WHN is having a very difficult time right now- in the space of two years we have lost four of the original DWM pack, and she is devastated by that and overwhelmed with the pain and guilt of Chip's death.
We adopted Chip five years ago, right after WHN's Dad died, and he bonded with her immediately. He was very cautious and not trusting of the rest of the world, nor of men, which created some difficult times for us when he started exhibiting aggressive behavior towards Mr. Geoff within six months of his adoption. We took him for extensive training and that seemed to help, but the aggression always seemed to be under a thin veneer, ready to break through without notice. We learned to live with this as his history was so spotty and we had been told he needed to be part of a pack. Unfortunately, and in hindsight, what he needed was to be an only dachshund, or to have maybe one fur sibling.
As time passed, the DWM pack grew larger, first with Thai, then a foster Taz, whom Chip loathed, then Tasha then Anna Rose. Chip ALWAYS got along with the DWM, but with only two exceptions, NEVER with any foster. (The exceptions were Snoopy and Hershey)
We have been torn about fostering, since Chip could be so erratic with his behavior towards the foster- we finally chose to only foster females as he did not show any aggression toward females at all. Then we fostered Hope and the gates of hell were unleashed upon us.
For several months (over six) we have been dealing with aggression issues that resurfaced after a two year hiatus, and when they returned, the issues were worse than ever. Instead of pouring out our problems on the blog, which would have made things worse as I would have felt that I was betraying Chip, I took a break from daily blogging to try and help him. The aggression came to a head when we fostered Hope- he hated her on sight and I had to physically keep him away from her. Her six months with us were long and difficult, and we finally put him on medication to see if it would ease his issues (Snoopy had similar anxiety issues but the medication helped him) He finally turned on Geoff and never looked back- Geoff could not even speak to me without triggering bared teeth and lunging.
Things cooled off after Hope was adopted, - Chip's aggression disappeared as if it never existed and he would go to Geoff for petting and lap time. Then I took in Buddy, a senior dachsie from a shelter, and reopened the gates of hell. Buddy was barely tolerated by Chip- and I again had to keep him away from Buddy- we started crating Chip whenever we had to leave the pack home alone because we were afraid Chip would seriously hurt Buddy. Bed time was a nightmare as he would attack Buddy and I would have to put myself between them to protect Buddy. He was less aggressive towards Buddy than he had been towards Hope, so I convinced myself that things would continue to improve.
Then we had to go to SC to help my mom- the two day drive each way was not bad, but meal times for the pack at the hotel were horrible, and Geoff had to deal with that alone while I was with my Mom. Chip spent most of the trip crated for his protection and ours.
The night I had him put down was the last straw for me- what Geoff had seen and lived with for six months finally penetrated my thick skull- Chip was dangerous to all of us and the medication was not helping him but making it worse. Geoff had just returned from an appointment, and Chip lunged at him when he walked in the door. I was holding Buddy, and when I tried to intervene, Chip attacked Buddy. We threw a blanket over Chip to calm him down and to make it easier to crate him, but this time, he almost took my arm off as I put him in the crate. Neither of us had ever seen him like that before, and I knew it was time. I called the vet immediately and we took him in to be euthanized. Chip was completely calm on the way in, wrapped in a blanket - I was still in shock that this had happened and that Chip was dangerous- he could have taken off my face if I had moved a little faster or been at a different angle. The look of hate on his face and in his eyes chilled me to the depths of my soul- my Chip was not even there, some monster inhabited his body.
Our vets told us that I had done everything humanly possible to help Chip, but that did not erase the guilt and pain that I had still failed him. I was told that 99.9% of pet owners would have euthanized him from the start and that he was simply too damaged from his previous life to ever be happy. If I had not taken in Buddy I would still have Chip. May God forgive me for that decision, because it tears at me every day.