I think most of you know by now, but I had to put down Cullen on Friday night. The simple story is that he got out of the house Friday evening, and in the course of running around the neighborhood, jumped and bit a neighborhood child on the arm. While he meant absolutely nothing by it, our fear that the next time it could be so much worse forced our hand.
Cullen has always been a challenging dog. He was found two years ago in November with his sister, almost frozen to death huddling under a tree. We brought him home and fell in love with him, even though we noticed from the very beginning how he really did not like any strange men/boys and was extremely protective. He ended up becoming my dog and listened to me better than he did for anyone else, but we still struggled to prevent him from going insane when someone dared ring the doorbell or if someone walked in front of the house. Last summer, he even went so far as to jump up and bite our next-door neighbor when he dared put his arm over our fence when I was outside mowing the lawn. Our action at that time was to muzzle him every time he went outside.
We tried to rehabilitate him through love, attention and lots of exercise. When he wasn’t in over-protective mode, he was one of the goofiest, sweetest dogs I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. His ears were also some of the silkiest and softest I’ve ever had the pleasure to pet. He was my 80-pound lap dog and loved nothing better than to curl up next to me on the bed for cuddling and petting. It was literally one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make. In my lowest moments, I want to find the person who abused him as a puppy and hurt him like he hurt my dog. I have to reconcile myself with the fact that we gave him a quality of life he would have never had otherwise. He gave us unconditional love in return. I know we had no choice but to do what we did – biting means he was unadoptable – but it is going to take me a long time to get over the feeling of guilt that I have and the thought that we did not do enough to help him overcome the conditioning he received as a puppy. As frustrating as he was with the almost constant barking and neediness, the house feels empty and too quiet without him. He will definitely be missed and will never be replaced.
Thanks, Ceri. He was definitely more than my pet, even if the kids didn't think so. I'm slowly adjusting.
Thanks, Jodie. I still want to find his former owners and exact my own revenge on them. They took the sweetest dog and ruined him. There is no punishment good enough though.
I'm so sorry this had to happen. He sounds like a sweet dog and you tried so hard, but someone else had messed with him too much along the way. The world is a sad place sometimes.
I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. It's so hard especially to know that you tried your best and that it didn't work. Thinking of you.
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I'm so sorry, Michelle. I can't imagine how hard that must have been.
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Thanks, Suey. It's been rough.
So so sad. Hugs to you.
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Thanks, Valerie. I agree, the loss of a pet is difficult. I think the suddenness of the situation makes it particularly upsetting.
Thanks, Stacy. That means a lot. Today was a rough day for some reason. I know it will get easier but I missed coming home to him this afternoon.
I'm sorry 🙁 . The loss of a pet, no matter what the circumstances or why, is always hard.
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Oh, Michelle, I am so sorry! What a terrible thing to happen and I feel for you and your family and Cullen. You did what was best for everyone else, but hardest for you. Hugs coming your way.
Oh, Michelle! That is so much worse. To have it happen to your own child! Thank you so much for your kind words.
I'm so sorry, Michelle. I really feel for your family. We had a similar dog years ago. My aunt used to rescue dogs and cats and she found Zack, a puppy, running around her neighborhood. He was so dirty, he was black (his real color was a light beige) and he had cigarette burns on his tail. I fell in love with him and my husband and I (then only my boyfriend) took him home. We could tell from the start that he had problems. He was sweet, but he could have some very cagey moments. Anyway, we had him for seven years before my first son was born and he got worse after the boys came along. Gabe was a late walker, he didn't walk until he was 18 months, and one day he was walking and stumbled and fell on top of Zack and Zack attacked him. It was awful. He bit Gabe on the forehead and the top side of this head. There was so much blood…I was hysterical (my sister was severely attacked by a dog when we were kids so it was like reliving a nightmare). Luckily, Gabe only needed one stitch, but he still has scars and an inherent fear of dogs. Of course, we couldn't give Zack to someone else. We feared he would attack another person or child. So we had to have him put down. It was an awful experience and I still feel sad about it when I see pictures of him. He was like one of our children, we had him so long. So believe me…I know just how you're feeling and your family is in my thoughts. Now please excuse me while I go find a tissue. 🙁
I'm trying to do just that, even though right now, I'm afraid it is easier to remember the difficult times because I don't feel so guilty then!
I know others have experienced the same thing; it doesn't make it any easier. Right now, it is actually easier to remember the bad times because it helps me assuage the guilt and eases some of the pain I am feeling.
Thanks, Kim. We tried our best. Apparently, it wasn't good enough.
Thanks. It's been tough, and I've been waffling all weekend between guilt and knowing that we did the right thing. And then I broke down while vacuuming, knowing that I was getting rid of the last remnants of him.
I'm really sorry to hear that, Michelle. Like Chris said, focus on the good times, the good memories.
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We had a similar situation with our dog when our daughter was a baby. So I feel for you and your family. Remember the good times with Cullen.
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Sniffle, sniffle. You did everything you could. Still so sad.