore. I called the shelter, but they wouldn’t take her back. I don’t live in the same city and they have a two week return policy. WTF.

I called my vet, and ultimately made the choice to put her to sleep. He wasn’t going to let me stay originally, but I talked him into it. There were two large dogs in the office and she showed no aggression towards them. I am still confused there… but that was my sweet girl. The real her I think…

It was different than when I let my Sandy go. Sandy was old, and she was dying. Maggie was young and strong, and it took her a while to go. But it was peaceful and I got to hold her, and kiss her. I told her that I hoped Sandy was waiting for her. To go play with my girl and wait for me.

I know in my heart that she was traumatized before I got her. I know that she couldn’t help herself.. and I know that it was only going to get worse. I know that something worse was bound to happen.

But I feel guilty. I feel like a terrible person. I hate myself for the little bit of myself that felt relief.

I’m lucky that I have a friend with psychic ability. She told me that this incident happened because it was meant to happen… it was preventing her hurting a child in the future. I was meant to help her go. And I do believe this. I believe she and I both knew in that moment she turned around…. that she was meant to be with me. I just didn’t know why.

It turns out that the woman whose dog was bitten, has a history with a dog similar. Turns out, she has spent thousands of dollars trying to rehabilitate a dog of her daughters… and after lots of money and training, the dog is barely able to be around people… much less other dogs.

It mirrors what my vet told me… once they start showing aggression, and after they have attacked other dogs, it’s not going to get better. They have “the taste”..

I paid the vet bill and her dog is ok. Thankfully Maggie got the butt and leg, instead of the head or it could have been all over.

This woman has been so amazing and understanding. I know I got lucky there. She’s sad for Maggie too. I told her I surrendered her, but I think she knows. But I won’t put that weight or her.

It’s night now, and I’m sitting on the couch. My dog is snoring next to me.. and I find myself thinking of Maggie and wishing she was here draped over me again. I think about how scared she was in thunderstorms and how she tried to sleep on the bed, but I wouldn’t let her. ( Too big ) I think about how she seemed to have nightmares often when she was sleeping and I would try to calm her… I think about how she tried to please by sitting, and laying down…giving me a paw.

I feel like I let her down. I failed her. It’s deep in my heart and my head.

I know I made the right decision. For both of us. But it doesn’t make it any easier. It doesn’t make it hurt any less.

I sat here and cried halfway through this post. I haven’t really let myself cry much. Punishing myself…. I did this.. I don’t deserve to cry. It’s a fucked up mental message on repeat.

I’m sorry baby girl. I’m sorry for the trauma that you went through before I found you. I don’t know what it was, but I know it all the same.

We were walking once and I went to swat your butt with my palm… just to get your attention… and you dropped to the ground immediately like I was going to beat you. I thought it was a fluke, or you were being funny… until it happened again.

Then I knew, it wasn’t funny.. And my heart hurt for you.

And it hurts for you still.

Please be at peace baby.

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34 thoughts on “I’m sorry

      1. In church today I closed my eyes and I saw her surrounded by God’s love. She had a smile on her face and was surrounded by love.
        Might be just in my head but it’s beautiful

        Thank you

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh Cinny, this is such a difficult situation. She was probably very jealous and protective of you. I have never put a dog down for this reason, however I unfortunately have had to say goodbye to a few. You showed Maggie love for once in her life. That’s all she needed to travel on. You were a great mom for Maggie so try not to be so hard on yourself. ~hugs~ 🤗🤗

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I am so sorry. You shouldn’t punish yourself. It doesn’t sound as if another outcome was possible. You saw her out instead of just leaving her. ❤ ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Hey you made the right choice and your vet was right, once a dig has drawn blood it’s a difficult road back. I think all dog owners will feel the pain of your dilemma, but I think you did the best you could

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Big hugs Cinn!
    My mom took a dog from someone. That poor dog was so abused she shakes from fear. All the time.
    It’s now been 2 years or more and the dog is still very anxious.
    You did the best you could and surrounded Maggie with love.
    I’m sorry for your loss.
    XO

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh wow, bawling now. I feel your pain and your confusion. I have watched two beloved doggie souls pass from this life and it was horrific, and I was wracked with guilt for years. At least she died loved and in your arms. I don’t know what the right thing to do is. That’s up to individuals and their conscience. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You know, I was in a cafe having breakfast when I read this on my phone, Pup beside me as she always is…

    I found myself crying my eyes out, thinking where my girl might be if her path had taken a different turn. I am glad Maggie spent her last moments feeling loved, she will understand why it had to be this way when she’s crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am so sorry dear sweet lady! I still feel guilty about putting my German shepherd down. We have lost three pets this year, four if you count one cat that disappeared after be let out when we moved. It’s never easy regardless of circumstances. Hugs to you!!!! I’m glad you were able to show her love for the time you had her.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. If what you think is right & she was abused or traumatized, you gave her the love she most likely never had & that’s what matters the most…you made a real difference in her life no matter how short a time you had with her, & made sure that she knew love & caring & that she was deserving of both.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I believe that the universe brought you together so that you could show her love. Yes, she didn’t have you for long but you brought her joy and your love was an introduction to Sandy on the other side.

    You did the best that you could and gave her so much so please don’t short chance yourself or that for anything. Your an amazing person!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What you did for her was a true and genuine act of love and compassion. She sounds like a very sweet girl who had been abused and traumatized, and having her scared of punishment or upset for hurting you was not a good way to live. i would have wanted you to do what you did, if was was her. While i was reading it, i thought of seeing a dog quite suddenly and ruthlessly attack my step sister, shaking her like a rag doll. We never figured out why. Trust me, you wouldn’t have wanted your dog to suddenly snap and hurt a little girl, and then be traumatized that she did that. Not sure why i thought of this, but passing it on. i wish we treated people with such compassion and let them leave in such a loving way. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You thought that because of your ability… I do believe that hurting a child would’ve been the next step.

      She would not have meant to do it… But something snapped

      It’s funny.… My vet said the same thing.

      Thank you for helping me find some peace. Knowing these things… Even on different levels… I don’t know why I still can’t just put it away.

      But thank you. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Because it’s offends our sense of rightness that we may be called upon to help a life transition when they are good and physically healthy and dependent on us. You did the right thing for her. Just imagine how horrific it would have been for her when she realized she hurt a little girl. A sweet soul would never want that. This is a lesson about abuse and how deeply it effects us. I think your girl was so very lucky to get you for a mama and will be waiting for you when you cross, free from the pain of abuse and able to cuddle you again.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The dog that hurt my step sister was-by all family accounts-a very sweet animal who had never shown aggression before. She snapped and would not let go of a very horrified 6 year old while the family and I were all stunned and terrified. When she finally did let go-she seemed to just snap back into herself and was seemingly very shamed and scared of what happened. You saved Maggie from that and being taken from you in terror. I’m hoping you let yourself grieve and find compassion for a loving choice. ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Aww, Cinn, I am sorry, too. You tried your best and you gave Maggie some better times than the shelter. All we can take in life is our experiences and her draped across your lap was as good for her as it was for you. That memory is yours in Joy.

    Liked by 1 person

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