i need help getting over my old pet

Reply Wed 24 Aug, 2011 08:49 pm
recently we had to put my coon dog down because he was getting so been that if my mom or i would go out to try to feed him, or water him, or even to play catch he would bite me or try to bite me. so my dad told me we had to put him down brfore some got really hurt.and i have had him since he was a baby. and im spossed to get a new coon dog, but i just cant get my old one out of my head. it bothers me because i ffeel like its my fault he got mean. what should i do?
Reply Wed 24 Aug, 2011 09:14 pm
Oh sweetie, it wasn't your fault at all. Old dogs can get mean when they're hurting. Perhaps he had some illness you didn't know of and when the pain gets overwhelming, animals can get very defensive. So don't take it the wrong way.

I know how it is to lose a beloved dog and the pain seems so strong that you think you can never love another dog like the one you just lost. When you're ready, you'll take a trip down to your local animal shelter and you'll see that there is a dog just waiting for you to come around and take him
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Reply Wed 24 Aug, 2011 09:16 pm
I don't know why he started getting mean, but I can't imagine how it was anything you might have done.

In any case, you are the only one who can decide when it's time to replace him. Maybe your parents will make the decision, but it should really be yours alone. Considering you are in the 8th grade, it might mean leaving a pet alone when you head off to college, or anything that takes you away from home.
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Arella Mae
Reply Thu 25 Aug, 2011 07:54 am
I had a black lab when I was young that I loved so much. I don't know why but he turned mean. He got mean to the point of attacking someone. Thankfully, they weren't hurt badly.

I knew the dog had to be put down. I cried, and cried, and cried. But sometimes we have to do what is best for others no matter how much we might hurt. That is what you did. If the dog was old it is entirely possible that he got mean due to pain and age. You couldn't do a thing about that.

I am so sorry you had to go through this. It's never easy. I used to say I'd never get another pet after I'd lose one but I stopped saying that. Don't deny your love and caring to another animal out there because you are hurting. I have always found giving love to another animal that needs it helped me to heal. When I rescue another animal, I like to think the ones I've lost understand it is in their memory I do it.
Reply Thu 25 Aug, 2011 08:02 am
@Arella Mae,
Many times old dogs go blind and deaf to the point that they cannot distinguish friend from danger. SO sometimes an old dog who's losing sight and hearing will get touchy. Hes not mean, hes scared and confused.
Putting him down is sometimes the best for everyone because you would never be able to trust him around people or other animals.

Arella Mae
Reply Thu 25 Aug, 2011 08:05 am
You are so right farmerman. I wish we really could talk to the animals.
Reply Thu 25 Aug, 2011 08:13 am
@Arella Mae,
Hows yer little mulie doing" Ill bet hes a big boy by now. Does he like packing stuff?
Arella Mae
Reply Thu 25 Aug, 2011 08:23 am
He is doing great! He still hasn't found his voice yet. He still does the gorilla grunt with a little wheeze. He hasn't been packing anything yet. We are working with him on the halter and leading and trying to get him to focus on that. He does okay with it for awhile but then he seems to get bored with it and then gets stubborn. I will try to get some pictures of him this weekend. He is as tall as his mom and sister already. He has an awesome personality. He loves to tease the horses.
Reply Thu 25 Aug, 2011 08:30 am
@Arella Mae,
friends of ours are "mule lovers" and they have several that thye take on summer trips out qwest. They ride two and pack two and the couple is gone for several weeks in the deserts.

As far as not having his "voice" yet, be thankful as our friends complain that their mules start a daily "heehaw fest that they keep up for almost an hour. They just seem to like to do that and once they get it our of their collective systems they just stand around looking smug.
Arella Mae
Reply Thu 25 Aug, 2011 08:32 am
I suppose you are right that I should be thankful but I am so anxious to hear that first mule bray from him. Never in a million years would I have actively gone out and gotten a mule but I cannot tell you how much we love JJ and it's hard to imagine we never had a mule at one point.
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Reply Thu 25 Aug, 2011 02:07 pm
@Arella Mae,
He does okay with it for awhile but then he seems to get bored with it and then gets stubborn.

Like any young kid, or even adults, right, Arella.

You might enjoy this,

Arella Mae
Reply Thu 25 Aug, 2011 02:21 pm
Oh I love Monty! But, I have to admit, my all-time favorite horseman would be Clinton Anderson. Here is a video of him and Mindy. I am not sure if this is the one but at the end of one of his videos where Mindy is laying down, Clinton actually stands on her hips and takes a whip and waves it all around. I don't think I have ever seen a more well trained animal.

Finn dAbuzz
Reply Thu 25 Aug, 2011 05:04 pm
The reason for your dog becoming "mean," most likely is as many have suggested: a response to pain and fear. Unless you were the source of the pain and fear (which seems highly unlikely) you shouldn't feel guilty.

Our Yellow Lab, Nala is getting old and arthritic, although she remains as sweet and gentle as a lamb. My wife bought her for my daughter, but somehow she has ended up our dog, which is just fine by me.

Prior to Nala we had a Black Lab named Logan who was a wonderful companion. My kids would sometime accuse me of loving Logan more than them, and I would always respond that it was no wonder that I did as he loved me more than they did.

Logan had kidney problems and in the end I was giving him a liter of water, subcutaneously, every night to keep him alive.

Unfortunately, our Vet suggested we feed him grapes during the process to keep him still. We did and it worked like a charm, but I've since learned dogs should never be fed grapes as they damage their kidneys!

When I first learned this I felt horrible since the grapes probably speeded up his demise, but how was I to know? I took the advice of a Vet, and perhaps back then Vets didn't know the problem grapes posed for dogs.

In any case, Logan continued to decline until it was painfully obvious that he was suffering and we had to do the right thing.

We scheduled an appointment at the Vet's, but on the morning that we were to take him to be put down, he seemed to make a miraculous recovery. He was his old lively self and as energetic as a much younger dog.

We, nevertheless, kept the appointment, but his condition didn't change a bit. In fact I had a hard time keeping him from running off and exploring the office.

The Vet said she had seen scenes like this before, but that Logan was a seriously sick dog and despite his seemingly miraculous recovery, he was terminal. She encouraged us to proceed with euthanasia.

I couldn't.

I wasn't really kidding myself into thinking a miracle had happened, but seeing him bouncing around and licking my face, there was no way in the world I was going to put him down.

We took him home with us and told the Vet we would be back in contact if his condition returned to its previously poor state.

Of course it did, and, in fact, by the very next day.

Unfortunately I had to go out of town on business and so it was left to my wife to bring him back in for the final procedure. She recounts the experience as being horrible and I have no reason to argue otherwise, but I wish I had been there and I feel guilty that I wasn't.

My wife didn't want a dog and conceded to please me and because she thought it would be good for the kids, but she always made it clear that she had no use for Logan and couldn't care less if he was gone.

At the end of his life, though, it was even clearer that she had very strong feelings for him that I would call love.

[This was good to know since I couldn't believe I had married someone who actually hated dogs]

We didn't give much thought to getting another dog, because Logan couldn't be replaced, and so we went a number of years without another pet.

We decided to buy my daughter a dog when she left the house to live on her own, but despite all the research I did and my recommendations for five breeds suited to her lifestyle, while I was traveling on business my wife broke down and bought her a Lab...Nala.

At first, I didn't really like Nala, but, in retrospect, that's because she didn't belong in an apartment; left alone all day, and her behavior reflected it.

When Nala was about 4 years old, my daughter moved back into our house and brought her dog.

The transformation in the dog's behavior was dramatic. Not only did Nala have a big house to roam, she had a big backyard in which to insanely chase thrown balls, and a near constant companion in my wife.

When my daughter got married and moved into an apartment, I argued that it wouldn't be fair to Nala to return her to lonely apartment living. Actually I didn't want to give her up and neither did my wife. We prevailed and so we had our next dog.

There is quite a bit of irony running through this tale.

Two of the breeds I originally recommended to my daughter were Boston Terrier and King Charles Cavalier Spaniel.

About a year after she had Nala, my daughter fell in love with her boyfriend's Boston Terrier and wanted to get one (wiser heads prevailed), and about six months after she got married and moved out she bought a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel...Hamish.

Although Hamish is better suited than a Lab to being left alone in an apartment, we, very frequently, "babysit" him. It's the next best thing to a grandchild.

Nala is the first female dog I have had, and without the circumstances that brought her to us, I don't think I ever would have had anything but males. As much as I have loved all my past male dogs, I've found that Nala is much sweeter and affectionate than any of them. It may simply be her personality, but I suspect it's also due to her gender.

I'm really not thinking about the time after Nala, but I know I will, eventually, get another canine companion. It amazes me though that I can now consider a smaller and female dog...although I may foolishly go for a Rottweiler.

Focusing on your situation...

There probably isn't going to be a magic moment when you decide "Now is the time to get another dog!"

One way or the other it will happen though, and go with it when it does.

One of the advantages of having a dog or any pet with a lifespan much shorter than a human's is that it helps prepare us for the loss of our beloved fellow humans.

I'm not trying to equate the love of a dog with the love of a mother or child, but I also don't think it is so far off the mark.

Experiencing grief prepares you for the inevitable same and more poignant future experiences.

Ben Franklin has been quoted as saying "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." I totally agree, however I would suggest that dogs represent a much better proof.

Although it can lead to pain in many different ways, love is not ever something to regret.

You'll never "get over" the death of your friend, but you will be able to sort it out with time.

Reply Thu 25 Aug, 2011 05:16 pm
@Arella Mae,
I'll have a peek at that one when I get to a free hi-speed source, Arella. What about the French guy? I can't even begin to imagine how these folks encourage that kind of behavior, though obviously trust is a big big part of it.

Reply Thu 25 Aug, 2011 05:23 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Really nice post, Finn!
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Arella Mae
Reply Thu 25 Aug, 2011 05:54 pm
JTT wrote:

I'll have a peek at that one when I get to a free hi-speed source, Arella. What about the French guy? I can't even begin to imagine how these folks encourage that kind of behavior, though obviously trust is a big big part of it.

Jean Francois Pignon (I think that is his name). He is probably the most unique trainer I've ever seen. He seems to bond with the horses on a very special level. It's one thing to train a horse in a roundpen but totally another to do it at liberty like he does. For those that might want to check him out...........I promise you'll love it.............here is a link....my favorite of his............horses and the beach..........perfect:

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Reply Fri 4 Nov, 2011 05:45 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Hello Finn, I want/need to thank you for your post dated 25th Aug 2011.

Just a few days ago.. 2nd Nov to be exact, my beloved little Tyke got hit by a car and was taken by strangers to the vet who decided to put him to sleep. I had him microchipped as a baby, but never actually got around to signing the papers that another vet gave me... never ever dreaming what the future held.
So when this current vet could not find the owner (me), I guess it was curtains for my little Tyke.
I had him from a baby and he was only 11 months old when he died.
I am grieving bad because I am blaming myself for his demise.
In hindsight I believe that if I had got him desexed at the appropriate age of 6 months it would have taken away most of the urge to escape at the first opportunity.
He had found a place under the back fence with soft enough soil to dig his way out.
He'd come back home after a couple of hours, seemingly jumping out of his skin with happiness.
I promptly blocked each hole as he made them, and I thought I had blocked the final escape route, but he fooled me yet again and found one more hole..his last.
The loss of him is fairly destroying. I'm 70 now and have always had dogs in my life.
My little Pee Pee survived for 17 years and we had to get the Vet to come to the house to help her on her way.
She was in a bad way (pain) so we didn't grieve for her too much because we were reconciled with the fact that we loved her so very much and gave her all the love we could. We were prepared for her to go and let her be free of pain.
Our next dog was a black, short haired border collie, Sam.
Things were going really well until one day, while we were out walking.. he was just so obedient that I seldom used a leash on him.. a cat came into view... and he was off... into the path of a passing car.
Thankfully he survived with a damaged back right leg. The vet fixed him up and after a while arthritis set in bad. The vet's only solution for the pain was some very expensive pills ($1 a pill).
I googled that medication and was appalled that it had been causing deaths in some dogs, so I decided to Google "paracetamol in dogs"... I take that for my pain. That was when I found out that I would be able to give Sam half a paracetamol every 6 hours quite safely.
I take 2 paras about every 6-8 hours a day.
Since giving Sam his 250mg of paracetamol every 6 hours his 'quality of life' is very good. He is now 9 years old, overweight, but still enjoying life. He is not in any pain while I keep the paracetamol doses up to him and on time. If I happen to go overtime by an hour or two, he is in pain.. unable to walk. And that brings me to this thread on A2K. One of the reasons is the sudden demise of little Tyke... the next is the impending demise of Sam somewhere in the future.
With this current feeling of utter grief from losing little Tyke, who I'd only had for less than 11 months.. to pondering what will happen when it's time for Sam to be set free of pain... I am afraid I might not be able to survive the trauma.
But getting back to "now"... to try and cope with Tyke's demise one of my girl friends bought me a new puppy just 2 days after Tyke died.
She wasn't sure if she was doing the right thing but she felt the need to try something to help me.
It is still early days.. only got him yesterday, and so far so good.
I still break down over little Tyke. I feel so guilty that I never got him desexed at 6 months. He was such a beautiful little creature that I thought he'd have made a great daddy one day.. and then.. then I'd get him desexed. I never dreamed he would turn so 'feral' on me.
My friends tell me it looks like he was trying to chase after me when I left him home when I went out.
Poor old Sam was never like that. Never once did he seem to want to go away from the house. I could leave the gates wide open and he'd never wander from me.
Of course when I left the house the gates were always closed. He was never desexed.
I had decided that I would get him fixed up if ever it appeared that it was necessary.
We used to joke about it and say that he must have overheard us talking because he never ever put a foot/paw wrong. Always the pure gentleman. So now, even with Tyke #2 laying beside me dozing and old Sam snoozing on the floor, my thoughts keep racing back to little Tyke #1 and the pain and grief I am feeling most of the time.
I felt the need to reach out and try and find other people who had lost their beloved pet and hopefully get some solice from how they recovered.
All this pain has brought me to think more deeply about human demises. It feels like a 'dress rehersal' for the "biggie".
Giving us some idea of what to expect, only many times worse, although it's hard to imagine anything worse right now.
I figured out years ago that the pain of grief is God's way of letting us know just how much we loved them. Nothing comes free, not even love. The books have to be balanced... everything accountable.. it's simply the price we pay for love. The pain is so hard to bear.
Trying not to think about it in the hope that the pain will ease off only makes it worse because then I feel like I am being unfaithful, like now that I have Tyke 2, I feel guilty for thinking that he could replace Tyke #1.
It all sounds so trivial when I realise I am waffling on about a dog... but the pain is so real. Just wish that there was a pill I could take to help relieve the pain.
They say time heals all wounds and that is the straw that I am clinging onto. Ages ago I was also told about "Paper Psychology" and over the years that has been a wonderful tool when I have been faced with what at the time seemed impossible situations.
Hopefully in a few weeks time I will be able to look at all of this and wonder what the heck I was going on about.
My biggest dilemma now is whether to post this or delete it.
I guess there's no harm in posting it. Nothing bad will happen.
I shouldn't feel regretful afterwards. Big sighs. drillersmum.
Finn dAbuzz
Reply Tue 8 Nov, 2011 10:57 pm
I'm glad you decided to post this drillersmum. My bet is that it helped some to do so. For some reason, just knowing that people can read what you've written seems to make a big difference.

I'm sure you've already been told this by friends, but you shouldn't beat yourself up about Tyke #1 getting loose. There's no way to be sure that if he had been fixed he wouldn't want to wander and it's tough to stop a determined dog. Besides, every dog that gets loose from his or her yard isn't hit by a car and killed.

There's nothing trivial about a dog's love for humans even if it is a behavior that was developed or fortified by humans interfering with canine genetics. Anyone who has owned a dog knows that attention and affection from the humans in their life is as important to them as food and water. They miss us when they are gone and they rejoice when we return. They seem to be able to detect when we are in need of attention and affection and they happily provide it. There are few things sadder than an abandoned dog that is desperate for human attention.

There's certainly nothing trivial about a human's love for a dog. They become a member of the family and if you are alone they can become your only family. People tend to turn to their pets during hard times: after the breakup of an important relationship, loss of a job, serious illness etc. Dogs have an incredible ability to read your emotions and they will be there for you when you need them. Some people talk to their dogs during these times or just take comfort in their company on a long walk. Anyone who has been comforted by his or her dog during a tough period is likely to establish a very strong emotional bond with the animal, and since most dogs live to 10 to 15 years, the chances are good that every dog owner is going to, at one or more times, have a rough experience during which their canine friend provides them with solace.

Studies have shown that people with dogs live longer and enjoy a higher quality of life then those without, and the simple act of petting your dog can lower your heart rate and blood pressure, reduce stress, and even strengthen your immune system. In fact, the effect of an extended period of time petting your dog has much of the same effects as meditation.

You know when you love a fellow human and you know when you love your dog. In many ways the feelings are very similar, and so it's no surprise that you would feel the pain of grief when your dog passes.

I don't remember how long it took for me to get over the grief I felt when Logan died, but it was more than a couple of days. To this day I still miss him and when I see pictures of him (especially with my kids) I can still find myself choking up a bit.

Some people don't get it. Maybe they're people who have never had a dog or were never able to establish a close bond with one. From their perspective it is somewhat trivial and without malintent they're likely to say things like "It's only a dog," or "You can always get another."

People who have had more than one dog during their lives (and especially if it’s having multiple dogs at one time) recognize that these creatures all have individual personalities, and replicating the one you lose is impossible. You may get a new dog and it may look exactly like the one you lose, but it won't be a replacement any more than simply finding someone who looked like a lost friend would be replacing them.

Since you're 70 years of age, the odds are that you've lost friends and/or family during your life. I don't think we ever get over losing the important people in our lives, but the grief eventually passes. The same thing will likely happen with you concerning Tyke #1. Chances are that Sam and Tyke #2 will be comforting you during the process and so your bond with Sam will grow even stronger and you'll develop a very strong one with Tyke #2.

When you feel better about things, I doubt you will look back and wonder how you could ever have felt so intensely about Tyke #1's death, or that it was silly to feel grief over "just a dog."

Like you wrote, the pain of a loved one's passing is simply evidence of the strength of your love for them. It's the price we pay for love, but I think you agree that it's worth it.

Try not to dwell on your dog's passing, and forgive yourself for whatever mistakes you may have made that may have led to his death.

Here's a "trick" that might help although it seems pretty hokey. Sit down in a quiet room with a pad of paper and a pen and write "I forgive myself for contributing to the death of Tyke"...about 50 to 75 times. It sounds silly but for some people the repetitive process is very effective.

In any case, take care and continue to enjoy your time with Same and Tyke #2.

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Reply Tue 8 Nov, 2011 11:12 pm
I have two hounds, one's fixed the other is about to be. Both run at every chance they get, even after long walks. Mine always come back after a few minutes of freedom, I just think it's their nature. Both are big dumb goofs who will and have run into the oncoming paths of vehicles but will back away in fear of a bicycle or broom..
I'm so sorry for your loss, but know that dogs being dogs love to run and don't have much human common sense. I'm glad you wrote too. Both my dogs are still pups but I truly do fear losing them. They become such big parts of our lives. I miss them when I'm not around.
I hope the new pup helps you heal and forgive yourself, not that you need to, but I understand the guilty feeling...
Reply Fri 11 Nov, 2011 05:52 pm
Thank you both so very much, Finn and Ceili for everything you wrote. All of what you wrote was so 'spot-on'.
New Tyke 2 has been with me now for 8 days, and almost from the moment I set eyes on him and held him close to me, the pain for T1 started to ease. It took a couple of days for the pain to really ease off, and now, of course, everything is just great again.

I can think of T1 without any fear of breaking down, and find myself sort of chastising T1 for being so naughty.
He was a cheeky little imp and so adorable.

I started writing down everything I could remember about him in an exercise book and might be able to put it into some sort of a blog later on with pictures. He was a treasure to remember, and I can do that now without bursting into tears.

When I remember how devastated I was last week when I saw little Tyke 1's frozen body and the reality of what it all meant, I felt so shattered. I sort of knew the pain was not going to last forever but at the same time wondered how it was ever going to go away. I kept remembering that old adage about "time heals all wounds" and wondered how long it would take. Then I'd find myself talking to friends who had also been there, done that, so to speak, and little bit by little bit the hours passed, sleeping helped too, until quite unexpectedly little Tyke 2 arrived.

Now I get a good feeling as I watch T2 sleeping and I tell myself that T2 wouldn't be where he is today if T1 hadn't died. Then I start to think about how when a human being dies and because of that, his/her passing, then several other peoples lives may be saved from any organ donations from the person who has died.... like... good can come out of something dreadful. Does that make any sense?
I can think clearly about these sorts of things now, but a week ago it wasn't so easy.
I've started a photo album in rememberance of Tyke 1 on my Facebook. There's only 4 pics in there so far. Next week I'll work on it a bit more. Thank you again for your wonderful words of understanding and wisdom. Does Logan have a photo album online? And what about "the big dumb goofs"? It'd be so enjoyable to view pics of them all somewhere online. Feeling much better now... thank you so very much. drillersmum.
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