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Monday, April 28, 2014

WHN is not herself

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.

19 comments:

Molly The Wally said...

You don't need forgiveness you need a huge hug that you tried so hard. You never made Chip like that someone else was at fault. All you tried to do was undo the damage but sadly it was not to be. Chip's behaviour was probably as unhappy for him as it was for you all. He rests in peace now and probably for the first time in his sad life. We salute you for your efforts but unfortunately we cannot work miracles. Don't be hard on yourselves you did all you could and then more.
Best wishes Molly

stellaroselong said...

Dear Whn:
My Momma sent you a private message after reading this post. We are sending you all our hugs and our prayers right now.
stella rose

stellaroselong said...

We sent it to your gmail account.
stella rose

Frankie Furter and Ernie said...

Dear Agnes,
Hind Sight is 20/20... there is nothing you can do to Change what HAS OCCURRED... You did NOT do any of this... DELIBERATELY, NOT Maliciously, NOT Intentionally.
Chip is at peace NOW and so is the remainder of the pack.
Lana

Amber DaWeenie said...

We're sending you lots of hugs. Mommy is going to write you a private email soon when she can get back to the computer. My human sissy is still in the hospital and Mommy and Daddy are taking care of of human grand-peeps.

Lots of Love.....

Millie and Walter said...

Please don't blame yourself. You did all you could to help Chip over the years. Like you said you didn't know much about his previous life and didn't know what might trigger his problems. He and your home are at peace now.

Sagira said...

I understand your feelings. You always know more once the journey is over. All you can do from this point is learn from the travels you have made and do something to honor Chip. Sorry you are going through this. Never an easy decision to make.

Tweedles -- that's me said...

We understand how your feeling. You really did try to help. You did all you could.
You had to let Chip run free at the Bridge- that was all you could do.
I have a feeling that he thanks you- for knowing how his heart felt.
He did not like to act the way he did.
You set him free- it was best
love
tweedles

Team Beaglebratz said...

Mom Kim here - I was just re-reading this and for some reason the statement you made about if you had not taken in Buddy you would still have Chip. Maybe - maybe not. Chip still had aggression issues - you talk about it here and I know there was at least one other post that I remember where you talked about him being aggressive towards Mr Geoff, I believe it was in the car (I could be wrong). Maybe there were times it was controlled but the fact remains - it was getting to be more of something that you never really knew when that ugly aggression would come out and that is what is dangerous - Chip could hurt the other dogs, the other dogs could hurt Chip and he could hurt either of you two. I know this all sounds like common sense and like it is coming from intellectual side but I am still hurting for you. I have had to have a dog euthanized before and be around when my dad would take a dog to the vet for that final time but NOTHING is like this. Chip was suffering. That really wasn't Chip - not the Chip you knew he could be. Something happened years ago - kind of like when you get a little splinter in your finger and can't get it out until after time, it festers and pops out - that's what was happening to Chip in a way - there was something festering -you did the safest and most humane thing you could have done for all concerned, even Chip. But I understand about why you feel bad - I don't know if I would have had the strength and courage it took for both of you to do what had to be done.
Hugs and prayers to you both.

Ruby said...

Oh noes. I am so sorry. I know in your head you know this is not your fault. You have to keep telling yourself that. I know your heart is aching and that you might feel guilty about having to send Chip to the bridge, but it sounds like it was just too much for him. And know that he is happy now. And that he will always be grateful for your love and kindness that no other person probably has ever shown him.
I am sendin' you {{{hugs}}}} and know that we are all here for you.
Kisses,
Ruby and Ruby's Mom ♥

Idaho PugRanch said...

Oh Agnes we are sending you lots of hugs. You tried so hard. You did all you could and in the end to release Chip from his "demons" was more of a gift of love. We are sure he is forever grateful for the love and care you gave him.
love
Mr Bailey, Hazel, Greta & Mom

Soggibottom said...

Lots of love from us. You can only do your best, that's what you do. Don't feel bad... lots of love x x x

Lovable Lily said...

Whether or not you know it, you are an Angel. You give so much to these puppers; love, caring, belly rubs, a warm place to live and so much more. Chip had the best life possible with you and you did your very best for him. We think your strong faith, guided you to make the RIGHT decision. One that was best for Chip. He's living happy and free now at the Bridge where there are no more demons to haunt him. There is only LOVE.

We love you and are keeping you in our prayers so that you can heal your heart.

Hugs,
Lily Belle & Muffin

Lovable Lily said...

Whether or not you know it, you are an Angel. You give so much to these puppers; love, caring, belly rubs, a warm place to live and so much more. Chip had the best life possible with you and you did your very best for him. We think your strong faith, guided you to make the RIGHT decision. One that was best for Chip. He's living happy and free now at the Bridge where there are no more demons to haunt him. There is only LOVE.

We love you and are keeping you in our prayers so that you can heal your heart.

Hugs,
Lily Belle & Muffin

Lovable Lily said...

Whether or not you know it, you are an Angel. You give so much to these puppers; love, caring, belly rubs, a warm place to live and so much more. Chip had the best life possible with you and you did your very best for him. We think your strong faith, guided you to make the RIGHT decision. One that was best for Chip. He's living happy and free now at the Bridge where there are no more demons to haunt him. There is only LOVE.

We love you and are keeping you in our prayers so that you can heal your heart.

Hugs,
Lily Belle & Muffin

speedyrabbit said...

Don't feel guilty,He was damaged beyong repair,and that is not your fault,sometimes there is nothing you can do no matter how hard you try,you didn't fail him,he was falied before he came to you,our prayers are with you,xx Rachel and Speedy

Siku Marie, White Dog said...

You gave Chip an anchor and a chance to try to work through his demons. You believed in and loved him. You were his advocate and in many ways, his redemption. The choice you made was loving and compassionate. You put easing Chip's terror and tortured soul before your own wants and needs. You deserve thanks not forgiveness. And we are sure Chip agrees from his Bridge perspective of peace and calmness. Thank you for being so brave and loving for your Little Man. The White Dog Army

Southern Fried Pugs said...

Please don't feel guilty for making the best choice you could. I haven't followed your blog closely but even from a few posts, I can tell that you take your responsibilities to your dogs to heart.
Anyone who has been in rescue knows that there are some that cannot be saved. Sometimes it's illness. No matter how hard we try, sometimes we can't save them. Although people may disagree, it sounds like Chip had a mental illness, something traumatic happened in his past that he couldn't overcome. That's no different than a physical injury.
You released him from his anguish. That's no different than if he had cancer. You made the tough decision that all of us pet parents have to make at some point. You loved him enough to let him be at peace. As the humans, we have to balance the needs of the whole family and make the best choice for the family. Don't feel guilty for making the only choice you could.

Jans Funny Farm said...

This is such a sad story. I can understand your pain and guilt, but you shouldn't feel guilty. You tried to save Chip and you don't honestly know that not taking in Buddy would have saved Chip. The life you saved could have ended up being Geoff's or your own. I wish you peace in our grieving process. Chip was loved.