Thursday, March 18, 2010

Goodbye Hibeam

Our 10 month old puppy had to be put down today. We are all very sad. I don't think I have written much about him, as I was kind of in denial.

We have had aggression issues with him since the beginning. We got him on the 4th of July, and started a training class with him in August. The trainer noticed it right away and thought he might have neuro problems. I could not believe it. Seriously, a dog with neuro problems. You've got to be kidding me.

We worked hard, went to training, had some individual training with him, but he would not stop going "kujo" on us from time to time. It usually was when he had some type of food possession, a rawhide, a loaf of bread he had just stole off the counter, etc. If you got near him, he would attack you. Not bite you, attack. We thought we could maybe train it out of him. We could not.

A few weeks ago, Michael and I both agreed we would need to find a new family for him, one without kids. We were slowly going trying to figure out how to go about this, when he got sick this week. He has been throwing up (everywhere), for three days. This morning, I brought him to the vet. The vet was looking at his mouth, and Hibeam attacked and bit the vet. He has never done this, when he is not possessing something.

We put a muzzle on him, and the vet was trying to feel his tummy to see if he could tell if there was a blockage. Hibeam has ate no less than 15 socks over his short life. He often threw them up, and re-ate them, or pooped them out. You would think we could keep socks away from him, but the kids could never figure this one out. Anyway, even with a muzzle on, Hibeam was attacking the vet. He obviously wasn't biting him, but was very crazy.

The vet could not do an exam of the dog. We talked options. If he needed surgery, the vet was concerned about aftercare. The clinic/hospital could not do it due to his aggression, and we would have to force feed him some oral meds with no food for 2 or 3 days. That would not work. The vet said he would not let the dog near the kids while he is sick, due to his aggression. He weighs 50 pounds. The vet mentioned that a dog this size could do serious harm.

There would be no way to keep Akila away from the dog. We did not feel comfortable finding a new home for him, even without kids the way he attacked the vet, so Michael and I decided to have him put down. It was a really long, hard day.

The kids got home from school, we all sat down in the living room, and Michael broke the news. They did not believe us, they thought it was a joke. They ran to find him. When they saw me crying, they knew it was real. Imani took it the hardest, which we expected.

She has wanted a dog as long as I can remember. The boys both started crying also. Akila looked at all of us crying, and tried to kind of fake cry. She did have a tear run down her face, but that was it. She was more watching us all to see how she should react. Then she disappeared. I went to check, she was on the computer looking for a new dog.

When she was done on the computer, she got into me email, and emailed my brother that Hibeam died. She then went outside, and door to door to tell neighbors. She then came home to call everyone we know. Sorry if you got a call. She has told random people walking by our house.

When I think about her age being between 4-5 years old, it makes sense (she is 10 chronologically). This is similar to how the kids acted when my mom died 5 years ago. Developmentally, they weren't old enough to really react in a deep way. All I know, is that I am ready for a new day. This one stinks.


GB's Mom said...

That so sucks! Those kinds of decisions are so hard to make. Tomorrow HAS to be a better day.

Lynn said...

Hugs to everyone and hope for a speedy healing time.

tubaville said...

I am so sorry for your loss :(

FAScinated said...

I'm so sorry. We've been down this road. It hurts and it is hard for the kids to deal with, but it is life and you'll get through it together.

Hugs. ~Kari

the johnson crew said...

i'm so sorry barb.

r. said...

I'm so sorry. When I was in second grade we got a family dog, our first family dog ever. She was soo cute, but hard to train. After she failed group obedience school with my dad, my mom brought in the "private tutor" of vets to work with her one-on-one. Still Harry didn't seem to get it. About six months after we got her, when I was in third grade, Harry got into some pills one night and had a seizure the next morning in her cage. She really lost it--foaming mouth, trying to bite at people, loss of bowel control, etc.

When she came out of it, she was her old self again--not the brightest, but super sweet. My dad brought a can of mace with him and put the dog in the car to drop off at the vet on the way to work. I'll never forget how pretty and happy she looked sitting in the car. She had another seizure at the vet and her heart stopped. My mom said she was relieved, as we would have had to put down Harry anyway, since otherwise she'd have to stay in her crate the rest of her life in case of another seizure.

We'll never know if the pills she got into caused it, but when my mom told the dog trainer, the dog trainer mentioned that Harry had had moments where she seemed "not quite there"--like absence seizures or something, and that this may have been part of what made her so hard to train.

And yes, the next day in third grade I did go to everyone and say, "Guess what? My dog died!" But the good news is that Harry's death is what led us to Bonnie, the dog who would turn our family into a "dog" family.

Sorry this got to be so long. Just meant to say I've been there, and yeah it happens, and yeah, it sucks.

Katie and Rob said...

Thinking of you.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry such a young, beautiful dog had to be killed. Is a mussel anything like a muzzle?
And why would your kids think you were joking about the dog being dead? Dead dogs aren't usually a matter of levity, at least not in our house.