T Nation

Sad Moment In my Short Life

I have a really terrible story to tell you all…On Sat. night I was staying at my parent’s house while they went out to dinner and I was watching my dog for them…All of a sudden he was walking toward me in their kitchen when he started to collapse, so I ran to him and caught him b4 he slammed into the tile floor. He let out a cry and shook a little bit, and I knew right then that it was over for him. I tried to recessitate him but I had no luck in getting him back to breathing, it had to be one of the saddest moments I have had in a long time. Here I was with my dog who I have grown up with(i’m only 24, he was 10 1/2 when he passed), and there was nothing I could do to comfort him. So I had to call up my parents and tell them what happened, they rushed back from dinner and my pops came in to see me sitting with my dog on the floor and he just broke down in tears. My mother didn’t have it in her to see his dead body lifeless on the floor. This has to be one of the few times that I have seen my father in such a state, he looked at our dog as another son, another member of the family. It was terrible to have to cover him up and carry him to the car so we could take him to the emergency vet nearby, and it was somewhat difficult b/c he was a very large Boxer that weighed in at nearly 100 lbs. I just wanted to share this with you guys b/c I remember someone else posting about their dog dying a few weeks ago. I keep thinking of those last fleeting moments when the life and spirit left him, he was looking into my eyes as he passed and I cannot get over it. I knew this day would be approaching soon, but I was not expecting it to be so quick as it was. Rest In Peace.

No matter how much you realize and expect that death will come soon, you are never ready when it actually happens. Always focus on and remember the good times. You will be in my prayers.

Man, I totally feel for you. We have four parrots and a prairie dog. If anything was to happen to ANY of them - I wouldn’t know what I’d do. It’s hard to explain to people about your feelings toward your pet. Especially when your “pet” is more of a family member and was more adopted than anything else.

I useto to have parakeets (or American Budgies to be exact), one died - but she was a old bird (11-years, old for a 'keet). But the ringer was my 3-year old parakeet that passed away soon after - he died in my hands. That was hard.

Sorry, for your loss. However, your pal sounded like he was dearly loved - he had a good life.

DanK, so sorry that you went through that man. if anything ever happened to my dog i don’t know what i would do. she is like my kid, i would be lost without her. you got to comfort him and be there when he passed, he wasn’t alone. he knew he was loved. take care bud and again i am sorry for your loss.

People who have never had pets will never understand the ‘pets are family members’ feelings. I’ve had - and lost - a few, and I sympathize with your loss. He evidently was dearly loved and you gave him a good life. Remember the good times, and even the bad, fondly.

I feel for you man. About a year ago my gf and I arrived home from the gym and her cat (of several years) came to greet us in the kitchen. She walked up to my gf, let out a smile cry, and dropped dead right there. My gf was hysterical as we rushed from place-to-place trying to find an open clinic but I knew she was gone. Its tough to handle.

Man, this brings back a BUNCH of memories. Had to put down one dog because of old age (my dad shot him with a shotgun, and I can’t possibly imagine the emotional struggle he went through), two dogs and one cat because of tumors, and one dog ran away to die. The hardest one was teh cat, as I now regret putting him through three days with the vet before we found a clinic in Seattle that could give us an answer. One of the dogs lost to tumors was just 3 days away from going to Fred Hutchinson Research Center, and my mom decided it was too much to put him through, and took him to the vet to be put down. He was a beautiful Malamute, and would have made a great sled dog.

I defintely know what you are feeling. I had a dog a couple of years ago that got out my fence and when I went looking for him I found him on the highway dead. It was the first time he got out and was only out for about 10 minutes. I also had a dog that died of heart disease a couple of years ago. We tried everything to try to save him. He pratically lived at the vet. While he was at the vet, the vetinarian went in to check on the dogs and she said my dog looked at her, layed down and died right there. This all happened in a 3 year period. I now have a 3 year old labrador that is doing fine. I think that one of the only ways to get over it is to buy a new dog. I know at first you might not want a new dog but it helps.

sorry bro, i feel for you. im edging towards your same situation though. my dog charlie is 15 (im 19), has arthritis, and his liver and kidneys are slowly failing. he still wags his tail and is playful, but we know that his time is very limited. however, here’s what i am going to do when he passes. keep is tag with me every where i go, and give it a little kiss for good luck when i need it (on a date, before a show etc.) peace bro

Man, I seriously got choked up reading your post. I’m so sorry to hear of your loss and I hope it gives you some comfort to share it with those of us who understand. I have four dogs and I cherish them more than I do most human beings. I’ve spent a fortune in vet bills for them over the years and I can’t imagine life without them. My friends think I’m crazy when they find out some of the vet bills I’ve had to pay. They often make comments like it’s “only a dog” or “no dog is worth that much money”. To this I respond with the following: My dogs are loyal and loving beyond a human beings comprehension. Any one of my dogs would protect me with there life without hesitation. With the exception of maybe one or two close family members, I don’t know any human being who would do the same for me. With this in mind there is no vet bill too big. No matter the cost I would find a way for the money. I hope you get some comfort in the fact that you were their to comfort your dog as he passed on. It would have been awful if he had had to die alone. Thank god he passed on in the arms of someone who loved him. Please pass on my condolences to your family. If you decide to get another dog down the road please consider saving a life by adopting an unwanted dog from the humane society or from a rescue organization. It kills me that their are literally over a million dogs euthenized every year in North America because they are unwanted and unloved. No dog deserves that fate.

Have you looked into pet insurance? There are several legitimate companies and it is getting much more accpeted by vets all over. I know that I plan to sign up my two cats real soon. I long for the day when my wife and I move into a house and can get a dog. I love my cats dearly, but there is truly nothing that compares to a completely loyal and loving dog.

I have never had a pet but I have a special relationship with animals, especially dogs, we establish mutual trust almost immediately, I tend to think that animals somehow sense that I like them and give back the same in return. I can only imagine what you went through. I plan to get a dog when my situation allows it, but even now I am thinking about what it will be like when the dog is gone… absolutely devastating, I guess. They say a pupppy is the best cure, better even while the old yeller is still alive…

I recommend that that all pet lovers read a book called “Kindred Spirits” by a local vet in CT named Dr. Allen M. Schoen. It is subtitled “How the Remarkable Bond between Humans and Animals can change the way we live”. He also has a great book called “Love, Miracles and Animal Healing”. Sorry for your loss DanK.

Jason, I have looked into pet insurance and very few will insure pitbulls. Because they are deemed a “dangerous breed” they are concerned about liability if it bites someone. If they do insure pitties the premiums are way too much. Pitties are such a misunderstood breed and blamed for way too many attacks, but thats another story. Thank for the suggestion though. Avoid roids, I’m really interested in picking up the book you mentioned. I think I will head over to chapters this afternoon and see if I can find it. Thanks

Man, my family was the same way about our dog. My friends would always be like “bro it’s just a dog”…they don’t understand unless they have had such a great companion. And I DEFINITELY know about the medical bills, there is something that I didnt mention about my dog’s history: Back when I was in college in '98 I was studying in Spain when my parents called me and told me that something was wrong with our dog…I freaked out and they didn’t sound too reassuring about the situation. When I got back from my time overseas I came home to a dog that now sported a pacemaker right in the left side of his groin! I couldn’t believe that dogs could have pacemakers, but this little miracle was what kept him strong for 6+ years after. So that’s what kept him going, after he had that connected to his heart it was like he was a pup again, it was crazy b/c he showed no signs of having any problems even though we all knew that he had a friggin pacemaker. Anyway, just wanted to share that info w/you.

Hey Magnus it’d be great to get some info from you on how your rescue pits and help them out.

Short story, kind of off topic, kind of not. My sister’s lil rugrate ‘thug’ boyfriend got a puppy pit, and started training it to be mean and beating it. I find out and I take the dog away(I knew lifting weights and getting big was good for something) Well I know that not all pits are bad, so I try to do what I can to help it out. I raise it the best I can… play with it…it seems extremely happy. I had it about a year and it snapped a few times at me. Not full on rage trying to kill me. Both times he snapped at my hand, he ran to the back yard, tail tucked between his legs and head lowered before I even reprimanded him. Another time I was laying next to him, put my arm over him and he snapped and bit my ear, I had to get stitches and it was the final straw… Unfortunately I couldn’t keep him, since he may bite my girlfriend or a lil kid. I loved this dog to no end, more then the other two I have had. Before these three incidences he was the most loyal, caring, and protective dog I’ve ever owned. Sadly I had to put him to sleep… and it has been the one time I’ve really cried since I was knee high to a grasshopper.

Oh I forgot to add my question. Was there something special I needed to do to bring him up right so there would be no aggressiveness at all? I found out that when he was a pup, his old owner, my sisters shitbag boyfriend made him fight other puppies. Was there any way I could have saved him?

I had the world’s best little pit. I got her when she was a year and a half old, and she did much of what you are describing. Wonderful most of the time then, SNAP, then ok, then SNAP. She was the sweetest little dog. The people who had her before me did a number on her though and she was deadly to other animals… except cats. (Of course my cat has faced down dogs twice her size, he has NO fear) She bit me a few times, then my parents had he for a while, eventually she had to be put down. My father and I still cry over that one. If I could find the people who had her before me I’d gladly beat and strangle them… just like they did to her.

How to train a pit? It has to know you are alpha, and you have to work very hard on socialization. If you have control of them they will go to the end of the earth for you. If you work at it, almost any can be saved.

Pits used to be on the army posters for WWI, and were one of the most favored breeds. But they began to get a bad rap and have never recovered from the bad press.

Exactly a year ago today myself and my dad had to get up early and drive our dog to the vet to be put to sleep. She was 17 (very old for a dog that weighed 75 lbs), and although she was still in great spirits she was deaf, partially blind and I’m pretty sure she had cancer. And even though she was in rough shape for about 2 years, and we knew that sooner or later we’d have to let her go, I wasn’t ready for it…I was with her while they gave her the shot, and I cried the whole time. Our dog wasn’t like a member of the family, she WAS a member of the family, and every family photo we have proves it. Everyone knows that it hurts to lose a pet, and losing a dog that was with me for the majority of my conscious life is an experience that is an experience that I won’t soon forget. My sympathies, man, and whatever you do, don’t get a cat :wink:

The situation you described with your sisters boyfriend is an all too common occurance. I would venture to guess that better than 90% of pittie owners are this type of person.These are usually dirt bag type guys who want a pittie to somehow try and validate there manhood. Despite this fact it is remarkable how many pitties we rescue who are loving and never show aggression towards humans. It’s so sad that for most of these dogs the human who has them can never match there nobility and character. Having said all this, I think in your situation you probably did the right thing. A puppie only has about an 18 week window of opportunity to be fully socialized. If during this period he/she is not well socialized and trained there is no guarantee that it will not be aggressive to humans later in life. Your dog may have worked through it’s occasional aggressiveness, but there is no guarantee. An unpredictable dog is a dangerous animal and as difficult as it is, you did the right thing putting it down. Your sisters boyfriend must have been a real asshole, because I see so many abused pits who never show aggression after they been rescued and given new, good people. There also could have been a genetic fuck up with the dog too which contributed to the unpredictable aggression. Michelle is right about the importance of socialization. Exposure to all types of people, children, animals and other dogs is crucial in the first 18 weeks of life. If a dog is not socialized during this period, then later in life when he encounters a person or thing he has not been socialized to, there is a good chance he will feel fear. Like most animals a dog’s response to fear is fight or flight. Often this results in someone getting bitten. Michelle is also correct in saying you need to be in control of your dog. However I disagree with the idea of dominating your dog so that he views you as the alpha male. Wolf pack theory to explain domestic dog behaviour has long been debunked. This type of theory was used to justify corrective punishment training methods used for so many years by most training schools. Positive reenforcement, reward based training methods based on operant conditioning is the only acceptable way to train a pittie or any dog for that matter. A battle of wills with a pittie to try and establish dominance is a losing battle as this can create an insecure and unpredictable dog. It’s also a losing battle as a pittie generally has a much stronger will than a human being. I know this post is getting long, but there is one more thing I need to add. You must assume every pittie will be dog aggressive. Even socialion to other dogs is no guarantee a pittie won’t fight. Pits were bred to fight and thats what they do. They don’t fight out of fear or for dominance like most dogs. They fight because they are compelled to and it is a self rewarding activity. Retrievers retrieve, pointers point, hounds track and pitties fight. It’s genetically encoded. This dog aggression does not carry over to humans however. Pitties are extremely human friendly. This too has been bred into them. Old time dog fighting men would cull man biters as they could not afford to be bitten when breaking fights. Much of dog fighting literature also says that man biters for some reason made poor pit fighters. Therefore gentleness towards humans is a genetic trait. One more thing that helps with aggressiveness in all dogs is spaying and neutering. Contrary to popular belief a neutered male will not develop less fully than an in tact male. He will still be very protective, but will be a little less stubborn and more predictable. My 70lb male was neutered at 4 months and he’s hard as granite and while he will not initiate a fight he will never back down. For this reason I keep him away from all other dogs. Every pittie owner should do this. Don’t put your pittie in a situation where he might have to fight. No matter who starts it your pittie will finish it and you will be the bad pit owner. A 40 lb. pit will make a 140lb rottie squeel. No animal within a hundred and fifty pounds is a match for a pit. I should’nt glorify there fighting ability, but it just goes to show how tenacious and strong willed they are. Anyhow I hope I answered your question and let me know if you need any more info.