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I Put My Dog Down Yesterday

July 21, 2015


I put my dog down yesterday. He was not sick. He was not old. I rescued him over 8 years ago when he was only 2 months old. And I put him down to rescue him again.

Sutter would have been one of the 4 million dogs euthanized in a US shelter that year. But instead, he and his litter mates were rescued by Pound Puppy Rescue, a local puppy rescue. Just days old when he was brought into his foster home, Sutter and his litter mates were bottle fed until they could eat on their own.

Sutter was the most beautiful dog I had ever seen. Deep red coat and amber eyes. Naturally athletic. We were unsure of his breed but a DNA test told us cattle dog and boxer. His herding and hunting instincts were interminable. And from the very moment I got him, something was ‘off’.

I socialized him at home with friends and other dogs until he was fully vaccinated. Then I took him to the dog park 5 times a week, the beach, work, dog friendly restaurants, puppy school, agility training, nose work class. Despite all these efforts, Sutter was hyper vigilant. Never relaxed. Always on edge. He put a dog at the dog park in the hospital. He bit a child riding by on her tricycle. He bit people in our house, the cleaning lady, the gardener and a fireman. He chased the postman down the driveway baring his teeth. Amazingly none of these instances were reported, but Sutter’s freedoms were restricted. I rescued Sutter and it was my job to keep him safe. Inside our home with our family, Sutter was a dream. He never chewed anything. He wasn’t needy. He was affectionate. And quiet.

After my divorce I moved into an apartment, and hired a dog walker. I gave her very explicit instructions. About two weeks into her job, she called me to tell me that Sutter bit the apartment manager. Two days later, Sutter bit a dog. Sutter had three days to find a new home. I managed to find him a place to stay until I could move. I was not giving up on my dog.

Sutter was a management issue. Walking him became more and more stressful. Crossing the street when people came towards us. Pulling him away from children who wanted to pet him. As I became more vigilant, Sutter fed off the energy and got worse. Walking him was no longer fun, it was a chore with the thought, “What’s going to happen next” constantly going through my head.

I tried everything: trainers with an iron fist, muzzles, and thunder shirts, medication. Nothing helped. He growled at everyone that gave him a sideways glance. He lunged without warning. He air snapped. But all the while at home, he was a great companion, goofy happy and chill.

Last week, our elderly neighbor was walking by, and as her back was turned, Sutter lunged, knocked her to the ground and bit her. No warning. What would a dog who has been loved his whole life, have to fear? What is going through his head that makes him so insecure and defensive that he would do this? Again, luck was on my side and our 84 year old neighbor made it through unhurt.

I talked to experts and trainers, veterinarians and shelter staff. Sutter had no chance to be rehomed; it would just transfer the liability from my home to another. I could limit his freedoms even more. Only walking him in the dead of night. I could put a muzzle on him at all times. But then the question of quality of life comes up. Quality of life for him. Quality of life for me.

All this time, for the last 4 years or so, the thought of euthanasia has loomed in the background. And to be brutally honest, a bit of relief would seep through the heartbreak when I thought of it. Relief at not wondering when the next time would be. Relief at not worrying about getting a call from the police or animal control. Relief at not being at risk of a lawsuit. Relief at avoiding the distinct possibility that Sutter could badly hurt someone. Of all the people I spoke with, only one told me not to consider putting him down. Because I would never forgive myself; because I would feel guilty for the rest of my life. That, to me, is a selfish reason not to do it. How would I feel if Sutter put a child in the hospital or killed a dog? The guilt would be unbearable. The guilt that I didn’t do something sooner.

So yesterday, I spent the day with my boy Sutter. I made him a scrambled egg for breakfast and he had the last bite of banana. We took a long walk along the coast, and I let him sniff every blade of grass, and eat whatever tasty morsel I would usually pull him away from. I let him look for mice in the scrub. We watched hawks hunt for their breakfast and stared at the ocean. He rolled in the wet grass and jumped up smiling at me.

Then, we took him to the vet. We went into the quiet room and spent some time with him. The tech came and gave him a shot that made him sleepy. Even then he was strong, he refused to go to sleep and jumped up several times, walking like a drunk. We finally convinced him to lie down on the blanket. We pet him and kissed him and gave him treats and hugged him and told him we love him so much. The vet came in and injected him with some bright blue medicine, and his breathing and heart slowed down. His eyes remained open and we talked to him gently, telling him to go to sleep. Then he was gone.

My pain was excruciating, and it still is. And maybe my friend is right. I may never forgive myself for playing God and deciding Sutter’s time was up. And the rescue volunteer in me is calling myself a hypocrite of the worst kind. How can I save a dog, only to euthanize him when he was still so vibrant and healthy?

I will likely struggle with these thoughts for many years to come. And I will always miss Sutter, the little puppy that I rescued. But in the end I know I saved him from himself.

1,027 Comments leave one →
  1. Dallas permalink
    July 21, 2015 3:42 PM

    All I can say Indrani, is that tears are welling up in my eyes and I feel for you. I also believe you did the right thing.

    • July 23, 2015 3:21 PM

      I feel the same way with tears streaming down my face.

    • July 24, 2015 2:07 PM

      my heart breaks for you but you did the right thing.

      • July 25, 2015 8:33 PM

        I don’t know if I could have done that..i rescued a dog when he was 8 weeks and he bit everyone that came into my house for 10 years..i used to hold him so he wouldn’t bite. Granted he was smaller, 24lbs so I could hold him….but putting him down never entered my mind

      • September 20, 2017 8:30 AM

        Thank you Dale, you are a true rescuer.

    • July 24, 2015 5:03 PM

      WELL FENCED yard in the country…My Grandmother had a dog like Sutter. LOVED FAMILY ONLY… HIGH fenced yard on a farm works!!!! The pets God entrusted to my stewardship mean more to me than anything EXCEPT THE LORD…WAY sorry about your loss, and grief!!! Please see my timeline on fb…I do understand!!!!

      • Liz permalink
        July 31, 2015 7:28 PM

        How high of a fence? Where do you draw the line?

        I hope your family doesn’t read that your dogs are more important than they are. How sad.

    • July 24, 2015 10:45 PM

      I am crying right now. You did the right thing. Be comforted.

      • August 2, 2015 4:58 PM

        I know for a fact I would NOT be able to put my animal down. That, to me, would be just as hard to do as murdering someone. Bless your sole for being so strong and thinking of others. You and Sutter will see each other again in heaven, but for now he watches over you from above and loves you still. RIP.

        Liz, how can you say “I hope your family doesn’t read that your dogs are more important then they are”? I don’t know if you have pets but those of us who do, consider THEM to be our family.

      • Liz permalink
        August 3, 2015 11:03 AM


        I’m not sure if you read the original comment that someone made. The comment I made was in response to someone who said his pets “are the most important thing to me next to God”. My comment was that I hope his family doesn’t read that.

        Yes, I’ve been a dog owner my whole life and I’m an animal lover. Our dogs are part of it. They’ve never spent a night outside except for camping with us. They Get the best food and medical care that we can afford. We are at a place now that it’s almost time to euthanize our 13.5 yo Lab. It’s heartbreaking for US, but it’s the RIGHT thing for HER so she’s out of pain. And before you suggest pain meds, she’s on a ton of meds and supplements already. We OWE our pets their comfort and dignity.

        That being said, given the choice between my child, etc and my dog there would be no question.

        My comment was that I hope his Family didn’t read that the dogs are second only to God. That is all.

      • Liz permalink
        August 3, 2015 11:36 AM

        Jennifer wrote: “I know for a fact I would NOT be able to put my animal down.”

        Can you see that your statement appears a bit selfish? Allowing an animal to suffer because of your inability to consider the animals best interest? If you were ever in this situation, I would hope that you would seek out the advice of a trusted veterinarian and see what she/he had to say about the animals quality of life.

        I’m an RN. Here in my state, we have laws that allow a terminally ill patient to end their own suffering. Again, it’s the right thing for some to do and the patient and their loved ones are happy to have the suffering end.

        I have a friend that was unable to go with her vet during this time and she had family members take her dog. While I appreciate what she ultimately did for her animal, I think animals would rather be surrounded by the people who matter most to them As they pass on.

      • Steven permalink
        August 3, 2015 4:08 PM

        Oh Liz..there you go again…maybe you didn’t understand the original post…this dog was in good health…people aren’t euthanized because they are mentally ill…neither should animals

    • Marie Bal permalink
      July 25, 2015 12:40 AM

      You did the right thing..The last part going into the vet and on..I just went through will be a year ago Aug 5th. My sweet handicapped Joey the micro beagle 11 yrs he lived for me and in return, I lived for him. The pain was horrific..It still hurts. But I know that he knew I loved him.That’s all that really matters when you think about it. I know he will wait for me when it’s my time. He will be there to greet me. That I am sure of.

    • July 25, 2015 10:12 AM

      so terribly heartbreaking. I, too, believe you had to do what was right for all of you. But there was no easy path here. RIP Sweet Sutter. You did the very best you could do and gave him a good life.

    • Piry permalink
      July 25, 2015 11:35 AM

      same here is sad but sometimes you have to do what is best. I have to make that decision long time ago.

    • David/maybe permalink
      July 25, 2015 10:58 PM

      my son had a dog that was his best friend. My son was mildly autistic and we had our dog jake for 18 years, he was a year old when we got him. He had a stroke and survived but a few months later developed a huge cancer mass so we put him to sleep. It was the hardest thing we have ever had to do so I really feel your pain.

    • July 26, 2015 6:46 AM

      Yep, I’m afraid I too am in tears as I read your story. Omg, as heartbreaking as it was and will be for ages, I too felt you did the only thing you could do. I could never have faced putting him to sleep after having bitten a child or another dog. Your day with your mate, Sutter, sounded like such a great day. In other circumstances he may have faced death in another, cruel, horrible way.

      Thank you for sharing Sutter and your story with us. It may help someone else make a very hard decision a little easier. Thank you again, Alison Xoxox

  2. pjband3Patty permalink
    July 21, 2015 4:05 PM

    Thank you for sharing the story of Sutter with us. It is apparent the love you felt for your beautiful boy and the pain you felt in making what was obviously the toughest decision you have ever had to make. You gave that sweet boy 9 years of glorious life. Nine years of love. Nine years of devotion. Please tell the rescue person inside of you, you did more than most. You did save Sutter. Yes you did save him from himself. He will always be by your side in spirit and in your heart.

    • soozyb2013 permalink
      July 23, 2015 7:08 PM

      That was beautifully said pjband3Patty, could not have said it better myself. You really have done all you can and you did the right thing. It could have ended far worse for Sutter and as it was, it was a calm and loving way to go on to his next journey. You are brave and worthy, you are the best dog rescuer. You did save a life.

  3. Trish permalink
    July 21, 2015 4:23 PM

    Indrani, I’m so sad for you. I’m sending love.

  4. July 21, 2015 5:15 PM

    My heart goes out to you. So sorry for your loss.

  5. Larissa Tseng permalink
    July 21, 2015 6:05 PM

    Thank you for writing this, and I’m so sorry you went through this. Over 10 years ago I did the same thing, put down a perfectly healthy 5 year old dog (who just recovered from a $4000 ACL tear surgery!) because he had started biting. The mailman, the neighbor, snapped at a little girl at the park. Our son was 2 years old at the time, and we knew we were going to be around young kids for a long time, and the risk was going to be too great. Either we had to lock him up in the back room all the time, or we had to let him go. We took him to a shelter with a good reputation, hoping to find him an adult home. But because he had bitten and was part shepherd, they told us he would only ever be loyal to us, and was not adoptable to other homes. This broke our hearts even more, and made playing God even harder. I lost 5 pounds in a week, agonizing over this decision. In the end, we believed we made the right choice, though after 10+ years I still feel some guilt. If only…. But your article helped me see that we indeed saved him from a possibly worse fate. Thank you for that, and I hope you can release yourself from guilt as well and move forward. You put in a whole lot more effort than we did, you did everything you could. Wish I could give you a hug!

  6. July 21, 2015 6:50 PM

    Bless you, Your reasoning and fight with yourself wasn’t an easy choice to make, I side with you.. But only because a dog that doesn’t like little dogs killed my 4 lb Chi just last Friday, I did not report it.. That dog was over 10 times my babies size…broke her neck and severed her spinal cord Punctured her lungs.. She was dead within a few minutes… Maybe I was wrong for not reporting it. It was my room mates dog.. I can not have that dog in our home. She is in boarding right now…. I am in tears everyday.. because I feel I was to blame for not protecting my baby, but it was her home too, I should have never allowed her to feel threatened in her own home! Bless you!

    • July 21, 2015 10:39 PM

      I’m so sorry for your loss.

      • July 24, 2015 1:12 PM

        I do not feel she failed this dog. Perhaps dogs just as humans, can be the victims of mental illness, but how would you treat a dog’s mental illness? Who knows what tortured the mind of that poor dog. She did the best thing for all concerned, maybe more so the dog. However I do not feel as another poster, that this dog was less important than any human.

      • July 25, 2015 6:11 AM

        Well said Brenda. Sounds like the dog suffered from some sort of mental illness. They are more like humans than some want to admit. I have a dog who (i swear ) has ADHD. She is the most difficult dog I have ever had.

      • July 28, 2015 2:25 PM

        Well said Brenda and April. If a dog can suffer a lot of the same abnormalities and diseases that human can…strokes,cancers, cataracts, age related dementia, the list is endless. So, mental illnesses are very well possible too. It’s a sad situation and my heart aches for the author. It’s never easy to make the choice even when they are incredibly sick and we know that they either have limited or no quality of life, but to make the choice to euthanize her perfectly healthy dog must have been an excruciating decision to make.

    • dog lover permalink
      July 23, 2015 4:39 AM

      I’m sorry for your loss. It is not too late to report it. I had a large dog do the same thing to my 6 lb yorkie while I was standing there, and the other large dog was on a leash (lead). He grabbed my dog’s head, in his mouth, and flipped him up in the air. My dog laid there looking dead, and before I could grab him to safety, he did it again. Luckily my dog lived, but I was standing there, and I could not protect him more. Just like people, there are demons that we can not control, and for the safety of others, one must take extreme measures. I know you feel guilty, and perhaps stopping it from happening again will help. How would you feel knowing it happened again?

      • dog lover permalink
        July 23, 2015 4:45 AM

        I forgot to say, This person did the right thing and took the courage needed. I wish my attacking dog’s owner had the courage to do the same. I later saw him walking the uncontrollable giant with a muzzle. But unless that muzzle is on 24 hours a day, no one is safe.

    • July 24, 2015 12:29 AM

      Any, any dog that kills/attacks little dogs needs to be put down, sooo sorry ❤ Please report it or it won't be the last one….and if you lose a roomie, then it's for the best. So sorry, prayers for the entire household. ❤

    • July 24, 2015 12:54 AM

      You really need to report that dog that killed your Chi. Other dogs need protection from that dog and at the least there need to be controls and a history to help others should it occur again!!

    • Feral Angel permalink
      July 24, 2015 3:04 AM

      You should have reported it

    • Frank permalink
      July 24, 2015 2:00 PM

      Sutter pay with his life because he was too much for you to handle??
      And you guys are sorry for the owner? ??
      You should feel bad for Sutter
      You gave up on sutter.
      I would never!!!
      Yep I’m sorry Sutter that your Guardian could not bother no more to try and help you!!!

      • Peggy permalink
        July 24, 2015 4:19 PM

        Frank–Unless you have ever had to deal with a dog like Sutter, keep your smug, self-righteous, cruel comments to yourself, because you don’t know what you are talking about. Indrani did everything possible to help Sutter; some dogs are beyond saving. If you think you could have–and WOULD HAVE–done better, then you are an idiot wrapped in a moran. I’ve been there, and it is physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausting. And the decision to have a dog put down is heartbreaking–but sometimes the only option and necessary.

      • July 24, 2015 4:20 PM

        Apparently, you are also in a lot of pain, for striking out at this person. Talk to God about it, please.

      • July 24, 2015 4:32 PM

        Obviously Frank, you either didn’t read the article or have no comprehension skills or are simply a troll. She did all she could for her dog. And if you can’t understand that, I feel sorry for you.

      • Teresa permalink
        July 24, 2015 4:35 PM

        You are unbearable to be so mean, cruel & heartless to another who is obviously in such pain. There is not an ounce of kindness in you. I am sorry for your mean heart & soul. There may have been something off balance in his brain…something that was causing him to worsen. How cruel you are…t

      • July 24, 2015 4:49 PM

        Frank, I’m not going to crack your knuckles yet. Key word. You said that you could do better and never give up. Can you shed some light on what you would have done? This is your chance to save face. Enlighten us. Before you begin, I’m a rescuer, advocate, ex shelter worker so I will know if what you say is a “quality of life” answer.

      • TBG permalink
        July 24, 2015 6:26 PM

        You’re an ass hole.

      • roxy permalink
        July 24, 2015 6:43 PM

        I would never given up on my dog either. I would make it work no matter where I had to move or how much money I had to spend.

      • re re permalink
        July 24, 2015 8:49 PM

        I would not have given up either. there are other options. some rescues even take them. It doesnt seem to be that there were other options tried before this decision. Sorry Sutter

      • July 24, 2015 10:24 PM

        There is a heartbreaking syndrome that is not understood and, in most cases, untreatable and incurable. It is called idiopathic rage. It is completely unpredictable and has resulted in horrific tragedy. It seems that Sutter was a victim of idiopathic rage, as was his loving companion. Sutter was loved and knew it. Run free, beautiful Angel. Your demons have been vanquished and there is only love and peace everlasting for you.

      • July 24, 2015 10:28 PM

        I agree with Frank. If your kids are a problem will you give them up, i understand they are human and human life is more important, but this dog loved you, I would never put my dog down, I would put him in a fenced yard, and keep him from people but i would not kill him or have him killed, because that is what it is. I am sorry for the dog. He is in a better place. I love my dog to pieces, he is not an easy dog, he is a darling, but not easy when in public, that is why he is on a short leash and if people come by i make sure he is safely away, unless they want to be close, he doesnt attack, but he doesnt listen. anyways, I am sorry you felt you had to do it. I wouldnt

      • Ruth permalink
        July 25, 2015 5:15 AM

        I have a dog like this, she is a rescue and I assume was a puppy mill dump once she could no longer produce pups. I agree with Frank and I do feel for the writer of this article. My question is: if we say this is okay, and we say our dogs are our family, where do we stop? There are mothers with autistic children who grow into autistic, violent adolescents. It is just as gut wrenching to live with a child like that, yet when one of those mothers kills herself and that tortured soul of a child, no one understands. And don’t tell me that is any different, because those who say this is different are the first ones to talk about that mother and her “unruly” child behind her back. And they are the ones who say their dog is their baby. How can we have compassion for one and not the other?

      • July 25, 2015 5:35 AM

        Wow…every thread needs a jerk I suppose.

      • Dani permalink
        July 25, 2015 10:05 AM

        I totally agree with Frank. My dog is reactive too. So, when we’re out in public and/or at a friends house, I muzzle him. I use a cage muzzle so he can drink water, pant, and even get a treat. He’s a great dog, well trained, knows all the important commands, he just protects me from what he perceives to be a threat to me. I can’t fault him for the instincts that mother nature gave him – so, I protect people and him by using one very simple tool designed for that purpose. I wouldn’t EVER consider putting him down for what nature gave him.

      • Deb permalink
        July 25, 2015 10:38 AM

        Well written and does grab at ones emotions. I have to wonder why a rescue that deals with dogs that are deemed dangerous was not considered. Who ever commented that we would not put down an unruly autistic child made good points. As well we have those with Alzheimers that become combative and we don’t put them down. We have prisons with murders because we don’t believe in the death penalty. . . I have empathy for not knowing what else to do but why did Sutter have to die when I know there are rescues that cater to “dangerous dogs”…even tho Sutter was never given that title?
        RIP Sutter

      • July 25, 2015 4:04 PM

        It’s ridiculous to say you wouldn’t put a child down for being aggressive – children do not usually go around attacking and killing like a dog can do.

        Honestly I don’t see how anyone can say they don’t have a responsibility to deal with an aggressive dog properly.When all else fails there is only the option of having him euthanized before another animal or even a baby is hurt and perhaps killed.

      • workdog permalink
        July 25, 2015 7:06 PM

        People keep referring to these mythical rescues that can jump in to save every aggressive dog out there and berating the writer for not dumping her dog on one of them. As a long-time-in-the-trenches rescuer who has worked with plenty of fearful and aggressive dogs, I can tell you that the very few of us who have these skills plus adequate facilities to house such dogs are almost always FULL-UP. And, once we realize that we can never place most of these dogs due to the shortage of qualified adopters and the legal liability involved, we must decide to either stop taking in new dogs or we become crazy dog hoarders. It sounds like Sutter experienced more attention and love than most animals could dream of. Much better than being warehoused in a sanctuary somewhere. It is very sad that despite his owner’s efforts, he lost his life, but it was not a cruel or painful death. Most of us will not have a last day nearly as nice as his was. Maybe he could have lived the rest of his life with no more incidents, but it sounded like he was escalating… His end would have been quite different if one of his attacks resulted in a serious injury or worse.

      • Liz permalink
        July 25, 2015 10:29 PM

        FRANK SO RUDE THIS PERSON IS NOT YOU MR. Perfect, she did all she could do for Sutter. When that dog started lunging with and for no warning and she spoke to many people she did Sutter a huge favor He never ended up on death row not understanding what had gone wrong and where were his people and why was he there cold and scared she did the right thing even though it hurts so bad it was the right thing to do I hope you find peace in your heart.

      • July 25, 2015 10:35 PM

        Frank, You are not only very stupid but also a nasty person. She tried everything possible for 8 long yrs. & nothing worked. You must have some kind of mental disorder yourself. If that elderly lady had died what then. Are you too mentally deficient to see? No one should have to fear for their life or that of their dog because someone has a vicious, uncontrollable dog. You need therapy.

      • July 26, 2015 2:19 AM


      • workdog permalink
        July 26, 2015 7:06 AM

        Jack, you may consider yourself a pro-rehabber and an expert on canine behavior, but your condescending and aggressive post and misuse of the caps lock key indicate that your expertise does not extend to writing or human interaction. In other words, you are acting like the dogs you claim you are saving. If you’d like your posts to be taken seriously, please offer training help instead of insults.

      • Kor permalink
        July 26, 2015 6:29 PM

        You know Frank, I could give a long winded explanation as to why you are wrong, but I know people like you. I know you won’t read it and you’re probably just here to troll. But I will say this. If you truly believe that’s the case, you’re an idiot who shouldn’t have pets in the first place. If you think this owner failed their pet because they had to put them down, then, I’ll reiterate, you’re an idiot. Until you go through this shit yourself, you don’t get to pretend you can relate. So, for the third and final time…you’re an idiot.

      • Mike permalink
        July 27, 2015 4:28 PM

        To the author, I feel for your loss and putting down someone you love is emotionally hard.

        On the other side of this though, I can’t help but ask, how many times does a Dog have to bite before you realize it needs greater isolation and an alternative life style. Lets take a logical approach at this.

        Preventive measures must be taken. Not all dogs are going to have personalities that allow you to socialize them with kids, dogs or other people. As much as people would have you believe, at the end of the day dogs are very much instinctual wild animals. Having seen scenarios like this and dealt with a few myself, most of the time a fenced in yard, along with a small separate fenced in kennel is the best solution. When you have people over, the dog needs to be taken to the kennel, or back yard if its unoccupied. If you can’t walk the dog in public for fear of biting, buy a muzzle. They may look cruel but believe me, the dog will still be very happy to be getting out and seeing the world and you will be happy you don’t have much to worry about.

        Its definitely a lot of work and a major inconvenience, but reading something like this worries me because all I heard were ways you tried to integrate the dog into your life, and not ways you tried to integrate your life into the dogs. Humans have the ability to over turn instincts and manage themselves to a higher level, while dogs do not. Just because the dog doesn’t act in a manageable way doesn’t mean there isn’t a way to provide them with an opportunity for life.

        Regardless, I hope this was a learning experience and people can take away something from this whole process.

      • July 27, 2015 6:20 PM

        I answered a lot of your questions in the next post called “The Aftermath”…

      • July 27, 2015 6:01 PM

        You Frank obviously are not a responsible pet owner. Due to the fact your reply was heartless and uneducated. It’s people like you that know the price of everything but the value of nothing. The dog was in obedience classes and the owner did everything she could for 8 long years.. I say she was more than patient… You were wrong, rude and I truly believe you should not be allowed a goldfish as a pet let alone a dog. I pity you really.., Shame on you…

      • July 28, 2015 12:41 AM

        Frank, I love you for the way you love animals. We will have rights for animals in a court of law hopefully in our lifetime. It is absolutely amazing that some of the individuals call it “rude” for us to call the dog murderer out on her act!

      • Dina permalink
        July 30, 2015 7:09 PM

        Wow. I’m just going to be blunt here because it is usually all that people like Frank and Kate and others on this thread criticizing the author will understand. You are all IGNORANT. Some of you are also, frankly, rude jackasses. Peggy and Marilyn have it right. Not all animals just need ‘a change in environment’ or a ‘different management or training protocol’. Unless you have lived with an animal with idiopathic rage syndrome, you truly have no idea what you are talking about. Easy for you all to be so self-righteous and critical of someone else, but I wonder how many of you would be first in line when the lawyer’s office opened, waiting to sue, if it was your child that was attacked by this dog? All things in life are not so black & white as some of you idealistic folks would like to believe. Why don’t you get off your high horses, take some time to educate yourselves, and while you’re at it, how about showing some human decency and compassion for your fellow dog-loving human who is grieving right now.

      • July 30, 2015 9:46 PM

        She did what she thought was right for Sutter, I have a similar situation going on at my home at this very moment. We are going through re-education classes and medication. This is my families choice, she lives with two other dogs and a cat and has never even snapped at them, but outside no animal is safe. I respect her choice, it is just not a choice I could of made.

      • August 1, 2015 5:36 PM

        Not too sure “Frank” exists, but his response here brought a few scary ideas to light. There will always be a huge difference between autistic children and dangerous dogs. Anyone who can’t see the difference between a child or an elder with Alzheimer’s and a dog, is stuck in an incredibly literal, concrete mind set.
        We normally grow out of our concrete stage by the time we hit double digits.
        I’m a former preschool teacher, and psychiatric nurse.
        I have worked with deeply troubled children, and elders, and never once did the thought of putting them to sleep cross my mind.
        Dogs aren’t people.
        But the love is every bit as strong and pure.
        My heart breaks for anyone who’s lost their dog.
        I hope none of these odd remarks will persuade someone who’s already feeling guilty, to feel more so.
        Such an unfair comparison.

      • December 27, 2015 11:14 AM

        Actually “rejoyce9” animals ARE being regarding as “persons” now and this is the trend. Courts of law will recognize them to have the same rights as people – get used to it. People will not just be able to kill their dog anymore or their cat just because they feel like it. Accommodations will have to be made for them with tax allocated dollars for their condition. As for Dee and “idiopathic rage syndrome” – the only idiot is a person who would kill a dog without an explanation for their condition. This imaginary petapuff who is for all dogs and cats to be dead did not in any way prove that they sought treatment and rehab and training in this stupid little paragraph. That animal is like that BECAUSE OF HUMAN ERROR AND IT WILL BE HUMAN RESPONSIBILITY THAT will provide for these babies and their needs with tax dollars.

      • Cheryl permalink
        July 25, 2016 7:32 PM

        Thank you Frank and others for being blunt and not trying to make someone feel good for making the decision to murder their dog. I too have a rescue dog that is challenging. I am his fourth owner and now I know why. He will snap and bite, there are times I have feared him myself and have been petrified of visitors, especially children, coming over. So, I spent $1000s on an animal behaviorist and $1000s on a trainers. I spent hours and hours working with him. I installed a fence. We rarely go for walks and when we do, we always cross the road when there is someone on our side. If we cannot, I hold him on a short leash. When visitors come, he is put out in the fenced yard. His training has made his behavior better but he is not 100% perfect and I would never imagine letting my guard down when strangers are around. I no longer fear him as I now know how to deal with him. And, I love him and he is one happy ALIVE dog.

      • August 24, 2016 6:44 PM

        Some times putting a dog down is the right and humane thing to do. Calling someone a murderer is ridiculous and ignorant. No caring owner wants to put their dog down, but sometimes it is necessary. Grow up.

  7. Dee permalink
    July 21, 2015 6:53 PM

    It’s ok to feel guilty but I hope it won’t last long. You did the best you could and were unbelievably lucky to get as much time as you did with him. I know I would have made that decision much sooner. As much as we love our dogs, there is a bigger picture that must be considered. Sutter was lucky that you were able to make that choice. That he wasn’t forced from you and coldly put down. In the end, he experienced love and compassion. Hold on to that reality, not the undeserved guilt.

    • Nancy permalink
      July 23, 2015 1:23 PM

      I agree with Dee. By putting Sutter down yourself, you permitted him to end his days in a loving, warm environment, not in a harsh cold way with strangers….which could have happened if something awful happened and he was taken from you by authorities. You gave him a loving, positive start and the best, well-rounded life a dog could have had. Perhaps he had the equivalent of a human emotional illness or some sort of disability that could not be controlled, even by a trained dog person such as yourself!! Please stop berating yourself!!! You did what was best for Sutter as well as other dogs AND people who would meet up with him some day!!! You did your best!!! Please be kind to yourself!

  8. ganana permalink
    July 21, 2015 7:50 PM

    My daughter had a dog like that. Eventually, we called him ‘psycho dog’. She took many of the steps you mentioned, including hiring a trainer. Nothing helped and it finally ended one day when Psycho dog snatched a puppy thru the fence next door and killed it. She felt so bad about the puppy and sad about Psycho, because she took the same action that you took. Sometimes, it hurts like Hell to do the right thing…

    • July 25, 2015 10:59 PM

      I agree. Not alldogs or people are able to be rehabbed. The human equivalent to sutter would be someone found either in jail or prison. I happen to believe u did the right thing simply because living behind a fence all the time is not living.

  9. July 21, 2015 7:52 PM

    You cannot feel guilty at finally giving him peace. When a dog is a danger to others, we have two options – we isolate, or we relieve the suffering. Are there dogs that live fairly peaceful lives with severe aggression issues? Sure. But that is a lifestyle – a 24/hr a day job that involves crate time, muzzles, and a serious lack of a social life on our part. There are some things that cannot be fixed in a dog – as a dog trainer reading a blog over the internet, I cannot 100% say that Sutter is a case of that.. but he proved on many, many occasions that he could not be trusted and was clearly suffering severely in his own head. Even if someone out there could have fixed him, the probability of anyone being able to find that special trainer is slim in a sea of under experienced “dog behaviorists” that simply are not qualified for that level of aggression. You made the right decision and I am sure your companion would thank you for helping him if he could. Think of the positives, not the negatives. You did a very responsible thing, and you deserve to know that.

  10. Failure permalink
    July 21, 2015 8:10 PM

    U Failed him

    • Lunacydress permalink
      July 21, 2015 9:42 PM

      Are you stepping up to take in dogs that behave like this, taking responsibility, taking whatever measures necessary to guarantee they don’t ever, ever, ever, hurt a person (including yourself) or another animal?

      Or are you just posting out your ass, trolling on a website at someone talking about what’s probably the hardest decision they’ve had to make?

      Unless it’s the latter, you need to STFU.

      • July 24, 2015 10:30 PM

        wow, language, just because you dont agree you do not have to use the language. I agree, the owner failed the dog.

    • allbookdup permalink
      July 21, 2015 9:49 PM

      With those three words, you just failed as a human being.

    • Laura cazalet permalink
      July 21, 2015 10:16 PM

      You have no idea who you are talking about. This amazing woman has put her heart and soul into a rescue and has led the saving of thousands of puppies. She is the one who sees the pleas of shelter volunteers and workers and lies awake at night trying to find fosters for the vast numbers who will be put to sleep. She is the one making a difference. She is the one who worked so hard to help a dog she loved with heart and soul to be predictable and social. She kept her dog through many trials and when at last her dog hurt an elderly lady so much this sweet lady is now afraid of dogs, she knew she couldn’t change the inevitable. Not everyone lives in a big house the dog can live in without walks outside, not everyone can live in such a beautiful glass castle you obviously live in. How dare you. What have you done to make a difference in this world? I can guarantee you it does not come close to the many many lives this woman has touched, puppy and adopters alike. I hope you stop sleeping at night and learn what true compassion looks like. This is the last person you should judge.

    • Laura cazalet permalink
      July 21, 2015 10:43 PM

      See below. My response goes to you too.

    • July 22, 2015 4:08 AM

      No she didn’t. He is at peace now. Whatever was going on in his mind to make him act like that could not have been pleasant. I hate computer quarterbacks. Always have an opinion for something you know nothing about. She did the right thing for Sutter

      • July 28, 2015 12:44 AM

        Deb let me draw a picture for you. You take your five year old son by the hand because he trusts you. He thinks you are taking him to the park. But you take him to the doctor to be “put to sleep.” Is he now at peace? This dog was murdered. Murdered souls do not lie in peace. This dog murderer should be tormented by karma for the rest of her days. She will suffer for this far beyond “feelings” of guilt.

      • July 30, 2015 7:30 PM

        Kate, you are a heartless ass. Guess what? Mother’s with children who have severe mental illnesses that cause them to be a danger to others do have to make hard decisions about the lives of those children. Sometimes, it means institutionalizing those children or medicating them into a stupor and keeping them locked indoors, so that they can not go out into the public and harm others. It is not a good life for either parent or child. It is no different with a dog who suffers from rage syndrome. The big difference is that society doesn’t sue the parent of a mentally ill child for every dollar the parent will ever earn or doesn’t hold the parent criminally responsible, if that child ends up hurting or killing an animal or child. Society usually screams for better mental health services to be made available. However, if a dangerous dog hurts or kills a dog or child, the owner of that animal IS usually held criminally responsible and is sued for everything they have ever worked for. Let me ask you, are YOU PERSONALLY willing to take that risk and responsibility to save a dog with rage syndrome? If so, please provide me with your contact information so that the next time one of the rescues I am involved with ends up with a dog suffering from idiopathic rage, we can send it to you to provide lifelong care for it.

      • Steven permalink
        July 31, 2015 3:10 AM

        Why would anyone in their right mind provide you with their contact information? The only contact information I would provide you with is the local insane asylum so you could turn yourself in…what a nut job you are lady…get some help…we don’t need people like you roaming the streets…that’s what straight jackets are for…it’s you who has ideopathic rage and should be euthanized…what a nut job!

      • Dina permalink
        July 31, 2015 9:26 AM

        Steven, I knew posting was a waste of time because you can’t reason with radical idealists like you and Star. I just hoped that maybe one uneducated person might learn about rage syndrome and be less tormented about having to make a difficult decision if faced with a situation such as the author faced.

        In regard to my credentials and IQ; I have a Master of Science degree from the University of New Haven and as far as the IQ, add 110 to your stated number and you’ll be close.

        Your ranting about the state of my mental health shows your true colors and says a lot about you., none of it good. And in regard to my asking all of you bleeding hearts to provide your contact information, it was to prove a point. It’s so easy for people like you and Star to go online and criticize the decisions of others, but folks like you never seem to be willing to step up to the plate to take on the responsibility and liability of taking these dogs in yourselves. So until you do, stop judging others, because you really have NO idea what you’re talking about.

    • Laurie permalink
      July 22, 2015 4:36 AM

      This is in response to Failure, who, my guess is, has failed at much in life to call yourself that. I love dogs, don’t work directly in animal rescue but provide financial support to a couple of rescues as much as possible. And I know how much compassion these people have for the ones they rescue…how much they try everything to make things work for the dog. All the while keeping in mind that other dogs and people have a right to quality of life as well. Sometimes, the most humane thing to do to help a dog who just can’t function safely is to have him/her euthanized. While heartbreaking, it is sometimes the best choice. My heart goes out to the person who had to make this choice for Sutter. I hope that in time you’ll be able to forgive yourself, for you gave Sutter so much love and compassion. 💛💛

    • Tommie permalink
      July 22, 2015 6:07 AM

      You fail as a compassionate human being

      • Aggie permalink
        July 23, 2015 4:14 PM

        wth is wrong with you? You obviously fail in brains. The owner did what was best for the dog but more importantly, the public. I bet you would be one screaming for the dog to be killed if the dog had attacked your kid.

      • Aggie permalink
        July 23, 2015 6:51 PM

        Sorry Tommie. I didn’t mean you. I put my reply in the wrong post. That was meant for failure.

    • Helen Figueroa permalink
      July 22, 2015 10:02 AM

      REALLY????? You’re a jackass!!! Maybe you need to find another page to troll. Her poor dog was a headline waiting to happen and she loved him. Kind of like some stupid men I’ve know. You need to get a life or maybe a dangerous dog that will bite you because I would never wish someone else to be bitten to prove a point!!!!!

      • Lisa morris permalink
        July 22, 2015 11:48 AM

        I to am going through the same thing my dog Lucy is 6 and is a rescue I will not be putting her down I am with her at all times she has a fenced in back yard she plays in if anyone comes over I do however put her up I take her to the park on a leash and ask everyone to not approach her she is perfectly happy she does not trust humans and for a good reason I do not vacation because I will not leave her and my vet has to give her a sedation before giving her shots every year No I will not kill my dog because of this

    • July 22, 2015 10:11 AM

      Failure. That’s a good name for you. POS.

    • Lenna S. Hanna-O'Neill permalink
      July 22, 2015 2:23 PM

      U are a total jerk and U have no clue. These decisions are heartbreaking and know it all clueless jerks don’t help matters any. I hope you run into a nice dog like Sutter someday and get to experience this kind of misery firsthand. I doubt you are smart enough to learn from it though, you would probably continue to endanger other people and animals through your SELFISH insistence that being a ‘savior’ is more important to you than those other lives, including the one you are sentencing to a life of isolation and misery

    • July 22, 2015 3:56 PM

      Failure is a failure because this is the only way he/she can get attention, just ignore the fool. He’s not worth your energy.

    • July 22, 2015 9:35 PM

      That is just mean, rude, and evil to say.

    • July 23, 2015 12:08 AM

      Dear Failure: Your comment is cruel and unwarranted. What more could she have done…what more would YOU have done, HAVE you done in that situation. It is easy to criticize others when you are standing on the sidelines with no responsibility for outcome. You are not helping….at all. What do you hope to achieve by being so unkind?

    • Donna Young permalink
      July 23, 2015 3:35 AM

      as above, you are a mean spirited person.. shame on you

    • SAR permalink
      July 23, 2015 5:13 AM

      Until you live through it, shame on you for judging another person’s decision.

    • July 23, 2015 5:35 AM

      No you are rude and since you probably have no clue as to what this person has gone thru you have no right to say they failed.

    • Sam permalink
      July 23, 2015 9:51 AM

      sweetie you did everything you could to keep this dog alive, it was a very hard and brave decision. Some dogs do come with mental illness like humans. You tried everything and you did what was the most heartbreaking thing to do. I am so sorry for the loss.
      Failure, shut up, the failure is you for not understanding what happened here.

      • Marilyn Bazan permalink
        July 24, 2015 8:44 PM

        Let me ask you something, do you put down a human being with mental problems? ??
        Why should it be any different with a dog’s life??
        I would have never given up!!
        If you had any kind of mental issues, would you want for your family and friends take your life away and give up on you?? Why would it be different with a dog’s life, and don’t give that sad pathetic answer that you’re a human being! ! We’re all living beings with the same right to live and love!
        Why do convicted killers are given chances to live and yet they have killed? Why should be any different with Sutter?
        You all are wrong to be telling this woman she did right and how sorry you are? ??

      • Marilyn Bazan permalink
        July 24, 2015 8:51 PM

        Let me ask you something, do you put down a human being with mental problems? ??
        Why should it be any different with a dog’s life??
        I would have never given up!!
        If you had any kind of mental issues, would you want for your family and friends take your life away and give up on you?? Why would it be different with a dog’s life, and don’t give that sad pathetic answer that you’re a human being! ! We’re all living beings with the same right to live and love!
        Why do convicted killers are given chances to live and yet they have killed? Why should be any different with Sutter?
        You all are wrong to be telling this woman she did right and how sorry you are for her? SHE’S ALIVE EATING AND BREATHING WHILE SUTTER IS DEAD!!! I FEEL SORR FOR SUTTER HE’S THE ONE WHO DIED!!!

      • July 25, 2015 3:47 PM

        Let me as YOU something. Is it fair that there are thousands of dogs who will die who are perfectly healthy mentally, and have no severe behavior problems? While personally, being a knowledgeable trainer, not an average pet person, perhaps I might have the tools, and wherewithal to help a dog like that…but “normal” pet people don’t. They rely on help. Now, the harsh trainers likely made the problem worse, and jumping from method to method does. But if you don’t know any better, how can you blame someone? It is NOT easy to deal with. I have an environmentally reactive dog, that is not at all fear based, but it’s challenging. It takes a LOT of work to properly change the behavior from the inside out. Now, if it is fear based, and anxiety, it’s NOT fair to a dog to experience life that way, day in and day out. It’s not healthy. I think people do the best they can with what they have, generally. Some dogs are not wired right, and it is more fair to let them go in peace, and take in a dog that also needs a home in their place.

      • July 30, 2015 7:41 PM

        Marilyn Bazan, in regard to your comment comparing this to humans with mental illnesses, please see my comment above directed to Kate. And if you also are willing to PERSONALLY take the risk and responsibility to provide living arrangements for a dog suffering with idiopathic rage syndrome, provide your contact information so a rescue that ends up with such a dog can transport it to you for lifelong care.

    • Donna permalink
      July 23, 2015 12:54 PM

      Failure, Fuck you!!!!

    • David permalink
      July 23, 2015 2:17 PM

      I will never understand some people’s inherent need to just be an asshole. Did you think that was funny? Are you laughing over your perceived cleverness? Trust me, you will reap what you sow one day.

    • July 23, 2015 3:55 PM

      she did the right thing for him. anytime you have to let a baby go either because of illness or what she went through there will always be questions. if you think she failed than i hope you don’t have dogs because you have no good sense.

    • July 23, 2015 5:40 PM

      Failure, you are a repulsive excuse for a human being. Truly a piece of scum.

    • July 23, 2015 5:47 PM

      I don’t think she failed him. And its very callus to judge since you did not walk her shoes 24/7. When you rescue animals, you have to be willing to have your heart broken many times. I cannot imagine this situation being the hardest thing possible. So Failure, maybe your parents should have done better by you.

    • July 23, 2015 7:59 PM

      Bullshit – she did the RIGHTthing for Sutter

    • July 24, 2015 1:33 PM

      She did the right thing and you know it. What if that dog had killed a child an older adult, or another small animal. Then the authorities would have taken Sutter and put him down in a cold room with unloving people. You did everything, and I mean everything that was both humanly and financially possible to make it work. He loved you, but he didn’t love anybody else. Think what might have happened if something happened to you and someone else had to take care of him and didn’t know what you know.

    • July 24, 2015 4:22 PM


      • July 24, 2015 4:50 PM

        The above message was for “Failure”, not anyone else.

    • July 24, 2015 4:35 PM

      And you are a troll. How sad you have nothing better to do with yourself than troll the internet making nasty comments.

    • July 24, 2015 10:32 PM

      Walk a mile in another man’s moccasins before you pass judgment. 8+ years of love and loyalty do not constitute failure. Making the most heart wrenching decision imaginable to prevent your canine companion from being subjected to seizure, confinement with not-so-loving strangers and, ultimately euthanized on a cold steel table or cold concrete floor by uncaring strangers can not be described as failure. Rather, it is unconditional love and moral courage that is obviously beyond your ability to grasp.

      • July 30, 2015 7:48 PM

        Thank you, Marilyn! It’s good to see there are some reasonable thinking, compassionate people left amongst all of the self-righteous, pompous jerks.

    • Liz permalink
      July 25, 2015 10:39 PM

      Shut up you idiot. She did what was right and needed to be done.

  11. Kathycbarry permalink
    July 21, 2015 8:10 PM

    Such a difficult thing to do! How come we don’t consider that, like humans, dogs could have mental illnesses and need very contained environments just to function. Some thing very difficult for a dog owner to provide.

    • LAURA cazalet permalink
      July 21, 2015 9:53 PM

      You have no idea who you are talking about. This amazing woman has put her heart and soul into a rescue and has led the saving of thousands of puppies. She is the one who sees the pleas of shelter volunteers and workers and lies awake at night trying to find fosters for the vast numbers who will be put to sleep. She is the one making a difference. She is the one who worked so hard to help a dog she loved with heart and soul to be predictable and social. She kept her dog through many trials and when at last her dog hurt an elderly lady so much this sweet lady is now afraid of dogs, she knew she couldn’t change the inevitable. Not everyone lives in a big house the dog can live in without walks outside, not everyone can live in such a beautiful glass castle you obviously live in. How dare you. What have you done to make a difference in this world? I can guarantee you it does not come close to the many many lives this woman has touched, puppy and adopters alike. I hope you stop sleeping at night and learn what true compassion looks like. This is the last person you should judge.

    • Laura cazalet permalink
      July 21, 2015 10:17 PM

      Sorry Kathy! This was supposed to reply to the callous response prior.

  12. Yvette thomas permalink
    July 21, 2015 8:15 PM

    Blessings to you. A decision that is so difficult; but your guy left this world with no horrible legacy to haunt him or you. I am sorry for your loss and in awe of your strength to do what was right for him.

  13. July 21, 2015 8:33 PM

    I’m sorry for your loss. Sutter was fortunate to have you to love and protect him. I applaud you bravery to let him go and I am broken hearted that you had to. Thank you for sharing your story.

  14. July 21, 2015 8:45 PM

    I had an almost identical experience. I understand.

  15. Leslie Cragin permalink
    July 21, 2015 8:48 PM

    Your story is mine. I miss Molly everyday. My heart hurts and it was the right and only thing to do. As Trial says, “Humans fail 100% of the time.” It is impossible to protect the spiritually ill dog and to protect the world’s human from the harm they can do. Blessings on you both.

  16. July 21, 2015 9:09 PM

    A dear, dear friend of mine had to do the same thing. It’s been several years. It was the right choice. Her girl was getting more and more unhinged, losing confidence while gaining in aggression as the madness set in deeper and deeper. She was loving and seemed happy as long as she was with my friend and her other dog, a male, but on constant alert, never fully resting as her guarding behavior became more and more obsessive and compulsive. It was the right decision, for our sweet Cleo. But my friend and I still cry for her.

    And we always will.

  17. pbf permalink
    July 21, 2015 9:55 PM

    So many of us have been in your shoes. In my case, it was a sleek and athletic female dog who loved people and liked most dogs but wanted to kill some dogs. Sadly, she could also easily leap a 6′ fence and scale a chain link that was much higher than that. She injured more than one dog. I wanted so much to keep her alive – she loved me and I loved her. But, since that experience, I’ve come down more on the side of not giving a dog as many chances as I did with her. No one can be vigilant at every possible moment, and that’s what you have to be with a very unpredictable dog. It is enormously stressful for you and for the dog to know that your smallest inattention could have horrible consequences. My deepest sympathies to you. Be kind to yourself, please.

  18. allbookdup permalink
    July 21, 2015 10:11 PM

    I’ve been in your shoes. I spent eighteen months trying everything I could to get through to a dog who was devoted to me but would suddenly attack strangers – training, behavioral specialists, medical evaluation, medication. When she tried to launch herself through a glass door at the throat of a visiting aunt, I had to stop putting off the inevitable. I kept telling myself, “Healthy, loving dogs die in shelters every day. Why am I forcing my family to live in a constant state of dread over what might she might do next, whom she might harm, when I could be helping a dog that’s not a danger to everyone around her?” It was a horrible decision to have to make, just as yours was, but it had to be done. It’s been over twenty years, and I remember her still, but with sadness, not guilt. I hope you make peace with yourself and your decision. It was the responsible thing to do.

    • Common Sense permalink
      July 22, 2015 9:36 AM

      Bravo. This is the most persuasive argument I’ve ever seen which may be capable of motivating owners of dangerous dogs to take action. Sentiment doesn’t undo maiming and death visited upon innocent people who are caught unaware by these animals.

    • Lucy permalink
      July 22, 2015 2:35 PM

      That is an excellent point, allbookdup.

      I also feel like you have to decide who you’re keeping the dog around for- because they really have a good quality of life and are happy, or for yourself to save you from making the difficult decision?

  19. July 21, 2015 10:21 PM

    I have an “off” dog myself. He is unpredictably aggressive, but had only ever fear bit. He takes Prozac and is a mostly normal dog. Four years ago I thought I’d have to put him down (rehoming is truly not an option; I would be terrified for him and anyone around him) and I felt that same feeling you talk about; the pain with relief seeping in. Fortunately we have found a happy medium for him, but don’t doubt for a second that if I had to worry about him killing another dog or hurting a child, that I would hesitate to put him down. I wouldn’t want him to live a life of restriction based on fear. You did the right thing for him; even though, and despite, that it hurts. ♡ May you find peace in knowing that you loved him dearly and he was given many years that no one else would have given him. I am bawling my eyes out because I just want to hug you and I can’t.

  20. JGA permalink
    July 21, 2015 10:45 PM

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Rest assured, though, your dog was suffering. He was acting in a way that was not the true nature of the species. Call it mental illness or spiritual illness, but he was ill and he was suffering. What you did was the kindest, most unselfish thing you could have- not only for him but for those he might cause injury to if he was allowed to continue to suffer. Peace to both of you.

  21. July 21, 2015 11:03 PM

    Ah, God… with all the crap on the internet these days, I rarely cry anymore, but this did it for me. I have a difficult dog – I have no idea what he went through before he came to my home. With me, and my family, he is mostly good. He is sweet, loving, desiring (a certain amount) of affection. But I know he has the potential to hurt others, not because he wants to, but because he is afraid. My heart goes out to you. I don’t know exactly what you experienced, but anyone who has loved a difficult dog can share your fears.

    • July 24, 2015 5:31 PM

      I don’t think your dog is afraid but seems to think he or she is protecting all of you from others because it loves all of you so much. I had a white Samoyed that did this and tried many times to attack other dogs that came near us or our other family dogs including a German Shepard we had so we gone out and bought a muzzle and every time we left the house with our dogs to go for a walk we muzzled her up, this worked great for years. Finally when Fluffy was older 10 yrs of age she stopped attacking altogether and didn’t need the muzzle any longer. She was a happy dog till the very end and understood why she had the muzzle on outside but not inside.

  22. July 21, 2015 11:06 PM

    Am i missing something? You said he was perfect inside your home, yet you kept taking him out places? You moved from your apartment, so did you move to a home? Did it not have a backyard? You say he bit a neighbor, so was he loose in the front yard? I’m asking, because something sounds amiss here.

    • July 21, 2015 11:24 PM

      He was great with us. But you can’t have a dog and never take him out. He was ALWAYS on leash. I didn’t have the luxury to buy a big house with a yard, and I’m also not an advocate of putting a dog outside in the yard to ‘exercise’ himself. He lunged at the neighbor when he was on leash on a walk.

      • Laura cazalet permalink
        July 21, 2015 11:45 PM

        Indrani, anyone who knows you will not question. You are an inspiration to all of us fosters and animal advocates. To those who don’t know her- she has done more in one month to save puppies and dogs than you might in a lifetime.

      • July 22, 2015 7:07 AM

        Thank you for your response. I was uncertain whether you had a fenced in yard.

        And Laura, I have been doing rescue longer than some have been alive. Don’t be defensive towards people asking honest questions. She was willing to answer honestly, which is what someone should do when they are posting an honest blog.

      • Lynn permalink
        July 22, 2015 8:05 AM

        Why wouldn’t you just muzzle him when he’s outside the home?! Sounds like a lot of excuses, with easy solutions. You should be ashamed of yourself.

      • Ron permalink
        July 22, 2015 12:21 PM

        I don’t know you, but your story is heartbreaking and I understand. When I had to put down my dog who couldn’t walk or stand anymore but was still interested in life, I felt that I was making a mistake. I’m sorry a few people here are not able to comprehend your story and just offer sympathy and condolences. Remember the happy times and know that Sutter is waiting for you at the Bridge.

      • July 23, 2015 6:30 PM

        I’m kind of wondering about the lack of a muzzle and control myself. I see ten (10) separate incidents, 9 of which were bites.

        If the dog was a known biter, I’m wondering how he was able to get within biting distance of people. By the time he lunged and attacked your elderly neighbour, you knew he was a highly reactive and aggressive dog, so how was he able to get near enough to a stranger to actually knock her down and bite her? Why didn’t he have a muzzle on?

      • Steven permalink
        July 25, 2015 9:50 PM

        Lol you’re an advocate for killing a dog but not for letting him exercise in the back yard? Do you know how idiotic and stupid that sounds…say it out loud

    • Jessica permalink
      July 22, 2015 6:06 PM

      EM – I read the article and felt the same way!!! How could the owner allow other animals and people around Sutter when they were well aware of his behavior. It said he was part ACD, they are NOT for everyone! There are rescues that focus on herding breeds. It sounds like some of his behavior could have been contributed to that, but there was no need to allow him around so many people, and given him so many opportunities to fail. Reading this reminded me so much of the book “8 State Hurricane Kate” which was heartbreaking, her rescuer knew she was dog aggressive and yet got another dog, which lead to her putting Kate down. So, so sad!!!!

    • July 22, 2015 7:04 PM

      I agree Ron. She had no control over the dog and put him in situations in which she knew he would fail. SHE SHOULD NEVER OWN A PET AGAIN!!! anyone that is so quick to euthanize a dog they has not feelings.

      • Noreen P Porter permalink
        July 22, 2015 11:51 PM

        You have no clue Star….She had plenty of control over the dog…She did everything she possibly could within safety reasons to let the dog BE A DOG…She had the insight to know that something was very much wrong with this dogs brain…whether it was inbred, overbred, she did the right thing to save him from himself… so many close calls, eventually luck would run out…I had a dog like this,,his reason for being brain screwy was he choked on a piece of hamburger at a young age …has to be resuscitated (mouth to mouth) being dead for those few moments (oxygen starved) before bring him back,,,definitely killed brain cells..he was never the same,,,turned very aggressive to everyone but me. at the point he bit my daughter badly and then right after my husband nearly ripping out his scrotum,,we knew it was time to put him out of his misery, this was a French Bulldog…a highly overbred breed..for one…I LOVED LOVED this dog and he adored me BUT HE WOULD NOT LET ANYONE NEAR ME OR HIS FOOD DISH…and it nearly killed me to put him down..but knew he would eventually scar some one for life, their face more than likely…that was 10 yrs ago, my heart still breaks for what I had to do. AND LYNN, YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YPORSELF FOR BREATHING…BECAUSE UNLESS YOU WALK IN THE SHOES OF ONE WHO HAS BEEN THROUGH THIS HEARTBREAK OF AN ANIMAL GONE ‘SPAZZ” YOU DO NOT HAVE A FKNG CLUE…IT IS HELL ON EARTH,,,TO SAY GOOD BYE TO A FUR BABY YOU TRULY LOVE… YOU JUST BE HOPEFUL YOU DON’T EXPERIENCE IT..AND WISH I COULD WITNESS YOUR BEHAVIOR IF YOU DO…..SO ALL YOU NAY SAYERS… SAVE YOUR DAMNATION FOR PPL WHO ABUSE, TORTURE AND EUTHANIZE DOGS BECAUSE THEY DUMP THEM AT A SHELTER BECAUSE THEIR SENIORS AND DON’T WANT TO TAKE CARE OF THEM ANY MORE…AND THE WANT A NEW PUPPY…

      • sharon permalink
        July 23, 2015 9:15 AM

        Well Said!! You beat me to the punch!! 🙂

      • Elynne permalink
        July 23, 2015 12:38 AM

        Star, your reading comprehension is lacking. She wasn’t “so quick to euthanize” her dog. She had him for 8 years.

      • July 24, 2015 4:54 PM


      • September 20, 2017 8:35 AM

        Star I totally agree.

  23. grommelot permalink
    July 22, 2015 12:07 AM

    I’m so sorry for your loss and for the puppy. I understand what you’re going through. I got a rescue dog. Got her when she was already a year old. Completely misbehaving. A Bernese. With jaws that can shred car tires. She sounds so aggressive but until now she seems to be fine. I can only hope everything will be okay and I do everything to teach her to become normal. This worries me so much. I’ve had an aggressive dog before. He came at the age of 4 months from a situation of neglect. He was okay with humans but not with other dogs or sheep. Impossible to keep him here. They brought him back where he came from. One day he bit a dog down there and they’ve euthanised him. I was crying when they brought him away. It feeled as if I failed at him. There are dogs like that. Just like humans they sometimes can’t get better. No matter what we do.

  24. Pandamak1 permalink
    July 22, 2015 12:17 AM

    My heart goes out to you as I can truly relate. I’m a rescuer that chose to save a wonderful dog that was living in a shelter with a dislocated hip. I went through a lot with him including attempted repositioning of the hip, physical therapy and eventually hip surgery to reshape the socket. After more physical therapy and finally time without bandages and slings, he was starting to regain strength and mobility in his leg. Everyone that worked with him loved him (including the handlers that he started biting). I spent time just snuggling him everyday. Sadly, he became more and more unpredictable and after speaking with trainers and behaviorist, they told me my only option was exactly the same “he’s only getting worse. It’s time to save him from whatever he was going through. It was time to save him from himself”. I cried for days fighting and grasping for someone to give me a better option until he bit again. We realized it was time. We too went to the vet with Devon, put blankets down and I sat on the floor with his big head in my lap. He kissed away my tears while I hugged him and continued to tell him he was a good boy and we loved him. He knew something was wrong and he struggled to stay awake to keep me safe while I cried. I told him it was ok and he finally let go. It is such a devastating decision and so difficult not to be selfish when they are physically healthy. I’m sorry my comment is so long, but know that you made the right decision for Sutter. May he and others like him RIP with no more fear.

    • July 23, 2015 4:10 PM

      you are so right Panda. so many people have no understanding of how hard it is with an aggressive dog and would probably just lock them up or give their problem away to someone else. you can’t keep a dog locked up all the time. An ACD needs exercise and just putting them in a back yard to exercise them selves just won’t work. it is so selfish to keep a dog around when it is dangerous just so you can say you didn’t give up. this reminds me so much of the story of Patrick Henry. sad that there are so many people that just don’t get it and never will.

  25. July 22, 2015 1:15 AM

    This made me cry. How heartbreaking this happened. I wonder why he was such a biter? So sad, I’m sorry, I know how much this hurtd

  26. Pam wilson permalink
    July 22, 2015 2:18 AM

    Years ago I was in the same situation with a white German Shepherd. Like you I d I d the most responsible and loving thing I could do for he and I and put him down. I understand your pain only too well.
    No dog can replace him but there is another dog waiting for you to love.

    • July 22, 2015 7:07 PM

      She doesn’t deserve another dog!!!!

      • pbf permalink
        July 22, 2015 10:05 PM

        I looked at your Facebook page to see whether you were a certified behaviorist or veterinarian – you know, someone who might actually have a professional opinion about this. You seem to be just some young gal who has a couple of dogs. I hope that you never have to face what the author had to face with her dog. You better hope so, too. It’s a terrible situation, and one I doubt you would be able to handle any better than any of the rest of us.

      • Peggy permalink
        July 24, 2015 4:44 PM

        Star–You need to grow up and stop judging Indrani for what she had to do. Unless you have been in the same situation, you have no idea how horrible it is to have to make such a heart-breaking decision. But sometimes it is necessary. Because of inbreeding, overbreeding, and other issues, there are many dogs today who are unable to be rehabilitated, no matter what you do to try. I have been there, and it is something that will haunt me for the rest of my life, even though I know it was my only option. What would have been worse–for both Indrani and Sutter–is if she had done nothing.

      • Liz permalink
        July 25, 2015 11:23 PM

        Shut your mouth Star your such an idiot

  27. Stephanie permalink
    July 22, 2015 2:46 AM

    I’am so sorry for your loss,.. Bless you for giving Sutter a loving home, and a chance. I unfortunately am in the same boat with a rescue dog. She had bitten three people, and was going to be returned to the shelter I volunteer at (she would have been euthanized) so I adopted her. She has never shown aggression towards me, and after two weeks of trying to attack my husband she finally got used to him and is nice to him. But she will instantly attack anyone else who comes over, walks by, or she can see through the fence. I can’t take her on car rides because she jumps and scratches at cars/people when we drive by. I can take her on walks, but have to avoid everyone and cross the road. I love her, and know she can never be rehomed, who would want a vicious dog? So if she’s not with me, she won’t be with anyone. So far its ok, but I haven’t had to leave town yet, or go on vacation, no idea who would board her. Anyway, thank you for giving Sutter a good life, I dread the day I have to make the same decision you did.

    • July 22, 2015 11:14 PM

      I’m sure you won’t have to make the same decision as this person. She put the dog in situations in which she knows he would fail. If you have to board your dog or even take them to the vet you just let them know of her behavior and they will know how to handle her. When guest come over just place her in another part of the house because she might be very protective of her home and will probably bite. One of my dogs if you would make a sudden movement towards me or horseplay he would be ready to protect me.

      • Laurie permalink
        July 24, 2015 7:40 PM

        Star, it’s so disturbing to read your apparent ignorance in your comments. You come off so high and mighty…lucky for you that your dogs are healthy and well-adjusted. Lucky for your dogs too, because someone as ignorant as you are would only make things worse for them if they had a major issue. If you’re so against what this compassionate woman did for her well-loved dog, why not move on to another blog and share your wealth of knowledge there (and yes, I’m being sarcastic). You have no clue what you’re talking about.

      • July 30, 2015 8:01 PM

        Please Star, before you open your mouth again and continue to show how truly ignorant you are, take some time to educate yourself about idiopathic rage syndrome. And please see my response to Kate’s similarly ignorant comment. Additionally, if you are also willing to PERSONALLY take the risk and responsibly for providing a home for a dog with rage syndrome, please provide your contact details so that when a rescue needs to place a dog with idiopathic rage they can transport the dog to you to provide lifelong care for it.

  28. July 22, 2015 4:19 AM

    We just put one of our dogs down two weeks ago. He was only 5 and in perfect health. Came from a rescue that did not tell us he hated children or being touched in certain places. He bit my grandson first, then me and my spouse several times though he never broke the skin. We did the trainers, behaviorist, etc. We managed him, boarded or locked up when the grandkids were here, muzzles at the vet, etc. Two weeks ago he attacked me, bit me 6 times including my face. After spending 5 hours in the ER getting stitched and super glued, we made the difficult decision to put him down. I have felt the coolness coming from some of our rescue friends. They will hopefully never feel the terror of having your own dog attack you. I am so sorry for your loss.

    • July 23, 2015 4:14 PM

      Terry, any real animal lover knows what you went through and it almost sounds like rage syndrome. sorry for your loss but you did the right thing. if he had hurt you worse his end could have come at an animal shelter instead of in your arms.

  29. Kirsten Rasmussen permalink
    July 22, 2015 4:25 AM

    I’m so sorry for your loss. But what a gift you gave to him to free him from that much anxiety and fear. He had an amazing life with you that likely no other person would have given him. And he knew love. In the end, that is all that matters.

  30. Penny permalink
    July 22, 2015 4:32 AM

    I understand because I had to do the same thing. A puppy was dumped at my front door in the middle of the night. We took him in, vetted him, took him to training. He was great on a walk, always walking at my side and ignoring all the other dogs barking at him, but he was crazy, hyper all the time. The only way to get him to lay down and go to sleep was to go to bed and turn off the lights. At about 6-8 months old, he bit my partner, twice. He almost attacked her nephew who lived with us and played with the dog all the time. He almost bit me. He would try to attack anyone he saw on our walks. I had to stop walking him. When he injured his eye and we took him To the vet, he tried to attack everyone at our vet’s office. Our vet sedated him and told us we couldn’t keep the dog and we couldn’t give him away. So we had to put him down right there. He was not quite a year old. I was broken hearted and have never forgiven myself, but we now have three wonderful dogs, and volunteer with our humane society. We have fostered over 50 dogs and puppies and found them homes.

    • July 22, 2015 11:17 PM

      for a vet to immediately tell you to euthanize a puppy, I hope you don’t use that vet anymore. I applaud you for being a foster because I would never be able to give the dogs back.

      • July 23, 2015 2:59 PM

        Star, Maybe this Vet has a few more years and dogs “under the belt” than you and can see a problem waiting to happen.

  31. July 22, 2015 4:33 AM

    My heart breaks for you knowing how difficult it is when you have to put a beloved pet to sleep when they are ill. This was truly best for you both, as difficult a choice as it is, neither of you can or should live that way. At the end of the day, they are animals and no one really knows what goes on in their heads to make them act the way they do.

  32. Cyril permalink
    July 22, 2015 5:21 AM

    Wow, what an incredible story!!! Thank you for sharing! I think you did the right thing!! 🙂

  33. July 22, 2015 5:39 AM

    Reblogged this on PhillyAdopt and commented:
    This article is so moving, so touching, so real. In rescue I’ve experienced some great ones that after ‘saving’, we freed them from their minds.
    And then there is my dog, Caesar. He doesn’t allow people to come in, or around, my home for fear of….I don’t know. I have seen what he is capable of when his fear aggression takes over, which is more often than not, when we are outside. If the time comes where he can’t be with me or can no longer be managed, I too will have to free him from his mind.
    Kudos to the author for documenting such a sad, yet commendable reality.

    • July 22, 2015 11:24 PM

      Thanks for keeping the dog. I would recommend getting some type of medication to calm him down. One poster said her dog is on Prozac. Or muzzle him. I don’t recommend a choke chain but I have 2 Am Staffs that can pull twice their weight and I would use a choke chain when walking, now I don’t have to use anything. I can walk them and when they see other dogs the owners pick their dogs up and I tell them don’t be scared because my dogs need to learn how to behave when they see other dogs. . Now when they see other dogs they do not react. Even with a muzzle, I can show them the muzzle and they will stop doing whatever it is which is barking.

  34. July 22, 2015 5:40 AM

    Thank you. Thank you for saving him, both in the beginning and in the end. I too have a dog just like Sutter. I know how you felt and how you feel. So sorry about your loss, but as we know, he is finally free.

  35. July 22, 2015 5:48 AM

    What a brave soul you are. Brave to love so strong to know when to let go. I hope you are able to be at ease with your decisions and find the peace that you so sweetly gave Shutter.

  36. July 22, 2015 5:52 AM

    Oh my god, honey. So heartbreaking!! You did everything you could for him. Such a hard deciscion!!! Your heart was in the right place. No matter why you put your dog down, you always question your desicion. It never is easy!!! I’m sorry. Stay strong.

  37. July 22, 2015 5:56 AM

    I’m so sorry. I had a similar situation with my girl Harley almost 3 years ago. It broke my heart. I’m sending peace and positive energy your way.

  38. Virginia Elliott permalink
    July 22, 2015 5:59 AM

    Wow. Thank you for sharing your struggles with us, and thank you for giving Sutter a loving home for so many years. I don’t think you had any other options, and you made the decision that was best for both you and Sutter. I know Sutter forgives you. . . I hope you can find forgiveness for yourself very soon. You did your very best. . .that’s all God can ask of an angel. And all those who rescue are angels. . . .

  39. c link permalink
    July 22, 2015 6:18 AM

    I am so sorry for your loss , but you did the right thing , you released him from himself . I went thru something similar , and I still feel guilty but I could not keep him confined to a crate all day , so I let him go to run free on the rainbow bridge . Take to heart that you did what was best for him . 🙂

  40. July 22, 2015 6:21 AM

    I am SO sorry….but on the other side, THANK YOU for being brave enough to write this. So often you hear the public outcry that every animal can be saved while those in rescue and owners of those with issues know in their hearts that sometimes that isn’t true. At some point you can make every modification in the world and still know that something isn’t right with your pet and have to make the hard decision.

  41. foster mom permalink
    July 22, 2015 6:23 AM

    I feel for you..I’ve experienced the same thing and still feel guilty in my heart, but know in my head it was the right decision. after having Miles, our foster for 4 months of (normal behavior) he was adopted out…to a family member. he was returned saying that he ‘went after’ another dog. we were shocked and actually wasn’t sure we believed it–at first. we sent Miles to a trainer with no sign of any trouble. after a few more months he began to lash out at other dogs….never people. we did the exact same thing you did…we removed him from every situation when an ‘incident occurred’. we sent him back to training, the trainer, who I’ve know for over 10 years said he saw it happen, but there were absolutely no triggers….none. this dog gave no indication that he was about to attack…and that unpredictability made him dangerous. then, 3 days after the new year, he attacked, completely unprovoked, my neighbor’s dog this time it was in front of my husband, who had to pull him off the other dog–twice. he said is was something he had never seen before by any dog let alone ‘our’ dog. yes, we considered Miles our dog as we had fostered him now for about a year. we, along with our rescue, decided the best thing we could do was to relieve him of whatever demons were tormenting him to act in this way. knowing that we couldn’t even keep him ourselves now. he had gone after a dog he had known and played with since arriving 10 months earlier. knowing this now, we couldn’t adopt him out (transferring the liability as you mentioned as well) and we knew he could go after one of our dogs and God forbid, our daughter was in the middle this time. its never an easy decision and no, not everyone will agree with a decision to euthanize a seemly healthy dog. but we need to keep this in mind–while the dog (or any animal) may look and be psychically healthy, there is something going on in their mind that is not healthy and sometimes that is the most damaging.

  42. tanyairwin permalink
    July 22, 2015 6:32 AM

    Thank you for sharing this story. My heart breaks for you but I think you did the right thing. I’m not sure if I would have been strong enough to do it. I will remember this story always and question my choices accordingly. I have a reactive dog myself, but thankfully he’s only 6 pounds and he’s pretty good as long as people don’t reach for him. It’s tough, though. Having to keep him safe takes a lot of energy.

  43. July 22, 2015 6:37 AM

    I’m heartbroken for you. I’ve behaviorally euthanized cats (which, granted, is a different ball game than dogs, but still heartbreaking) and I know the back and forth decision this must have been. You did the right thing, for everyone, and I’m so sorry <33

  44. July 22, 2015 6:40 AM

    Doing the right thing is not always the easy thing. You write beautifully, eloquently and conveyed your struggle to do what was best for your dog, your family and those around you. Thanks for sharing your story.

  45. Laura permalink
    July 22, 2015 6:48 AM

    I’m sorry for your loss and I admire your bravery. I too had a dog that was “off” with no explanation and I tried everything I could think of to fix him.

  46. July 22, 2015 6:49 AM

    My heart hurts for you. I have friends who could have written this story themselves, and watching what they went through- as hard as it was- they made the right choice. They’ve now adopted a new dog that needed a home and things are going much better. You can’t help them all, but you are an amazing person for trying.

  47. July 22, 2015 6:53 AM

    It must have been tough. I have a little puppy whom I adore and cannot bear it when he is out of sight. I can feel your pain. You are a brave woman and did what you had to do.

  48. Amy permalink
    July 22, 2015 6:55 AM

    I broke down in tears reading this … My heart goes out to you…its so easy for people to judge and I too have judged as many of us do thinking only of our love for the animal…how dare us ? How dare any of us think we could have done better ? No one could have loved Sutter more than you. Its easy for someone who has never dealt with this to sit in judgement. How dare anyone offer you anything but heartfelt sympathy .
    I am sure you exhausted all your options and im so very sorry for your loss. How excruciatingly painful for you and how brave of you to share this with such openness. I give you a lot of credit …of course that brings no peace to you now.
    Don’t let this experience rob you of the joy of rescuing. Take your time to feel and heal. When you are ready , another dog will choose you again. And don’t kid yourself, Sutter chose you too and without you his life could have and more than likely would have been a living hell. So you did him a beautiful and heroic honor for what was it…8 years? You did something most would never have the strength or patience to do….and that was to love him through his shortcomings. We should all be so lucky.
    Find peace and solace knowing you and Sutter shared something beyond the judgments of our society. And beyond this world. 🐾

  49. Vickie permalink
    July 22, 2015 6:55 AM

    Sooo sad….Hasn’t anyione ever heard of trainers? Try getting one. Sorry but this story is the saddest & I don’t feel for the owner…I feel for the dog for having irresposible owners. They took the easy way out,.

    • Laura Cazalet permalink
      July 22, 2015 10:14 AM

      Vickie, you are completely off the mark and compassionless. She has had trainers over many years. She SAVES puppies for a rescue and has saved thousands. What have you done in your life other than step in their shoes that will always be too big for your tiny, tiny feet.

      • Laurie permalink
        July 24, 2015 7:46 PM

        So well said!

    • July 22, 2015 11:48 AM

      Vickie, the story is incredibly sad and painful to read, but your lack of compassion for the owner and lack of ability to understand the nuances of a complex situation saddens me more. This person shared their painful story honestly and in her emotional pain left herself wide open to the mercies or lack thereof of the readers. Perhaps you need training.

      • Lenna S. Hanna-O'Neill permalink
        July 22, 2015 2:29 PM

        Hear hear!!

    • Lisa morris permalink
      July 22, 2015 11:57 AM

      Exactly I so agree because I’m dealing with the same thing

      • Lenna S. Hanna-O'Neill permalink
        July 22, 2015 2:34 PM

        No, Lisa, you are not ‘dealing with it.’ You are putting off the inevitable, and putting everyone around your home at risk so you can feel all special because YOU are going the ‘extra mile’ with a difficult dog. What a savior you are! Except that you have given NO thought to the damage your dog could do to others. You already KNOW the dog has a penchant to hurt people. There are just too many variables that you cannot control. What if your house catches fire and personnel let her out by accident tending to the blaze? What if someone fails to lock that gate or shut that door? All it takes is ONCE… and some other person, some innocent child or pet, gets to pay the price for YOUR addiction to drama and heroism. I am the retired director of an all species rescue, and I am here to tell you: what you are exhibiting is not love, it is a form of Munchhausen Syndrome by proxy. I had to watch my fosters very closely and got rid of several for exhibiting this same kind of mania. It isn’t heroic, it is sociopathic, and it makes you AND your pet a danger to all around you.

    • Gail permalink
      July 22, 2015 4:50 PM

      Vicky, did you actually read the entire blog? It identifies that trainers and behaviorist a were unable to alter the behavior. Even with people, there are issues that cannot be fixed with therapy and medications. I work in a prison. If you want to see how we treat the human equivalent I would invite you to tour. I believe we offer alternatives for the inner torture when it comes to animals but not to humans. How many of those that are willing to judge are also willing to keep a beautiful healthy animal caged in horror so they can feel better than?

    • July 22, 2015 11:32 PM

      I agree with you Vickie. Sutter would be the equivalent of a child with severe behavioral or mental issues. Would she Euthanize her child for the same behavior? She had that dog for 8 years how could she just euthanize him? It must have just been a dog because if she saw him as a part of the family she would have did more to resolve his issues. I feel sorry for any children she may have with severe behavioral and/or mental issues.

      • Rita permalink
        July 23, 2015 9:54 AM

        Star, I appreciate your passion and as a good friend of the author, I can tell you she exhausted all possibilities within her power. The truth is, it’s not possible to fill in every blank and post every detail of her agonizing journey with Sutter. Over the past eight years, her life has revolved around keeping Sutter alive and keeping everyone safe around him. But in the end, we are human and there is only so much we can do. It came down to quality of life for Sutter and yes, for the author too—though I can tell you, that was never her motivation.

        The reality is we live in a society where there are resources and services available for children with “severe behavioral and mental issues.” I know, I have a child like this. The same is not true for our dogs, however. The responsibility and financial burden is solely upon the owner. I know no one who would have done what the author did for this dog. Clearly, we are all on this blog because we care deeply about dogs. But our primary concern should always be the safety of others, including other dogs. Please put your judgements aside and show some compassion.

      • July 24, 2015 5:01 PM


      • July 30, 2015 8:13 PM

        Star. PLEASE. Just. Shut. Up. There is a HUGE difference in dealing with a dangerous dog and a mentally ill child. Please read my reply to Kate which explains the difference. Then provide your contact details if YOU PERSONALLY are willing to take the risk and responsibility for providing lifelong care for the next dog to come into rescue that is suffering with idiopathic rage syndrome.

      • Steven permalink
        July 31, 2015 3:04 AM

        Dina…you are an idiot…please do the world a service and get sterilized…we don’t need people like you procreating…what are your credentials? Besides having an IQ of 2? Jeez your posts are so obnoxiously asinine they make me want to puke…you are an idiot

      • Dina permalink
        July 31, 2015 9:23 AM

        Steven, I knew posting was a waste of time because you can’t reason with radical idealists like you and Star. I just hoped that maybe one uneducated person might learn about rage syndrome and be less tormented about having to make a difficult decision if faced with a situation such as the author faced.

        In regard to my credentials and IQ; I have a Master of Science degree from the University of New Haven and as far as the IQ, add 110 to your stated number and you’ll be close.

        Your ranting about the state of my mental health shows your true colors and says a lot about you., none of it good. And in regard to my asking all of you bleeding hearts to provide your contact information, it was to prove a point. It’s so easy for people like you and Star to go online and criticize the decisions of others, but folks like you never seem to be willing to step up to the plate to take on the responsibility and liability of taking these dogs in yourselves. So until you do, stop judging others, because you really have NO idea what you’re talking about.

  50. Jessica permalink
    July 22, 2015 7:06 AM

    This is exactly what I went through with my Camryn. You’re not alone. It’s the worst kind of heartbreak in the world of dogs. I’m so sorry.

  51. Richard permalink
    July 22, 2015 7:09 AM

    “God Bless You and Sutter “

  52. Sharon permalink
    July 22, 2015 7:14 AM

    I am so very sorry for your loss.
    You are a great rescurer. There is nothing wrong with you.
    Your love for your pup shows through in your last statement. …. You had to save him from himself. That to me is a very telling and brave thing to say, much less to into print.
    he will be waiting for you in heaven when your own journey is over.

  53. July 22, 2015 7:28 AM

    My heart goes out to you. We are living with a difficult dog, one who is sweet and funny and loving so long as everything around him is what he considers “safe” — the moment that he doubts, though, he is a different dog. He is stressed and fearful and on edge. He is terrified and dangerous. No one can live in a bubble. and your decision, though heartbreaking, is the right one to make for you and for your beloved pet. He had a life with love and affection, and he was given the chance to move on with that same abundance of love and tenderness. Please release the guilt you are feeling – your actions speak of nothing but the goodness in your heart and the love you feel even now for beautiful Sutter.

  54. July 22, 2015 7:38 AM

    What a brave thing you did, Julie. And what a hard thing to do. I don’t believe there is anything more you could have done to save Sutter from himself. It’s too bad he had that uncontrollable mean streak in him, but he couldn’t just live his life inside of your home. You did the right thing for both of you. And yes…it will hurt! It will hurt for a long, long time. But you did your best. You did more than almost any other person would have done. Forgive yourself and carry on!

  55. Jes permalink
    July 22, 2015 7:59 AM

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a beautiful piece. Too many have us have been, and are still, struggling with this issue with our own dogs. May we all be as brave, intelligent and caring as you.

  56. kaz permalink
    July 22, 2015 8:02 AM

    my hearts breaks with you and you are a rare person to share the love and devotion you did with your Sutter.. he will be with you and beside you always.. you are a true inspiration and i so hope you continue the remarkable work you do.. we need more people like you

  57. Larissa permalink
    July 22, 2015 8:06 AM

    Some dogs, like humans, are just wired wrong. Has nothing to do with the environment they were raised in or the amount of socialization. This is not your fault. God speed little one. My thoughts are with you.

  58. Susan permalink
    July 22, 2015 8:06 AM

    Just this morning on my drive into town I cried for my Ryan. His story is not disimiliar to yours. Eventually I had to put a 7 year old, healthy dog down. It was not for me or my convenience. It was for him to have the peace that he deserved. He was well loved and he felt it until his very last breath. RIP my sweet boy.

  59. Rianne permalink
    July 22, 2015 8:10 AM

    Awfull decision, but I think it was the only fair decision to make for Sutter! Don’t feel guilty, you’ve made the best decision for the both of you! I wish you strength to deal with missing him.

  60. July 22, 2015 8:11 AM

    Herein is the most powerful form of love. To do what is most needed for a pet. I had to do the same thing for a similar reason. I knew it was the single bravest, most loving thing I could do for my beloved dog when what he most needed was to be rescued from himself. Thank you for doing that for your precious Sutter and for sharing it with others to give them the courage to do it when it becomes the only way to love their pet.

  61. Kristy McGinty permalink
    July 22, 2015 8:17 AM

    I am so sorry for this final decision you had to make. We have to remember that we are their advocates. We need to do what’s best for them. It sounds like you did EVERYTHING humanly possible to make his life a better oneand, you can’t ask for more than that. When someone has to make that final decision it’s not always an easy choice. Remember, you must consider the whole dog, not just age, vibrancy and health. There are so many factors involved in this final decision. When you know you’ve done EVERYTHING (which you did ), there is no guilt in making the decision you made. There’s sadness that he’s gone, that’s undeniable, but not guilt! You are an incredible rescuer! Keep doing the fantastic job that you’re doing!
    I wish you peace.
    I wish you peace.

  62. Elaine Wood permalink
    July 22, 2015 8:24 AM

    I was in your place this year. Brubby would have been good with another person without pets. But then what about the people he would nip at the door when they would come in. He would growl at kids if he felt his owner was weak and needing protecting. I too loved him and miss him terribly. But even with me I was afraid one day when I would snuggle with him he would consider ripping my face off. I tried trainers. We tried working with him and he would still attack my other dog. I finally had to make the decision and it was so hard. Praying for you.

  63. Michael Chapman permalink
    July 22, 2015 8:25 AM

    I know it is very hard for you to see right now, but you did the right thing for Sutter. For him mainly, but for others who could have been seriously hurt. He must have had some demons that drove him crazy and he could not get away from them. You helped him to a better place and life. I respect your for your love of him and your courage.

  64. Marti C permalink
    July 22, 2015 8:28 AM

    So sorry for your loss, but I do want to say, you did the right thing for both of you. For some reason he was tortured and now he is at peace. Bless you and please go easy on yourself, you did everything you could for Sutter.

  65. Miriam Huberman permalink
    July 22, 2015 8:30 AM

    I am so, so sorry… I had to go through something very similar with our beautiful Alor, a Malinois mix. I Now how it must feel… I send you my love.

  66. Tina Fitzpatrick permalink
    July 22, 2015 8:32 AM

    I’m so sorry, but grateful. You gave him so much love and he knew that until the end. Sometimes, dogs do have mental or emotional issues. You tried everything and people were getting hurt. I think you made the only decision possible for him. Treat yourself gently, please.

  67. Gloria Baggs permalink
    July 22, 2015 8:38 AM

    This just made me ball like a baby and it is if you took the words out of my mouth about the pain of putting my own dog Mattie down earlier this year. He too was eight years old and I rescued him as a puppy. I”ve done rescue for 10 years now and this was the absolute hardest thing I have ever had to do. Bless you and I can absolutely relate to every word you wrote. Blessings to you. Gloria Baggs from Catahoula Rescue Ontario.

  68. dog lover permalink
    July 22, 2015 8:46 AM

    I had a dog like this growing up. It was very stressful for my parents, especially my father who, after every “incident” would drive him the vet, at his wits end. We loved him dearly, he was our pet, but we kept him locked up when friends came to play, and he was too large and aggressive for me to walk on my own. I never told anyone, that he bit me viciously on the ear when I tried to hug him. I didn’t want my dad to take him away.
    I applaud your efforts, to love the “wild” out of this dog, as we did. There was simply nothing more that you could do.

  69. Suz permalink
    July 22, 2015 8:51 AM

    Doing whats right isn’t always easy. Something failed Sutter. Mother Nature, a rough start in life. Whatever it was, it wasn’t you. His fate could have been so much worse.

  70. July 22, 2015 8:53 AM

    I too had a dog I needed to pts. 4 court cases a lawsuit, many $$ spent on training, vetting, fencing, etc after 2 yrs of trying. She was older when I got her and humans failed her from the beginning. I felt she was not at peace in this life and I pray everyday she has found her peace. I do not feel guilty, but, I do feel sadness. She loved me so much.

  71. jill blasdel permalink
    July 22, 2015 8:55 AM

    I have set criteria for euthanasia. no warning growl or wish to avoid the situation. no remorse after biting. repeated attempts or successful bites in same incident. crazy out of body look in the eyes. also add in animal to animal aggression. if a dog has the first four elements, you cannot bring them back to any kind of nornal. I have tried it many times. I bred 2 litters and one of the total of was nuts. he made another dog in that group live a life in fear and she was fine to be below the male. then he started aggression towards the owner. he could have easily killed her. she dropped to the floor to keep him from ripping her arm. I told he must be pts. I went with the family to have it done. instantly the female in the home blossomed into a wonderful confident normal dog. sometimes it just has to happen.

  72. July 22, 2015 9:06 AM

    Having lived with an aggressive dog before, I understand your struggle. 12 years ago, I was working in a local shelter, my first ever rescue experience. We had a police drop off over night, and I came in the next morning to find this tall, lanky, way too skinny, pit mix wagging his tail at me. I was in love in an instant. I waited for his 5 day owner pick-up time to pass, no one ever came for him so I took him straight home. He was 2, or 3 and I knew nothing of his life before the police caught him and brought him to the shelter. Little did I know what I was in for for the next 12 years! He was great with people, fine with my cats, but if he seen another dog it was impossible to control him even from the other side of the street. Having found this out, I was constantly on my guard. For 12 years, walking him was a chore, he never got to go to the dog park, camping, to the beach, or even really play in the yard because our neighbor’s all have dogs as well. I was heartbroken for all of the great things in life he was missing out on and constantly wondered what could have possibly happened to him that he was so aggressive towards other dogs. Every time we walked I was in constant fear that we would cross paths with another dog, one day out in the yard the neighbor’s pit jumped the fence and came over to greet him with a wagging tail, soft submissive posture (She’s a real sweety), and he just tore into her with NO warning what so ever. He passed away, in April of this year after being diagnosed with Hemangioscarcoma, but putting him to sleep for his aggression crossed my mind several times over his life time. See, what’s “best” for a dog is a constant struggle for anyone who works in rescue. We want to save them all, even if we can’t. We want to believe that even the most aggressive dogs have a fix, even if they don’t. We all look at aggressive dogs and instantly blame the owner. Surely this must be something someone did wrong, something that wasn’t taught, or something that was taught, or just poor dog leadership in general. It’s easy to judge another human, especially from the outside of a situation looking in. This isn’t always the case, because we forget that genetics and breeding do effect a dog’s temperament and personality. We all do the best we can for our pets, and when the best we can do is put them to rest, then it’s the right thing to do. I don’t know you, but I know you did everything you could for Sutter, his days with you were full of love and happiness. You have my utmost respect, and sympathy. I’m sorry for your loss, I can only imagine how hard this was and is for you. But from a complete stranger with no judgement, I commend you for having the strength to do the right thing for your boy. I hope you find peace with your decision, as hard as that may be.

    • July 22, 2015 11:41 PM

      Monica, I applaud you for keeping him. Even though he was euthanized due to cancer I know that decision was very hard. Your dog in the pic looks a little like my Simba.

    • July 27, 2015 8:39 AM

      I read this 4, 5 and 6 times. I too spent 8 years protecting my dog from himself. He was kept in a 6×5 foot steel enclosure inside my home. Nothing else would hold him. He bit numerous friends, two landlords and viscously attacked my neighbors dog. He chased my physical therapist through the house and ripped the moulding off the doorway when I locked him in a bedroom so she could get away. He jumped 5 foot high fences. Im sorry to critics who can do better, maybe you should have stepped up when I was reaching out for help. I contacted over 50 shelters, rescues and trainers. No one could help me. This story has no happy ending but sweet memories of Sutter at his good times when he could relax with his family. Sadly, dogs like this have another side that’s uncontrollable.

  73. dogluv55 permalink
    July 22, 2015 9:10 AM

    I believe that some dogs are born with emotional issues that no one can resolve, no matter how much training or love they get. Sometimes the kindest thing to do is to humanely euthanize them. I don’t say that lightly, either. I feel like we get to a place (as the author did with this dog) where we have done everything else we possibly can. My heart goes out to you for your loss.

    • Feral Angel permalink
      July 24, 2015 3:34 AM

      Dogs are not born bad,I’m going to leave it at that

  74. Jasmine permalink
    July 22, 2015 9:16 AM

    You begin by saying he wasn’t sick, but he was. He had mental illness. Maybe realizing that can help you heal.

    I am going through a very similar experience, though my dog hasn’t bitten anyone except for myself. I don’t think he is any better than your dog but we have isolated him and ourselves so much from the outside world that he hasn’t had the chance. Our lives revolve around managing him. We can’t have friends over, can’t take him anywhere, can’t go on vacation, etc… We’ve done all of the same things (training, meds, behaviorist, etc..)
    We may put him down eventually buy aren’t there yet. I just have the upmost empathy for you. I hope people have the same for me if he time comes.
    Take care

    • July 22, 2015 11:43 PM

      Jasmine, plz don’t euthanize him. I would recommend a muzzle until he’s able to realize his behavior is unacceptable.

      • Mary permalink
        July 24, 2015 7:44 AM

        Star, you obviously do not have the experience to be commenting on this. There are some dogs that if you muzzle them, you make them worse. There are some dogs that are miserable for whatever reason and just cannot stop their behavior. It is totally irresponsible to have a dog with behavior that is threatening to others and not put it down. Yes, one should absolutely exhaust all possibilities of changing the dogs behavior, but you cannot risk other pets or other people’s lives (repeatedly) and be a responsible pet owner. When you have a dog (or other animal) that is aggressive, hyper vigilant and cannot be calmed then that dog needs to be put out of it’s misery. And locking them in cages or rooms and never taking them out is highly cruel. They are curious, intelligent creatures that need stimulation. They need changes in their surroundings sp they will not become bored and dangerous, especially working dogs. If you put them in a small, contained environment where they have nowhere to channel their working instincts, they are going to become even more aggressive, fearful, and unpredictable. So, this lady made the most loving decision possible. The dog is no longer suffering from whatever turned him to be hateful and mean. I hope you will learn as you move forward in this world that there are times you simply have to make decisions like these to protect the greater good.

      • MSMinich permalink
        July 24, 2015 8:57 AM

        This comment fully illustrates the depth of your lack of knowledge of animals and this situation. This dog will never be “able to realize” anything about his behavior. Believing that animals think and reason like people never has a good outcome for the animal. I hope no animal with real issues ever has to suffer through life in the “care” of such an ignorant and egotistical drama queen such as you seem to be. You are the problem, not the solution.

      • Liz permalink
        July 24, 2015 5:40 PM

        Star, you’re quite canine-ignorant, to the point of hilarity. I feel sorry for your dogs.

        My 1 yo GSD recently needed a muzzle to have him nails trimmed and his genitals examined. I agree. He’s been socialized and handled from week 1, but does not tolerate these two parts of an exam this time around. She said its common of the breed, especially the more dominant ones, and I agree.

        But guess what, at his last visit the vet called the trimming off before it was complete. Ruger was getting too stressed out TRYING TO GET THE MUZZLE OFF. Persisting does not serve the dog well. The vet did the right thing by the dog.

        Unless you’re a vet or an actual animal expert, stop your idiotic comments because you make yourself sound really dumb.

        The writer saved her dog from a potential awful situation. Good for her for making the RIGHT decision for her dog.

      • July 30, 2015 8:21 PM

        Star, if you are going to dole out advice like this, would you please have the courtesy to provide us with your educational and professional credentials that qualify you to provide said advice? Thank you.

  75. July 22, 2015 9:17 AM

    I spend a large part of my life working with rescue dogs. The vast majority are wonderful but every now and then we come across one like your Sutter.Whether genetics or early socialization, they cannot be redeemed safely. I would hazard a guess that if you could track down the rest of the litter, there would be issues. I also firmly believe that dogs want to live peacefully with people, they are wired that way.
    The dog is is intermittently aggressive knows that there is something “off”. They know they are not meant to be this way. You have done absolutely the very best thing you could do.

  76. Yana permalink
    July 22, 2015 9:29 AM

    I empathize with all of your struggles. It is hard to have a dog with such a fierce personality. However, he is not the only one. There are many dogs like Sutter in the world. You mentioned trying countless techniques but failed to ever mention professional training(talking to a trainer is not the same thing as enrollment in a training program). Believe it or not, there are people out there who are miracle workers with animals…. even with viscous dogs like your own. The reason why your dog may have gotten worse is because you restricted him more. You did not control him because he controlled you. It is very hard to be in a situation like this one and animals are difficult to understand. Putting him down may have been the best thing to do anyways because you can’t fix a dog without fixing an owner. Sorry for your loss.

    • July 22, 2015 9:43 AM

      He was enrolled in a training program. We also met several times with professional trainers, including one who is considered ‘The Dog Whisperer’ of the SF Bay Area, who whips dogs into shape. Sending him to a ‘boot camp’ was not something I would consider because I have always heard that is teaching the dog to respond to that specific trainer, not me.

    • July 22, 2015 11:46 PM

      I agree Yana. If you let a dog think he’s the alpha male you would never be able to control him. And the statement of you can’t fix the dog without fixing the owner is correct.

      • July 23, 2015 1:16 PM

        You did the right thing and I am sorry it was so awful and painful. Love and cherish that your last day together was so beautiful and full of love. Now Sutter will never have to suffer from whatever it was that made his brain tick differently and prevent him from being able to just relax despite the tremendous efforts you made.

        Sutter is running free and and he may have been physically healthy but it’s obvious that his mind wasn’t. You loved him and he knew it. There is nothing better than that. You did good. *hugs*

  77. Common Sense permalink
    July 22, 2015 9:31 AM

    What took you so long? He should have been gone immediately following the moment you realized he was dangerous.

    • Laura Cazalet permalink
      July 22, 2015 10:11 AM

      SHE DID. She saves puppies and dogs as head of a rescue. She got trainers all along the way. Can you stop being such a know it all? Maybe you need some compassion training. If there is anyone on earth who would NOT want to put any animal to sleep it’s this one. Making others afraid of dogs goes against the idea we can adopt all these unwanted puppies out so they won’t be euthanized in high kill shelters. This was not an easy decision. One that took years. Thanks, common sense. You are so insightful. (eyeroll.)

    • July 22, 2015 10:15 AM

      Who are you people to question what this kind soul did? The armchair quarterbacks of the rescue world really make me sick.

  78. Dee permalink
    July 22, 2015 9:36 AM

    I have just planned the last trip my little dog will ever take because she’s become so vicious in the last 7 months, she is a danger to all of us and to herself most of all. It took years to get her to a place where she was emotionally safe and secure enough to be happy – and although we were still always cautious with her because she still had moments of extreme anxiety where she would harm us and herself, they were extremly rare. Now, that is most of her day. We never know what will set her off but everyone has to walk around on eggshells and she knows it. She is no longer my happy little girl and we don’t know why she’s declining. She could be going blind…she could be going deaf…she could have dementia…we just don’t know. I wish it was something I could put a name to so that I would feel less guilty letting her go but I can’t. And until today, I’ve spent too much time telling people (and myself) “You don’t get it. You don’t get her and no, you don’t know how this feels. I MADE this poor little abused dog love life after her horrifc past. I MADE her work until she was happy and I’ve got more scars on my body from her that I care to count because I knew there was a happy dog in there and I found her. She’s “just a dog” to you – but she’s everything to me.” – until today. Thank you for sharing this story. Until today I’ve never felt so utterly alone in the world with the decision I’ve had to make for her. Until today. My heart goes out to you because you get it. Thank you.

  79. July 22, 2015 9:56 AM

    I believe you did the correct thing too. Many others who couldn’t have coped would have just taken him to a shelter, where the outcome would have been the same without all the love. Some just have problems that cannot be solved. Do not beat your self up any more. Perhaps you can go and rescue another deserving creature. I think you were wonderful.

  80. chris permalink
    July 22, 2015 9:58 AM

    I am in a very similar situation. My course of action is to leave him very restricted. He’s a happy loving boy at home but a brain problem and abuse have left him fear aggressive and unpredictable. I have no choice if I don’t want to put him down. I am a good trainer and have worked with a behaviorist and that is why I still have him. The shelter in no uncertain terms said they would put him down if I returned him when I first got him. I’ve spent two and a half years working with him constantly. Friends and family don’t come to my house I go to theirs. Its just the way it has to be. He has not bitten anyone but I also walk him on three leads and a full harness and slip collar. If he were to bite I would put him down. I know you feel horrible but in reality ( which sucks) you really did not have a choice. I think you have to look at it as if you hadn’t taken him in, what do you think would have happened to him? Not many people would give up the things you do to take a dog like this in. I think you did just fine by him. He would not have lasted long with someone else.

    • July 22, 2015 11:50 PM

      Thanks Chris for knowing your dogs triggers and not putting him in situations where he will fail. Keep working with him.

      • linda permalink
        July 23, 2015 10:54 PM

        It hurts like hell but you are not alone.

  81. July 22, 2015 9:59 AM

    My heart is aching for you. I’m so sorry for the unkindness from some people reacting to your post. We can never know until we are in it ourselves. God forbid we ever have to be. Thank you for sharing this story with such honesty. Give yourself the compassion that others who understand would also give you. You acted in courage and in love.

  82. July 22, 2015 10:00 AM

    I’m sorry you went through this. This happened to me and it qas the hardest decision but I know in my heart it was the right decision. .. my dog was seemingly healthy but something was off… she started attacking my other dog out of the blue and my husband and I got hurt as well… my other dog almost got her leg snapped in two, I had to go to the hospital, my dog had to be put in quarantine and on a list, if she bit anyone else she would have been taken from me and perhaps put to sleep by strangers…. she even started hurting herself, and the vet had no more treatment options for us to try… the vet suggested re-homing but c’mon she was 10yrs old no one else would love her as much as I did, and I was worried she would be abandoned or abused or die sad without me…. I cry each time I think about this but it was the only viable decision… you did the right thing… you gave your dog a great life and love til the very end… no one else that has not lived this will ever understand…. and that’s how it is… but if you know in your heart you did all possible then that’s all you need to know.

  83. July 22, 2015 10:18 AM

    Bless your heart. You are not alone. I recently had to make that decision with a dog I’d only known for 24 hours. He had been used as a fighting dog and, apparently, had been so abused by humans he had crossed the line. After trying to attack everyone in the vets office and then turning on me, we made the difficult but necessary decision to euthanize him. Only one person questioned the decision and it was someone who wasn’t familiar with street level rescue. The armchair quarterbacks are usually the least experienced in the group. You gave him 8 wonderful years he never would have had but he was like having a loaded gun just ready to go off. Take comfort in the many people who understand and support you.

  84. Monica Ferrick permalink
    July 22, 2015 10:27 AM

    Thank you for your story along with all the comments to follow. I’m going thru the same thing right now. My sister’s dog is a sweet loving dog. But after a year of behaviorists and trainers, along with her vet’s diagnosis that something is just “off with her”. Next week she will be cross that rainbow bridge and I havne’t stopped crying. My sister is the one feeling quilty that she didn’t do enough. We will both miss her terribly – every morning for her gentle but excited kisses and seeing how happy she is riding on our pontoon boat catching whateve sniffs come her way. I love her and hope that my dad is in heaven waiting to greet her and love her like we do. Peace to you and maybe Sutter can meet my Kona girl when she arrives.

  85. July 22, 2015 10:29 AM

    I am crying as I write this for I am, also, in rescue and had to make this decision about one of my fosters, who I had since he was only three days old. Like your story, he was aggressive and tried to kill several of my other foster and personal dogs, almost succeeding on more than one occasion. Four and a half years of medication, training, crating, taking advice from the vet and trainers, and still no change. Finally, after he attacked a seven week old puppy I had taken in, nearly killing her, we made the heart wrenching decision to euthanize him, freeing him from whatever demons he had. It’s been five years and I still feel guilty; wondered what we could have done differently. One will never know why your Sutter or our Hershey began to behave in the way they did, but now they are at peace. Thank you for sharing this.

  86. July 22, 2015 10:31 AM

    I also am teary eyed because I went through almost the same thing and the outcome was the same. After 6 + years of trying to adjust the world to one of my dogs, he almost killed one of my own dogs – the one who was always his buddy. She was trying to submit and he almost killed her for absolutely no reason, no toy, no bone, just a sudden ferocious attack – It was the scariest thing breaking him away. His end was much as you describe and we still mention him with fondness from time to time, although he has been gone for 10 years. You did the only thing possible – as a responsible guardian, sometimes it is the only thing you can do. 😦

  87. Limey in Oklahoma permalink
    July 22, 2015 10:33 AM

    I too am in rescue, and have euthanized a healthy dog because he was wired wrong, the grief was unbearable because I couldn’t help him, I too tried everything, and restricted the dog to the point that he had no freedom, that’s no way to live, bless you for trying, and hugs for the pain…. you did the right thing.

  88. LuAnne P. Origer permalink
    July 22, 2015 10:37 AM

    Take comfort in knowing you gave him everything you could possibly give him and ultimately the greatest gift of peace and safety forever. If he’d ever hurt anyone badly, his end could have come much less gently so you did your best and what was right. Take care. And keep on caring like you do.

  89. Elaine weinheimer permalink
    July 22, 2015 10:44 AM

    You did the only thing you could do. Dogs can have brain defects, and wiring issues like humans. Meds do not work well. He had a good life. You gave him a chance to have that life. Some to was off in his head. Bless you for being there for sutter

  90. Maureen Burke permalink
    July 22, 2015 10:59 AM

    The best thing you can do for a dog is love him. You did that. You loved him through everything. You tried everything. Sutter is lucky to have had you. And, in the end, you did the best for him again. You freed him from himself. Hugs to you. My hat is off to you. Sutter was very lucky, and so were you.

  91. Karen magana permalink
    July 22, 2015 11:11 AM

    First I want to say thank you so much for sharing your story. I had to make the same pain staking decision for my girl 6 months ago. I have lived in shame and guilt this whole time because I felt like I was a terrible person and no one would do what I did. Reading your story has helped me know that I am not alone. I too am a big animal rescuer and foster so this really has taken a toll on me morally. I loved her with every ounce of my soul but she was just to dangerous in the end. The pain is so unbearable sometimes I question my self everyday.

    • July 22, 2015 11:33 AM

      My heart aches for you and the loss of your dog. Sometimes we have to do the unthinkable to save ourselves and others. Something was wrong with him in this brain, its like a child being born a sociopath. Love cannot change it. All the love you gave him could not change him. You stayed with him until the end. God Bless you and praying that you heal. You may have saved a child from something this dog did that would haunt you forever. Smile again knowing you did more for him than anyone else ever could. Love and hugs from East Tx.

  92. Lindz permalink
    July 22, 2015 11:32 AM

    My partner and I have been where you are.
    I commend you for doing the right thing, for making the humane and responsible decision. What is right and responsible and ultimately humane, is frequently not the easy decision or the one that results in praise. You put Sutter’s best interests ahead of your own. You made a responsible, far-sighted decision that will never give you warm fuzzies, but you did the right thing.
    Tune out those who say that you could have done more, that think every single dog can be saved. Not every single one can be saved and eventually luck runs out. We are barely at a point where we can treat mental illness in people, let alone in our animal companions. Humans at least have the ability to understand, (albeit not in all cases), that they have an issue with their wiring. Dogs cannot. They cannot pick and choose which side effects from medications are tolerable, they cannot tell you that they are doing better or that they are in such a fog that it’s untenable.
    We can try to save every dog, but the sad fact is that there are those that we can’t and letting them slip away in their person’s arms is sometimes the best thing for all involved.
    I wish you comfort and strength and commend you for making the responsible decision.

  93. Kailan permalink
    July 22, 2015 11:41 AM

    I know as a rescue person myself, getting dogs vaccinated is one of the first things that happens when they come in if there’s no prior history. But studies are showing, over-vaccination can cause very serious side effects, especially rabies vaccines. I’m so sorry to hear what you’ve gone through with your boy 😦 I thought I’d share this article with you in case it it triggers some similarities in regards to your dog’s behaviour

  94. Pat W. permalink
    July 22, 2015 12:04 PM

    look at it from Sutters eyes -every day he was afraid, so afraid that he had to always be on the alert from those unknown dangers and fears whenever he stepped outside the house. He loved you, and his immediate “pack” but could not take emotionally – psychologically the final step to trust anyone outside that pack. What a could his life have been like everyday living with that fear. I am not saying that you should have released him sooner – maybe you should have, but that was your decision, something you have to deal with. However I am sure too that the relief you felt when you made your decision was passed on to Sutter in his final moments know that he was truly loved and that he didnt need to be afraid anymore. You made perhaps one of the hardest decisions you will ever have to make in your life and I applaude you for it.

  95. Kurt permalink
    July 22, 2015 12:35 PM

    Thank you for posting your story. I went through this just over a week ago. I won’t go into all the details but our family has always had rescue dogs and we have fostered over 200 cats for a rescue organization. For the last several years one of our dogs had become increasingly agressive to another dog in the house (resulting in several fights) and tense around our cats. We spent a lot of time and money trying to fix the situation and then trying to rehome her. After a family member was hurt breaking up the last attack, we knew that we had no other choice than to do the unthinkable. It is still raw and I felt like I failed her, but I know for the sake of everyone else I had to do it. I chose to be there when she was put down and have asked for her ashes, since despite everything, she was still my dog. I just want you to know that you are not alone, and your story makes me realize that I am not either.

  96. July 22, 2015 12:36 PM

    I have been wqhere you are with rescue dogs. The decision you made was the right one, and even thought you KNOW that, the guilt will eat your heart up.
    Stay strong. I am sorry you have had to go through this.

  97. Patrick permalink
    July 22, 2015 12:36 PM

    May 3rd in 2013. I made the same choice as you. My heart goes out to you, but remember you made the right choice. My pup lady was perfect for me, to others and other dogs she was aggressive. I had the lawsuits, I had the sorrow for others she has bitten. I put her through all the training as you did. Nothing worked. After 11 years I made the call. Tough, but necessary. Nothing changes how much you love your dog. As a dog dad you have to be responsible for their actions. May god relieve your sorrow and guilt, remember the pup as when you were alone. Blessings to you. Your puppy is happy and relaxed across the rainbow bridge.

  98. July 22, 2015 1:08 PM

    Thank you for sharing.

    I shared your post on my Fb wall today, because I think it’s so important that people understand. For some dogs, it really is the absolute kindest thing you can do.

    I am so sorry for your pain and grief, but thank you.

    Thank you for being brave enough for Sutter, to let him go in a wonderful way with a wonderful last day under his belt and yours. And, additionally, thank you for being brave enough to share this with everyone else.

    You made a hard choice, and I hope it helps someone else making a similar one, to understand that while guilt and grief will happen and that’s ok, you made the right choice, for your dog, the people around you, and your family.

  99. July 22, 2015 1:50 PM

    Reblogged this on kathrynprimmdvm and commented:
    I do not ever euthanize healthy animals….except in cases like these.

  100. Julie permalink
    July 22, 2015 1:52 PM

    My heart aches for you and for precious Sutter. I honestly don’t know if I could have done it in your case because he was so good at home, but I did have to do the same for a dog I rescued who got so severe that no one could go near her, including me, the person she loved more than anyone. She was only 3 years old and I had had her for a year. It was the most difficult decision I’ve ever made. Comfort and peace to you – you didn’t send him to nothingness, he’s back with his Creator, healthy once more.

  101. July 22, 2015 1:52 PM

    Reblogged this on The Why of Reason.

  102. Kim burnett permalink
    July 22, 2015 1:56 PM

    Amazingly brave piece Indrani. So honest with such a hard decision. You gave him an amazing home for many years. He will always love you for that. That meant the world to him.

  103. Sandi Rohrbaugh permalink
    July 22, 2015 2:01 PM

    You obviously love you dog so much. I have two English Mastiffs. Sisters, littermates. One of them is amazing with people and animals, the other is not. She lunges, unprovoked. She has bitten other dogs and nipped at a neighbor. She went from calm, wagging tail to lunging and nipping. She also provokes horrible fights with her sister. We now have her on prozac. The fights with her sister have just about ended, but I am still skeptical about taking her out in public. I hope medication works for her, but if it doesn’t, I will be facing the same decision you have. Thank you so much for your bravery and willingness to share your story.

  104. July 22, 2015 2:19 PM

    you did all you could and I cried when I read your story and know so well your pain.

  105. Liam Mazuk permalink
    July 22, 2015 2:45 PM


  106. Maureen permalink
    July 22, 2015 2:48 PM

    You did the right thing. We had a large foster dog who had numerous triggers that came out of nowhere. He attacked every dog in our home, bit me and my husband (2x). When he attacked one of our dogs coming back into the house near my husband who was holding our infant granddaughter, we knew it was time. When a pet becomes a huge liability, those difficult decisions have to be made. And made out of love for everyone involved. The dog is not happy being so unstable. We all try out best to work it out with a beloved pet, but often times you just can’t fix bad genetics or past trauma. Trauma becomes biology. Though it’s very sad when it comes down to the hard decisions, it is a humane choice all the was around.

  107. July 22, 2015 2:51 PM

    I recently put my dog down. She was 15 and failing but it was still the hardest thing I’ve ever done. My heart aches for you.

  108. July 22, 2015 2:53 PM

    Thank you for sharing your heartfelt story. We, too, went through the very painful decision that was 5 years in the making: to humanely euthanize a big, sweet, male Gordon Setter we adopted at age 8. His name was William, and he was an owner surrender due to a “volatile divorce situation” according to the rescue. Within months we learned that William suffered from Dominance Aggression, and we did everything we could to help him. He would bite us, but because he had a genetic defect called Parrot Mouth, his shorter lower jaw prevented his splayed teeth from breaking the skin. We would always simply walk away to diffuse any situation. We loved him unconditionally for five years and adjusted our lifestyle (no large family gatherings at our house) to keep his unpredictable behavior to a minimum. In the final months, he began quietly approaching me, almost like a stalking behavior, and growling at me when my back was to him, i.e. when I was washing dishes at the kitchen sink. The afternoon he cornered me in the kitchen and yanked at and ripped my t-shirt was the final, sad, heartbreaking and transformative moment for me. Like you, I had fleeting thoughts about euthanizing him for years but I always put them out of my head. My husband adored William and even though he had come to realize William’s behavior would only escalate to the point he would really hurt someone, it killed him to agree it was finally time to put him down. We both spent what seemed like forever at out vet’s office at the end of the day, and in the end, William went peacefully in our arms. I think he knew and welcomed the passage. I was sobbing, my husband was trying to hold himself together, and our vet, who knew all too well what we and William had been through over 5 years, said we did the kindest and courageous deed, that we “released William from his demons.” That is the only thing that saved us emotionally, and helped us heal, knowing that he is finally at peace. And of course, he will live in our hearts and thoughts forever, too. You are definitely not alone, and we all grieve with you, and I’m convinced you WILL find peace in your decision.

    • anissa d permalink
      July 22, 2015 3:14 PM

      I’ve felt comfort on this blog. I kick myself everyday because I wonder if I could have done more for him. Prayers for everyone that has been through this.

  109. hannah greene permalink
    July 22, 2015 2:56 PM

    i believe you have done the right thing. i work in a shelter and bring many aggressive animals home to work with, some of them improve and have gone on to be adopted, but i have had to make the decision for more than i’ve wanted, that they would never be safe to be in society. my heart is with you, may you have peace.

  110. mary permalink
    July 22, 2015 3:01 PM

    My heart goes out to you. I had to destroy my 5 year old rotti 12 years ago and it still hurts. I know in my head – like you = I did the right thing for him BUT the heart says you took a life that was full, wonderful and happy He was my bestest friend in the world and with the family Mr. Jones was as gentle as a lamb. But I couldn’t trust him anywhere. I, too, hired a trainer – obedience level two trained but i was given a court order to destroy the dangerous dog. I could not give him to anyone else tokill him. I had to do it in the most pleasant, humane way. The last day of his life was filled with love, treats and good times. But it still hurts and probably always will,. Stay strong – you did the right thing for him.

  111. Rachel permalink
    July 22, 2015 3:03 PM

    I read this and tears welled up in my eyes. I hope you find a sense of peace knowing you did the best you could and showed him dog love during the time he was with you. I am very sorry for your loss.

  112. anissa d permalink
    July 22, 2015 3:11 PM

    I had the same similar situation happen with a “foster dog” I was homing. He bit a child viciously and wouldn’t let go. I still feel pain and guilt for “Jake” and the child he attacked in my home. I have found other ways to help my foster group I love so much. It’s been 7 weeks and I still cry. I feel your pain.

  113. July 22, 2015 3:51 PM

    My son adopted a dog from the SPCA, a year and a half old Anatolian Shepherd (BIG dog, 150 pounds), according to them the people who owned him before said he “needed to be in a place where he could run around.” My son fell in love with him and then the biting started, one neighbor so bad that they cancelled my ex-husband’s house insurance because my son and the dog lived there. He was sent to a trainer, he was muzzled and his bad behavior continued. I told him he needed to have the dog put down, he’d had him for 2 years and nothing had changed with his personality and I didn’t want the dog to kill someone. He knew it was the right thing to do and he finally did, he was heartbroken but eventually he realized it was for the best. You did everything humanly possible for your dog so go easy on yourself.
    I firmly believe that the people who originally turned him in knew he had this issue and that’s the reason they dropped him off at the SPCA so they were less than honest with them.

  114. July 22, 2015 3:54 PM

    I am so sorry for your pain. I have a Yorkie poo that can get quite nasty. I have scars from him. If he was a bigger dog this might be my story. This was a difficult decision. God bless you and Sutter.

  115. Karen Hendrickson permalink
    July 22, 2015 3:58 PM

    TEARS! I am so very sorry that you felt that you had to do that. How difficult that was for you, I can only imagine. In my head and my heart I feel that you made the right decision. My heart hurts though as I feel empathy for you for that final day, and for Jake as well. He had no idea what was coming. You had to do it for the reason you said…to save Jake from himself. I am so sorry. RIP Jake. No more stress.

  116. Shelly permalink
    July 22, 2015 4:07 PM

    I just want to say to anyone who is saying this was an “easy” decision or the “Easy way out” you obviously have never been in this position.

    It is the most excruciating, unselfish decision that can be made when it comes to truly dangerous dogs who are loved very much. It is not selfish or easy to decide to let your best friend go. It would be selfish to keep a dangerous dog around, risking the safety of people and dogs. It would be easy to lock the dog up, never take him outside, and let him live a miserable existence while telling yourself “at least he’s alive!”

    No one judges the person that makes the difficult decision to euthanize their dog whose body is failing them, but still has a zest for life. Why do we judge those who make the same decision for the dog whose mind is/has failed them, has no desire to live a “normal” life, but is healthy in body?

    To the author, I am so sorry for your loss. For every one of the naive individuals who thinks they know best, there are many of us who understand the deep sadness you must be feeling. You made the best decision for everyone involved, even if it doesn’t feel that way now.

    • Sherry Macie permalink
      July 24, 2015 6:46 PM

      Shelly you said it better than I ever could. Thank you

  117. D Hack permalink
    July 22, 2015 4:20 PM

    So sorry you had to go thru this , I had a dog I rescued at 2 yrs old , when he was 10 I also had to do this , he would go into rages until I talked him out of it , but he was getting harder to manage , the kindest thing to do was let him go …after 15 yrs I still miss him

  118. July 22, 2015 4:24 PM

    Yesterday, I also had to put down a dog I rescued. I loved him so much, I wanted to keep him since I knew he would never be adoptable. He was beaten for all of his short life and sadly was too hard to rehabilitate, he was dangerous for my family (me, my boyfriend, our dog, and our rescue cats). I took a heartbreaking decision and got judged for doing this as a rescue. It was not really a choice, because if I had a choice it would have been something else. Instead my boyfriend and I cried on the cold floor while holding our baby dog. I never want to do this again. Thank you for posting this article. I feel a little better seeing you described everything I did and everything I felt. I feel less alone now and I hope he’s good where he is. Nobody can hurt him now.

  119. dee permalink
    July 22, 2015 4:33 PM

    Sounds to me like you failed him. I have a dog similar but continue to make it work. Whatever makes you feel better I guess? My dog we keep at home and do not take him around children or other people.

    • pbf permalink
      July 22, 2015 10:12 PM

      Sounds to me, dee, like you failed at reading the story and at having compassion for others.

  120. Angie permalink
    July 22, 2015 4:34 PM

    This is so heartbreaking. You were the absolute best thing ever for Sutter. What a lucky, lucky, lucky dog. He had a wonderful life with you. Euthanasia is not the worst case scenario at all. I truly believe when animals have these issues, that it is mental torture for them. They don’t know how to tell us, so they act out. You are a wonderful owner and rescuer. Never stop believing that.

  121. Beth permalink
    July 22, 2015 4:41 PM

    Thank you for sharing your story.

  122. Priscilla permalink
    July 22, 2015 4:42 PM

    I’m in tears as I read your blog and my heart aches for you . Everything you’ve said I’ve wondered if this might be me one day if I don’t find answers for my 5 yr old corgi . Carly ..she’s on meds has been for 3 yrs but they have stopped working these past few weeks. Thankfully she hasn’t bitten any one . I’m not afraid of her but she does growls at me when I make her behave . She is never relaxed even when I walk her which is so stressful nobody can approach and she very fearful of other dogs. She’s been in many fights with my other corgi who is very cautious of her and scared .
    Still I pray for answers and as I sit her holding her leash to keep her from attacking him I wonder what her future will be.😢

  123. Chris permalink
    July 22, 2015 4:46 PM

    Heartbreaking, sorry you had to do that. One of my dogs, a big male part sheppard, part collie,started exhibiting similar aggression when he was about two. He and his sibs had all gone to puppy kindergarden and did well with other dogs. Like you I was afraid to take him out in public. He bit a child, several friends, and strangers arriving at my house unannounced. Once he bit a kid playing Lord of the flies with a spear along the river. Fortunately, no one reported him/me.I investigated options, spoke with my vet and undertook a training regime. with lots of attention he became a super sweet dog and eventually became a greeter at my business. During the transition period I was afraid I would have to do as you did.In his case, things turned out okay but I sure know what you went through.

  124. Dwesildog permalink
    July 22, 2015 4:49 PM

    Hon, you are NOT a failure. You are a strong amazing person. I don’t know you, but I’ve walked in your shoes. Our boy Dwesil is much, much like Sutter. We do (did at this point) rescue, and he came to us as a foster at 5 weeks with a URI. From the beginning we had that feeling of offness as well. Something was not quite right. We even knew it was a sign of future issues. So we adopted him, believing he would be better off with someone that knew behavior issues were likely.
    In his puppy training class the aggression started showing with other dogs. He was three months. We did tons of training, and socializing but he kept getting worse.
    Only dogs though, at least at this point, he is 3. But we don’t take chances. Company means crate. I’m not risking his life by introducing him to people he hasn’t always known.
    When he turned one, he started fighting with our second dog. We paid 1500 to a behaviorist with an amazing reputation to try and fix the situation.
    It seemed to work.
    But now he’s going blind, (SARDS) and the aggression is back to our other dog. We just paid last week over a grand on vet bills from the fight, the first since the behaviorist.
    My mother will be taking our older dog soon, which kills me to do, but my options are limited. A soon to be entirely blind dog with aggression issues…. Well rehoming him is impossible.
    Luckily we have a hard with privacy fences on all sides.
    As long as it is only dog aggression, he is manageable because of this.
    he like Sutter, is amazing with us and those he’s known good whole life.

    But many times I’ve had to think about what you had to do. Acknowledge that it might be the way that the cards fall. Accepting that, it’s guilt filled but there’s a knowledge that it is the option the only one left on the table.

    It’s a hard choice, but you did right hon. You did the best you could.

  125. Kim permalink
    July 22, 2015 4:56 PM

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. Today will be one month that I had to make the decision to put my beautiful boy Trevor down. Your story reads exactly like mine with the exception of I did not rescue Trevor I purchased him from a breeder in Arizona. Trevor was a four-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback and the love of my life.
    As a puppy I could tell he was A very dominant male and I did two different kinds of training throughout his four years he was my running partner my buddy a part of our family he made us laugh. The same thing happened with Trevor he started with agression he wanted to attack moving vehicles anything that moved he bit my best friend where she had to go to the emergency room no stitches he bit my uncle and put 10 stitches in his hand that was reported Trevor was quarantined for two weeks. He growled at everyone that came to the door my daughters girlfriends were terrified of him where they used to love him he became a dog that I did not know wearing a muzzle any time there were people around. I was unable to walk him on the beach on the bike path any place where there were other dogs or humans. He was 110 pounds of brute strength after he went after a neighbor with no warning I knew that I had to do the same thing you did so one month ago today I had my ex-husband take him because I was too much of a coward to do it myself. I grieve every day I look at his basket full of toys and bones and I can’t part with it. One week ago we adopted a 5 pound Chihuahua mix he’s 11 weeks. The guilt I have is starting to fade I just know in my heart what I did was right I couldn’t live with myself, just like you, if he killed another dog or bit a little girls face and scarred her for life . I know what you’re feeling I know exactly what you went through I hope you find peace and realize what you did was for the best and maybe in time you can rescue and give another dog a chance of life Thanks for sharing your story I cried in fact I’m crying as I’m writing this but in some way you have made me feel better. Thank you again!

  126. Tami permalink
    July 22, 2015 5:05 PM

    I can appreciate what you are going through as I had to face those same issues with 2 wild kittens that I had rescued at 4-6 weeks of age that later turned in to adult cats that would bite me and those around me and would make awful messes in the house when they were upset at me for some reason of another. I loved them and I’m sure that they loved me, but I too have wondered about saving these really young kittens, bottle feeding them and so forth without the proper mother/littermate interactions that normal healthy kittens (and I dare say puppies too) get before they are typically rehomed at 8+ weeks if that was a big contributing factor in their behavioral health issues as adults. Like you I felt guilty and heart broken for putting them down, but as my vet so kindly pointed out (I am a LVT as well) that I did everything I could to have done to give them the best possible life that they could have had. They knew love, a warm bed and home, a full belly and never wanted for anything and that is far more than what they would have gotten living on the streets or in someone else’s home. I’m sorry for your loss and the pain that you’re going through. It is never easy to make that decision for anyone, but trust me… it sounds like it was the best one for Sutter given the circumstances. Your decision was an act of loving kindness and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, because he got to have a peaceful passing in your loving arms and not something else. Many hugs to you and it will get better someday.

  127. July 22, 2015 5:10 PM

    I am so sorry for your loss. that decision is one of the hardest you will ever make. My heart hurts for you. I also think you did the right thing. I was a vet tech for 15 years, and have seen many owners have to make that same decision for different reasons. You may have saved a child’s life.

  128. cathy kenny permalink
    July 22, 2015 5:10 PM

    I understand what you are feeling. I also rescue dogs, yet I had to put down my 2 year old boy for the same reason. With family he was the perfect companion, loving and gentle. But he was untrustworthy with strangers or other dogs. We starting having issues when he was 6 months. We tried everything, including a specialist with wolf-dogs. Things only escalated until one day a toddler broke free from her mother and ran to “pet the puppy”. You never want to see your dog grab a toddler and shake her. We were lucky, the bite was to the shoulder. I still regret having to do it, although I am very sure that it was the right decision.

  129. Bari permalink
    July 22, 2015 5:11 PM

    As much as this broke your heart, and my heart in just reading your story, you did the right and only thing. RIP Sutter. You were dearly loved.

  130. lizhartwell permalink
    July 22, 2015 5:15 PM

    Know that you did the most compassionate and kind thing for him. He was obviously suffering inside despite the best love, treatment, kindness and compassion you showered upon him throughout his life. There was nothing left for you to do except extend his suffering by allowing him to live a life full of restrictions and eventually contempt. I wish that more people would remember that there is dignity in death, and in this case, you did the most dignified, compassionate, and rational things possible. You did not fail him in any way whatsoever; in fact, you did the right thing. Sutter was surrounded by love, which is more then most dogs get in a lifetime. Even up to the minute he finally was able to rest. I am sorry that you had to go through this, and I am sending healing thoughts your way although you are not someone I know. Please also extend compassion towards yourself, you did the most loving thing possible.

  131. Heather permalink
    July 22, 2015 5:18 PM

    I lived like this for many years myself, so I know exactly what you went through. Always being on edge when new people or any animals are around, it’s extremely stressful living that way. I, as hard as it was, came to the same conclusion you did. I did it for my dog. I didn’t want anyone else to select when it was her time, I wanted to make sure I could be there with her. You will get through this. You were a very strong Person for so many years, you’ll only be stronger now.

  132. Jen permalink
    July 22, 2015 5:34 PM

    Once you take responsibility for a living creature, you feel guilt even when that guilt is unwarranted.

    You didn’t cut his life short, you blessed him with extra time that he couldn’t have experienced under other circumstances. And then you rescued him from spending the rest of his life in isolation, being angry and afraid, never understanding why his life changed so dramatically.

    Sometimes, no matter what you do, the very best possible outcome to a situation tears your heart out. That doesn’t mean that you handled this wrong, just that he was a very fortunate dog to have a human as loving and compassionate as you are.

  133. Bonnie Mclain permalink
    July 22, 2015 6:07 PM

    You did what you had to do and in a very kind manner.. What if he bit someone and they turned on him. My daughter does dog rescue and I went with her one time to put down a dog that was like yours.. I tried to comfort her that you cannot save them all.. Sometimes the temperament was established early on and cannot be changed.
    Your dog is playing with mine who we put down last year due to age and poor health.. How happy they are now. Please be at peace with your actions although I know grief is hard…

  134. July 22, 2015 6:11 PM

    To say this is heartbreaking is an understatement. I will not judge you for your decision because if you are an animal lover, that could not have been easy. However, I cannot imagine taking a step as drastic and final as that. I would have muzzled my dog everytime I took him for a walk. I have a 6 year old Pitbull who is extremely anti social when it comes to other animals and she will kill whatever it is, if she sees it. She has attacked several dogs due to her behavior and thankfully we were able to contain her before it got worse. That being said and knowing the risks, I take every and all precautions to keep her and everyone else’s dog safe. Our yard is not fenced in and there are people that walk their dogs, ride bikes etc…everday. I am always “surveying” before I take her out, she is never outside alone and if it is a nice day and I know there will be people out, she always has her shock collar on. In 6 years I have only had to use it once. After that, when she starts to take off I warn her with a beep and she stops. She remembers what that shock felt like. I am not saying this to make you question what you have done or to make you feel more guilt than you already do, it is just hard for me to even imagine my girl doing anything that would make me end her life. I have to say that I am extremely heartbroken for Sutter, especially since you said he was a very loving and affectionate dog when he was in his own environment. Had he been vicious and mean with you, then I believe, (from an outsiders perspective) your decision would have been a bit more understandable. It is the fact that he wasn’t that is bringing out the confusion. At any rate, I pray that since he has passed, he is somewhere safe in his new life with much love and happiness. Peace be with you.

    • pbf permalink
      July 22, 2015 10:15 PM

      You know, one of the problems with having a dog like this is that you only have to fail once for something horrible to happen. You only have to have one repairperson leave the front door open by accident, or one leash or muzzle fall off, or…. Yeah, I hope you never fail, because someone will suffer the consequences, and it probably won’t be you. Some of us choose not to risk it.

  135. Bonnie permalink
    July 22, 2015 6:11 PM

    I’m sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine the pain you are feeling. But I have an idea

  136. July 22, 2015 6:26 PM

    I had to do the same thing with one of mine, and for the same reasons. He finally attacked my elderly father for stepping in my yard. I would never have forgiven myself if it had been a small child, or someone less forgiving than my own daddy. While we were waiting to see if Daddy’s hand was going to have to be amputated due to his shielding his face during the attack, I had to put my four year old baby down. I cried all night and took him the next morning. I still grieve for him 4 years later. I just hope he knows he was loved dearly.

  137. July 22, 2015 6:49 PM

    I’m so sorry.

  138. July 22, 2015 6:54 PM

    you should never own a pet again, not even a goldfish. Would you pull the switch on your kid if he murdered someone? He had issues outside of the house not inside. You should have kept him muzzled while outside and enjoyed him while he was in. You are your pets voice. My dog had bit a couple of people and never once did I think about euthanizing him. I’m crying reading this. You are a sorry SOB and should go kill yourself!!! My dog had arthritis and heart problems I did all I could to save him and he should have been euthanized and I never once thought about it. Your stupid azz put a healthy dog down and should have tried to find him a home with someone on a farm or something where he can run around and enjoy life!!!I WOULD NEVER EUTHANIZE A DOG EVER!!!

    • Kelly Guerriero permalink
      July 22, 2015 8:00 PM

      You are honestly such a sad soul, Star Mitchell. I am absolutely appalled that you are berating Indrani, someone you don’t even know, for what she did yet you’re willing to tell her to kill herself. You must live a very sad life and I will pray for you because living with that much hate is not good. You should learn compassion and find something better to do with your life than troll people on the Internet. Indrani is an amazing person and this was an extremely tough choice for her. I have seen, first hand, how affected she is by the decision she was forced to make. I hope you rethink your words in the future because words can have a huge impact.

      • July 23, 2015 3:42 PM

        It seems to me that Star is unbalanced and needs help. To wish someone to die seems to me a sign of a severely unbalanced person. To say you would NEVER euthanize a dog is very cruel. There are absolutely times where this is an appropriate decision whether for sickness, injury or in this case, uncontrollable aggressiveness. It sounds as if you would prefer to have your dog n pain, with poor quality of life, than to release them from physical or mental pain. That is the epitome of selfishness.

        To the original poster, I sat here and sobbed over this story. You did what was right for Sutter. It is unfair to have a dog, who is hard wired to please, on edge at all times and fearful. There has to be quality of life for the animal AND you have a resposibility to others to protect them from injury. As a devoted dog parent and being involved in rescue myself I know how hard this decision was. You tell yourself let me try one more thing or I can keep him completely isolated from triggers but the reality is that life and accidents happen. Like someone else said no matter how vigilant you are you never know when another person visiting your home could make an error. And if someone died or was seriously injured by that error, you could never forgive yourself. My heart goes out to you. Know you gave Sutter 9 wonderful years of love and devotion. Many others never make it out of a shelter. That could have been him or He could have ended up in an endless cycle of adoptions and dumping in shelters, or been abused and beaten in response to his issues.

    • pbf permalink
      July 22, 2015 10:18 PM

      Wow, that’s messed up, Star Mitchell. “I did all I could to save him and he should have been euthanized and I never once thought about it.” So what you’re saying is that your dog was in a lot of pain and you wouldn’t let him out of it? What a fine, compassionate specimen you must be! Your FB page is all full of drama and your complaints about people saying things about you. Normal people don’t have that on their FB pages. You know, normal people who mind their own business and try to be kind to others.

      • July 22, 2015 10:56 PM

        No my dog was not in a lot of pain. He had medical issues that he was being treated. I had another dog who had prostate cancer and I was doing all I could to save him. If it were not for a vet that told me there was nothing else that could be done for him and the tumor was pressing on his spine to whereas he lost the ability to walk on his hind legs I would not have euthanized him. Mind you, I didn’t take him to get euthanized that decision was made on the spot at the Humane Society vets office. I took him to several vets who kept misdiagnosing him and putting him on meds even though his situation was not improving. My cat had cancer and the vet wanted to euthanize her. I told him no. He said as long as she was eating and not having any pain just let her live. Like I said, “I WOULD NEVER TAKE A DOG TO A VET TO BE EUTHANIZED!!!.

        As far as you, PBF, Mind your bizness lurka. I can’t believe your nosey azz went further then this forum and lurked on my fb page!!! Worry about whats on this post instead of playing detective you POS!!!

    • Elynne permalink
      July 23, 2015 1:48 AM

      My My My ~~~ Little Miss Judgmental is so very perfect. **sarcasm intended** By now you should realize that you and your poor writing skills are definitely not liked here.

    • Carolina permalink
      July 23, 2015 7:07 AM

      You actually told this person to go kill herself??? Shame on you.

    • BME permalink
      July 23, 2015 9:29 AM

      Star, you seem like a very angry person who thinks she knows everything, but cleary does not. Having dogs is not the same as being a professional in dog care and behavior. Anyone schmuck can own a dog and believe the way they raise their dogs is right, even if it is completely wrong. It is lovely that you are so passionate but maybe using that passion for good instead of degrading people you don’t know, who do so much good, would be a better use of your time.

      I fostered a puppy that had distemper and had neurological symptoms after she recovered. Her whole body would twitch every few seconds. She was an amazing, happy puppy, but she couldn’t walk without face planting every few seconds and eventually ate less and less. We brought her to a neurologist and physical therapist. We put her on medication that was not 100% guaranteed to work and it didn’t.

      I kept telling myself she was getting better and was just lying to myself. I had to make the hardest decision ever, just like Indrani did, and end her suffering. She was only 9 weeks old and I cried and still cry sometimes. Prolonging a dog’s life so you don’t feel guilty or sad, is selfish. Allowing a dog to have a peaceful crossing before things escalate is being completely selfless because you ar ignoring all your sadness purely for the benefit of the dog.

      You don’t know Indrani and all the thousands of lives she has saved or what she does on a daily basis to make a dent in the overpopulation issue in shelters, but you should.

      There is this thing called empathy, and you apparently lack it.

      I’m not expecting to change your mind because you obviously think everything you say is right, so I’m sorry, but I can’t help you with that fallacy.

      And to be honest, I really hope you are just a sad troll and not truly the angry and heartless person you are portraying yourself as. If you are not a troll, then I feel bad for you. It must be exhausting being so hateful.

      • MSMinich permalink
        July 24, 2015 9:20 AM

        I think she is all of the above things LOL, I “lurked” her page to see if there were any redeeming qualities to be found, there were not. I feel truly sorry for any animal in her care.

    • Rita permalink
      July 23, 2015 10:03 AM

      Regarding Star Mitchell. Only a very sick person would tell someone to “go kill” themselves. I regret responding to this poster’s other comment. This is cyber bullying and abusive, and she is doing it to a hurt and vulnerable person. She should not be allowed to comment here.

    • July 23, 2015 5:17 PM

      Star, !I WOULD NEVER EUTHANIZE A DOG EVER!!! “I WOULD NEVER TAKE A DOG TO A VET TO BE EUTHANIZED!!!. STAR, you should not be allowed to own a dog ever. your the kind of person that would let it die in pain at home so you can say,“I WOULD NEVER TAKE A DOG TO A VET TO BE EUTHANIZED!!! you are such a sorry excuse for a humane being. and i meant humane not human. can’t wait to share this on my facebook page so all the real animal lovers, real animal rescuers can read your comments and laugh.

    • July 30, 2015 8:39 PM

      Star, I had read and commented on some of your other posts before I got as far as this one. I’m am stunned by this post. Anyone who would advise someone who is grieving to go kill themselves, is either very immature and a bully or has serious mental health issues themselves. You are incredibly fortunate that I do not know where you live, because I would have no problems reporting your online bullying and harassment of the author and questionable care of your animals to the appropriate local authorities.

  139. Ann permalink
    July 22, 2015 7:08 PM

    We have all seen people that ,are just “wired wrong.” Mentally ill, disurbed, etc. It happens.We don’t know why, It just happens. And We cannot know for sure about our animals because we dont have that communication. But I truly believe, due to genetics, inbreeding or other issues, some animals are just “wired wrong.” and we can;t fix them. They suffer an internal struggle, like people, that we just cannot relate too. You loved that dog. You did what you could. Sometimes letting go is the best thing for both. It is awful, sad and hard to understand. Live a life of pain and fear? That is clearly what the dog was going through. Or get relief- with the help of someone who loves you the most. What you did was unselfish and you have nothing to regret. Humans should be so lucky

  140. Valorie permalink
    July 22, 2015 8:06 PM

    You gave him the best life possible, and in the end, you made sure that no one hurt him. He is smiling down at you. I hope you find peace.

  141. July 22, 2015 8:09 PM

    I have been exactly where you are, except it was me and mine that bore the brunt of Facies outbursts. My prayers are with you.

  142. July 22, 2015 8:12 PM

    I am so sorry for your loss. You did the best you could for him.

  143. July 22, 2015 8:22 PM

    My husband and I fostered a dog similar to this for a few months. She bit my husband the very first day, and we blamed it on all she had been thru. Her unpredictable behavior caused so much stress on our other three dogs, especially our 14 year old lab. While the rescue was trying to find another foster, she bit me. She had been severly neglected and had several health problems, which we blamed her actions on. A new foster was found, and the next day she bit her too. After doing blood work that came back fairly good, it was decided to give her peace, and she was helped to the Bridge. I totally understand how you feel, and agree with your decision. God bless you for trying every possible thing to improve her life. You must be a very strong person who could use a big hug right now. Bless you.

  144. Brenda Bond permalink
    July 22, 2015 8:42 PM

    You did the right thing. My husband and I also had to make this decision with our boy Shamus, he was a beautiful, doberman as large as a great dane. It did not matter how we loved and cared for him, he behaved similar to your dog. One day he bit threw my 9 year old sons lower jaw. We knew it was time. It still hurts and my son is 25 now. Thank you for sharing your story ❤

  145. Marissa permalink
    July 22, 2015 8:48 PM

    OMG! This article is like reading about my life and my dog. I completely know what you are going through. I was ready to euthanize my dog after she tried to attack a rescue volunteer without warning (not to mention the countless other incidents with her). But, before we do anything final, we are trying meds. But, thank you for your article. This will help give me the strength to do the right thing—whatever that is.

    • July 22, 2015 10:05 PM

      Please dont do this to your dog. Get a fenced yard and keep him away from others. Cherish the time and love you have and let him pass of old age.

    • July 22, 2015 11:04 PM

      Marissa, please don’t do what this person did. I’m so glad that your are trying meds. Another poster said their dog was on Prozac and was doing good. In addition, someone said its like humans, dogs may have mental illness. If so, do we take the humans and euthanize them because they are mentally? I’m so glad you are thinking about medicine it shows your are trying to do the best for your dog. If the meds don’t work, I recommend you just muzzle her when she’s outside. Or give her to someone that’s has experience dealing with unruly dogs.

      • July 23, 2015 5:07 PM

        yes Marissa, dope your dog and muzzle it so you can make yourself feel good and say you didn’t have to put him to sleep. and when he harms someone and AC takes him you can blame someone else. and remember, there are mentally ill people all over the world wandering the streets and some are on meds and harm/kill people all the time. hope you understand that drugs don’t always work and would you like to be taken for walks wearing a muzzle? sometimes you have to do what is best for the dog and not yourself and not letting it harm people/animals is the best.

  146. July 22, 2015 8:55 PM

    This is so heartbreaking…I was crying reading this story. I don’t know of I could do it, but I don’t think you were wrong for doing it. I have noticed there seems to be others there in your same situation…I am a healing touch for animals practitioner and I wonder if this type of of work would be beneficial to anyone going through this issue. Their is a technique called trama release the might help some of these dogs, not saying it’s a magics bullet, but might be worth a try for some of you, I would be interested in giving you more information if anyone is interested.

  147. July 22, 2015 9:02 PM

    I had to do this and I still cry all the time. It was the right thing to do, but I will never forgive myself. I only hope my baby girl will someday.

  148. Laurie permalink
    July 22, 2015 9:06 PM

    You just told the story of my 3 year old dog, Harley, a Hungarian Vizsla. We have had Harley from 8 weeks and he has had the best life – totally spoiled with lots of love and attention. But he also has bitten 2 people, growled at children and had many altercations with dogs in the dog park. We have spoken to the vet, paid an exorbitant amount of money to a behaviourist and now we’re working with a trainer. I don’t know why he has fear, and it is clearly fear, when he has been socialised and spoiled just like our other dog.(same breed). I hope that I am lucky and find a way to avoid what you had to go through in the end. I do believe that you did the right thing, and I too, will do that if nothing else works. I live in hope…….Thanks for sharing. You are in my thoughts.

  149. Goddesshekate permalink
    July 22, 2015 9:38 PM

    My heart breaks for you….

  150. July 22, 2015 10:01 PM

    Well, I had a dog I loved so much I would have put up with this. I would have had all her teeth removed before I would have killed her. But she was really, really special. A Doberman, she died of heart disease a little over a year and a half ago and I still cry almost every day. She was 10 years and two months old, and I’d had her since she was six weeks old. I would put up with anything to have her back. But, it pains me to say it, not all dogs are equal. Not all dogs are worth it. But she wa.

    • July 23, 2015 5:00 PM

      your assuming you could have found a vet that would remove the teeth. sometimes it is showing more love to let a pet go that is suffering in some ways than to keep it alive just for yourself. there is more damage being done when a pet bites someone than the bite itself. it’s the fear and pain the person being bit feels and the anxiety and fear to the animal for not understanding why it bites or attacks. until you have had a dog that bites and attacks for no reason than you cannot understand what this woman went through. it’s easy to say what you would have done when you don’t have to actually do it.

  151. Carrie permalink
    July 22, 2015 10:01 PM

    You absolutely did the right thing. As was previously stated you saved him from himself.

  152. July 22, 2015 10:04 PM

    This is so very sad. My heart aches for both you and him. I know you did what you felt you had to. I have many tears right now for him so vibrant and loving…I could have never done that. T would have figured out a way. Got a fenced yard for him to be in away from others and continued to share the love he had for me & love the time I had with him.I would have found a way to save him

  153. July 22, 2015 10:11 PM

    I follow a lot of special needs dogs rescues, and I have seen two of them have to make the same decision you did. I wanted to share their stories with you. I know as a rescuer your heart tells you that you have to do everything you can to save them. That is what rescuers do. Making decisions like you had to make is far from easy, and easily criticized as well. But those people have never been in your situation, they do not know what it is like to have to question and wonder every day. They do not have to see their dog be confused because his head and his heart are not saying the same thing. Sometimes we rescue a dog in a different way. We rescue their soul and free it from their broken mind so it can have another chance to come back and live again.

    The first one is Cricket. She was found with a gun shot wound to the face. After she started to recover they thought it was being shot that made her start to act aggressive with no trigger or reason., then they realized she was probably shot because of her sporadic aggression which could of been result of being exposed to some sort of toxin.

    The second one is from the same rescue named Mirah. They took in a 9 week old Husky puppy that would all of a sudden snap and start to get aggressive and scream. It turned out she had Wobblers Syndrome, and her skull was completely detached from her spine. There was nothing anyone could do, and Amanda did not want to expose her to all sorts of medical testing and have her be a guinea pig for doctors to test on (She was asked).

    The last one is little Beaker. He was just a little pup, but he was born with some issues. He seemed normal and happy. But once they took him into their rescue/sanctuary he became more and more aggressive. He bit 4 people I believe and eventually they all had to sit with their legs and feet up on couches and chairs, and keep all their other animals away from him. It wasn’t until the end when they could finally hold him again and love on him the way they wanted too all along. They will never know what caused his aggression. But in the week they had Beaker, they loved him with everything they had.

  154. Crystal permalink
    July 22, 2015 10:18 PM

    I feel so bad for you to have had to make such a hard decision as that and as much as it hurts me because I am sitting here in tears for you and Sutter I think you did what you knew was right to do. Don’t feel bad you gave him life and you gave him a good home but you did the best you could. He is in a better place now and playing nicely over the rainbow bridge so please don’t get on yourself you did what you needed to do. My heart aches for you and the decision you made. Prayers to you.

  155. July 22, 2015 11:11 PM

    You had no choice. You did what had to be done. Poor Sutter didn’t have a life left to live, not in this world. There was not way you could have lived with yourself if he’d mutilated someone, or killed your elderly neighbor. I hope you live a long and happy life, knowing that the life you saved was only meant to be here for a short time.
    You gave him the best possible life, and sharing your story could save countless more down the road.
    You have done the right thing, and the brave thing, but you have also done the only thing that could be done.
    My heart breaks for you. Thank you for loving Sutter, and giving him such a wonderful life while he was here. He never knew he was different, or that he was missing out in any way. He only knew that he was loved.

  156. Amy permalink
    July 23, 2015 12:40 AM

    You did the right thing. Please stop beating yourself up. Years ago, I put down a healthy 3-year-old boxer who had started biting children. Who could live with that? It was a relief when it was over. It’s astonishing that you endured so many episodes without legal ramifications.

  157. July 23, 2015 1:04 AM

    you did the right thing for you beautiful boy, something was going on in his head, he must have been as stressed and unhappy as you where feeling when outside. You have given him peace, you showed him true love by breaking your own heart, you boy is safe. If he had been reported the police would have come and dragged him from your home screaming, fighting and terrified, you know that would have happened eventually, he would have been kept away from you in a concrete cell, and killed with no love or affection. You did the most kindest thing of all you showed him true love until the very end he closed his eyes. For that you should be happy and proud. He will always be with you. xx

  158. Sheila Ellen permalink
    July 23, 2015 1:32 AM

    Tears rolling down, such pain you must feel and so sorry for your loss. I think this was your best option but the hurt doesn’t go away….I give you a virtual hug xxxx Take care

  159. July 23, 2015 1:42 AM

    I’m so very deeply sorry. I am an avid advocate of do everything single thing possible before you make that choice. In my experience, most people cop out. It disappoints the hell out of me. Because dogs (all animals) deserve every respect, consideration, and kindness that we do. I AM a hard ass about towing the line, seeking help, do what needs to be done. But…there ARE these dogs, like your boy Sutter, out there. Genetics, crossed wires…we can speculate and theorize until we are blue in the face…but the bottom line is this: sometimes these things are just so out of our control.

    I’m not one to sugar coat, or give leeway, or let things slide when the welfare of an animal is at stake…I put them before people almost every time.
    It seems to me you did everything right, from the get go…and you put your heart and soul in to Sutter’s well-being and happiness. You never gave up, you simply came to the only conclusion that someone who loves their buddy, their family, that much….could come to.

    My heart breaks for you as I’ve had to make these decisions many times, not necessarily for the same reason. The pain is the same. The doubt, guilt, the utter helplessness.
    You did the right thing, made the right choices, did your damndest….You did what most people do not do.

    When you are ready…remind yourself that you truly did all you could possibly do. Be good to yourself, and honor Sutter every chance you will feed your soul, and his memory.
    I wish you healing and recovery and loving hugs.

  160. Kristy permalink
    July 23, 2015 4:04 AM

    Thank you for sharing your story. I understand some of what you have gone through – we had to make the same decision with our boy, Jet several years ago. He was always inexplicably terrified of everything and everybody. Dark colours terrified him. Noises terrified him. People other than us terrified him. And then it got harder – he attacked our beautiful ducks and killed most leaving two to slowly die of injuries. Then he rammed through a rural fence whilst on one of his special isolation runs – grabbed a day old lamb and killed it. He snapped at children, was so unpredictable he didn’t seem to know quite who he was or what he was capable of.

    Nor did we. Weeks of specialist training, muzzles, hormone treatments – you name it and we probably tried it. We were taking him for two 2.5 kilometre runs each day but that didn’t stop him from breaching and killing. Eventually he spent the times in between runs chained to the balcony with a muzzle. I still can’t believe that, with the most wonderful, well trained and socialised dogs around him, he was a mess and on a steep downhill decline.

    The day he snapped and went from nuzzling our very friendly pet cat to attacking and trying to kill it in less then five minutes… Well, that was the day we made the decision. He had a delicious, whole skinned rabbit to himself for lunch. Had an excellent run without his muzzle in his special place (we are so grateful that nothing bad happened for his last special run). As he went to sleep we were telling him over and over again what a good boy he was. And he was, deep down. But he suffered every day from crippling anxiety and a deadly snap-character that resulted in isolation and loneliness. And a constant fear that one day it would be a child, and not a duck or a lamb that was killed.

    You did the right thing, in spite of how much it hurts to make the decision. I hope that you have found peace, and that you forgive yourself and heal quickly. Living in fear is living in pain. You performed a different, but still very important kind of rescue xx

  161. Pjusk permalink
    July 23, 2015 4:33 AM

    Don`t feel bad, you did a good thing for the dog and for you. A dog with a mental status like that, can never be better. Temperament has a heritability of 40-60%. A dog with so much anxiety, doesen`t feel well with himself. More people should do like you, there are a lot of lost causes with dogs and people suffering every day.

  162. July 23, 2015 4:46 AM

    Sometimes dogs are just born with their ‘wires crossed’. You went above and beyond trying to save this dog. Heartbreaking.

    • July 23, 2015 4:50 PM

      Mary, i just don’t understand how people that are supposed to be so knowledgable about dogs can’t or won’t understand that. and someone else in a post pointed out that insisting on keeping a dog that is a danger to humans and other animals make non dog lovers think dog lovers are crazy and a hazard to society.

  163. July 23, 2015 4:47 AM

    you poor, poor thing. You did absolutely the right thing though. My sisters pup was a bit that way. He put 4 stitches in her young face when she went too close to the food bowl once and I suspect we might have had to do something similar in the end as the level of his reactive aggression had no explanation in his loving upbringing. But he solved the issue for us by deciding he could attack the front wheel of a fast moving car… this wont help but try not to feel too bad, Sometimes the worst thing in life, is not death.

  164. July 23, 2015 4:57 AM

    I cannot put enough sorry’s here for you, on your loss of Sutter. I know it is not much comfort, but a dog that our family had from puppyhood nailed my son when he was 2 years old….not a nip, but a throat grab and throw to the ground with her standing over him, teeth bared and mouth foam all over my son’s bib. He was only walking by her. Not petting her, not near enough to even be a consideration. Not being noisy. Although I have never forgiven myself in one instance, if she had injured him, or another toddler or anyone else, really, THAT would’ve been the thing that would’ve been unforgivable. You gave him many more years than he ever would’ve had in any other home, wonderful years where you put him first. Please remind yourself of how well you cared for him, what could’ve happened, how many near-misses there were, and do not consider, FOR ONE SINGLE MINUTE, that you EVER were a hypocrite. Doggie hugs your way.

  165. Janet permalink
    July 23, 2015 5:05 AM

    I had a dog like this. My boyfriend brought her home from the shelter and at 8 weeks, could not get her out of the crate. She was growling at 8 weeks! This is a warning sign. It is not all nurture. Nature can create a dog like this. People always blame the owner but studies show how the silver fox can be nasty or sweet based upon breeding only the more docile ones. Nothing could have been done for this dog. The owner did the responsible thing for both the dog and the safety of others.

  166. sharon permalink
    July 23, 2015 5:24 AM

    I know your pain, I also have a dog similar but not quite where Sutter was as far as aggression…I feel it is only a matter of time…I can’t do it yet..but then again I can’t wait for him to kill a child. I can handle him so far, but should the day and I am sure it will where he will have to be euthanized…I too will handle it with grace and dignity and love towards my boy. He is also rescued, from a police officer whose children abused him badly…no excuse I also know my boy is not right in the head, you can see is off..he is muzzled when goiing e go out to limit the chance of an attack. I am careful but when it becomes a chore my friend i agree…You did the right thing, you made the right choice, it was the humane thing to do…bless you for knowing when it was guy as i mentioned is a rescue also….my heart goes out to you ❤

  167. Mary Ann permalink
    July 23, 2015 5:26 AM

    We had to put my mom’s dog Chance down yesterday. I feel your current pain. I am so sorry.

    Also, reading your story, I thought it was my story with a dog I rescued. Down to the same coloring, size and personality. Something “not quite right” like Sutter. Taylor was a street dog from Miami. He was sick and injured when I saved him. He was so kind to me and loved this little tiny white kitten we rescued at 3 1/2 weeks and he helped “raise” him. A few months after rescuing him he ended up getting taken by animal control after he bit my son in the head while my son was breaking up a dog fight between him and our two other dogs. Taylor was defending himself from one dog and Matt got in between them. It was awful. He ended up in Animal Control for a 10-Day quarantine. I went to see him everyday. It tore my heart up seeing him in that shelter kennel. Never getting to go outside.

    We were able to get him out with intervention. After his release, I spent time with him then he was taken by a trainer that deals with difficult dogs for a boot camp. The trainer offered to keep him because he could see he would be too difficult for our family to handle.

    I believe you did the right thing by Sutter. You saved him from enduring being taken and quarantined and be miserable and alone in a cold shelter and then put down, alone.

    He knew you loved him. You did save him.

  168. Bonnie Lariviere permalink
    July 23, 2015 5:39 AM

    Reading your story… let me tell you my heart breaks for you. There are not many who would have gone through the lengths you have and in doing so gave Sutter such an amazing life.

    It’s not easy ever when one has to put down one of their (or their only) furry kid but in your instance I can only imagine your pain.

    Someone told me once when a relationship in my life ended, that if I did everything in my power to make it work I could walk away with no regrets. I believe the same applies here.

    Please know that you did everything…EVERYTHING in your power to help Sutter and in doing so gave him a life many other dogs could only dream of.

    I stand in awe at the lengths you went through. I applaud you for never giving up and always thinking, no matter what happened, of what else you could do…and then you followed through and did it.

    Please know you did absolutely everything you could. Maybe God did make this decision and let you know it was time for Sutter to cross the Rainbow Bridge. I am not a very religious person but I do believe in this…

    If God led you to it, God will lead you through it.

    My deepest condolences. I am so very sorry for your loss.

  169. July 23, 2015 5:55 AM

    Oh my darling, I have been in your shoes. I euthanized my ‘healthy’ dog about 8 months ago. He was 3.5 years and I had him from 6 months. His name was Tanner and he was dangerous.

    The honest truth, I’ve never regretted my decisions, I miss him, but no regrets. In my heart, as in yours, I knew that was the right choice for him, me and the neighborhood. I was severely depressed for several months, barely functioning but I have recovered most of the way.

    Be kind to yourself, accept the pain… It’s a unique one. Thank you for making the hard, right choice.

  170. July 23, 2015 6:01 AM

    hugs… no words can change the heartbreak on so many levels.

  171. Robin permalink
    July 23, 2015 6:05 AM

    My dog’s name was Comet. I saved him from a shelter I volunteered at. I put him down 10 years ago. After rescuing 700 more dogs and making that decision a handful of more times, I’ve settled with the thought that I didn’t let Comet down, *we* did, years before, when he was a puppy. Thank you for sharing your story.

  172. July 23, 2015 6:33 AM

    An awful lot of folks are blaming you. Shame on them. They need to walk a mile in your shoes. When I was 10 I found an English Shepherd pup and he became my best friend, but my parents weren’t supportive; they wouldn’t allow him in the house or let me socialize him or take him to obedience class unless a neighbor drove me. He was teased by neighbor kids and got out and bit them. When I was 15 (in 1965) they put him down behind my back. He never had a chance.

    • Laura cazalet permalink
      July 23, 2015 6:56 AM

      I’m so sorry Carol. That is a very sad and traumatic experience. 😢

  173. Susan Cotrel permalink
    July 23, 2015 6:37 AM

    You had no choice. I just wonder how you didn’t do it after the toddler was bitten. You are lucky you haven’t been sued. Nevertheless, my heart goes out to you. Losing a dog is a gut wrenching pain.

  174. Lullababy permalink
    July 23, 2015 6:44 AM

    He actually lived very long considering all the people he bit. You writes a lot about the dog feelings and the issues around him. I do wonder what the people he bit actually felt? He bit at least six people , in my world that is far too much.Here he would be down a lot earlier. I would not have hesitated after he bit child on a tricycle. I think as dog owners we should be careful, because of our mistakes or lack of decision is making all dogs/dogowners look bad. And dog biting turns the public against dog owners. This what I told a friend of me who had a dog with anxiety/agrressjon problem snapping and biting. Her dog eventually snapped at a child when she was picking up the mail. I told her it should end now. She had hard time for the decision, tried all sorts of training, but in the end the inevitable was euthanize.

  175. Maureen Vandeusen permalink
    July 23, 2015 6:56 AM

    I am so sorry for you pain. You made the best decision you could based on what your experiences with Sutter were. I too have a rescue like that the difference is that she is 9lbs (chi/minpin mix) of energy and terror. I found her on craigslist and although no one told us about her personality they described her as “particular”. We are her third home and we got her at 4 months. I think she has been abused. We have had her for 2 years this month. She had bit and bloodied both my husband and myself. We have been working with her and it has gotten better but she still cannot be touched by anyone outside of our family circle or she will bite. I cannot let children near her. She barks and snarls uncontrollably at strangers both old young and is wild at other dogs (besides my big lovable lab/beagle Charlie) who is her playmate and sometimes the brunt of her nonsense. We cannot go anywhere unless we take her because I don’t think anyone would watch her unless she was continually muzzled. Her barking is sometimes non stop and she is very manic in how she paces and runs from the front door to the back door sometimes. We love her and she is getting a little better with us but sometimes it looms in my mind that she will have to eventually be put down. I know for a fact if we gave her up no one would want her. Its very sad to have a dog like this that you love. I am so sorry this happened to you and I truly understand your decision.

  176. Jamie permalink
    July 23, 2015 6:57 AM

    you did the right thing ! I lost a little Yorkie to a neighbors aggressive dog , the neighbor could not call their dog off and we had to beat the big dog with a shovel to get him to “release” – of course it was much too late . didn’t report it but later found out that dog had killed 3 or 4 other dogs in the past . It could have been a small child the next time … it is heartbreaking to have to do but best for everyone . Imagine your dog being beat with a shovel – it was horrific to watch the attack and also to see the big dog beaten

  177. Carolina permalink
    July 23, 2015 7:05 AM

    I am a bawling right here at my desk. I agree with most of the other commenters. You had no choice, and you’ll get through this faster and easier if you focus on the fact that you did everything for him that you could. You did save him from himself, and you also saved him from quarantine and dying at the hands of complete strangers, had he been confiscated by AC. And that was inevitable. I would say to forgive yourself, but there is nothing to forgive. You made the responsible, mature, and most compassionate decision. Thank you for sharing this painful journey and I hope you feel more peace with time and with your wonderful memories of Sutter.

  178. Roni permalink
    July 23, 2015 7:06 AM

    Don’t feel bad or guilty you did what you should have done for him with supreme love. I have been doing rescue a long time and some dogs are just emotionally damaged just like people for no reason at all except some random neurological or other issue. They are hurting too, they don’t want to be scared or confused or aggressive. You gave your heart with no reserve and gave him your ultimate strength and love to bring him peace. I wish more people could understand how selfish it is to keep animals suffering for our own needs. So proud of you, it was an honor to read your story.

  179. Kim Clouse permalink
    July 23, 2015 7:36 AM

    I’m so sorry that you had to go through that. I can’t even imagine your pain. You really did the only thing that you could do on that situation. Although, knowing it was the right thing doesn’t make it any easier. I pray for you that your heart heals and ate able to rescue another deserving soul.

  180. kate scott permalink
    July 23, 2015 7:39 AM

    It was the best gift, next to adopting him, that you could have given Sutter. His life and yours would not have been what life with a dog should be. You gave him the best you could and in the end you did set him free. Ignore the negative people

  181. MaryAnn permalink
    July 23, 2015 7:39 AM

    So sorry. You gave Sutter a wonderful life. Whatever it was that made him that way, you have freed him.

  182. Lauren permalink
    July 23, 2015 7:48 AM

    You think you “saved” this dog??? I would have put him down after the first couple non-provoked incidents. Can’t believe this dog had that many chances. I’m sure he was loved dearly but something was clearly terribly wrong inside this dog’s head. I wouldn’t have allowed his mental suffering to go on for four years. And at the end of the article, for you to say he was “healthy”… clearly his mental health was NEVER taken into consideration. He very well may have irrevocably traumatized those children, dogs and even the adults that he senselessly went after.

    • Lullababy permalink
      July 23, 2015 9:33 AM


    • MSMinich permalink
      July 24, 2015 9:37 AM

      While I have cried many tears reading through this and feel so sorry for this person and her loss, I too, feel that this was let go a bit long. Of course, I am a bit of a hard case, I sometimes wish there was a way to euthanize people who behave like this LOL.

      • Laura cazalet permalink
        July 24, 2015 11:13 AM

        All bites are not alike. You’re assuming this dog bit a certain severity all those times. I’m assuming they were nips, likely not breaking skin or minor skin abrasion, otherwise Indrani would never have kept him so long. please be careful with assumptions and judgements.

  183. Gloria Whitehead permalink
    July 23, 2015 8:00 AM

    to all the people who made rude, uneducated and mean comments, Shut up. You don’t know anything. I have been in this situation of having to euthanize a young dog that displayed very psychotic and dangerous behavior. It was a blessing to that dog. It was a hard decision but I know it was the right choice. I learned a very valuable lesson. You can’t save every dog. Some are just too damaged. I have gone on to adopt four more dogs since and there are millions of dogs out there to give a home to. Forgive Yourself and use this experience to help other dogs that are normal and need a home. You did the Right thing for that dog and yourself.

  184. Kasia permalink
    July 23, 2015 8:02 AM

    Heartbreaking…years ago I had to do the same,for the same reason.My rescued dog was with me sice he was 5 weeks old.

  185. July 23, 2015 8:07 AM

    I had a dog in a similar situation- an Australian
    Shepherd who didn’t like men and would as soon snap at them as look at them- even ones he had always been around- even from the beginning. Just a nip- not too painful, but enough to make them take notice. He made a wonderful companion for me as I was single, and lived alone, and when I moved to the country- it was easier as I could let him run more and not have to worry about him biting anyone, until I had a friend stop by one day with one of her friends, and as she was walking by him, he bit her really hard on the thigh. First time he had ever bitten a woman. I knew he was thinking he was protecting me from a stranger, but she didn’t quite see it the same way. After that day, I could no longer trust him around anyone, and about six months later, he got out of his pen while I was at work and was hit and killed by a car. I am ashamed to say that I was almost relieved, because I no longer had to worry about him. I loved him and we were together for six years, but sadly, this was possibly the best end to the story for us both- even now I think about him and miss him, and your story just brought the tears up again 😥

  186. Grace permalink
    July 23, 2015 8:10 AM

    Wow, I can’t imagine how hard this was for you, but you absolutely did the right thing! It puzzles me why he was so hard to help, as it sounds like you did everything right, including early socialization, but you absolutely did the right thing before he could seriously injure someone or even kill another dog. You are very fortunate that this did not happen.
    Your story made me tear up; 8 years is a hard bond to let go of. I hope you heal and the next dog you adopt will bring a lot of joy for you 🙂 I adopted 2 rescues within 2 years and they make life so happy for my husband and I.

  187. Shelly permalink
    July 23, 2015 8:21 AM

    After spending thousands on vets, medication, and specialty training I found myself in the same situation. Our stories are nearly identical. Our Max was my 11 year old son’s best friend and my 9 year old daughters playmate. For those wondering “why not just keep the dog inside, in your own yard or muzzled around people.” the answer is one I discovered the hard way. Because, dogs who are unpredictable do unpredictable things, like ram the fence and force themselves through the most unbelievably small space between the metal poles, tearing their çollar off in the process. Three long days of plastering the town with flyers and searching day and night for a dog we loved who could be attacking someone. We found Max. He was scared and confused and worse than before. Our trainers, vets, friends and family begged us to put this dog down. I couldn’t do it. And then after seeing Max, a rather large mixed breed rescue, pin my partner to the wall by the shoulder with his teeth only an inch or so from her juggler, I realized that whatever was “wrong” with Max would never be right. We made the decision to take him to our vet. We hadn’t told the kids yet, we would tell them tomorrow. The next day while getting ready to start the day I heard my son’s guttural yell “Moooooooooom!!!!” from the next room. The one every parent recognizes as the sound of your child in danger. When I got to my son, I saw something that one would expect to see in a horror movie. A dog I did not recognize, every tooth showing, drooling and snarling while pinning my son to the wall. Max was poised to rip his face off and tear his throat out. My son was motionless. I cannot tell you what happened next. I don’t know. All I know is, a frightening struggle happened and I managed to get between my son and Max and get him restrained. We took Max to the vet and hugged him and loved him and cried when he was gone. It was one if the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, but, it was the right thing to do. For my kids, my family, the public and for Max.

  188. July 23, 2015 8:23 AM

    I had to recommend that a dog I was fostering one time needed to be put down. Sometimes you give them all the tools that you can for them to function in society, and that is all you can do. That doesn’t mean they will be alright, however. Do not beat yourself up. You worked with him for several years and he is lucky for that.

  189. Blanche Martin permalink
    July 23, 2015 8:39 AM

    Sometimes the most loving thing to do is the most painful … He was loved… He just couldn’t control himself…

  190. Maggiewho permalink
    July 23, 2015 8:57 AM

    I have been there. I lived in denial even after I was bit in the face when baby talking to her, and had to have cosmetic surgery to fix my mouth. I loved this dog and I adapted my life around her daily life. When I was getting married to a single father I knew I could not take her into that house and no one that was mad at me over doing it would step up to take responsibility for her. It was a no win situation. BLESSINGS! for your heart to heal.

  191. July 23, 2015 9:08 AM

    “Sutter was lucky that you were able to make that choice. That he wasn’t forced from you and coldly put down. In the end, he experienced love and compassion. Hold on to that reality, not the undeserved guilt.”
    Well said. Thank you.
    Indrani – let the healing begin.

  192. Donna permalink
    July 23, 2015 9:14 AM

    This is very sad, but much better to be done in a time of love than him hurting someone and being forced to(or taken away from you, the one who loved him). He left you in a time of love and if you’d waited it could have been during a time of pain and confusion. I’m sorry for your loss. (((hugs)))

  193. Christina permalink
    July 23, 2015 9:15 AM

    Thank you for sharing this, as I had to do the same last month. The story is the same except we did spend time in court due to his behavior. I had spent years battling the inevitable … Oliver was later to rest on 6/15/15, I miss him dearly.

  194. July 23, 2015 9:32 AM

    Euthanasia is never a solution to a training problem but having said that he sounds like he might have been a wolf hybrid with natural instincts. was he checked thoroughly medically for everything including a brain tumor that can make dogs go wonky. PTSing a dog is never an easy decision, I rescue as well and have never had to make that decision, thank god we have always been able to come up with solutions

  195. Sarah gadoua permalink
    July 23, 2015 9:37 AM

    I am here crying for you, and for myself. Last year I put my boy do 7 years down for the same type of situation. The only difference is I let him get to that really bad state. He attacked my mom whom is epileptic during one of her episodes. He tore down to the bone in her upper arm. It still hurts me every day but my trainer reassured me that mentally he could not have taken much more. He was my baby, he just wasn’t wired together correctly. I have his ashes and miss him every day just like the day I had to put him down.

  196. Cara permalink
    July 23, 2015 9:42 AM

    He was most likely hypothyroid … One very inexpensive pill a day would have fixed everything up !!

    • Liz permalink
      July 25, 2015 8:27 AM

      How do you know lab work was not done?

  197. July 23, 2015 9:47 AM

    I had to tell you that I feel for you and I believe 100% that you did the right thing for your dog and I do think that now Sutter is free from whatever those demons are that he has battled for so long- you gave him so much more than many would have. Thank you for being brave for him and for sharing your story.. Prayers

  198. July 23, 2015 9:52 AM

    There is a famous case in New Jersey about a dog rescued by a woman who – after exhausting all resources – still kept her insecure and violent-prone dog. The dog eventually turned on her and killed her. You are obviously a caring individual who weighed all options before coming to the conclusion to not prolong his life. It’s ok to grieve but don’t beat yourself up. Make room for the next rescue – there are so many out there.

  199. July 23, 2015 9:52 AM

    My heart is breaking for you and Sutter. The fact that you did not make this decision quickly and worked so hard says a great deal about you. Sutter was lucky to have you. Sometimes in life, no matter what we do, we can’t change the outcome. It’s hard to accept.

  200. Karla permalink
    July 23, 2015 9:54 AM

    I think you are a coward and a hypocrite personally. If your child had behavioral issues..would you just kill it? Hell NO!!! You took the easy selfish way out and I hope you feel like SHIT and I hope you never ever consider getting another dog !!!!

    • Rita permalink
      July 23, 2015 10:52 AM

      Karla, She did EVERYTHING within her power. A blog post can’t capture every detail of her exhausting journey over EIGHT years. Her life has revolved around keeping Sutter as happy as possible and keeping humans and other dogs safe. But a person can only do so much. And the truth is there was an issue of quality of life for the dog and for this author.

      NO ONE who would have done what the author did for this dog. Clearly, we are all on this blog because we care deeply about dogs. But our primary concern should always be the safety of others, including other dogs. This woman saves 400 dogs each year from being killed—FOUR HUNDRED. She saved Sutter too. She gave him the best life possible for eight years and then she saved him again. He left this world with dignity and didn’t leave some tragic situation behind that would haunt the author or his legacy forever.

    • July 23, 2015 4:24 PM

      Rita, until you have had experience with one of these dogs, you have no place to comment. We who love our own dogs and the dogs of others, and especially anyone who has had a dog that was completely miserable in their own skin, knows there was no other option. As far as comparing this to children…sure you can take your out of control kid to a psychiatrist and have them on drugs for the rest of their lives, but there is no guarantee that it will make any difference besides giving you a zombie child. We love our dogs like our own children. I hope not that you feel like shit for judging someone else when you weren’t part of that person’s experience, but rather, that you will find some semblance of a heart and try to understand. I wouldn’t give you a dog/cat/bird, or any other animal because you lack compassion and understanding.

      • Rita permalink
        July 23, 2015 8:48 PM

        Carol, I think you are confusing my post with someone else’s. I am completely supportive of what Indrani’s decision. I don’t judge. I was simply responding to the vitriol on this thread.

        I have a dog who is nine years old and bit my son the first day we brought the dog home. We worked with the dog and with my son. We were lucky. My son learned to respect the dog’s space and my dog responded well to training. I also have a chihuahua mix who is very reactive. She nipped at someone while my ex-husband left her outside a store tied up to a post—something I would never do. She barely broke the person’s skin. Regardless, she was reported and quarantined along with my two other dogs for ten days. I am super careful with her now, but she is 10 lbs. You can control a 10 lb. dog much easier than you can a big strong dog like Sutter was. Anyway, thanks the opportunity to clarify. Peace to you.

    • linda permalink
      July 24, 2015 6:01 PM

      Karla unless you have owned a truly dangerous dog you cannot judge. Your ugly words are uncalled for. How can you read the stories in these comments and not see the pain and heartache that accompanies this decision. No one makes it selfishly. It is done as a last resort.

  201. July 23, 2015 10:00 AM

    heartbreaking but sometimes people don’t see the mental illnesses that dogs suffer. Very brave of you.

  202. Michelle permalink
    July 23, 2015 10:01 AM

    Sometimes the last, best thing we can do for our loyal companions is to save them from themselves. May you find peace in your heart and comfort knowing that in the coming days the agony that you feel right now will lessen and you will once again be able to speak his name with a smile in your heart. I’m so very sorry for your loss.

  203. July 23, 2015 10:16 AM

    You and Sutter are in my thoughts. There is no amount of medication or training or especially management that can help a mentally ill dog. I have been through the same thing, and, in the end, releasing them from their torment here on this earth is the kindest thing you can do. Take peace, and take time to heal. Eventually you will remember only the good things about Sutter, but never forget his disability either (because then the guilt will strike you, and you are not guilty of anything other than loving a dog too much).

  204. judyalter permalink
    July 23, 2015 10:18 AM

    Leaving yet another note to say you did what you had too and I know only too well how hard it was. I rescued a 2-year old Bernese Mountain go (maybe a bit of Aussie). Beautiful. I adored him, and he adored me. But after two months it was clear If I kept him I would have to change my sociable lifestyle–and my grandson could not visit me. When I blogged that I had just done the hardest thing I’d ever done, I got so much hate mail that I was even more unhinged. I’ll never know his early life influences or if this was natural temperament. But Luke’s memory lives with me forever and touches a sore spot in my heart. You have my sympathy and understanding.

  205. Sara Fenner permalink
    July 23, 2015 10:18 AM

    Such a sad story. I am in tears reading your story. It is always a hard decision to put an animal to sleep whether it is an illness like cancer or a severe behavior problem as in your case. You did everything possible to heal that dog, and it just wasn’t going to happen. Obviously his brain was not quite right if he was doing these things with no warning. You would feel guilty if he really hurt a small child or another dog (it was only a matter of time til this happened), and if that happened, the authorities likely would have put him to sleep. If they did it, it might not have been such a good and loving end like you gave him. No option for that special breakfast or special walk or a warm blanket and you cuddling him and telling you you loved him.

  206. July 23, 2015 10:18 AM

    You did everything possible to give him a good life. Don’t ever regret what you have done. It takes a strong loving person to do what was best. Remember the good times you gave him and God does forgive

  207. Annette permalink
    July 23, 2015 10:40 AM

    I sit here crying with you over the decision you had to make. You really did exhaust every solution. You didn’t make a hasty decision. I had to do the same thing to a cat we adopted. But her anger was at people. She seemed to have 2 different personalities. When we started avoiding her because we were afraid, I knew it was time. Something was either wrong in her brain or she had been abused. You feel like you have failed them.
    You did the right thing, it doesn’t hurt less to know that but forgive yourself. There is peace for both of you now. Bless you

  208. Veronica Baker permalink
    July 23, 2015 10:59 AM

    This broke my heart to read. It must have been an awful decision for you, but at least he died in your arms .Not shot by a gun happy policeman or lonely and frightened with a vet he didnot know had he badly injured anyone and been seized. He will be waiting for you at Rainbow Bridge. My thoughts and tears are with you xx

  209. July 23, 2015 11:10 AM

    My heart breaks for you and your loss but you did the right thing. This dog obviously had a wiring issue and living with that kind of fear/stress is not a happy life. You aren’t a hypocrite. You are a dog guardian who made the hardest choice ever, for the right reason.

  210. Donna permalink
    July 23, 2015 11:34 AM

    It took a lot of courage to post this. I could hardly finish reading, because I was crying. My heart is breaking for both Sutter and you. My family went through this with a poodle. (it could happen to any breed) The strength it took to deal with the situation as long as you did, and come to the decision, cannot be measured. I hope that you find peace.

  211. rae boney permalink
    July 23, 2015 12:05 PM

    Thank you for sharing, this was beautiful. For myself who works in animal rescue it was heartwarming to know others have the heart to look past themselves and think of a great good.

  212. July 23, 2015 12:16 PM

    Until we have walked in this lady’s shoes, we shouldn’t put her down for her decision. Perhaps this dog had some type of brain tumor causing his aggression. Who knows…You cannot endanger the public or other animals because you dont want to make “that decision”…She did everything she could for this dog..the best thing she did was let him cross the bridge before he seriously injured or killed some one or some thing. She was responsible for not only protecting him, but protecting us. Bless her for putting her own feelings aside and doing what was best. Prayers for her and her dog.

  213. Rena permalink
    July 23, 2015 12:37 PM

    that is the hardest decision to make. It isn’t like he was sick, or his quality of life was compromised, that would have been easier. But he had something that he was struggling with and no matter how much you tried, he would have never escaped it. I cry for you and for Sutter, but I thank You for being strong enough to do what was right for him, not just you.

  214. Marianne permalink
    July 23, 2015 12:50 PM

    I am a veterinarian and it’s clear that you did absolutely EVERYTHING you could for your precious dog. It couldn’t have been comfortable to be anxious and on edge all the time. You made the right choice at the right time. Now you have a dog angel watching over you. He is calm and peaceful once again. God Bless

  215. Sally permalink
    July 23, 2015 12:50 PM

    I don’t know if you will ever read all the comments on this page but I wanted to tell you that I understand.
    I have a mixed breed rescue that will be 6 in March. He has been with me since he was 5 weeks old. He is fearful and anxious and has both food aggression and aggression toward strange dogs. He came to me because he was being attacked in his litter and his owner was going to take him to the pound. He is thankfully not the level that you described with your Sutter. He is manageable and I have learned coping skills. Please keep reading. I swear I am not going to condemn you.
    He is a smaller dog, only 23# so that makes it somewhat easier. I can pick him up easily and remove him from situations that I know will be bad. I have managed to integrate new members to our pack with hard work, patience, and a lot of sleepless nights and no social life. I don’t recommend it to the faint of heart.
    My Pooh Bear has no aggression toward people and I send up a silent prayer everyday that it continues that way. I have also worried about lawsuits, injuries and attacks. I also admit that I have thought about euthanasia. We aren’t there. Not yet and hopefully we never will be but ……
    At home he is a delight and loves nothing more than a nap in bed or singing for you. He gives me guff if dinner is 5 minutes late and kisses me awake in the morning so that I will scratch his back while he sings. He smiles and loves baths and a good roll in the grass. He sleeps in my bed every night along with two of his “brothers” and tucks himself in next to my kidneys where he can play with my hair. I cannot imagine a day without him.
    That said, having people in the house is an ordeal. He must be leashed and taken into another room until he has calmed down. Otherwise, in his overexcited state he could lash out and attack one of the others in my gang of 5. I simply won’t take that chance.
    I do everything I can to protect him. I take steps to make him feel safer. He takes patience. He takes love and far longer to get comfortable with change. Even smaller things like new toys are things to approach with caution and a good sniff. We have a fenced in back yard since walks are not something that I can risk. I make sure that he gets exercise enough to expel all the energy that he might otherwise redirect onto one of his siblings. Life is harder with him but he is also a blessing that has taught me patience and kindness above all else. But it comes with a price. You know that all too well.
    I will never judge you for your decision and hope that one day you will see that you have nothing to feel guilty about at all. Sutter had to be miserable with anxiety and fear and only ever felt safe in his home with you. You gave him peace. What better gift is there? You gave him 9 years of unending love and made changes based on what was best for him. I know that isn’t easy to do in every instance but you did it. You never gave up on him. You simply saw that his quality of life had decreased to the point of no return. Please don’t feel bad. You loved him and he loved you in the way only a good dog can. Big hug!

  216. Rose Mierbeth permalink
    July 23, 2015 1:14 PM

    I’m sorry for your loss. I think you decision was good.

  217. July 23, 2015 1:26 PM

    Sometimes the hardest thing is the most responsible thing. You gave him years that he would never have had..good years.. There are things that we can not fix…Hugs to you…Your compassion and bravery are very honorable. You did the right thing…

  218. Cindy permalink
    July 23, 2015 1:35 PM

    I had a dog like this as well and considered the same thing! She was a lot of work and management and the fear that went through me every time a person or another dog threatened her was terrifying! She never bite anyone but she did have some run-ins with other dogs! One left her with a nasty scar one eye. I am a professional dog trainer and pitbull advocate (she was half pitbull and half lab). I knew her issue was fear aggression and I managed it, so that there were not many incidences but she had it in her! I put her down at 14 when she was old and sick, but it was such a relief to let her go! She had a good long life! she swam almost daily and went for long runs in the woods but keeping her away from people and the other dogs was a constant stress for me! I considered it many times over the years! I commend you for doing what you thought was necessary! I have many many fond memories of mine and I loved her like a child when no one else did! Your story makes me sad but I get it probably more than most! So sorry for your loss! You are a brave and courageous person for doing what you felt had to be done! I wish I could have brought myself to do it before I had to and saves myself and her some of the anxiety that we both experienced!

  219. July 23, 2015 1:47 PM

    I couldn’t read past the first few paragraphs. I would have put that dog down after the second incident. I would have given the dog a “pass” the first time, (depending on what appeared to cause it, and if I thought it there was human error involved) After the second incident…the dog would have been put down.
    When did it become more important in this society to put an animal’s life before the safety of humans?

  220. Diana permalink
    July 23, 2015 2:00 PM

    You did the right thing. We are entrusted with these animals and it is up to us to do the thing for them that is the best for their health and well being. He would have had at some time done something that would have changed his life not for the better and that would have been unbearable for both of you. You gave it a valiant try and no one could have done anything else. Better to send him into the good nite than to give him up and not know what would happen. I understand and I send you my prayers and thoughts.

  221. Annonymous permalink
    July 23, 2015 2:04 PM

    OMG! That was us! We had to do the same thing to one of our dogs. No matter what we did for 5 yrs the dog was unhappy in her own skin. Not only was she dog aggressive, but she would stress over everything. A backfire from a lawn mower would send her flying over the fence and 2 miles down before you could catch her. She put our one dog in the hospital 3 times and almost killed our other dog.

    We tried every drug on the market and nothing worked. We tried training, drugs, keeping her indoors, everything. She was a basket case of stress unless he was in the house with us and no other dogs. It was almost like she was fighting her own demons in her head that we could not see, and she was losing.

    It got so bad that her outside pen was wired with electrical wire to try to keep her in and even that didn’t work. She would break out at the first sound of anything!

    We did what we thought was best so that none of our kids friends would be hurt or she would hurt an outsiders dog or people. I’m just glad that someone else had to do the same thing as we have felt guilty since doing this. Thank you for sharing your story and letting us know that we are not alone.

    And I am so sorry for your loss.

  222. William permalink
    July 23, 2015 2:30 PM

    I am so sorry for your loss. I used to work at a shelter and there was a dog there with the same symptoms as yours. The shelter vet thought it was canine rage syndrome, a genetic disorder. There was no good treatment for it and that dog was euthanized too. I know it was hard but you did the right thing.

  223. July 23, 2015 2:39 PM

    Yes, you did the right thing. As sad as it maybe you protected him from himself and you protected another living thing that he could have hurt too. You will be able to nuture and love another dog again..Take care

  224. jean permalink
    July 23, 2015 2:46 PM

    You gave him a final gift. His last day was full of your love and kindness. Who knows what caused his troubles, it sounds as though you did every single thing you could to give him a good life, and you made the right choice. Please don’t feel guilty. I put my 3 year old dog to sleep, many years ago, because I could not keep her, and she wasn’t trustworthy … she had been abused as a very very young puppy, and was fearful, and getting worse. I guaranteed that she would never endanger a human or animal, and she would never again be abused.

  225. Susan permalink
    July 23, 2015 2:47 PM

    I’m going through not so alike. I think my boy has something wrong with his brain. He only has a problem if his Adrenaline pumps. If not controlled and snaped out of what is called the red zone he will strike like a snake. And he doesn’t even know he is doing it. In kids this condition is called IASO. Immature Adrenaline System Over-reactivity. In pediatric med they are having great results with Adrenaline blockers. So that’s my next step with him. If this doesn’t work I only have one alternative.

  226. Shelley Overs permalink
    July 23, 2015 2:48 PM

    Thank you for sharing , this is such a sensitive subject and one that people have a hard time realizing . Some dogs for some reasons unbeknownst to even the most dedicated and well educated dog people are so hard wired wrong that no amount of rehab will cure them. Living in a world of being constantly on guard or in fear of some one entering your surroundings can not be mentally healthy for any animal. Sometimes as people doing every thing we can is still not enough. You gave Sutter every chance and exhausted all avenues, do not live with the guilt for the decision you made but realize Sutter is a place where he no longer is on guard , in fear of other humans or has to live in a world of turmoil, he can run free and play without restraints and be the dog he was meant to be.. You did the best for Sutter through all the struggles. We as dog trainers are faced with dogs such as Sutter and it is just as hard to tell owners that the best solution is euthanizing their pet. A trainer that would make you feel guilty for your decision should be ashamed of them selves. At what point do they put someone’s child , relative or pet in jeopardy because they are so full of themselves they cannot make the a responsible decision for that pet and their owner..Our thoughts are with you at this difficult but thank you for making the decision you did. and setting Sutter free.

  227. Sharon permalink
    July 23, 2015 2:50 PM

    I rescued a dog almost 2 years ago, and I had to put my Bex down 3 weeks ago..I feel for you, because that is what I went through as well..I loved my rescue baby, but he was not good at times, I tried to love him through the pain he had endured under the cruel people who had him..He tried to be a good boy, than out of the blue he would snap or bite someone!!! I miss him everyday, but I do know I done what was right..I have no attentions of rescuing another pet from the shelter..I can’t deal with the pain of it..I’m pet free as of now and I don’t plan on getting anymore animals for a long time..My ♥ hearts for you…I cry everyday missing my boy!!!

    • July 24, 2015 3:00 PM

      Whats the purpose of you rescuing a dog just to euthanize him. You could have re-homed you coward!!!

      • linda permalink
        July 24, 2015 6:29 PM

        Star, please, stop. You cannot rehome a dangerous dog. No one wants them and even if you could find someone to take them they are likely to meet an even uglier and traumatic end after they hurt someone. Better to love them to the end and let them go in your arms. It would be more selfish to rehome them and wash your hands of the matter knowing what the inevitable end would be.

      • Liz permalink
        July 25, 2015 8:32 AM

        More Star ignorance shining through!

  228. Anna Nirva permalink
    July 23, 2015 3:05 PM

    It takes an enormous strength to do what you did. And you had the guts to talk about it openly too.

    My husband and I have a similar story to tell about our beloved Duffer who we euthanized for insurmountable and dangerous behavior issues and I published it on Dogster in 2009. He was a member of our family for 3 years. We lived in an unhappy place between dread and fear the entire time. But he was relaxed, sweet and cuddly in the mornings so we kept trying. As the sun rose up, so did his anxieties.

    You might want to read Jon Katz’s book A Good Dog and his similar story. You might also look into Animal Madness by Laurel Braitman who writes about her own mentally ill dog and other animals suffering from mental illnesses.

    As for me, Duffer’s dog tag hangs on our bedpost and I still cry. His pictures are still in my FB albums. I am a rescuer and I did rescue one who looked much like him and that helped a bit. I wish I could have rescued him from his demons. I miss him in the mornings.

  229. Kimberly permalink
    July 23, 2015 3:07 PM

    As painful as it is, you are right, you did what was best for him, if he hurt someone he could end up in isolation for weeks before they then euthanized him…you did everything you could for him, he had a good life, and you gave him a beautiful last day….

  230. Kathy permalink
    July 23, 2015 3:36 PM

    Patrica McConnell said it best:
    Love, Guilt & Putting Dogs Down

    “It is easier to believe that we are always responsible (“if only I had done/not done this one thing….”) than it is to accept this painful truth: We are not in control of the world. Stuff happens. Bad stuff. As brilliant and responsible and hard working and control-freaky that we are, sometimes, bad stuff just happens. Good people die when they shouldn’t. Gorgeous dogs brimming with health, except for that tumor or those crappy kidneys, die long before their time. Dogs who are otherwise healthy but are a severe health risk to others end up being put down. It’s not fair, it’s not right, and it hurts like hell. But please please, if you’ve moved heaven and earth to save a dog and haven’t been able to… just remember: Stuff happens. We can’t control everything. (Difficult words to dog trainers I know. . . Aren’t we all control freaks to some extent?) You didn’t fail. You tried as hard as you could. It’s okay.”

  231. PeterS. permalink
    July 23, 2015 3:38 PM

    What so many people don’t realize is that animals can be insane. We know how difficult mental illness is to treat in human beings. It is even more so in animals.

  232. July 23, 2015 3:42 PM

    I am so sorry for your loss, and have had to do exactly what you did. The only difference for me was he had bit a board member at the shelter. I took him home, thinking I could keep him safe, I did for a year and a half. Then I was even a little afraid of him. After talking to my dear friend, and the person who was on the board of the shelter, the one he had bit to begin with, I too made the heart wrenching decision. It is not an easy one, but as you put it, “we saved them from themselves”.

  233. July 23, 2015 3:51 PM

    Yes, I do understand the pain you felt when you made that final decision that your friend and companion and the pet you had cared for as a baby needed to be put to sleep. While no words can say the right thing I believe what you did I would have done this also . You loved him till his final breath it appears he was a high strong dog because he refused to give up even when he had these injections as mentioned. Lady you done the right thing even to the last moment of his life with my you were with him and for him. I do hope you feel better slightly better after this note. .

  234. Jamie permalink
    July 23, 2015 3:57 PM

    My prayers are with you. We had to make the same decision a couple months ago. Titan was my most favorite animal ever. He would have given his life for us (our family of 6), but beyond this family, he trusted no one. Then one day I came home and he had killed our cat of 13 years. He never bothered her before. I have no idea what set him off. We knew we had to make the hard decision. I still cry for both of them.

  235. Vicki Dickson permalink
    July 23, 2015 3:58 PM

    I have so much respect for you and your love for this dog and your concern for others. Sometimes the right decision is the hardest. Sending you good thought and hope you will have comfort in your memories.

  236. Pam permalink
    July 23, 2015 4:08 PM

    Very sad post. I read a lot of the comments, and one in particular struck me as useful for any one having to make these kinds of decisions regarding dangerous dogs. She stated that she had set criteria for euthanasia: No warning growl or wish to avoid the situation. No remorse after biting. Repeated attempts or successful bites in same incident. Crazy out of body look in the eyes. Animal to animal aggression. Of course animal to human aggression is understood. Most of the comments were supportive, but I am always amazed at the judgmental comments some people make, especially in a situation where a person is hurting; Do they really think they have all the facts, or only their opinion can be right or even needs to be expressed at a time when it only serves to hurt others? We should strive to be tolerant of others and their opinions, decisions, successes, and mistakes, especially as it applies to emotional issues in rescue, religion, love, health, politics, etc . We can never say we have walked in their shoes, or really even understand all that goes into their decisions. (For example: Do you really want a person who loves his dog, but realizes he flips out and wants to hurt the dog with a certain bad behavior; to keep the dog when he is afraid he may flip out and hurt the dog one day? He is a scumbag to some people either way.) People just like dogs have different needs, health issues, emotional stability, personalities, tolerances, sufferings, etc in varying situations. Sometimes it JUST DOES NOT WORK! Sometimes the RIGHT person is able to MAKE it work, if only for while. Where is the sympathy for the person AND the dog? It is useless to tell people they made a lifetime commitment or their fear that the dog will hurt the new baby is unfounded, or the dog should go to their new home regardless of any circumstances is not realistic. Fear and danger are REAL. Don’t expect everyone to think and act and cope with situations like you would. Name calling and wishing harm on others that do not agree with you is not helpful, and it actually defeats the purpose of making a comment that will be heard as reasonable. Violence is never the answer where people or dogs are concerned. Dealing with violence exhibited by a person or a dog is something I would not wish on anyone, and certainly not on an ongoing basis. Decisions regarding quality of life are always difficult and very personal. I believe quality of life is a valid issue, but I understand others may disagree and I certainly do not wish a terrible suffering death with no quality of life on those that differ with me. I rarely post on such sensitive issues, but the lack of sensitivity of a few in this post got to me. I am sending prayers for peace to this wonderful lady who was so loving and supportive for so many years. We will never know what she went through, but I for one admire her and think she has a beautiful soul.

  237. July 23, 2015 4:09 PM

    I wonder if he had some form of dog autism? That’s what it sounds like to me. So sorry you had to go through this, but I think you made the best decision for Sutter considering all the prior incidences. You did everything you could have done to correct the issues.

  238. July 23, 2015 4:16 PM

    Please, please don’t hold yourself accountable for making the best choice you could for Sutter. There is no way to know what happens with these dogs and why they are so different. We had the same experience with a puppy mill product of my favorite breed. Something happens in the brain and they cannot be truly happy or fulfilled no matter what you do for them. We tried everything too…but When Dylan snuck up behind my daughter, that he loved, and bit her on the butt, we knew there was no hope for him ever to feel content in this world. We and our vets cried over him and I still feel desperately sad because he was the sweetest, cutest dog ever with a silly smile. You did what was right for him and now he is free. If he could talk to you, he would thank you.

  239. July 23, 2015 4:21 PM

    I am so sorry for your loss. It is a shame that Sutter started his life out not being wanted, left with his littermates to die, that is the person I would be stoning; but he was able to die in a set of loving arms and a beautiful heart. You did everything you could for him. I did 20 years in the military with two deployments and NOTHING prepared me when I had to let my little angel Pinky cross over the rainbow bridge, she would have turned 16 in October and she was not well and I agree about quality of life. I could not be selfish and let her suffer. Please know lots of people support your decision, I do not know if I could have done it. God Bless you!

  240. July 23, 2015 4:33 PM

    so sorry for your loss but you did the right thing for him. at least you weren’t selfish and you didn’t lock him up in another room like some people would do. we did that with a family dog when we were young and ignorant and it made the dog worse. it only works if your the only one living there and you have no children because it only takes one slip for someone to let the dog out. i trained a dog/human aggressive dog and i’m thankful she responded. i lived by myself and she wasn’t one to go for walks and prefer the comfort of the couch so i was lucky there. i have one now that is only dog aggressive on lead so because there are so many irresponsible dog owners in the neighborhood i took to walking him at 3:00am. ACDs need exercise so just sticking him in a yard would do no good and i know how hard it is with a dog lunging at another dog and i can imagine what would have happened to him if you were injured and out for a walk or medical would have to come into your house. he would have surely been shot. there are so many mentally handicapped humans out there hurting humans/animals and they cannot be safely contained so why do people think that it can be done with an animal humanely. i don’t agree with walking him with a muzzle since he still could lunge and knock someone down and injure them. i just wish more people were real dog lovers like you. your story reminds me so much of the story of Patrick Henry. his mom loved him and after many injuries to family members she was unselfish enough to let him go to the Bridge before he hurt her.

  241. Beth permalink
    July 23, 2015 4:56 PM

    I feel for you. I had to do the same over 10 years ago with one of my boys and it still breaks my heart. What some do not realize is that not all dogs are fixable, boy I wish they were.
    I currently have a highly anxious aussie mix who is now 10. I have done multiple things throughout the years with this girl also – training, meds, restriction, socialization… I call her my crazy girl. When she gets a bad anxiety attack she is dangerous to me and this is why I will euthanize her someday I am sure if she reaches the point she cannot be happy and safe in her own home more frequently than she does now. Family outside of the house didn’t believe the extreme fear/anxiety this poor dog has in her head with anything out of routine or even not out of routine, until my dad saw her in her kennel when he came over – she over-rode her anti-anxiety meds and was drooling/panting/shaking and finally progressing to chewing and shoving her way out of the kennel (until I gave up on trying to help my dad and got the poor dog out and walked her around for a bit to try and snap her brain out of it’s mode). For some reason, on that day – the kennel was scary. Why? Who knows?
    The second dog I actually just obtained 3 years ago as a rescue that wasn’t supposed to stay, because the above dog does not get along with new dogs. Well – they actually got along great and this one has a great calming effect on the above. Then my incredibly calm dog is a “silent” attacker of all other animals outside of my house – no warning – just lunges. Since I couldn’t find her trigger I went to training – learned her signs – and now 3 years later she is much much improved. And still in training. I will never ever trust her fully, she will never go to a dog park.
    Both of these dogs if I hadn’t seen any changes, I would/will euthanize. You have to do what is best for the well-being of the animal. Coming from someone in the vet field for over 18 years. You made a hard but good decision both for yourself and him.

  242. July 23, 2015 5:10 PM

    Tears streaming down my face and I can barely see the keys. You gave Your heart and soul to Your Precious furbaby. He is playing with the Angels at the Rainbow Bridge now, finally at peace. He will be there waiting for You when it is Your time to be together again. Thank you for giving Him life. ❤

  243. July 23, 2015 5:13 PM

    It pains me that you had to come to this decision. I personally believe you did the right thing. I am just so sorry that you have to live with this burden.

  244. Yvonne Maples permalink
    July 23, 2015 5:23 PM

    Our dogs expect us to do what’s in their best interest in, even when it’s the hard choices. You did the best thing for Sutter. He might not have been able to help himself.

    • MSMinich permalink
      July 24, 2015 9:47 AM

      You have said it best in the least amount of words.

  245. July 23, 2015 5:30 PM

    Wow, I don’t envy you at all having to make this decision. Sometimes the careless way dogs are bred will make something off in the brain. I thank God, being in rescue, I’ve not had to make a decision like this. About 7 years ago I pulled a Shepherd mix off death row; my intention was to vet him and find him a great home. He was petrified in the high kill shelter, shivering with his tail so far between his legs you couldn’t see he had one. I got him outside and he jumped in my car as if he’d done it a million times and I kissed his nose and he was fine, not scared at all anymore. He was listed as a stray and he was about 3 years old, so I never knew his past; he wasn’t neutered so wherever he was, he wasn’t well taken care of. I got him home to the fenced in yard, he was fine with the other dogs here. It didn’t take long to see him be extremely aggressive with anyone he didn’t know who pulled up in my driveway; he’d show teeth, growl and his hair would stand up on his back like he wanted to eat the person. He seemed to calm when I’d let people in although I never let kids near him but eventually he bit 3 people– always in the back of the leg as they’d walk away from him and with no warning right before it happened. I, like you, wanted to give him every chance. Adopting him out now was out of the question, not only would he likely — more than likely– hurt someone else, anyone else would have probably already put him down. I neutered him and couldn’t begin to afford what a trainer wanted to work with him so I’ve worked with him and after several years, he has calmed a lot. Although I have had to rearrange my life for him as far as having people over, he does listen to me better and as I said, he’s a lot calmer. I think it must have been something that happened to him in his past, unlike your dear baby who, it sounds like, was born with his problem. I’m very lucky, now I can have people over and as long as I stay with the person, Jesse behaves. And he’s also getting old, the vet figures he’s about 10 now and he’s all gray in the face. I’m so sorry you had to do what you did, that took a huge amount of bravery and love, a love most dogs never get. As much as I’d like to think every dog can be saved, they absolutely cannot. Your baby had a great life with you, never had to endure cruelty or being a starving stray on the street, none of the horrors so many go through. You’ll see him again one day, all better, running free at Rainbow Bridge, he was very blessed to have you for a Daddy.

  246. Leigh permalink
    July 23, 2015 5:30 PM

    This was a tough decision to make. I’m sorry you had to make it. I went through a similar experience with my cat, Nikolaievna. We rescued him when he was three weeks old and had to bottle feed him until he could eat solid food. He was a talkative and loving little guy, waking us up in the middle of the night for feeding and playtime. He was our baby boy, but was extremely aggressive, scratching and biting. We went to the doctors, tried therapy, drugs, and special time with just him. We rehomed with my brother where he would be an only cat. Things escalated and Niko destroyed everything in his home so we took him back. He attacked one of our older cats and blinded her. We had the choice of him being constantly tranquillized or putting him to sleep. He would have had no quality of life so I held him as he fell sleep. It has been about 12 years and I still question my decision. I still cry. I still have his collar hanging by my front door. I don’t think I will ever be “over” his experience. I don’t even want to be over it. Although it is easier to talk about, I’m crying as I finish this post. Hang in there. Try to forgive yourself.

  247. Linda permalink
    July 23, 2015 5:37 PM

    I am so sorry both for your loss and for what you had to do. You did the right thing for him. You did the most courageous thing a dog owner can do and do it for the best interest of the dog. I’m here to tell you, I know that he’s having a grand time on the other side of the veil. A short story: I had a German Shepherd that I loved with all my heart. One of those magical dogs that was so good and so bonded with me, it was like she could read my mind. She was about 9 but in great health but had a problem with her spine. It was deteriorating and suddenly was causing her extreme pain. It was at a spot that wouldn’t allow the vet to put her in a doggie wheel chair and he said her pain would only get worse. It about killed me but I knew I couldn’t allow her to live in pain. I was so angry I can’t begin to explain it. I was mostly mad at God for “allowing” this to happen to such a wonderful dog. I couldn’t let her go alone so I held her in my arms while the vet injected her. I mentally screamed at God that I wanted to know exactly what happened when she died. I had heard churched folk say that animals have no soul and they just go away. I didn’t believe it but I demanded an answer. I had my head on her chest and could feel her heart stop. My eyes were closed and suddenly I saw, as if from Bandit’s perspective, a green field and trees in the distance and an older couple near the tree. Bandit took off running and I could see her tail go in that big sweeping circle it did when she was happy and running. I came closer to the couple and Bandit ran around them, obviously happy to see them. I realized it was my grandparents who have been gone for 30 years. I knew and still know, with every bit of my being, that what I was seeing was true and real. So, just know that your dog is over there, running free and happy and no longer tied to whatever angry feelings were keeping him so defensive all the time. Please try not to feel guilty. It’s hard I know because I put down another dog years after Bandit but again, it was because of a back problem. But, he was an angry, defensive dog like yours and I thought several times of letting him go just for that reason. He was 80 pounds of trouble just waiting to happen. Even though my heart broke at putting him down because of his back pain, it was a relief not to have to worry about him hurting a person, dog or cat. He’ll come back to you in another dog’s body. Just ask him to come back whole and happy. Best of blessings to you and please don’t allow guilt to stay with you.

  248. Denise permalink
    July 23, 2015 5:41 PM

    My heart goes out to you. No words can express what it means to have to make this kind of decision. He knew a good life with you. But you were right in knowing that there was something wrong and you did everything possible to try to fix him. In the end, there was no cure. And ultimately, you saved him from himself. Nameste.

  249. Nicole permalink
    July 23, 2015 5:53 PM

    I feel for you 100%. My baby girl became very scared and sensitive out of no where. The vet told me that she was having spinal issues (very common in Min Pins). I adopted her when she was about 4 months old and she was unlike any other dog I have known. She was very assertive and acted like she was a 200 pound doberman. She was non-stop action, love, personality. Such a wonderful happy dog. When the vet told me treatment would be keeping her still, in a kennel and sedated for 6 weeks and that once the treatment was done it might give her another year but she would still be in pain. I made the heartbreaking decision to take away her pain and fear and not let her stay in constant pain. Thank you for sharing your story, I definitely cried and thought a lot about the decision I made. And as hard as it is the thought was still about the quality of life of our furry loves.

  250. connie permalink
    July 23, 2015 6:11 PM

    my heart breaks for you it was aver hard thing to do but you did the right thing for Sutter, know always you were very brave & strong.

  251. Rhiannon Foster permalink
    July 23, 2015 6:15 PM

      I had a dog Cleo, also a rescue, she was from ARF (Animal Rescue Foundation) she was the most loving dog,..but only to my spouse and I and later, when we split, to me only. She would do the same things, lunge, nip at people on our walks if we/they got too close. I would cross the street on our walks so they and her as well would be “safe”. She never did bite anyone, but I was worried she might!! After the split with my ex, we had to sell our house as neither of us could afford it. I could not afford to pay the extra rent for a place for us both later. I was fortunate in this, the outcome for Cleo was actually good and very fortuitous, as the lady who had cared for him 5 years earlier as a puppy wanted to have him back. Cleo is now on her farm, once again reunited with her brother! I miss Cleo and my other dog Gracie who went with my ex when we split. I am so happy for Cleo, I will miss her always and morning cuddles and kisses, but in the bigger picture, a great outcome for her and an bittersweet experience to share.    

  252. Husky Lover permalink
    July 23, 2015 6:24 PM

    We just recently had to put down a beautiful husky that had major aggression issues. I was wanting to start a husky rescue & it was incredibly heartbreaking to have to put down my first rescue- I’m so heartbroken over it & scared of being in that situation again that I’m not sure of still doing the rescue. Even my husband who wasn’t too keen on the idea cried about putting her down, she was aggressive but also had a sweet side. She had bit 3 adults, one was our pet sitter who was wonderful with animals, she had snapped at me a couple times, growled at the kids in the neighborhood while walking & she was a good escape artist & we just knew sooner or later someone was going to get really hurt. Please know I understand your hurt & pain! Please know you did the right thing!

  253. July 23, 2015 6:48 PM

    Damm, it sux. You did what you had to do, for the both of you. Sorry for your loss. Sending positive vibes and thoughts your way. ;0)~~~PeAcE~

  254. July 23, 2015 7:04 PM

    In tears, I write that I feel your pain and your guilt, but also know that you did the only thing that you could. You gave him life and a chance and probably did more for him that anyone could. My heart and prayers go out to you for your own healing and for you forgiving yourself. This was your only choice. As a rescue person myself, saying goodbye, no matter the circumstance, is the hardest part of being a pet parent. I pray that you continue to rescue and to love. There are still so many dogs out there who need angels like you.

  255. natalie permalink
    July 23, 2015 7:11 PM

    I would of done the same, he saved u as u saved him and he will be with u forever. Bless u for having the love and strength to dk what u did it was a unselfish act.

  256. Maria Jones permalink
    July 23, 2015 7:12 PM

    You can forgive yourself. You gave him more than anyone else would. We had a similar experience with a rescue named Maverick. He almost killed my little dog as he now saw small dogs and cat’s as “prey” and he bit me as I was in the way. He was wired wrong and just kept getting progressively worse. Still a love bug when other small animals and children were not around. We had to make the same decision for him. It was unbearably hard. But he eventually would have been taken from us and not euthanized in a loving way if we had waited until he hurt someone outside the family. God bless you and your fur baby.

  257. July 23, 2015 7:37 PM

    I think you did what was best for Cleo. September 2014 I rescued a dog that was abused, and I did not know what that meant as far as behavior issues, luckily I have found help for him that is letting him trust people again and not have behavior issues, but there is always that doubt that he will all of a sudden not trust a person. Having walked a step or two in your shoes, I can tell by your story that you did all you could to try and help Cleo. Please don’t let people who are throwing trash speak at you get you upset. There was a time with my abused rescue dog where he bit me, (he wouldn’t come when I called so I stomped up to him with an angry, enraged attitude and when I went to grab his collar and drag him into the house he bit me) I wondered for weeks if I had taken on a bigger responsibility than I could handle but I have been able to work with him so that I can get him to come without scaring him. Those negative POS people just don’t get it.

  258. Rebecca permalink
    July 23, 2015 7:49 PM

    Heart breaking but you did the right thing for him and everyone around him – on four feet or two.

  259. July 23, 2015 7:49 PM

    I am crying my eyes out as I just went through the very same thing. Shane was a rescue I got three and half years ago when he was a year old. At the time I was married , almost 2 years ago I got divorced and he became very protective of me. I tried and tried everything I could and he just kept getting worse. He loved me unconditionally , but he didn’t want anyone to come in our house or our yard. He was always on edge and couldn’t relax , was scared of loud noises, yelling , storms and fireworks and was always watching out for me . It just kept escalating , he was nipping , charging , growling , charging at other animals . The last episode was not pretty and I too was faced with the hardest decision of my life and the most difficult thing to do ever. I would never wish it on anyone , but he was hurting people and I was at risk of loosing my homeowners insurance they were going to drop me and I still could be sued.
    The guilt is awful but in my heart I know he’s free of his anxiety and he can relax now and run free at the rainbow bridge. On June 29,2015 I lost my beautiful boy but his memory will live forever in my heart . I know he had a good life but my heart still aches .
    I hope Shane and Sutter know we loved them unconditionally and that we will all meet again.

  260. July 23, 2015 8:02 PM

    Grief work is work and part of the journey is questioning of the self as in “did I try everything” “did I go too fast” “what sort of person am I to have wanted death to give me relief” Do the work of grief. Know that you did not think of everything or make every sacrifice. Know that to be human is to err. Do the grief work. Only be going through it will you get through it. It is a terrible thing to have the ability to make a choice about ending life. It is a courageous thing to do so and to survive the agony of self doubt. You walk sacred ground at this time.

  261. July 23, 2015 8:06 PM

    My heart goes out to you. I’m so very sorry that you had to make such a difficult decision. It’s one I am currently facing with one of my foster dogs. I have run a small rescue for years and have always feared the day when I would have to make this decision. My foster girl is absolutely, relentlessly dog aggressive. I’m also a trainer and have had her for eighteen months with absolutely no improvement in this area. She is a danger to all the other dogs in my home and because of that she has to be completely separate from them. I have had zero adoption interest in her and I too worry about the liability issue. I feel that it’s time to free her from herself. I am heartbroken over it and wish for you the same peace I hope I will be able to find for myself.

  262. Terri permalink
    July 23, 2015 8:19 PM

    I also had to put down a great dog who had become a danger. My hearts cries with yours. You exhausted all resources and you put so much time and energy into finding a solution.
    I am sorry for the loss of your friend.

  263. Cass permalink
    July 23, 2015 8:28 PM

    My heart breaks for you and my tears are falling because I feel your pain, I’ve been there and had to make the same horrible decision.

    My girl was a rescue kelpie that I resuced at 12 weeks and until the age of four she was a fantastic dog, competed in the agility ring and enjoyed recreational sheep herding. Friendly but always wary, then one day things just changed and it was a downhill slide. For two very hard years I worked with her. I’m a dog trainer I should have been able to fix her. I was lucky that her aggression was limited to dogs and the occasional person that intervened when she was fighting.

    I got to the point where I didn’t want to get up in the morning because I couldn’t deal with her and what she may do to my other dog. Countless trips to the vet for my other poor girl was becoming way too frequent and my vet started to raise questions about the dangerous situation that was developing.

    Then one day out of the blue she ripped open the chest of my other dog, she was in for the kill. After separating them I had to make the hard decision that I knew was the best one for everyone. I grabbed the phone and made the appointment then and there. My husband begged me to think about it but I knew I would just find another excuse to prolong the inevitable…and at what cost??

    This was 10 years ago and I still question my decision every day. I still have the guilt and wish I had of tried harder but truthfully deep down I know I made the right decision, just as you have done. Sutter is in a much better place along with my MiMi, who knows they may even be friends now that they can run free in a safe place. xxx

  264. April Kapanowski permalink
    July 23, 2015 8:30 PM

    We just went through the same exact story. We rescued Rocco from a couple who gave up on him. He was just to much dog for them. When he came to our house he was crazy with anxiety. Within a couple of days I knew that I needed help with this dog. Hired a dog trainer to help us out. She did a great job of training me, to work with him. He did awesome. A+ student. And he was so proud of himself. He went on to be a therapy dog, and we would visit nursing homes and our favorite place to visit was the VA hospital. He loved my husband and I with his entire heart and we loved him with ours. When we got him he was a year old and we put him down 4 short years later. After he bit 3 people within 4 – 5 weeks. Rocco was a fear biter and would bite when he didn’t trust people. And you never new when that was going to happen. And with each bite he was gaining more confidence. It was the hardest thing that I have ever done. But it had to be done for everyone. Us, Rocco & the public. The day I decided to put him down…..I spent 6 hours with a woman at a German Shepherd Rescue. And it was through her that she convinced me that euthanasia was our only choice. I’m so sorry for you pain…… I know it all to well.

  265. Molly permalink
    July 23, 2015 8:31 PM

    Thank you for sharing your experience. Five years ago I had to put both my rescue dogs to sleep due to aggression. It was such a liability I got to the point I couldn’t walk my dogs because I feared they would bite someone. I worked with trainers, and tried everything I knew to do. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough, I had to euthanize them. Not a day goes by I don’t think about them. My heart still breaks but I had no choice. My thoughts are with you during this difficult time. The pain does lessen with time but it still hurts.

  266. July 23, 2015 9:36 PM

    I am sorry for your loss and although I feel your heartbreak I also don’t understand why you let him bite again and again. Yes, I’ve been there. We had a shep/husky mix we rescued that we had to euthanize for temperament issues. She had a “screw loose” and we knew it when she was still a pup. We tried to work with her for 8 years but the day she bit me for no reason as I walked by her while I was making the bed was when the decision was made. She bit me in the thigh which I realized was at the same height as my daughter’s neck (who she had been growling at already). I would have never taken the risk of her biting my young daughter or someone else. She had crossed a line once she drew blood. I volunteer with a Lab rescue and we are unable to take in dogs who have bitten due to the liability. In our state there is “double indemnity” so once a dog has bitten homeowner’s insurance will drop you if you don’t get rid of them because a law suit can be brought for twice the damages. Not to mention we would have to live with ourselves if that dog harmed another animal or a child.

  267. Lizzie permalink
    July 23, 2015 9:37 PM

    I am very sorry for your loss. I understand the heart wrenching decision you made. It wasn’t easy but you did what was best for others and what was best for Sutter. I don’t believe he was truly aggressive but was fighting his own demons maybe similar to a person who has schizophrenia (who doesn’t take meds). Of course I am not a psychic. It was sad it had to happen this way but at least he was with you and you were showing him love. If something serious had happen things would have turned out different and he would have been put to sleep in a cold environment without your love. Wishing you peace.

  268. July 23, 2015 9:52 PM

    I’m very sorry to read this, had you called me, I would have been more than happy to direct you to our dear friends at Forever Homes Rehab Center and if truely unrehabb-able, I have 2 dogs living their lives and loving life at Spirit Animal Sanctuary. There are dogs who are just not meant to be in domestic homes, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to life out their natural lives. Very saddened that you were perhaps not given the proper guidance and all the options available before making this decision.

  269. Sara Sommers permalink
    July 23, 2015 10:27 PM

    5 Weeks ago I put down my beloved American Bulldog, his name was Jack. Jack came to me older and very much abused. I don’t know if someone dumped him or if he got loose and ran away, either way I walked out my front door one morning 2 years ago and tripped over him. The scars on his body were horrific, telling their own story. At first he wasn’t aggressive at all towards my other dogs, that came later and little by little. He wasn’t aggressive towards me unless he thought I was going to strike him or hurt him in anyway, but mostly, astonishingly enough, he loved people. He thought everyone was his new best friend. He was always excited to see new people. However as time went by, he started getting more and more aggressive towards my other dogs. Tearing several of them up and nearly killing my elderly white shepherd. Finally 5 weeks ago, he killed one of my other dogs, my beagle Harvey. The guilt I will feel over Harvey’s death will never leave me, but what is killing me more is taking Jack’s life. I called the vet that day and she came to my place and euthanized Jack. I rescue dogs and I have had to make hard calls before, but this one has almost killed me. I know that I should have euthanized Jack before this, in fact I had struggled with it and I couldn’t get the courage up to do what I knew in my heart needed to be done because I had bonded with Jack in ways I had not bonded with other dogs. Even as I write this I am starting to cry all over again. I can honestly say that I know exactly what the author of this story is going through and I also know that I will never get over this.

  270. Cynthia Snowden permalink
    July 23, 2015 10:44 PM

    I’m so terribly sorry

  271. linda permalink
    July 23, 2015 11:06 PM

    Thank you for your bravery in posting this. I went through something similar with a dog I loved with my whole heart. To this day the guilt and shame are almost unbearable even though I know I did the right thing. I rarely tell anyone that I even had this dog in my life because of fear of the backlash and lack of understanding by people like Star. Star, it is not just about not putting the dog in a position where it will fail. You cannot imagine how fast the dog can change. With mine it was like a switch would flip and the look in his eyes would change and he was suddenly a different dog and someone would get bit. Again thank you for sharing your story. I feel less alone.

  272. Claire permalink
    July 24, 2015 1:06 AM

    Apparently there are calming drugs and smells to tame ferocious dogs!
    But you just couldn’t be bothered!
    And dogs like this need to be kept busy most of the day EVERY day!!
    I suspect that wasn’t the case here!!
    My two dogs are happiest when they are looked after all day and taken out to run and play MORE often!!
    Yours was sporadic by the sound of it…Dogs are like children; they respond to routine!..This dog had no recognisable routine and definitely not enough regular exercise!! Etc etc..There are very few untameable dogs, but some owners need a kick up the backside!!
    As an owner of two Chihauhaus, I see it time and time again where the owners let their dogs chase mine and do what they like with no didcipline/training whatsoever!!
    If they were the owner of my dofs, then they would think differently!!!
    I say again..It’s NOT the dogs but their OWNERS who need their attitudes changing!! If you have a dog, especially one like yours, then you havd to be prepared to give it 100% EVERY day and nit just a couple of times a week, whike the rest of the time it is left alone while you’re working long hours!! This is what DOES nake a dog restless and resentful/violent as you would be if YOU were treated like that!!!!!
    Disgraceful!!! None of your ‘story’ should hsve happened and no you did not rescue it!!!!!

    • BME permalink
      July 24, 2015 11:49 AM

      You do know that this article does not contain every detail, right? Did you want her to write a complete hour by hour routine for what their day to day lives were?

      She walked sutter and kept him busy in many different ways such as nose work and other activities, or did you not read the whole article before commenting?

      Also, you say walk him and take him out often but you read he was unpredictable around other dogs and people, so she walked him at times of the day where few people were out and about as to avoid such situations. If she just walked him around everyone, you would be telling her to restrict his freedom and outings because he shouldn’t be around others.

      She had a very set routine that allowed sutter to have as much freedom as possible, while still trying to avoid situations that he may not do well in. She went above and beyond what most people would do to give him an active life, full of love, while still understanding his needs.

      The calming meditations and devices don’t work for all dogs. It’s just like people, not everyone can be treated with medication. I have seen some dogs respond very well and others not at all. There is no miracle cure all.

    • July 24, 2015 7:04 PM

      My, aren’t we judgemental – managing a Chihuahua is NOTHING like managing a large breed dog with aggression problems. Your ignorance astounds!

    • July 30, 2015 10:32 PM

      Claire, get a grip. Your comments are incredibly ignorant. Research idiopathic rage syndrome. And maybe try to dig up some compassion while you’re at it.

  273. anne wimsey permalink
    July 24, 2015 1:10 AM

    kill shelters are full of dogs that wouldn’t show a tooth to the vet digging into a severly long-time infected ear, with no anesthesia. i know, i had one. you put everything you had, and more, into a dog that just wasn’t able to be in this world. you are lucky to still have a home, and money, to give to a dog like my Jed, and no maimed or dead people on your conscience.

  274. Stacy permalink
    July 24, 2015 2:36 AM

    I’m very sorry for your loss. Sutter was a very lucky dog to have such a compassionate owner like yourself. I, too, have a dog that “just isn’t right.” She snaps, bites,and lunges just like Sutter, but is a pure joy in my home.
    She gets the best vet care, the best food, the best of everything, BUT how is the quality of her life? How is the quality of my life? Like you said…I can’t walk her without my anxiety being out of control. Talk about hyper vigilant! I can’t have people in my home because she’s too unpredictable.
    I cried reading this today, for you, for Sutter, for myself, and for Daisy.
    I don’t care what anyone says here…what you did was selfless and yes, necessary!

  275. July 24, 2015 3:17 AM

    I am very sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine how hard this was for you to do. Thank you for rescuing him and showing him what love was…even though he lived with demons outside of your four walls.

  276. July 24, 2015 3:41 AM

    At one point in my life I thought I would have to make the same decision that you just did. And, like you, I was prepared to do just that, because the thought of my dog ever ending up in the wrong person’s hands terrified me. I worried someone would use her aggression to their advantage and that was an unacceptable outcome. I was fortunate that eventually I was able to work things out and I did spend the rest of her life “managing” her. I managed her up until her last day on earth at 15 years old. We stopped for a walk on the beach on our way to the vet to euthanize her due to a myriad of old lady dog problems. She could barely stand up straight anymore and she still tried to attack a golden retriever. I am so very sorry for your loss. I’m so very sorry that you had to make this hard decision. I am so very sorry that Sutter couldn’t relax and be ok around other people and dogs. I know how that feels and it sucks. Sending you lots of love today and just letting you know that I get it.

  277. penelope guest permalink
    July 24, 2015 3:42 AM

    I run a small rescue for abandoned dogs here in Spain. One of them a Spanish Galgo (Greyhound) gave birth to nine puppies. She developed Epilepsy after the birthing and it became so severe she was in danger of being killed by the pack. Sadly we decided it was kinder to euthanize her rather than be ripped apart by the pack while she was seizing. I do think about it a lot but she was un re-home able and it seemed the only sensible decision. You made the right decision….

  278. July 24, 2015 4:56 AM

    My vet forwarded your article and like so many I have tears in my eyes. Just wanted to say thank you for sharing your story…my prayer is that the guilt subsides quickly. Clearly you are a kind hearted soul who went above and beyond to care for a creature who would not have had any life at all were it not for you saving him in the first place. Cling to what you had, not to what was not…What you did, not what you had to do. Your pain is palpable. I wish you peace. I live with 4 Great Pyrs and have been researching aggression in dogs. (This is why my vet forwarded your article; he too has said there are cases that are simply beyond control, so count his very wise and educated opinion as one in your defense.) With compassion for your pain and sympathy for your loss…k

  279. July 24, 2015 6:21 AM

    I”m so sorry you had to make that decision. My heart is aching for you.

  280. July 24, 2015 6:26 AM

    Your dog’s story is my dog’s story. His name was Jack. I wrote you a reply but it ended up turning into a blog post of my own. Hugs. You can find my post at weeklyrevolutions which is a weak little blog with 3 posts I’ve written over the past 3 years 🙂

  281. Judith permalink
    July 24, 2015 6:57 AM

    We had to do the same with our 4 yr old dog. He went for my son’s throat while my son was calmy folding clothes on the couch. After being bit many times, badly that was the final act. I could not let him harm anyone else. I feel your pain and reading this story brings it all back to me. That was 10 years ago, I know we did the right thing for him and us as well. It still hurts and makes my throat close up when I think of it. I know I will see him again.

  282. Pam permalink
    July 24, 2015 7:02 AM

    I felt the pain in your heart from the beginning of your letter. By the end I had tears in my eyes. You did the right thing,there was no quality of life for any of you. You gave him Love and Kindness for many years, but there was something broken inside him. But he knew as he closed his eyes for the last time that He Was Loved. Hoping God will heal your heart soon.
    Pam, Maggie and Lucy 🐕🐾🐾😔

  283. Dale permalink
    July 24, 2015 7:26 AM

    Such a hard decision, and such a kind one.

  284. Jennifer Palma permalink
    July 24, 2015 7:41 AM

    My heart breaks for you and for Sutter. I understand you made the only decision possible for your beautiful pup. His quality of life, even if he didn’t realize it, was severely restricted and you were unable to relax as well just waiting for the inevitable. I have owned my pup since he was 6 weeks and he is very attached to my family and children… He loves everyone who comes to our house BUT I know he couldn’t function without my children and I and his training is specific to him…. If ever it came to a point of having to rehome, and I don’t think any situation could cause that unless he hurt my children of grandchildren, something he would never do… He loves every child, but if something happened, I would consider euthanasia as a possibility to…. No matter who criticizes… They don’t know my dog like I do. My heart goes out to you… You are in my prayers and just know that I think you did an honorable job with Sutter until the very end. Hugs

  285. July 24, 2015 7:51 AM

    I am sorry for your having to make this decision, and I am sorry for your loss of Sutter.

  286. July 24, 2015 8:00 AM

    As I cry through your story I can feel your pain. I had to make the decision to put down my terrior mix Ginger four yeas ago. I think I cried every day for the first year and still cry when I think of that day. The guilt was eating me up because I made the decision as she was so sick the vet could only hold death off for a short time and what quality of life would she have? I am going to tell you what my vet told me. THINK OF THE GOOD YEARS YOU GAVE YOUR DOG. YOU LOVED HIM AND CARED FOR HIM FOR 8 YEARS THAT HE WOULDN’T OF HAD IF LEFT IN THE SHELTER OR MAYBE SOMEONE ELSE HAD HIM. HE HAD 8 GOOD YEARS AD YOU GAVE HEM TO HIM! !

  287. JFox permalink
    July 24, 2015 8:05 AM

    It takes a lot of strength and compassion to do what you had to. Don’t feel guilt. Focus on all that you did to make his life as long and happy as it was. How much better to have a short, happy life, then one that is long, in pain, or in isolation.

  288. July 24, 2015 9:25 AM

    After crying and reading your story, I truly believe you did what was best for Sutter. After all of your attempts to make things good for him, you did all you could I believe. He was able to know what true love is and he did with you. No consolation, it still hurts but it was what was best for Sutter. He will always have a place in your heart. Rest in Peace Sutter until you and your human are reunited at the Rainbow Bridge ❤️
    I will continue to pray for you because it was a very difficult decision but it was for the best.

  289. Tammy Buffington permalink
    July 24, 2015 10:08 AM

    Thank you for sharing this story. I just went through this last week and reading this has helped me with the grief and guilt that comes and goes which is probably your sole purpose for sharing. It takes great courage to do what needed to be done and to share with the world. You have given me the courage to share my story as well. Much love from Tennessee……Tammy

  290. Dean permalink
    July 24, 2015 10:17 AM

    I had to do the exact same thing two years ago this past May. I could have replace the name Sutter, with Chance and you would have thought I wrote this account. What pained me was there were those that caused me pain by telling me I did the wrong thing. But I knew I did not. I tell people all the time Chance loved me too much. He would not let anyone ( except close family) near me. The only difference and breaking point was Chance decided not even to let people in the house. He would attack to hurt. I spent over $10,000.00 and the result was the same. But let it be know, I would have spent ten times that if someone could have change things That and numerous attacks on my other dogs resulted in the same course of events. Finally my vet advised me Change had major aggression issues and to rehome would be impossible…I would be a liar if I told you I got over this. Even as I write this now I sob. I miss him everyday and deep down as irrational as it might sound, I feel like I let him down. Sometime the right thing to do just doesn’t feel like it. You are in my prayers and I am hoping Chance and Sutter are playing right now..their minds finally free of fear and full of peace and love.

  291. Donna permalink
    July 24, 2015 10:30 AM

    I am so sorry for you and I know the pain and guilt you carry. There is little that will remedy that save what YOU said, you did rescue him again by allowing him peace, There will be time to heal and I pray ‘ease’ for you in this. Your story shines a light in the dark corner we rescuers face over and again over years of rescue. Sutter has already forgiven you and he is free and whole and at peace and I know he wants that for you too.

  292. July 24, 2015 10:35 AM

    Been where you are. You did the best thing.

  293. Marion permalink
    July 24, 2015 10:45 AM

    I had to do the same thing for my Donnagan. We got him as a puppy and the first couple of years he was a happy boy. Then, it seemed like a switch went off in him. He attacked the other dogs in the house, he put me in the hospital from a bite that developed into a severe blood infection. And I still wouldn’t let go. It got to where I couldn’t have anyone in the house and I couldn’t go anywhere and leave him.

    Finally, he started withdrawing from everyone and laying by himself with his back to us. To me, that was his way of telling me that he was done and ready to go.

    We did the same. Gave him a great bucket-list day and sat with him as the medication coursed through his veins. The last thing he knew was me, holding him and telling him how much I loved him. This happened four years ago and even now I’m crying as I write this. I miss my little boy so much, but I know his fears were too much for him and I did the right thing.

    God bless you for doing the right thing for him and not for you. I know how hard it is.

  294. Jennifer McManigell permalink
    July 24, 2015 10:57 AM

    I am so sorry for your pain and loss. It sounds like you truly had no other choice, but it clearly was a heartbreaking decision. I believe that all animals go to heaven and Sutter is there now. I look forward to meeting him one day and I hope he is now playing with some of my beloved dogs which have passed.

  295. Gidget Church permalink
    July 24, 2015 10:59 AM

    Heartbreaking. You did the right thing. I did the same about 43 years ago after my dog bit a child and put him in the hospital. I can still see her chase the child after her leash attached to a line in a campsite (all brand new equipment) malfunctioned. She took him down like a wolf after prey. I could not take the chance she would hurt another. I can still see every moment of that incident as I was walking back to the campsite when it happened. Again, you did the RIGHT thing. Hugs.

  296. katie permalink
    July 24, 2015 11:34 AM

    I went through this a year ago July 10th. And the guilt of playing god was much less than the guilt of muzzling my baby everytime I walked her, putting her up if any adults were in the vicinity and risking her killing a familys pet…. A pet they loved as dearly as I loved her. She was my daughter. My love and my life. And I too am I rescuer. You did the right thing! And he died with you loving him rather than on a cold bed in some animal center after a reported bite. Sending love and prayers to you. God bless

  297. Tim permalink
    July 24, 2015 11:58 AM

    I’m coming close to facing the same situation. My dog keeps biting my fiancé, and I’m having a hard time with acknowledging that this may what I have to do for her. It is reassuring to know how many other people have been down the same path.

    • July 24, 2015 1:15 PM

      I do not like this every dog can be trained. It is question of finding the right trainer, maybe not one with an iron fist but one with an understanding heart.

  298. July 24, 2015 12:30 PM

    Today marks two weeks ago that I made this decision for our dog and I will never forgive myself.

  299. July 24, 2015 12:32 PM

    Like people, animals can be mentally ill. I put down a beautiful cat who was young but had a horrible quality of life because something was wrong upstairs. You did this dog a favor because your boy spent time having issues that couldn’t be pleasant for him. It took me some time to have peace even though I knew I did the right thing.

  300. Matthew ojeda permalink
    July 24, 2015 12:36 PM

    I’m in tears. My Dog was the same way and he and I started by ourselves and ended with he I and my girlfriend. He was difficult with most anyone didn’t like people he would growl and bark jump up. We muzzled him when he was outside and made sure we did everything ourselves because we know no one will do things the way we would. He trusted you, you fucking asshole. You lied to him. Took him for a great day then you killed him. That’s fucked up, and you did it for what? Cuz you were scared he may do something. I could have never done that to my Dro, and now my little Hazey who I’ve had since he was five weeks old. I could never do such a thing. You could have taken him to a no kill shelter and no matter what they would have made sure he would have been cares for properly at all times. You’re a fucking idiot.

  301. Josie permalink
    July 24, 2015 12:39 PM

    My heartbreaks for you even know you did the right thing. You set him free from what ever it was that huanted him.

  302. Nancy Orozco permalink
    July 24, 2015 12:39 PM

    My heart breaks for you and Sutter. Praying you find peace within yourself. Hopefully you will see him again. All Dogs go to Heaven.

  303. cookinaunt permalink
    July 24, 2015 12:44 PM

    Don’t feel guilty for putting Sutter down. You gave him 8 wonderful years to live, showed him the love he deserved, and tried everything to get him not to bite. I praise you for doing the right thing and know your emotional struggle was not an easy one at all. Putting down an animal for what ever reason is never easy it hurts just the same . I know your not ready for another fur baby right away but I pray in the future you rescue another that has a doomed fate at a shelter to no fault of their own. Prayers & hugs to your family as you grieve your loss. God speed Sutter!

  304. July 24, 2015 12:45 PM

    As I try to wipe the tears from my eyes, I am relating to you and feel your pain. A pain that I still feel, even though I know it was the right thing for me to do. My Rosie spent from birth to just over 2, in the shelter where she was born. She was adopted at 4 months and brought back, for what, I do not know. I adopted her and spent the next 8 years loving her with all my heart, and being afraid to walk her and have people in my house. She turned into Cujo on the leash and once someone came into the house, she would grab their clothes to keep them in…a few times breaking fabric and skin.
    Then one day she “nipped” at the daughter of a friend.
    I didn’t say goodbye to her until two years later, and though I am so very sure I did the right thing, I will never stop missing her.
    Thanks so much for sharing your story!

  305. July 24, 2015 12:50 PM

    Zhou are not nice for doing that hope you see his face everyday for the rest of your live for what you did.

  306. July 24, 2015 12:51 PM

    we had to do this too… we loved our Bearded collie and most of the time he was wonderful but he became more and more unpredictable. Eventually there was no other choice to make. Why was he like this ? We never knew and it broke our hearts

  307. July 24, 2015 12:51 PM

    Very sad and heartbreaking decision to put a dog down, but you made the right decision. I train K-9’s for sale to police departments. While our training consists of initial detection work (explosive components and narcotic contraband), we also evaluate the dog for patrol work (which includes bite work). Most of our dogs come from Eastern Europe where the bulk of police and military dogs are purchased. They all have extremely high drives (detection and or apprehension) and occasionally we get one that is “over the top” in aggression. These require some tough decisions. Especially when they try to attack the handler. I have seen these “mean” dogs have to be euthanized because no handler could safely use the animal. Please don’t feel bad or don’t feel that you are the only one that has that experience. It is a depressing decision to be sure but you should look to rescue another, loving animal. I still have 2 rescue’s (pit/Lab mix) and they manage to co-exist with my working K-9. Occasionally the male rescue has “issues” with the working dog (both are stubborn and alpha), but I can correct that with commands.

  308. July 24, 2015 12:55 PM

    That is one of the saddest stories I have ever heard. I don’t see how you had any other choice but it was heartbreaking. I would cry every time I thought of him.

  309. Your Mama Dresses Funny permalink
    July 24, 2015 12:59 PM

    I have made this same brutal decision for a dog that I still miss daily. We tried everything, training, medication, muzzles but my girl could not get passed her demons, whatever they were. You did everything you could and in the end, did the kindest thing possible ❤

  310. July 24, 2015 1:09 PM

    My heart goes out to you. I rescued a beautiful dog, smart dog. I only had him two weeks when he snapped at the neighbor, barely missing his leg. The next day on a walk, he snapped at a young man, later on that walk I was talking to a lady who was a neighbor and he was just laying down chilling and all of a sudden he slipped out of his collar and went after that woman, no growling, no barking just went after. The next day I had to take him back to the shelter knowing full well they would probably put him down. I cried so hard I could barely talk. I cannot imagine having a dog for 8 years and having to put him down like you did. So sorry for your loss.

  311. Ginny Kates permalink
    July 24, 2015 1:11 PM

    I went through almost exactly the same thing. It still hurts. I still feel guilty. The relief for me and my girl Holly outweighs all of that. She is free. No more unexplained burdens. No more risk for small children and other dogs. I do rescue too. I believe they all deserve a chance. My vet and the vet tech were with me on my decision. The support helped. I did the right thing and so did you.

  312. Rockie permalink
    July 24, 2015 1:17 PM

    I’m sure you feel the pain, I feel the pain with you, but know you did the right thing, for Sutter and yourself.You tried everything to train him to be a safe dog, but something inside him was too overly protective.He’s safe now and protecting all the pup and kittes over the Rainbow Bridge.R.I.P. Sutter,and bless you mommy for taking are and loving Sutter.

  313. Marian Maxwell permalink
    July 24, 2015 1:19 PM

    We had to put down a dog in the prime of his life for the same reasons, increasing aggression. We were devastated for weeks, everything reminded us of Red. He was a beautiful Rhodesian Ridgeback. I know in my heart it was the right thing to do. The dog had been abused by his former owners and we had rescued him. He was our hiking buddy. He bit my son in Dec of 1985, but we tried to keep working with him. He couldn’t stand anyone coming close to his head. He started to become more aggressive, showing more signs as time went on. We even called a dog psychologist, who told us we could never completely trust him with kids alone. We finally realized that while it wasn’t his fault, he was damaged from his upbringing before he met us, it was up to us to do something. We contemplated giving him to someone who had land but no kids…but I knew in my heart I would always worry about a child coming into his area. We sat with him as he passed and it broke our hearts. It still makes me sad, he was family. You made the right decision. The right decision is not always the easiest one.

  314. Day permalink
    July 24, 2015 1:21 PM

    So sorry for you. I know you did the best you could and you knew him better than anyone. Trust your heart.

  315. July 24, 2015 1:27 PM

    If I could reach out, I would hug you so hard. I’m a huge animal lover and have owned dogs and cats of all temperaments. The choice to put an animal to sleep is always hard, but this situation may have been the worst of all. I think you did everything you could have to avoid that decision, exploring all the options that were out there before giving in.

    Your comment about quality of life was really the heart of the matter. To restrict Sutter until he was essentially caged again would’ve been terribly cruel. While I understand the use of muzzles, even they make me sad for the dog in question. But to never get outside because of his possible actions? As you said, it wouldn’t have been fair to either of you.

    So while you will probably feel some guilt over this, please know that many of us support you. That we understand it wasn’t taken lightly. And that you did whatever you could have to avoid it.

  316. michelle permalink
    July 24, 2015 1:39 PM

    I understand everything you just went through, you didn’t make the wrong decision you made the best and safest one- in my eyes there is no better home then my self and you wouldn’t be able to live with your self always wondering when the next attack is going to happen, just know he is safe now an angel above. don’t ever question your self.

  317. cindy permalink
    July 24, 2015 1:39 PM

    I am sitting here crying because of your story.I believe that you gave him a home and love that he would never have gotten other wise,you did everything you could do in your power to help him. sometimes i think they are born with issuses we can’t even begin to understand. Please don’t feel like you did the wrong thing. You saved him from being taken from you because he bit someone and uthinized all alone and scared. I commend you for steping up for his sake. THATS LOVE.

  318. Patti permalink
    July 24, 2015 1:40 PM

    Thank you for sharing your story. I too had a dog that I loved that had many of the same issues as you faced. I tried training him and for a while and it worked. I was told by the trainers that it was out of fear that he would snap at people. But them he reverted back to his old ways. General mistrust of strangers. I got divorced and left him in the care of a friend, who later told me that he had passed away. I later found out that he had a brain tumor and that was the reason for his anger. I feel bad to this day and that was 11 yrs ago. You are not alone in this.

  319. July 24, 2015 1:43 PM

    By far this must have been a decision that could not have been avoided..I LOOOOVVVEEE dogs so very much, my heart aches for the loss of your dog because you truly do LOVE dogs. May you find peace with your hard decision, continue to love dogs and rescue as many as you can…

  320. Teri permalink
    July 24, 2015 1:46 PM

    This is so terribly sad. You say your dog wasn’t sick, I think you meant physically. While I have personally never experienced it, I have heard that some dogs are just “wired” wrong.

    I have to believe that this was a very difficult decision for you to make yet it was the right one. You said it yourself, you saved him from himself. It sounds Iike it would have been a matter of time before someone was seriously injured and Sutter would have been confiscated and deemed dangerous. You gave him the last and best gift you could have in this situation. You showed him love to the very last day.

  321. July 24, 2015 1:50 PM

    I put a dog down as he was bittinf us and could be the most loving and playful pup brother’s dog like to eat him up but he would not stop fighting with them while I had chain-link fence and 2 strans of electris fence I couldn’t stop the fighting they slit his throat 3 times I had him sewed up 2 times.I even went running out the door with a broom slinging running the 2 dogs off.The day I had him put down I was squalling I did at the animal hospital and at home.My son was at ends with what happened and me crying so much, he called the Sheriff’s office.Well I don’t know exactly what he had said to them and brother deputy came. We walked my property.The dogs fought thru a wide space in the fence, I don’t know if they made it bigger.The collar of one of the dogs was there in fence line.As far you ever getting over putting him down I don’t know.The one I put down was AKC registered but I was getting to the point I was a little scard of him.The lady that had given him to us I felt I had to tell her but I was fighting with my self about doing this.So when Christmas came I had a sterling silver had a pic of him engraved and a chain.Then I sat down to write the letter. I cried thru the thing and an losing tears now.It seems once they get that awlful with in them they just won’t stop. I have always been told if it don’t kill you it will make you stronger, I don’t feel stronger and can’t get over the fact my son called the law!!

  322. Heather Potthoff permalink
    July 24, 2015 1:53 PM

    Do not be so hard on yourself. It was your only option. Our family went through exactly the same thing with a springer spaniel about 15 years ago. Had her since a puppy, she got aggressive despite being in a wonderful home, and no intervention worked. Almost killed our other dog, gave me stitches, she was dangerous even though she was loved. We had to put her down because we knew it was only a matter of time before she killed or severely injured someone else. So sad. And we are not the type of people to ever give up on our dogs either. Sometimes no matter what you do there is just no fixing the mental illness that they are born with.

  323. Skylee permalink
    July 24, 2015 2:09 PM

    Everyone has a right to their own opinion. Myself, emotional after reading the story, my heart is being challenged with the fact that she did what she felt was right for her and the pup, and also that she failed the pup. It wasn’t my decision to make, and I respect her for making such a hard decision to euthanize–I have nothing hateful or hurtful to say about it. With that being said; I don’t feel it’s fair to call those that feel the dog was failed “trolls” or to make negative comments because of their feeling on the topic; they have as much of a right to post a reply to their feelings in a respectful way as the majority of you that support her decision. Just saying…

  324. July 24, 2015 2:11 PM

    Even though you did all the right things to socialize him he missed the critical time with his mother and maybe with his litter mates. There’s a lot they learn from Mom about the big
    scary world and if they are deprived of the opportunity sometimes they just don’t adjust very well no matter how hard we try. You did everything you could possibly do for him. He’s lucky he had you because some people (most people) would not have tried so hard to help him. He was probably very anxious and uncomfortable in his skin when he was away from home and that probably wasn’t a good quality of life for him. And it is scary thinking he might really hurt someone, it’s a real burden to carry. You did what you had to do for the both of you. Remember the good times and try not to carry the guilt with you. It serves no purpose.

  325. Sherrie permalink
    July 24, 2015 2:16 PM

    Any time you lose an animal, at any point in their life, is one of the hardest times a human can go through. I cried, tears running down my cheeks the whole time I read the story and the replies, for I had been through losing my beloved fur friends numerous times throughout my life. Never gets easier. I truly believe you did save him from himself, and for what could’ve happened. It didn’t and doesn’t make the decision any easier. Many blessings and peace for your future.

  326. Srinivas permalink
    July 24, 2015 2:18 PM

    You shouldn’t have done that, there is always a way. My pet is also hard to handle, he has all the issues you mentioned with Sutter. But, i think its our failure not theirs, it is our responsibility to train them well at early stages.

  327. permalink
    July 24, 2015 2:30 PM

    As Sutter runs across the Rainbow Bridge he knows you loved him. He knows he’ll always be the “good dog “, and he’ll never be in trouble again.

  328. July 24, 2015 2:33 PM

    There aren’t many options for a dog who is violent and aggressive. Biting even one person unprovoked is terrifying. It means he is a risk to you and to everyone who comes near him. No one can be expected to provide a home for a dangerous animal. Unfortunately love alone cannot save an animal who has violent, unprovoked reactions that endanger the lives of others. I think you did the right thing, and I hope you find peace in that.

  329. July 24, 2015 2:45 PM

    Heartbreaking story, but you did the right thing. Sometimes the right thing to do is the hardest . You gave him 8 loving years, you should remember that. He was loved and comforted in the end, that’s the bottom line. Try to take some comfort from that, even though it’s hard right now.

  330. Ana permalink
    July 24, 2015 2:58 PM

    I’m so sorry you had to do that my heart aches I feel your pain, was it a good decision or not I don’t know, but you did all you could. My German Shepherd past away a month ago from bloat and till this day I feel so guilty I feel like I could have done something for him and I didn’t do it. I still cry for him everyday the pain doesn’t go away.

  331. July 24, 2015 3:02 PM

    Now you gave a reason for people to kill animales when ever they want, an excuse, u made a decision know u have to live with it,

  332. Theresa permalink
    July 24, 2015 3:10 PM

    Wishing you peace, through my tears…

  333. July 24, 2015 3:11 PM

    Dee Richards: Dear owner of Sutter: I read every word of your brilliantly written story, and understand the gut wrenching, guilt ridden decision you had to make. Do not beat up on yourself. I know how you loved Sutter, and Sutter knew you did. Find peace in knowing that you did everything possible to change his aggressive personality, but it didn’t work. Eventually he most likely would have seriously hurt someone, or another animal…maybe even killed. In that case, there would have been terrible guilt on your part, and law suits, and Sutter likely being yanked away from you by “dog pound” people, forcibly muzzled and thrown in the back of a van, and euthanized by some stranger (or maybe even shot at the scene of the incident). This is reality, and, often euthanizing in some facility other than the veterinarian’s, is not so humane. What an awful, cold, way that would have been to end his life. However, because you loved him so much, you made the decision for your beloved pet to “go peacefully”. No pain. Surrounded by love. He just drifted off and never knew what happened. Bless you; grieve, but don’t let guilt erase the great times you had with Sutter.

  334. Terri permalink
    July 24, 2015 3:18 PM

    I feel for you. Prayers for you and all involved. It had to be very hard. No one likes to make that call. Will hold you up in my prayers that u find your comfort. Don’t let anyone else tell you what you should of done.

  335. July 24, 2015 3:20 PM

    My heart breaks for you, I know that was not an easy decision. He only knew love with you.

  336. Debbie Churchill permalink
    July 24, 2015 3:21 PM

    Thank you for sharing your story. I had to put a healthy 6 year old westie down for the same reasons. I loved her dearly, but her aggressive behavior worried me. It broke my heart, and I think of her often, but it was the most responsible thing to do. You also did the right thing. You will think of him often, as I have, but you did what was best for him.

  337. Line permalink
    July 24, 2015 3:23 PM

    You did the right thing..
    It might not seem like it now, because this as I know myself because I went through something a little like this, it is the most painful thing I myself have ever done, and it hurts to this day two years later.

    But while your dog might seem like he was healthy, because he did not physically have any problems, he was not.
    His mind was hurt, he was not comfortable and you tried everything to help him better, but he did not get better.

    You did him the favor of loving him, and when he needed to be let go for his own best, you made his last day the best possible.


  338. July 24, 2015 3:25 PM

    My heart absolutely breaks for you. I can only imagine the pain you feel and I hope you are comforted by your happy memories and knowing that Sutter now is free. You undeniably gave him many fufilling years that he never would have had of he ended up anywhere else. God bless and lots of love.

  339. Patsy permalink
    July 24, 2015 3:26 PM

    So sorry you had to make the decision for Sutter. It is hard enough when they are seniors and in declining health. You did a great thing rescuing him as a puppy and it sounds like he was loved well. Unfortunately it seems you exhausted your options & made a selfless decision. Rest in knowing he had a good life with you & he knew he was loved until the very end.
    For those of you being hateful & unkind, stop it! You do not know what this person had to endure making the decision. Hopefully you will not ever have to make the decision.

  340. July 24, 2015 3:49 PM

    I had the same experience as u. I still feel guilty and heart broken for my dog Scrappy( picture on face book page) cant get over it and still cry about him. In the back of my mind I did the right thing but guilt over whelms . My vet said it was Brain rage something goes wrong and the dog gets a massive head ache and become grumpy
    and attacts. Most of the time they are very loving and kind. I still have the scares on my hand from where he bite me several times. It is a Tragedy all around DO NOT JUDEGE!! You do not know what it is Like.

  341. July 24, 2015 3:50 PM

    tears here also, but you did the right thing, the only other choice would have been house arrest for the rest of his life, never to go out enjoy fresh air, no more walks, you would have put him in prison and your self there too, no company over nothing. Plus if anything happened to you, it would have been a scary shelter, to be put down among strangers, scared and confused, this way he knew you loved him was happy and content, he will be waiting for you, when it comes your time to join him.

  342. July 24, 2015 3:53 PM


  343. Jennifer Hieronymus permalink
    July 24, 2015 3:59 PM

    Sutter WAS sick. I had the same thing happen to me last year. We rescued a pit puppy. He had been beaten and was being trained to be a fighter…only 3 months old. He bonded with me immediately and me to him. I adored that baby. At age 8 mos. he attacked my 9 lb doxie and almost killed her. Then he attacked our cocker spaniel badly. He became very aggressive to other dogs and strangers. He loved his family though. I couldn’t live in fear and keep the other dogs separated from him so I made the decision to put him to sleep. My vet told me Tiger WAS sick. It was in his breeding and the abuse he received effected him. This was so hard and I cried for weeks every day. I am crying as I write this. We have to believe we did the right thing. It.would have only gotten worse. Just cherish the live he gave you and know that you gave him more love than anyone else had and he felt that love.

  344. July 24, 2015 4:00 PM

    Brave. His soul is truly free and the love will always be there.

  345. Heidi permalink
    July 24, 2015 4:00 PM

    We have not been in touch for years, Indrani. But I know how much you loved your Sutter Puppy. You did the right thing for him and I hope soon feel at peace.

  346. Jennifer Wood permalink
    July 24, 2015 4:07 PM

    My heart breaks for you. I understand a bit of what you’re going through after having gone through a similar experience. Mine was not a rescue though, but a “pet store” puppy I bought as unknowing teenager. A fear biter, a liability, that I finally put down. I think you did the right thing (seven though it hurts). Hugs!

  347. July 24, 2015 4:10 PM

    Sutter had a loving family, whom he obviously loved, too ❤ I feel that it's always better, for whatever reason, that if/when your 'baby' needs to be sent on his/her way 'over the rainbow bridge,' having his/her loving family holding, talking, hugging him/her, on their way 'home' is always the right thing to do. Just remind yourself, when you slip into that guilting dark place…he went with love and kindness from those that cared most ❤ Not at the hands of those that don't care at all 😥 My heart weeps for you…we all know you did the right thing. We also know, that doesn't make those 'feelings' go away. It's always hard to lose a loving family member…but he's happy at home right now. You will see him again…someday ❤ ❤ ❤

  348. Jean Nolan permalink
    July 24, 2015 4:16 PM

    Hugs. What a brave and good decision. I understand your pain, but you gave him love and did not allow the demons that plagued him to cause him any more sorrow. Great respect and admiration for your courage.

  349. Samantha Deschain permalink
    July 24, 2015 4:26 PM

    You are a brave and loving mom. You did what was best for Sutter, even though it wasn’t what you wanted and even though it was incredibly painful. I am so sorry you had to make that decision, and I understand that knowing you did the right thing doesn’t make the pain of losing your baby any better. We don’t know one another, but I am proud of you.

  350. July 24, 2015 4:35 PM

    I don’t think I would of been brave enough to do that. My heart goes out to you and R.I.P. Sutter. I am so attached to my dogs, they are like my kids, and I would of had to have someone take my dog down for me, I would of been an emotional mess. I know it had to be hard on you. You are an amazing person but I think you did the right thing and you were thinking of others.

  351. Miriam Hayes permalink
    July 24, 2015 4:50 PM

    Your were his mother, his life, his protector. It was you responsibility to make his world safe. You did that. You gave your baby a wonderful life and dignity in death. You did not play god, it was your calling to have this dog and do this. I also have a dog almost like that. I have asked my family at my death to put him to sleep when I die. Nobody could take him and deal with the issues and I want him safe. You wanted your dog safe from a shelter, the police, animal control, being scared, or misunderstood. Your were blessed and so was your sweet dog.

  352. Teresa permalink
    July 24, 2015 4:50 PM

    So so very sad & heartbreaking…my tears are pouring for you, your beautiful baby & the right but terrible decision you had to make for Sutter ‘ s well being, yours & anyone Sutter might encounter. I believe it was only in protection of you but who knows what was chemically happening in that little brain. I am so sorry for you loss…I know how deeply your heart hurts but I’m sure that you believe you will see Sutter again, running & playing at Rainbow Bridge when your day comes. Sutter will always love you, watch over you & live in both your heart & memories. Take comfort in that & know you did all you could do for sweet Sutter. God bless you.

  353. July 24, 2015 4:50 PM


    • July 24, 2015 5:18 PM

      I am so very sorry for your loss, it’s so hard having to put your dog down for whatever the reason. You sound like you love him very much and he had a wonderful life with you and I think he understands and I know that you will see him again. Whatever might have been going on in his head that you didn’t know about he is free from that now and can run free with no worries.

    • July 24, 2015 5:21 PM

      You Tzipora Soussan are a horrible person for saying those things you don’t know what was going on, it’s obvious his dog had some kind of problem always fighting and knocking people over, sometimes dogs are in pain and we don’t know what’s wrong with them and this person did what they thought was the right thing before someone dog got killed or he really did damage to a person my heart aches for this person you are the evil one

      • Vickie Hurst permalink
        July 24, 2015 6:22 PM


  354. Margaux permalink
    July 24, 2015 5:05 PM

    May Sutter rest in peace.

  355. Kerri permalink
    July 24, 2015 5:13 PM

    You actually made the right decision. You made the ultimate sacrifice, the life of your dog in exchange for the life and safety if others. It hurts now but it will get better.

  356. debbie havlen permalink
    July 24, 2015 5:35 PM

    So sorry for the loss of your, Sutter ❤ I know it had to be a heartbreaking decision 💔 God Bless, to you and yours ….

  357. Barbara permalink
    July 24, 2015 5:36 PM

    So sorry for the decision you felt you had to make. No one but you can judge the decision or the pain it is causing you. It is a decision that any dog lover would be loathe to make.

  358. Sherry Macie permalink
    July 24, 2015 5:39 PM

    I am so sorry for your loss, you must be so heartbroken. But truthfully you did the right thing, it hurts and you feel terribly guilty but you rescued Sutter again, this time from himself. I am sorry for your pain but I believe it will get better. Hugs to

  359. Amanda permalink
    July 24, 2015 5:44 PM

    I am so sorry. I know what it is like to go through all of that with a dog. I had one like him. With that being said, mine was alive until the age of almost 13 when I had to put him down from prostate cancer. It bothers me when people talk about killing a healthy dog because of “quality of life”. Especially when yours was happy most of it’s life with you. You said at home he was a great dog, just in public or around strangers he had issues. I would say that is an awesome quality of life compared to many other pets who can’t even be happy in their home or with their owner.
    Every living things main goal on earth is to survive. Humans and animals would both bite/cut of their arm or leg off if they thought it was a chance at survival. What quality of life is an animal or human without a leg or an arm? It’s a little less than a normal persons/dogs, but they’re happy to be alive! If they were in unbearable pain or couldn’t be happy at anytime, then I would say it’s a quality of life thing, but even then there could be ways you just haven’t found yet to help or fix it.
    My dog who had issues was a purebred dog from a breeder we had gotten a few dogs from before. He was a rehome. Our breeder was very good at placing dogs and screening, but there are just some things that are unseen that may happen in the future, like job losses or illnesses. Well, my dog was originally sold to a woman in Maryland as an 8wk old puppy. It was her first Belgian. People unfamiliar with the breed don’t understand that they go through a fear stage as puppies & if the owner or handler doesn’t correctly deal with their fears issues, that dog could be ruined for life. Such was the case with this woman and my dog.

    Our breeder goes extensively over the fear stage thing with buyers and usually only chooses people who already have experience with the breed. But at some point someone has to be the first one to give them a Belgian so that in the future they will have experience with the breed. Kind of like those people who won’t hire you at a job interview because you don’t have enough experience doing what your trying to get hired for, but how would you get that experience if no one will hire you in the first place?

    After the dog started having biting issues with humans and other dogs the owner got diagnosed with that rare bone disease where your bones break easily. Like in the movie, Unbreakable. The dog broke her arm a few times, not intentionally, but because it was so easy to do & her doctor ordered her to get rid of the dog. Not wanting to she had no other option, there was no husband or relatives to give the dog to. The dog breeder makes people sign a contract saying that if they can’t keep the dog for any reason it is to be returned to the breeder so they may rehome it. That way they know the dogs are always safe & don’t add to the problems in shelters (as well as you can’t breed them).

    Before he was sent back to the breeder she found a home who was looking for another dog in Maryland, by the original owner’s house. They were well known by the breeder, & owned a Belgian at the time that was from this same breeder and was actually the dog’s cousin from a previous litter. So, it seemed like the perfect home for the dog with experienced Belgian owners. They tried to train and deal with the dog’s issues but were getting no where. They invited a male neighbor over to introduce the dog to him. He bit their neighbor when he was in their house visiting. They then realized that they weren’t equipped to deal with this dog’s issues. They contacted the breeder.

    Meanwhile, I was in Michigan looking for another dog. I wanted to adopt a Pit Bull from a shelter. They are great dogs fighting the biggest myth ever. They’re discriminated against, abused the most, and killed the most, shelters are also always packed. I figured it as the right thing to do. Well, I got the run around from the shelter, lied to, wouldn’t return my calls and so on. After a month I gave up on trying to get a dog from their shelter, for some reason they obviously weren’t interested in adopting their dogs out. I gave up and just decided I’d wait until the right moment when I found a dog in need else where. Then my breeder called me one day.

    Saying she had a dog that needed to be rehomed & that he was the half brother of my dog I currently had. She said he had some issues, but nothing she thought I couldn’t work through. I was beyond excited. Not only was it another Belgian from our wonderful breeder, but it was my dog’s half brother! I said yes, & we started our journey to Maryland from Michigan.

    He had other issues besides the biting issues. He would get frantic and scream, bark, growl, and bite the air when he saw something that triggered him. He was scared of floors, would only walk on carpet. Was scared of thunder and fireworks. Wasn’t a fan of car rides, although he would be behaved in the car, he never really fully relaxed and would stand and pace constantly. He was scared of new things in his environment. If a new lamp was bought and placed in the room without him seeing it, as soon as he walked in the room he would notice the one new thing freeze, freak out and run out of the room and pace. It would take him 3-7 days before he would get used to new things in his environment. We found if we placed things in front of him with him looking at them, it actually made it worse because he saw the new thing moving & that freaked him out even more. He didn’t like tight spaces & would sometimes not walk through areas he thought was too tight, like small hallways. He had wayyyy more issues than your dog.

    It took me awhile to figure him out. There was trail and error. There were the occasional people that got bit. In the time I owned him, he bit 2 people & tried to bite probably about 10 people. Thankfully, since Belgians are a herding breed, he nipped more than he bit. So his bites never broke anyones skin, so no one reported them. But they could’ve broke skin easily if I wasn’t right there every second by the dog when we were around others. No one but me was allowed to handle him. Not family, not friends, not my bf who lived with us. The only way I could guarantee the publics safety was if I was the ONLY one ever in control of him. With a dog like you had, you should have never trusted any dog walker or person in general to handle your dog. I feel that was highly irresponsible. You can not trust others, they don’t know the dog and probably don’t have the proper training.

    My bf talked about putting him down many times, I told him that would never happen until he had to be put down due to health reasons. I figured out how to deal with his issues and keep people safe. It didn’t happen overnight, it took years, but I kept at it and never gave up on him. He tried to kill my bunny I got. I thought he was walking towards the bunny to smell it & the next second he had the bunny’s head in his mouth with the body dangling and tried to carry the bunny away. I was so in shock and horrified that my first natural reaction caused me to smack him in the side of the head just as he was turning to carry the bunny away. That made him immediately drop the bunny and it ran away from him and hid under the table. The bunny was fine and I started immediately working on ways to get my dog to not kill my bunny.

    The next morning, I got treats, the dog and the bunny and went to work. After a few weeks, I had the bunny and the dog eating side by side with no cage or leash. I had fixed the bunny issue. But there was still the dog issue and people issue. I started introducing him to dogs differently than any other dog I have ever owned. He was not allowed to meet dogs unless they came into our household. I know that is usually the worst way for animals to meet, on the others territory, but I noticed my dog was more confident at home and I used that to my advantage. But even then it was a process. I had to lock him in a cage while the other dog came in & explored & got used to the place. Then once both dogs were calm, I’d put mine on a leash and sit with him on the couch by the other dog. I’d watch his body language and wait until the right moment to let him sniff the other dog. I didn’t let them meet too long at the sniff before I’d ask him and the other dog if they wanted a treat and would treat them. I’d watch them interact and keep an eye as well as a leash on for about an hour until both dogs were fully met and relaxed. Then I was able to let him off lead and they could interact with no issues the rest of the visit. I found out from years of his behavior and watching him that he wasn’t actually aggressive as so many who met him had thought, he was scared and very excitable. And when he got excitable he wouldn’t listen to anything would just be in a frenzy. So I avoided frenzy situations & kept him calm.

    With men I had to do similar meetings. Although he was able to meet humans outside of the household, there was still a process. He was fine with woman and children, just had a thing for men. The only people he ever bit or tried to bite were men. I found from years of learning dog language and behavior, that him meeting men sitting down was my best option. When you stand over a dog it is a sign of dominance and men tend to be taller than woman. They are also a little more threatening than woman. I also noticed, my dog never bit or tried to bite men that were sitting. So, I tried my next training session was with getting a guy to sit at a picnic table while we walked up to greet them. I had treats, I told the man exactly what to do before and when we approached, & had my dog on lead. It went fantastic! The dog was a little leery at first, he hadn’t met a man in a long time after his incidents of biting them. I also picked a man who I knew was a good person, loved dogs, and was calm to do it with. He actually enjoyed being pet by the man and seeked out the man’s attention during our greet. Then while we were leaving, he lunged at a man that was walking by us on the pathway.

    It didn’t completely solve his issues, he still didn’t like men when they were upright. BUT I had figured out a way for him to meet those men safely and properly. And the meetings I did, worked every single time. I then worked on getting the men who were sitting to stand after my dog greeted them (only after 10 mins or so, or however long it took my dog to relax). I noticed he wasn’t concerned or worried about the men that he had greeted when they were sitting down. And didn’t show any signs of wanting to attack them. But as soon as an outside man he hadn’t met yet tried to walk over to us (the man me and the dog) at the picnic table he would freak out and lunge and try to attack the new approacher. Until, I left the picnic table, had them sit down like the first man, came back and did the introduction with them like the first man. Then everything was fine and everyone got along. They still couldn’t run or make threatening movements at my dog or he would still react, but they could walk by, pet him, talk to him and so forth.

    My dog could’ve been put down for his issues, and people even suggested it. But I would not give in or give up on my dog. I knew how he really was. I knew there was a way for him and others to live safely and happily. I feel your dog could’ve too. I’m not trying to be mean, make you feel bad, or say your wrong, I’m just sharing my story and opinion hoping that maybe others will give their dogs more of a chance like mine got. I was my dog’s 3rd home at 4years of age. Others thought he was a lost cause, but he wasn’t. I think it also has to do with the owners that the dogs get. Obviously, some people know more than others when it comes to dog language & training. I was lucky to have been to dog classes, competed in dogs shows, and trained numerous breeds. But any person can go to a dog class and enter into shows. I wish more people would look into working with their dogs to solve or manage issues. It’s was a good owner would do. I am not perfect & I wasn’t able to fix my dog fully, but I figured out ways that worked for him to make sure he had a full life and the best life we could give him.

    I am so glad I didn’t give up on him like his previous homes & how others had suggested. I loved him so much, he was a wonderful dog and I miss him so fricken bad. I just had to put him down on St Patrick’s Day of this year due to prostate cancer. He couldn’t stand anymore, cried in pain and couldn’t hold his urine anymore. I decided it was time. I kept him comfortable as long as I could. Please seek help from others before killing dogs with issues, they want to live just as much as you do. And don’t seek help from the people whose only answer is to put the dog down, they aren’t the right people. Good luck to all of you out there and your dogs. I hope you all live long lives together.

  360. July 24, 2015 5:48 PM

    I can only immagine your pain and sorrow. 8 years passed together with a dog are not tossed off easily. You showed your love for him until his last breath. It would have been easier to have taken him to a shelter and left that responsability to someone else. You saved him from himself and he left this world knowing that he was loved.

  361. Carol Rice permalink
    July 24, 2015 5:55 PM

    I’m so sorry for your loss and that you forced to look at such an option but I also agree it was the right thing. The risks were to great. You did all you could, above and beyond the concept of a loving owner. You risked lawsuits, injury, and more to give him a quality life. He was so lucky to have been rescued by you and yes, you once again rescued him, this time from himself. Thank you for being brave enough to share your story.

  362. July 24, 2015 5:56 PM

    So sorry for your loss. It’s never easy to make that last ride with a pet you love. Sutter is running with other angels now with no fear or restrictions. You gave his soul freedom and that’s the best you could do for him.

  363. July 24, 2015 5:56 PM

    I had a dog like this, I have her to Another person who is getting same problem, I tried for 5 years nothing worked and the only reason why she took her was because I was crying so hard when I brought her in for euthanasia too. Your not alone and tell your workmate to mind her own opinions to herself. My girl has not changed even in another house, at least she was a small dog and that helps. You did the right thing one that I couldn’t even do myself to do. Your life will get better as you you can get out and live again : -)

  364. July 24, 2015 5:59 PM

    I am sorry he had to be put to sleep. I could not have done that. Maybe a farm would have worked for him. I just couldn’t do that to a healthy Dog, its hard when they are sick and suffering. Poor Doggie!

  365. Bob permalink
    July 24, 2015 6:05 PM

    This is just wrong. I have no sympathy for you. You could’ve done more. You could’ve contacted Cesar Millan. It sounds like you’re unstable that’s why the dog did what he did. Because of you. You’re fault not the dog’s.

    • July 24, 2015 10:58 PM

      Good luck with that Cesar Milan thing, Bob. I tried that for a shelter dog who was perfect in almost every way – except one: he would bond with a single person and try to eat anyone or anything who came close to that person. That was three years ago. I’m still waiting to hear back from Cesar Milan. Do a little research on idiopathic rage syndrome and try to imagine how you would provide a quality life for a dog with idiopathic rage. This lady is an experienced rescuer who gave more than eight years to Sutter. She saved him from a horrible fate.

      • Steven permalink
        July 30, 2015 7:37 PM

        Marilyn you’re stupid…she killed her dog

    • July 30, 2015 10:25 PM

      Bob and Steven, you are the ignorant ones. Listen to Marilyn and educate yourself about idiopathic rage syndrome. Then if you still feel that an animal like Sutter should never be euthanized, and YOU PERSONALLY are willing to take the risk and responsibility for providing a lifetime home for a dog with rage syndrome, then please provide your contact information so that a rescue who takes in a dog with idiopathic rage can transport it to you for lifelong care.

  366. permalink
    July 24, 2015 6:06 PM

    My tears are running for you!! Please know you did the right thing for both of you! He always knew how much you loved him and what you did was because of that love!! Putting one of our beloved dogs down is never easy, it’s always painful …. Prayers for you !!

  367. July 24, 2015 6:06 PM

    I understand totally. I had the same problem with a Rottweiler. You did the right thing. I just pray you will find peace in your decision

  368. Elizabeth Long permalink
    July 24, 2015 6:07 PM

    I know all the kind words cannot take the pain away…I am truly sorry for that. However look at all the caring people here. Most of them I am certain like myself people you don’t even know. Allow yourself to grieve ,you lost a dear friend and member of your family. We had to put one of our dogs down it was gut wrenching. We waited 20 years and rescued the best thing that could happen to us. Seriously she rescued us. Please don’t allow this from stopping you from loving another friend and family member again. Please take care

  369. July 24, 2015 6:07 PM

    You did the only thing you could do. Apparently, even before you found him and saved him, he had been so mistreated that he saw everyone as a potential enemy. God will bless you for your actions. And I’m sure you’ll see him again one day.

  370. Kay Baldwin permalink
    July 24, 2015 6:17 PM

    I am sitting here thinking how sad for Sutter and how heartbroken you must be. Putting myself in your shoes I would’ve done the exact same thing you did. Praying you find peace in knowing you will see him again some day. ❤

  371. Rebecca VanDeVelde permalink
    July 24, 2015 6:20 PM

    so very sorry you had to make this choice although I am sure that you did the right thing. May he rest in peace now and God Bless you for all your efforts with him.

  372. Vickie Hurst permalink
    July 24, 2015 6:21 PM

    So very sorry for your loss….we have been down this road twice….we loved both dogs beyond measure…..we fought so hard to change things, just as you did….to no avail…our endings were the same as yours….we still grieve….we still ache with loss…..we still believe we saved them from themselves….it was only a matter of time….We believe it takes tremendous courage to share a story such as yours…..and even more courage to make that final decision…..We pray that you will find comfort in the beautiful memories you DO have…..knowing that the dog you adored is finally at peace….May God bless and keep you, always.

  373. Debbie deJarnette permalink
    July 24, 2015 6:28 PM

    My heart goes out to you in your pain … you gave Sutter the very best in life … he must have had some deep ailment that created his problems. RIP Sutter …. but more than anything I hope you will just embrace the love you two could share for the time you were together.

  374. roxy permalink
    July 24, 2015 6:37 PM

    Sorry but I could have never done that. I would have found a place that worked for me and my dog. When you really truly love them, you do not give up on them. You make it work. I feel for Sutter because all he needed was a fenced yard or a farm to live on where he could run free while protecting others. Sorry I just do not agree with your decision. I love my animals too much to do that to a perfectly healthy dog.

  375. Marilyn Bazan permalink
    July 24, 2015 6:41 PM

    Thank you for sharing your story and I feel your pain and feel for Sutter.
    I respect your decision, but I wouldn’t have done it.
    I’m a firm believer in second, third, fourth a million chances specially when it happens to be for a dog!
    I would have found a way, even if it meant to go to the end of the earth, to find a place for Sutter. ..even if it meant not with me!!
    Like, someone mentioned, maybe out in the country, in a remote place, anywhere, anyone but death..
    If we don’t give up on people, then why do we do for dogs or any animal!!
    I’m sorry but your story upset me very much!!
    While there is life, there is hope!!
    I seen convicted murderers given second chances and had their lives spared and it was their fault, they had killed.
    But, Sutter never did anything wrong, was probably abused and mistreated and I think it was wrong what you did…
    I would have never given up on him because it came down to you caring more for others than him…
    But, Sutter crossed the rainbow bridge where he finally is free and loved!
    Good luck!

  376. July 24, 2015 6:45 PM

    You gave him back to god, how can that be wrong?

    • Steven permalink
      July 25, 2015 7:57 PM

      Did you really just write that?

  377. July 24, 2015 6:58 PM

    What an incredibly heartbreaking story. My heart goes out to you & I pray that God will strengthen you. Your last sentence says it all….you saved him from himself. Rmember the good times & know you did all you could.

  378. sylvie permalink
    July 24, 2015 7:04 PM

    I know exactly how you feel as I had to do the same back in April with my long time friend of 14 years… a dog I also rescued 7 years ago…. he started snapping at people and other animals… I do know the feeling… I m still in pain too … my heart goes to you !

  379. Lindsey permalink
    July 24, 2015 7:06 PM

    I’m so incredibly sorry for you and Sutter and the decision you had to make. Whatever was demonizing him is gone now. He can run free and happy. He knows you did that right thing for him. RIP precious boy.

  380. Deena Waters permalink
    July 24, 2015 7:13 PM

    I thought I was the only person who ever had the kindest and meanest dog all at the same time. I grew up in my teenage to young adult years with the most loyal and loving German Sheppard that we got from a breeder no less, so I know she was never abused or anything of the sort. She was a puppy when we got her and was a loving, kind pup that grew up with another dog in the house when she got there. She loved everyone and was playful. After about a year or 2 she got very possesive of our family. She was the most loving, family dog to US but when people came over we would have to put her outside or another room and if we DID introduce her to our guests she had to feel like they were absolutely accepted by us.People were always, rightfully so, terrified of the initiation of Shawnee into the house. My parents divorced and my Mother moved to a townhouse – that was the downfall of our alread aggressive pet. Too many people too close by, too many dogs walking within too close a proximity. Walking her was a nightmare.I was usually the only one who would dare and I would get up at 5 am to walk her so no one would be around. My younger sister walked her a few times and 1. She dragged her through the park to attack another dog and 2. Once a neighbors friendly Cocker Spaniel came up to say hello and landed in the pet hospital terribly injured. Shawnee’s demise came when she attacked our neighbor
    ( another one) biting her her on her leg after she picked up her small lap dog that Shawnee was about to kill. My Mother put her down one day while I was at work and I did not forgive her for so many years. But now as a middle aged adult, I know we loved that dog all we could and some dogs are just not right and can’t be saved. Loving them is not going to be the answer that we all think will solve all the problems. I know that your decision was excrutiating and heartbreaking and I cried while reading your post because it brought back all the memories. Just know that you did the right thing for the dog, your friends, your neighbors, and mostly your family.Your memories of your beloved Sutter will last forever, as I remember and pray for my Shawnees soul almost every night before I go to sleep. Your decision was not an easy one, that is for sure, but I for one believe it was a right one. I do not think that I could have said that if I had not lived it myself. My condolences on your loss. You are definately not alone!

  381. Theresa Crovello permalink
    July 24, 2015 7:21 PM

    It’s easy to see you loved, and will always love Sutter very much, but I think you did the right thing. I know putting a dog down is not an easy thing to do, but Sutter knew how much you loved him, and you will be together again someday. Take care, and know you did the right thing. How horrible would you feel if a child had been hurt very seriously. It was a very brave and very hard thing you did. Sutter knew he was loved till the end and beyond.

  382. July 24, 2015 7:24 PM

    It was courageous of you to put your beloved dog down. You did save him from himself and that is LOVE.

  383. ChristyinPA permalink
    July 24, 2015 7:33 PM

    I could have written this myself having just gone through this in December. We were just working with the vet on securing a brain scan or a med but she had bitten so many times that my head was spinning so my decision to have her put down was essentially made for me and had to be made quickly. Your words were spot on and I couldn’t have come up with them myself – so thank you for that. You can never replace “Sutter” but I hope you will rescue again when you’re ready.

  384. Carmen permalink
    July 24, 2015 7:55 PM

    It breaks my heart and my eyes swell up with tears just thinking about you, Sutter and your love for each other. It’s so heartbreaking but I support you in your decision. If Sutter ever killed another dog or even worst puts a child in the hospital it would be unforgivable. I know that he is at peace now. If he was put in the shelter they’d kill him without giving him all the love that you did. He would have felt abandoned by you. This way he left while feeling all your love.

  385. Amanda permalink
    July 24, 2015 7:55 PM

    I had a dog like this. She was a golden retriever but I think the mother had bred too many times. We never put her down, and she didn’t start really acting up until we took her crate away for a few days when we were trying to sell a house. She started guarding things and it started with the inside of the car (we would go on a car ride when the house was being shown.) I was young and she did bite me a few times and drew blood. We ended up getting something called a “gentle leader”. It looks like a muzzle but doesn’t restrict them to much. My mom swears by it because every time she wore it, she was on her best behavior and she didn’t mind putting it on. It connects to the leash and when you “pull” it brings their head down and they don’t like that. It also stops them from tugging on the leash. She lived for 14 years 🙂 I’m not saying that it would work for everyone but any means, but if anyone on this post is currently struggling with a behavioral issue, it really is worth a try. My border collie that I have now will not keep it on more than 3 seconds (he used to pull me when he was a pup), but I’ve trained him to stay by my side now. I do think the original poster did give her puppy a good life and tried really hard…it can be quite taxing having a doggy with “mental issues”. Even with my golden behaving on the gentle leader, it got hard when she grew older due to becoming blind and still being somewhat aggressive. Luckily, she loves food and her nose was great. Best of luck to all of you ❤

  386. Daisy's mom permalink
    July 24, 2015 7:59 PM

    This was my Daisy…rescued her when she was 12 weeks old. I lost track how many dogs she bit & a few children. Healthy as can be, except for her mind. I too tried eveything! Enough was enough when she was 9, she got into it with my mother in laws dog, took her to the vet to have a large laceration in her face fixed from the dog fight, but instead made that hardest decision of my life & put her down. That was 4yrs ago. I cried constantly for a year, just as I’m doing now. She loved me & was too big of a liability to rehome. I feel your pain, just know you did the right thing. I had my doubts about my decision, but I know that was the best thing to do.

  387. July 24, 2015 8:06 PM

    As a rescuer myself, I can relate completely to your story and feelings of guilt and hypocrisy. I do agree…you saved him from himself. I felt as if I was reading our story. Our dog was very unpredictable even at home with my own family members at times. He bit everyone in our family multiple times. (Except me.) He bit numerous friends and our neighbor girl. It got to be where we were afraid to have company. My father-in-law is on blood thinners, we couldn’t risk him getting bit, so he’d have to be kenneled up or muzzled the whole time. We tried trainers, acupuncture, happy pills for dogs…nothing helped. He also suffered from severe allergies. He was unable to use steroids because they made him even more aggressive…so we had special customized serum made to give him allergy shots, along with other allergy meds. to the tune of $500/month. So, I like you, felt there wasn’t another option. He couldn’t be re-homed in good conscience. I feared he would be inhumanely killed or tossed out after the first bite. (Not to mention taking on his medical expenses.) I still struggle with our decision at times. But I do know that he was loved every minute we had him and that we really tried every avenue to try to help him… because of that, I can sleep at night. Thank you for sharing.

  388. Meredith permalink
    July 24, 2015 8:22 PM

    Thank you for giving him a wonderful life. I’m sorry for your heartbreaking situation. 💔💔💔

  389. July 24, 2015 8:30 PM

    Your story has touched me as it has others, deeply. I hope all these wonderful responses have helped you to make peace with this decision. I too, believe you absolutely did the right thing. Here is what else I would like to say. I am also so moved and impressed by the large number of wonderful people who have replied to you and supported you. Dog lovers are just the best. You all should be proud of yourselves for taking the time to write such encouraging and loving words. The few that chose to try and bait everyone by posting ugly nasty comments simply need to be ignored. Don’t allow them to pull you out of your loving evolved states of being . There’s a whole lotta love coming from these wonderful people. Glad to know you are out there!!

  390. July 24, 2015 8:31 PM

    I’ve been in rescue for years as well….. and I can tell you that I believe from my heart that you did the very BEST thing you could. Ran into the same type of situation with a friend’s foster cocker, same ending. Human heartbreak, but now they live forever in the heart of their human.

  391. Mykeia permalink
    July 24, 2015 8:33 PM

    Soooooooo sorry for your loss. My heart hurts with you and for you. Hugs.
    Don’t let anyone judge you.

  392. Debbie Tighe permalink
    July 24, 2015 8:44 PM

    I totally understand. I am in the same position, only its a cat. My rescue kitten and the guilt I feel for not “making” him a nice cuddly cat. He is still here. You gave him a life the no one else did.

  393. Kat Jones permalink
    July 24, 2015 8:46 PM

    My heart breaks with pain for what you had to go through… BUT I am 100% in agreement with the choice you made. I work with rescues. I foster rescues. You made the only choice that was right for your furbaby and you. I am sure if there had been other current choices you would have made them. You made so many other choices for your furbaby before you came to this choice. Believe in yourself. You did what you had to do to keep everyone safe…

  394. July 24, 2015 8:53 PM

    So sorry for your loss, we had to do that with a dog who went ‘nuts’ at chasing cars. We owned 50 acres, so it was a long run for him. When we tried to train him, he bit us. After 2 years, we put him down. That was many years ago, and I have to ask, and please don’t take this as criticism, did you ever consider The Dog Whisperer on Nat Geo?

  395. Michele permalink
    July 24, 2015 8:53 PM

    I understand your grief, it is hard to put a family member at rest (even our fur babies). Sometimes we cannot control their behavior (I’ve had a couple of dogs like that); it could be something psychological or even the mix breeding. The love and care you gave Sutter made his life enjoyable – remember those happy memories!

  396. Diane permalink
    July 24, 2015 8:56 PM

    I had to make the same decision about a dog that bit everyone who came on my property. A very skilled rescue leader had worked with him for over a year after a Grandmother turned him in to the pound for euthanasia, admitting that she had allowed her grandchildren to torture him for 2 years. I had 4 other rescues. He pulled the wire of the fence up with his teeth and dug his way out. He let out 2 of the other dogs who were killed on the highway in front of my home while they were supposed to be safely in the fenced yard. His original rescuer agreed with my decision for euthanasia. I had a second dog who had been breeding stock in a puppy mill for 6 years. She never quite got used to life outside of a cage and when I moved, she totally reverted, becoming un-housebroken and very skittish. I worked with her for months and consulted my vet. It was not thought that she could take another change in owners/surroundings so re-homing her was not a viable option. I continued to work with her until it took over my life. The vet finally recommended euthanasia and with a very heavy heart I eventually took that route. The second case was not as clear cut to me as the first, but I know I did everything I could for her, just as you did for your dog. You have my heartfelt sympathy. Rescuing is a joy, but it can also break your heart.

  397. Dianne Marchesini permalink
    July 24, 2015 9:01 PM

    Thank you for sharing my heart breaks for you. You did the only thing you could do he couldn’t help the way he was, but he could seriously hurt someone one day and thats why you had to do it. I recently put to sleep two of my loved furbaby’s and its the worse thing I have had to do. You will always love him and never forget him but please don’t blame yourself it was for his own good he would never have the life he deserved locked inside away from people. You did the kindest thing for a dog you loved very much. Sending hugs and love to you.💗

  398. linda permalink
    July 24, 2015 9:01 PM

    I have found myself coming back to this a couple of times a day for since the original story was posted just to read everyone else’s stories. Putting my own dog down left a wound that has never completely healed. It was a deeply held guilt that I could never talk about. Now after reading these stories and shedding more tears I am feeling a measure of healing and peace with my decision. I hope all of you who have shared your stories are feeling it too. I want to thank the author of the original post and everyone who told their story. I no longer feel so alone with the pain.

  399. July 24, 2015 9:03 PM

    So sorry. I feel your pain. It’s never an easy decision.

  400. Lorena permalink
    July 24, 2015 9:05 PM

    Two years ago, I had to do this very thing with 13 year old Brewster. At the age of month I rescued him from a box in front of the local market. Brewster and I fell in love. Half Lab and half SharPei he could be a little testie with strangers. However, as he aged he only obeyed me and got crankie with the grandkids that lived with me. It was the most difficult and heartbreaking decision I ever made; to have him put down. I, like you, didn’t want to be the one who chose what day he would die.

  401. sue williams permalink
    July 24, 2015 9:15 PM

    O.K. you have made me cry. Recently I read articles about dogs that developed PTSD for whatever reason. Perhaps that was his problem. My heart is with you.

  402. July 24, 2015 9:16 PM

    You should have gotten ahold of Cesar Ramero the Dog Guy on television he works wonders with problem dogs n problem People ! He may have or may not of helped him but obviously you haven’t heard of him so……

  403. ozarkmelody permalink
    July 24, 2015 9:26 PM

    I know exactly how you feel. I also had to put down a young, beloved rescue after fighting aggressive behavioral issues with her for two years. Despite what the rescue says(they are wrong by the way) you did right by Sutter. I know that you will grieve the loss of Sutter, but I wanted to say as one who went through this herself, you will heal. You will never forget, but you will heal. Who knows, down the line you may be the dream home for a future dog because you care so very much. I have my Pixie and Baran now. I’ve healed and come out the other side of that dark tunnel. You will too eventually.

  404. July 24, 2015 9:41 PM

    I went through this myself. It’s not easy, but you did the right thing. I had a female 3 year old rescue beagle that I had to put down for the same reason. It will get better with time. You won’t forget Sutter, but you will heal with time. Know that you made the right choice for Sutter. You are going to make some dog’s dream owner because you care so very much.

  405. Liz permalink
    July 24, 2015 10:06 PM

    Okay so here it is.I was a dog trainer for many years and I owned German Shepherds ,who by the way can be loyal to more than one person .I do feel for you but I have to say this is a common problem and does not have to end in death .Before the first time this happened you need to contain your dog to keep him safe and to keep safe small children ,old folks or whatever your dog wants to bite.I don’t recommend dog parks for this very reason .Don’t allow your dog to get in these situations and by what you said he was able to do this many times . I can’t tell you how many times I see people letting their dog lead them to what they want to bite , take control .I’ve also seen Chihuahuas inflict gaping wounds so it doesn’t matter the size or breed. Animals can also get grumpy in their old age , so keep that in mind . Training is a must the earlier the better but old dogs can learn too , the owner of the dog should be the one doing the training under the guidance of a pro and best to not have too many people ,IE dog walkers handling your dog .I don’t want to make you feel worse but I also don’t want anyone else who reads this story to think that there is no hope .Good luck to you and any future pets you may have.

  406. July 24, 2015 10:15 PM

    I had a dog exactly like this–Cole was his name. He was a Walker Hound that someone has thrown over my fence when he was about 6 months old. He was the most loving dog to me, and my husband. He was fearful and vicious towards everyone else, He was bonded closely to our two other dogs, but he was very aggressive towards all other dogs, especially small ones. I loved him dearly, and I was really careful to limit his exposure to other people. It took us moving out to the desert so he could run around to his heart’s content and never see another soul–otherwise, he would have gotten himself into major trouble. He died of natural causes, and I miss him every day. He was a real little bastard, but his was my little bastard. Love you still, Cole.

  407. July 24, 2015 10:20 PM

    Im so sad for you and him.He always loved you when you were home.

  408. Lynn permalink
    July 24, 2015 10:25 PM

    My heart just breaks for you, I volunteer at a shelter and today was one of those days I never thought would never happen, someone brought in their 14 year old poodle to be put down I was in the room and just lost it, oh how could you do this was my first reaction, then after talking to others I now know it was heart wrenching for them he was blind and has loss of hearing. You did the right thing as painful as it was so he didn’t hurt anyone seriously.RIP Sutter

  409. July 24, 2015 10:39 PM

    you did the right thing. what if he killed a child? you would never forgive your self and you would have looked at him in a different light.

  410. July 24, 2015 10:40 PM

    My deepest sympathy to you. (I have walked in your shoes.) You did everything you could, for him, and in the end, OUT OF LOVE, let him go to God,…
    away from danger and harm.

  411. Nellie Snider permalink
    July 24, 2015 10:56 PM

    What special love you had for your furkid,he could not of had a better family.My heart goes out to you,I can only hope to be the person you are if I am ever faced with what you were.RIP Sutter and God Bless you.

  412. Mary G permalink
    July 24, 2015 11:10 PM

    You really DID do the right thing. Ignore the haters, they’re being selfish. Sutter wouldn’t have been happy away from his Pack. You’ll see him again across the Rainbow Bridge, where his fears will have been healed and your sweet boy will be pure joy.

  413. July 24, 2015 11:10 PM

    You did the right thing for Sutter. It will take time but you will know in your heart that you did the right thing. RIP Sutter.

  414. July 24, 2015 11:13 PM

    You did what was right, even if it felt wrong. Like you said, you had to protect him from himself and from becoming one of those dogs that you see in the news that killed someone or another animal. It was best for you to do this on your own terms, you gave Sutter one last awesome time, which is something that wouldn’t have happened if he had really hurt someone bad. I am so sorry for your loss.

  415. ruth jones permalink
    July 24, 2015 11:27 PM

    You have just described one of my rescues..i’ve had him 5 stressful years, and i adore this boy…. he’s about 10 or 11 now, and i can’t let him go, i’m hoping age slows him down enough to ease the stress. Luckily he’s not a large dog, but he can still do damage, and he’s a short nose breed , so i can’t muzzle him. i’m ultra vigilant with him, and we don’t walk very far,,,,, i feel your pain, and the thoughts you’ve had
    are the same thoughts going through my mind.

  416. mauveen permalink
    July 24, 2015 11:34 PM

    I have had to do this under the same circumstances. it is heartbreaking but without doubt it is the only humane thing to do. Allow yourself time to grieve. You have taken good care of Sutter, now take care of yourself.

  417. CONNIE GARCIA permalink
    July 24, 2015 11:34 PM


  418. shawna permalink
    July 24, 2015 11:35 PM

    so very, very sorry for your loss 😦

  419. July 25, 2015 12:03 AM

    I understand how you feel because Sutter has been your baby since he was still a puppy but please try your best to remove that guilt that you are feeling right now because you did what was best for him.I know that whereever Sutter is he still loves you very much.Just pray to God to give you peace in your heart and everything will turn out right.

  420. Ginia permalink
    July 25, 2015 3:00 AM

    It is sad but this way he was happy to the end and not locked up and killed away from you had the police had to take him from you.

  421. Mila permalink
    July 25, 2015 3:01 AM

    So Sorry for your loss. So sad.. I can’t even imagine how much of an inner torture you had to go through. When I had to put down my senior dog– and we rescued her when she was already senior, so we did not get to spend much time with her– I still questioned my decision. In fact, I changed my vet after that because I just thought she rushed us a bit…. In your case, you did a wonderful thing and you avoided a much great tragedy. So as painful as it is, there was just no other way. God bless.

  422. July 25, 2015 3:02 AM

    ……….I am so sorry for you and your pain of having to put down Sutter. He had a good life and lots of love. He had some kind of rage in him that made him attack. He would only gotten worse as he aged. I think you the the right thing, You loved him to the very end. Now, try and remember all the wonderful times you all had together, and let your heart start healing, I had to put one of my beautiful Chows down due to bilateral lung cancer. It has been 7 years, and I still grieve for him, but also know it had to be done. You loved this sweet baby, and gave him happiness. Remember that as you try to heal. May God bless you.

  423. July 25, 2015 4:19 AM

    A wonderful loving story… about chance and understanding and realising that sometimes there is no perfect answer and maybe you will punish yourself forever… but I like to think and would like to share, that the euthanasia decision is always like that…. should I have waited a little longer… and no-one can answer that. Remember that last day the tears that you hid, the love you shared….. and the braveness of your decision. Remember how blessed he was in those years with you, how amazing that no-one did anything “against” him… that he had those years of a loving home. Honour his memory and when you feel the time is right, find another rescue…. I did but it took a long time. Now I am at peace… it’s a new love, it’s not a substitute love.

  424. July 25, 2015 4:23 AM

    i totally relate with your decision and the pain. i went thru a similar experience with a foster for 8 months. heartbreaking. xoxo

  425. July 25, 2015 4:26 AM

    Sending reiki for Sutters transition and to all in situation

  426. Susan wood permalink
    July 25, 2015 4:43 AM

    So sorry for your loss. I had to.make.exactly the same decision 5 years ago with a.rescue Labrador, after we tried everything to help him be able to live amongst our world. In the.end, our options were the same : forever muzzled and kept on a leash. Not much quality of life for him.or US.The last time he bit , we were reported to the police and warned the decision would be.taken out of our hands when it happened again. An I had to.consider what if his next victim.were a child ? I really believe he was “wrong wired ” and rarely knew peace. Heart breaking but please know.your..done your best for him and you .

  427. Gicela c vega permalink
    July 25, 2015 5:21 AM

    I am crying right now, my heart is breaking, for this dog. I don’t know what to feel about you, you who loved him for sooo long and whom this dog have loved more and yet it has to end his life because of his energy, because of the much much love he gave back. It seems part of me was lost when it was not me who he’s been with. Maybe it was a matter of opinion. I would’ve opted for other options than having him put to sleep. I can’t imagine this had been the reward for loving a parent sooo much. Maybe, I’m just too emotional but that would be my last and least option I could think of. Have you looked deep into his eyes, have you looked past his insurmountable energy? Maybe you didn’t because you wouldn’t have chosen it. I can’t judge you harshly though, you saved and loved him enough the way you know how. What I know though, if you love, you only want the best for him, not the least. What i know is if you love, you love forever. Dogs are family, you do not kill a family, you just continue to love, no matter what, no matter how, no matter up till when. Rest in peace lovely dog, learn to forgive humans, learn to love more to those who didn’t.

  428. July 25, 2015 5:32 AM

    Can’t thank you enough for sharing this. I just went through same thing…archie tried to kill Jake. It was his sixth attack. I run a refuge…too dangerous and unpredictable after so many years of socialization . a true heartbreak…made easier by you. Thank you.

  429. July 25, 2015 5:35 AM

    Thank you for sharing this! What you did was the kindest of mercies to extend to Sutter. Sometimes no matter what we try, to whichever extreme, we can’t ‘fix’ what’s going on in the animals we love. You gave him so much love and joy while you had him and I’m sure had he been able to speak that last day, he would have turned to you and said ‘thank you – for giving me a slice of live and love I’d not have had without you by my side” I’m very sorry for your loss.

  430. Clark Dalphone permalink
    July 25, 2015 5:50 AM

    I think we made a great mistake many many years ago when we took and breed from wolves to make dogs… we say Domesticate… they now depend on man… we castrate them like slaves then expect them to be what we want when we want them… force our way on them… man once again has failed with the wild (((

  431. July 25, 2015 5:51 AM

    It took me awhile to get through this, trying to read through the tears…My heart breaks for you.

  432. July 25, 2015 5:54 AM

    God bless you for giving him the love and devotion that I am sure he would never have experienced any where else. God gave the strength to help that poor baby, ad to make the right decision when you were ready. This made me cry like a baby, my heart goes out to you!!!😢

  433. Ellen permalink
    July 25, 2015 6:05 AM

    What you went through was heartbreaking and terrible and telling you that you did the right thing will not help you at all but … You did do the right thing. It was the last loving sacrifice you could make for your dog to protect him from an ending that would have been the same or worse. Time will bring you perspective and with it will come healing. Wishi