Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hello, Goodye: What it's like to say "hello" to a sweet new friend, and "goodbye" to another beloved friend...

Some of you may have noticed that I've been a bit absent in my blogging this week. This should catch everyone up to speed on what has been going on.

                  "Saying Hello To Ranger"

On Saturday night I welcomed a beautiful new Australian Shepherd puppy into my home. Jack called me while I was at Target and asked me where I was. I told him I was shopping and then he told me that he was standing on my patio (he hopped the patio area) and that I should go home soon. We were supposed to hang out that night anyway, so my only thought was, "wow, I really need to make copies of my new keys for him!" (we don't live together)

Anways, I came back to my apartment and sat my shopping bags down. When I turned on the patio lights and opened the sliding door, there stood my sweet boyfriend Jack. He was holding the most beautiful little puppy. It was the night before Easter and such a sweet surprise! I will blog more about that night later, but for now, here is a picture of little Ranger (many more to come!). He is doing wonderful so far and is such a sweet little blessing!:

                    "Saying Good-Bye To My Beloved Hagan"

On Wednesday morning (yesterday) I had to make the heartbreaking decision to say good-bye to my beloved German Shepherd, Hagan. Jack and I drove him to my vetrinarian's office and I spoke with the vet for a good while before we decided to go through with having him put down. It was an absolutely devistating and horrible situation, but I prayed over it for quite a while and tried every possible option before making that decision. To make a long story short, Hagan was fine 9/10 times...however, once in a blue moon he would be dangerously unpredictable. He would show no signs of imminent aggression/etc (raised hair, posture,etc)...he would instead charge and strike out of the blue, unprovoked. This behavior has gone on for the entire year and a half that I have had him in my home and has only become more frequent and more intense. It was not something triggered by the new puppy as he had only been in my home since Saturday night. As far as consultations go for Hagan, I sought help though numerous vetrinarians, websites, behaviorists, trainers, tried medication and supplements for him (prozac, melatonin, DAP), tried altaring his diet/exercise routine, and even tried puppy accupuncture with a local vet that specializes in it on the side. Unfortunately, nothing worked. Instead of improving with age and training/etc...he only deteriorated and became worse.

The final straw that broke the camel's back so to speak was him attempting to maul me this week. He also attempted to attack the new puppy, and even went after Jack and one of the gardners at my apartment complex. It was just turning into a horrible, downward spiral. He had no clue what he was doing eithor- one minte he would visciously try to attack unprvoked, the next minute he would try to kiss you and play. It was like living with a bipolar dog. In the past he had also attacked my sister's dog, my mom's beagle, and even bit me once. I sought help through training/etc and even had his vetrinarian test him for medical issues to try and resolve his problems. There was nothing more they could do for him though. The night he tried to maul me was the night I knew what I had to do, heartbreaking as it was. :(

This was one of the most difficult decisions I've ever had to make. I loved Hagan with all of my heart, and this was the last decision I ever wanted to have to make. He has honestly had some severe issues from day one when I rescued him over a year and a half ago.(When I rescued him from the shelter he was due to be euthanized the day I adopted him. He was aggressive, had 2 puncture wounds, heartworms, and was in septic shock. I spent months and months working with him and trying to help him.Several of the vets and trainers I talked with think that he was eithor born geneticlaly "off" so to speak or that he developed swelling around his brain which made him worse mentally. I tried EVERY alternative I could think of before deciding to have him humanly put down. He was just too far gone mentally.

With Hagan, it was not a mild aggression, he was in it to kill/ maul when he got into those unpredictable moods. His attempt to maul my face is what had to be my deciding factor. Vets, Trainers, Behaviorialists, holistic medications, prescription meds (like prozac), exercise, diet, training...none of it helped him. Instead of him improving with age, he deteriorated mentally. It would be one thing if he were an unpredictable chihuahua, but he was a very large, unpredictable German Shepherd who could easily kill or maul me, an innocent child, my neighbors, or another animal. Every professional I spoke with from trainers to vetrinarians said that it was not a matter of "if" he would harm, it was a matter of "when".  I couldn't knowingly put him in a rescue or home with the potential for him to wind up around other humans or animals and maul/kill them potentially.I even spoke to several shepherd rescues at length about this and they wouldn't take Hagan for those exact reasons of unpredictability and dangerousness. So for all of those combined reasons, that's why I had to make that very difficult decision to have my beloved boy humanely put down before he harmed himself or someone else. I will always love and miss my beautiful Hagan...

       Rest in Peace Handsome Hagan. I Will Always Love You!

~In a side note, I really think that God's timing is perfect, even when we don't understand. I had no idea I was going to be facing that final decision about Hagan yesterday. I also had no idea that Jack was going to suprise me with a new puppy. (One of the thoughts behind a new puppy was that a playmate of equal size (when full grow) and activity level might help Hagan, sadly though he even tried to maim the innocent puppy when it was sleeping).

While I am still devistated over the loss of my Hagan, I am also greatful with God's timing and that this sweet new puppy, Ranger, was placed in my life at this time while I grieve and heal. I spent most of today in tears mourning the loss of Hagan (I was sooo attached to him). Everytime I started to cry, sweet little Ranger would try to kiss me and cheer me up. Ranger has definitely been a sweet blessing in disguise during such a tough time!

1 comment:

  1. Your new puppy looks adorable, but so sad about Hagan. I have 4 dogs of my own, and I would die inside if one had such an unexplainable illness that would lead to that. x