Yesterday I had to make the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make.
My story about Koda is a long one.
He was an abandoned and abused dog, dumped on the streets of PR. The picture below was where he was found originally.
He was a fearful dog and had a lot of behavior issues. I fostered him to get to know his personality before adopting him – long story short we fell in love with him and he bonded with us. So we ended up keeping him.
As time kept passing, more and more of his behaviors we’re becoming obsessive, and unpredictable. Although he had SO many moments of love -he had a lot of ‘issues’.
One day, about 5 years ago now, I sat next to him and was patting him like I always do and he stood up and attacked me. Had my arm in his mouth shaking wildly. I chalked it up to I startled him from sleep. Then he started lashing out at our other dogs.
So we took him to the vet to rule out medical conditions. He came back clean bill of health.
Our next step was taking him to a dog behavior specialist - within 30 minutes of hearing our struggles she recommended humane euthanasia.
I cried all the way home. Felt hopeless. Felt numb. Felt angry. I was pissed whoever did this to him in PR should pay dearly. They ruined him.
I went as far as to call a place to come to our home to do it. Then a friend of mine reached out and told me about a dog trainer. I thought, I have to try. One more chance. We met with him and said he could probably save Koda…so we tried it. We dropped him off to puppy boot camp with the trainer - he lived with the trainer for 3 weeks. We had zero contact. $2500 later…we had a “fixed” dog – at least for a little while.
From the pictures and video - you’ll see he was indeed trying VERY hard to be a good boy and wanted to be loved.
But once again, something would scare him and his brain would “flick” and he would be lunging at us, teeth baring. Attacking the other dogs.
We’ve always kept him locked away in the other room when we had company. He was NEVER around my grandchildren. I started hiking thinking he needed more exercise. I put him on prozac. I put him on natural supplements. I continued training.
Then Wednesday happened, on March 1 I was tending to my other dog, who is a senior dog and had a giant lump removed. He sat silently watching me and out of nowhere, with no warning attacked me. It was so bad I ended up in the hospital needing xrays on my hand and leg.
Unfortunately, it was at that moment, I knew – having him for 6 years, this was not going to be fixed or go away. I gave my heart and soul to him. I could not help him. Had I been kneeling, he would have gotten my face or throat…
My husband and I sat and talked, cried, agonized over our decision. I feel lost. Empty. I feel I let him down. I feel…grief at its deepest level and can’t find my way out.
Thanks for reading/listening.