Join Date: Aug 2008
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Dave, this is a wonderful article. Anyone considering adopting a puppy with no history should read it. I recognized our journey throughout this piece. Brookie was psychologically damaged from the time we adopted her at approximately 10 weeks old. She was never socialized by her mother and was dumped in the streets of Brooklyn with a broken leg. From there she ended up in a cage in the New York City pound with a steel plate in her leg. Although we recognized her aggressiveness from the beginning, we were willing to give her a chance at life. This approach would never work with children or elderly people in the house. There is a risk, for sure. My husband and I adopted a "one day at a time" attitude that lasted almost 7 years. Most days were wonderful but others were very stressful. She and Milo were often separated. There was an area of the house that was reserved only for him. She was often isolated from guests because of a possible dog skirmish or snapping if someone tried to touch her in a way she didn't like. Immediate family members were victims of her snapping. The ironic thing was that she was a much more social dog than Milo and loved people (but she lacked impulse control).
Training, medication, and work with a wonderful vet and behaviorist accomplished "miracles" (as our good friends would say). We had been in a very good stretch. Still Brookie's lack of impulse control reached a climax on Tuesday with her vicious attack on Milo.
It was no longer possible to keep her for Milo's sake and the sake of our loved ones. Our vet was wonderful, and she went to her rest with much love. I am constantly crying but am healing. We always knew this day might come, but that does not make it any easier.
Please read this article. It is one of the best I've read on the subject. I almost feel that I could write one myself. Thanks, Dave, for finding it. We must acknowledge that some dogs suffer from mental illness and that treatment and decisions must be made.
Joyce and Milo with Brookie forever in our hearts