Some years ago my family owned a “work dog” pup, an animal from a “preferred breeder” and, therefore, “purebred”.  One evening, at supper, the dog jumped up on our kitchen table and started to eat the food.  When we tried to get close he snarled and growled and, frankly, frightened us all.  We spent considerable money to try and find a solution.  But, in the end, we gave him to a farmer who lived some distance away with the promise that he would care for him.

                Last evening I received a call from out west from a lady who was absolutely frantic.  Her female of the same breed as ours, was “becoming strange”.  About 1 week ago the lady came home and found one of her cats, being shaken in the mouth of her dog.  She was able to wrestle it away!  Prior to this the 2 cats and the dog had lived together for at least 3 years with no incidents.  On Thursday last the dog grabbed the other cat, shook it until it was dead, and when the lady tried to intercede it bit and attacked her.  She called me explaining that she did not know what to do.  She explained that her vet had advised her to “get rid of the dog” but she was reluctant, thinking that there might be some redemption.  NO CHANCE!  My advice:  “get rid of the dog immediately if not sooner!”  Was she willing to take a chance with visitors, grandchildren or others? 

                People who know me will tell you that I am not in favour of careless euthanasia and I will explain this.  I once listened to an interview with a young couple who had a two year old dog, lived in Calgary and were moving to Toronto.  The woman indicated that they “could not find a home for the dog so they had it put down”.  I was angry, openly upset, and sad.  They rewarded their dog with death which was done merely to rid themselves of a nuisance.  They should NEVER BE ALLOWED TO OWN AN ANIMAL AGAIN!  Euthanasia is proper for aged, terminally ill and / or seriously injured animals,  BUT NOT FOR CONVENIENCE.  The lady from  last evening was in a difficult position which really wasn’t so.  She wanted enabling to assure herself that she was going to do the right thing IN THIS CASE.  The REALITY OF LIFE” is that not all animals, including people, are redeemable or “FIXABLE” and we do not always know why.  She called me today, Saturday, to allow me to support her in her grief-  the dog was gone!  Grief is a response to all things sad, lonely and a coping mechanism and I will and have walked with many many people in various stages of the grieving experiences.   HOWEVER, I will  never support destroying life simply to get rid of it.  That, too, is THE REALITY OF LIFE for me.                                                                                        Brien

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