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WIBU to have my dog PTS? (Possibly upsetting)

(109 Posts)
DistraughtDogLover Sat 09-Mar-19 22:06:06

I have name changed for this but have been a member here for many years. I just need some perspective on this. This is very long and I will try and cut down whilst still giving all relevant info. I am absolutely devastated at the way my ex-friends and my neighbours have been behaving and I need to know if IABU as they all seem to think.

In Dec 17 we got a puppy. We loved her very much. Took her to socialisation, training classes, practised every day. She was always strong willed and boisterous but responded well to training and consistency and was just a normal puppy.

In March 18, my DH got very sick and nearly died. He spent 2 weeks in Intensive Care and I was told to expect the worst. During this time we used a dog walker every day and friends/neighbours took her out a lot for me as I was at the hospital or dealing with work/children (age 8 and 10 at the time). A couple of them expressed concern about the dog, saying she was wobbly on her legs. I took her straight to the vet who said she seemed fine and was probably over exercise.

May 18 - husband had been home a month, incredibly weak but alive and slowly gaining strength. Had the puppy spayed and asked them to do x-rays at the same time as I was also getting concerned. Turns out she had a very severe case of hip dysplasia in both hips and needed both replaced. We were referred to an orthopaedic surgeon who said he wanted to wait til she was more fully grown and to manage with daily physio and meds. We did this. We worked with two physios and practised exercises every day. She was only allowed 2x 20 min walks per day.

June 18 - she started refusing her training and becoming disobedient and very hard work. We took her to a behaviourist who worked with us but things didn’t improve. I was doing the bulk of this as DH still recuperating. She was snatching things from the children and grazed one of their friends on the cheek with her teeth snatching a ball. She began to target my oldest child and ripped his clothes, drew blood with her claws. I couldn’t ever allow them to be left alone and they were not allowed friends over as I couldn’t guarantee their safety without shutting the dog away.

July 18 - still doing daily physio and meds, still trying daily training but she was regressing and forgot what to do/refused to do anything. Got a second behaviourist in to help but they finally spoke sense and said she was bored and frustrated and in pain and needed surgery. Ortho surgeon and vet consulted. Now couldn’t leave dog alone with either child as she couldn’t be trusted. She was very rarely left alone and never for long but destroyed door frames, skirting boards, walls, furniture, sofas, chewed through the garden fence and escaped. She bit me on the arm twice. I was so worried about her around the children that I contacted Dogs Trust and several local charities and breeder to discuss rehoming her with someone without children but was advised nobody could/would help due to her health problems.

Aug 18 - all still being managed. MRI scan booked to start pre-op prep. One day I must have taken my eyes off her for a second and heard blood curdling screaming - she had pushed my oldest son to the floor and had bitten him on the stomach, ripped his clothes and drawn blood. As I tried to restrain her and pull her away, she jumped up and bit me hard on the side of my waist. I needed my husband to help me restrain her. We were all badly shaken and I said I couldn’t manage her around the children. I called the vet for advice and he said if nobody would rehome her then we either push ahead with surgery and hope it stopped the behaviour or have her PTS. I called several charities to help but nobody would have her due to health plus now aggression. We made the difficult decision to have her PTS. It was heartbreaking. I have never felt so guilty in my life. I couldn’t risk her hurting the children again. I cried every day for weeks feeling I could have done more or should have handled it differently.

In October 18, we had the feeling we’d been “dumped” and people were acting oddly. We then had several cruel messages from people we believed were friends and some neighbours - the general gist of them was “you’re evil puppy killers, nobody wants anything to do with you” and “there was nothing wrong with the puppy, you just couldn’t be bothered with her so lied to the vet to have her PTS.” My best friend of 20 years messaged me to say our friendship was over as she didn’t know who I was any more to do something so awful. After such a terrible year, my mental health hit rock bottom and I tried to hurt myself as I believed they must be right that I am evil. Our neighbours blank us in the street or swear at us under their breath if we walk past.

We have just got ourselves a 4 year old rescue dog as our house feels so empty. We feel we were a loving family who wanted it to work so much. He is such a lovely boy, we have all fallen in love with him and he’s shown us how difficult our first dog had been. Obviously seeing us out with a new dog has renewed the level of hatred they all feel and this week I have had more abusive messages about the dog saying that we are parading our new dog in their faces when they’re all so upset and it’s confirmed everything they believe about me. It has put me in a mental health crisis and I don’t know what to do. I have lost all my friends and have nobody to talk to. Nobody has EVER asked me what happened or asked why we made the decision to PTS. They have no facts at all. I’m so distraught. Am I an awful person? I feel I put the safety of my children first and I would do the same again.

LovingLola Sat 09-Mar-19 22:09:10

They all sound completely insane.

ABC1234DEF Sat 09-Mar-19 22:14:04

There are many fates worse than an humane death, living a life of pain, frustration and anxiety is one of them

Patchworksack Sat 09-Mar-19 22:15:14

You are not an awful person. I'm a vet and in the same situation (unprovoked aggression towards children) I would have advised PTS. It is very sad that the whole situation arose from your dog being in chronic pain but it sounds like you did your best to manage that. I can't really understand why you are being ostracised for this, most rational people would recognise you put the safety of your children above all other considerations. This ere are much worse things you can do to a pet than PTS.

Singlenotsingle Sat 09-Mar-19 22:16:07

What sort of circles do you move in!? They're all batshit, and so judgmental. Of course you were right to have her pts. How would they have felt if one of their dc had been bitten? It sounds as though that dog had gone mad, maybe from pain.

RandomMess Sat 09-Mar-19 22:19:19


How awful for you, whether your puppy was "just" in severe pain or had some other issue that caused his behaviour you had to prioritise your DC welfare. You did the right thing and those supposed friends are judgemental hypocrites.

EC22 Sat 09-Mar-19 22:19:45

How strange!
Did you not speak to your friend if 20 years?! Nobody would judge if they knew the dog had bitten your child. Have you never responded explaining to these nasty messages?

StealthPolarBear Sat 09-Mar-19 22:20:14

Your dog sounds as if she was in a lot of pain and she could have seriously injured your own children or theirs. For either of those reasons individually pts was a valid option imo. They can think what they like but you know the truth.

ParoxetineQueen Sat 09-Mar-19 22:20:49
I do hope this link works and the article helps reassure you that you did the right thing.
I hope you have many happy years with your new dog

steff13 Sat 09-Mar-19 22:22:08

Where were all these people when the dog needed to be rehomed?

We had our dog PTS the weeks ago. I feel guilty and she was old and sick. I can imagine how you must feel, but you didn't have another choice.

Fiveredbricks Sat 09-Mar-19 22:23:14

Best thing for the dog.

But question... How did a dog with hip dysplasia manage to jump and bite you on your side?

SpenglerOswald Sat 09-Mar-19 22:25:30

People get completely stupid about dogs, best to ignore them.

Fiveredbricks Sat 09-Mar-19 22:25:51

Also... "Nobody has EVER asked me what happened or asked why we made the decision to PTS"

Maybe you should just scream at them "the dog attacked my child and me!" ...

Or you know... Don't give a fuck what they all think and your friend wasnt your friend if she dumped you for putting the dog down after what happened.

steff13 Sat 09-Mar-19 22:26:03

What breed was she? It doesn't matter, I'm just curious.

DistraughtDogLover Sat 09-Mar-19 22:31:43

EC22 - yes I have replied to people trying to explain but they have made up their minds and they are not interested in facts. I have said she bit my oldest son quite badly. The last reply was “I’m not arguing with you. You’re now blocked”. They know she bit him.

Five red bricks - I have no idea how but she did manage it. Not so much jumped but balanced on her back legs. Maybe it was adrenaline?

Steff13, she was a Labrador.

Thank you for not all ripping me a new one even if I deserve it. I couldn’t not have rehomed her with any of these people as they all have children/other dogs and I could not have lived with myself if she had hurt anyone else.

DistraughtDogLover Sat 09-Mar-19 22:34:48

They all believe that I should have pressed on with the surgery and that would have instantly fired the behaviour and aggression. Plus they hadn’t seen her really since the March which was before we even knew anything was wrong. She certainly didn’t present as in pain until the last month or two.

Hip replacement surgery sounds rather brutal for a dog and I’m not sure I’d have managed the recovery with an ill husband and children and a job - I couldn’t have lifted a 32kg dog out to the toilet my myself I don’t think. If she hadn’t had the behaviour issues I’d have tried.

greenelephantscarf Sat 09-Mar-19 22:35:31

they are totally u
you have done all you can. possibly left pts too late but hindsight is a funny thing.

GruciusMalfoy Sat 09-Mar-19 22:41:32

OP, I love my lab to bits, and I'd say you did the most sensible thing. The dog sounds like it was beyond saving at that point. Anyone who is judging you for this is bloody lucky that they haven't been in your position. If they know that the dog attacked your child and you, and are still abusing you for having it PTS, they haven't got the brains they were born with. Please don't let them affect you going forward; change your phone numbers, block them on social media.

FurrySlipperBoots Sat 09-Mar-19 22:42:18

I think you definitely did the right thing. I'm a huge animal lover but your children need to come first. For her aggression to be as severe as that she must have been in terrible pain, and I don't think you would ever have 'got her back' after surgery. Warning growls when touched would be one thing but repeatedly biting you, attacking the children? Unacceptable. Cut the fault-finders out of your life - threaten them with the police if necessary - and move on.

What breed is your new boy? How's he settling in?

GabsAlot Sat 09-Mar-19 22:47:38

you tried your best i know if one of my friends explained it to me with what happened i wouldnt judt dump them like that

maybe should have waited before getting another dog though u didnt really know if the new dog would behave

DistraughtDogLover Sat 09-Mar-19 22:48:32

She growled when I asked her to do things but never gave a warning growl before biting, which was odd. I don’t think we’d have got her back after surgery either.

Really interesting that someone said we may have left PTS too late, that’s not something I had considered.

My new dog is a cocker spaniel whose owner had passed away. My goodness he is an angel. He was shy at first but after a couple of weeks he seems settled. He needs tons of reassurance which we are happy to give. It’s so lovely to trust a dog around my children. They have been wary to begin with understandably but he has already brought us so much happiness. I just can’t shake this rock in the pit of my stomach that so many people think I’m the epitome of evil.

Singlenotsingle Sat 09-Mar-19 22:48:36

Maybe some of those people will see this thread, and understand why you had to do it

Lougle Sat 09-Mar-19 22:51:26

Sometimes, the brave thing is the only thing. Sadly, you don't get to feel good about it, but you'd feel worse if you hadn't done it and your child/another child was in the headlines of a newspaper.

I'm sorry you're facing such a harsh response from people around you, though. flowers

DistraughtDogLover Sat 09-Mar-19 22:52:01

Gabsalot, it has been 6 months. I guess that isn’t much time in the grand scheme of things but we have always wanted a dog and had a loving home to offer. I understand this is what the ‘new’ issue is - I have been told I’m parading this new dog in front of them when they’re all so upset? So how long should we have left it?

JaneEyre07 Sat 09-Mar-19 22:52:04

You had a young dog destroyed rather than trying surgery?


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