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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > RAINBOW BRIDGE > Tough decision for Cinni
Last Post by Beka27 at 7/14/2010 7:06 AM (25 Replies)
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User is Offline BunnyLiz
Covington, Ky
1229 posts Send Private Message
2/19/2010 3:43 AM

I couldnt decide if I should put this here or in Q&A, so sorry about that if it has to be moved.

Cinni is my dog, 5 or 6 years old.  We got her when she was thrown out of a moving car in the middle of a big storm.  She was cold and young and terrified and Id been begging for a dog so we kept her.  She is a mutt, maybe has some chow in her somewhere.  Well she has always been food aggressive, and not okay with strangers, and it isnt uncommon for her to growl at me or bear her teeth when she is in trouble and needs a time out.  Well maybe two months ago Cinni attacked one of my beagles, Molly.  We were right there and it didnt look like it was justified, but we were able to get her off and she spent the day in her cage.  That was the first time she ever actually went further then growling and bearing her teeth.  We have always been able to manage it though.  Strangers are told not to pet her, we stand watch when the dogs are eating so the pups wont go to her bowl, treat time is always done with caution and we make sure they dont get to excited then just in case.  The pups are caged when we arent home, the kitten has a NIC cage for then too because he does bother Cinni.  Cinni hasnt ever shown any aggression to any of the cats or buns, but still the kitten is kept caged when we arent there and she is never near the buns.  About a month ago she attacked me, my foot in particular.  She was bad and I was putting her in her cage, she didnt much like that.  So I bled a little, a few bandaides and all better.  Last night she attacked Molly again, because a treat rolled under the dishwasher.  We thought she had forgotten about it, but I walked in just in time to see her guarding the dishwasher and then attack Molly because she wanted to sniff under there.

Now I dont know what Im doing.  We cant risk a dog like this in a house of 3 buns, 3 cats and 2 other dogs.  I cant risk losing any of them, none have been hurt so far, but I was there to scream and pull and lock her up to cool off.  Two minutes after any of her time outs she is fine, she is sweet and wants to come out and cuddle in your lap to say sorry.  Then she is jumping around like nothing happened as soon as you tell her its okay and you still love her.  I dont want to put her down, but I dont see any other option.  I dont think just waiting to see if it does ever get out of control is fair to the 8 others or myself.  A few weeks ago I really realized what it would be like to lose one of my babies to her.  I came home from school, walked upstairs to let the pups out of their cage so they could go outside and noticed my bedroom door was open, and thought I forgot to pull it closed.  Went to the back door to let everyone outside and saw blood all over the back door and floor, then panicked and noticed Cinni was spotted in it.  That was the single most terrifying thought ever, and I was screaming and blinded with tears, tripping up the steps, to my room only to find all the buns safe and sound.  Thats was so so scary.  When I calmed down and made sure everyone was okay, I saw the blood on all the windows.  Someone tried to break in and Cinni attacked both doors and all the windows and had cut her mouth on all the blinds in the process.  So this is so hard, because on one hand I never ever want to feel the terror I did when it clicked in my mind that she could have gotten a bunny, and on the other she just saved the house.  It could have been a regular break in and we would have been without tvs and computers and stuff.  But I cant help but think they watched my house and knew my schedule because im almost always home, and what if they were planning to wait for me or something.  Sounds crazy but I cant help but consider it.  Cinni was my first pet that was actually mine, I dont know if I can put her down but really thats the only option.  I just feel like im failing her, that it isnt her fault and Im giving up on her.  Im abandoning her because she has issues.  I love her, I just dont know if that even matters in this case and I feel horrible that she cant fell secure enough to not be this way, and that its my fault for even letting it happen to her.  I just need some reassurance that Im doing the right thing.

 

Photobucket Rose- Loved you yesterday, Love you still, Always have, Always will.

User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
Forum Leader
17710 posts Send Private Message
2/19/2010 3:51 AM
Wow, that's a hard decision.

Have you ever had a professional animal behaviorist help you with her issues? I bet your vet has someone he/she could refer you to.

I do know that a rescue may not be likely to take an aggressive dog and an animal shelter would most likely euthanize as well as they cannot take a chance on an aggressive dog with other animals or people for safety reasons.

User is Offline BunnyLiz
Covington, Ky
1229 posts Send Private Message
2/19/2010 3:52 AM
And I didnt forget to close my bedroom door, I pull it closed but its an old house with an old door so I pull it without it clicking shut. So she jumped at it enough to open it, and then proceeded to attack my windows.
Photobucket Rose- Loved you yesterday, Love you still, Always have, Always will.

User is Offline BunnyLiz
Covington, Ky
1229 posts Send Private Message
2/19/2010 3:55 AM
We toke her to dog training lessons, she is really smart. She does: sit, sit pretty, paw, other paw, stay, heel, down, bang/roll over, speak. They told us a few things to try, but thats just how we can manage the behavior. Didnt actually fix it.
Photobucket Rose- Loved you yesterday, Love you still, Always have, Always will.

User is Offline TARM
VA
1281 posts Send Private Message
2/19/2010 6:22 AM
I had a dog like this. I worked with her and worked with her (for a year) and she loved class and was about 99% on her recall but she was still unpredictable. One day when she wanted to get at one of my other dogs and couldn't she redirected on me and put me in the ER for HOURS with a severe bite to the leg that exposed my tendons and just barely missed my artery. I literally had 3 doctors and 2 techs dedicated to me to try to stop the bleeding. It took months to heal and was the most traumatic thing I've ever been through.

You've done right by this dog so far but she is not stable and she could really hurt someone or kill one of your other animals. I know you love her but you love your other critters too and it isn't really fair for their safety to be in jeopardy for the sake of an animal who doesn't have control of her anger.

Temperament always trumps training and though it's possible that you can control her when you are with here she will probablyl make the wrong choice when left to her own devices.

This is not a dog who can be rehomed. It would not be a good idea to transfer her problems to someone else to deal with. The most loving thing you can do for her is have her put to sleep while you're there with her and you can whisper in her ear that she is a good girl...because really...she doesn't know that what she's doing is wrong. Sometimes dogs just have screws loose and we have to do what's best for the dog, our own safety, and our animals.

I've been in your shoes more times than I can count with rescue dogs and my own dog and I don't envy your position. You know in your heart what the right choice is and no one will fault you for acting on it. Plus, you will set her free from the demons in her own head that she can't get away from and make her the way she is.

Hugs to you and pets to Cinni.

User is Offline BunnyLiz
Covington, Ky
1229 posts Send Private Message
2/19/2010 1:01 PM
Thanks TARM! This is really really hard and my mom isnt helping with this at all. She goes back and forth on what she wants, but since these animals are mine mainly its up to me. I just cant get the idea that im killing her out of my head. This would be a much more clear cut decision if she were sick. But she isnt sick, almost all of the time she is my lovable Cinni Poo, my baby. Its just so hard to look at her playing in the yard, lounging around or begging for attention knowing what I have to consider. If she were sick, if her life was painful, Id go now and let her go. But I feel like Im killing her, not helping her, because she is happy and healthy. I seem to know I have to put her down, for the good of the entire situation, but I really don't know if I can even physically do it. Walk her into the vet a healthy dog and leave without her. I cry every time I think about it, no matter where I am. I think I missed probably 1/4 of all my classes today because I couldnt keep it out of my head! Now I have no idea what Im doing. Do you think any behaviorist trainers or something would help?
Photobucket Rose- Loved you yesterday, Love you still, Always have, Always will.

User is Offline MimzMum
Interior Alaska
7888 posts Send Private Message
2/19/2010 2:09 PM
I wonder if there are any medicines that might help calm her down? Even one of those scented plug-ins that is supposed to emit soothing fragrances.

It's not the same, but when we first found Hello Kitty, she was very aggressive. You could not pet her without her sinking her teeth into you. We know this was because not only had she been abandoned, but she'd also been abused in her former home and another cat had bitten her badly in her back end, leaving an abscess (this was cleared up when we found her-one of the neighbors down the road from us was the former owner and explained this) so she is in some constant pain which we manage as best we can. When she is pain free, she is 'almost' a darling. But she still has attitude. Hence we cannot have her and my other two cats in the same room...Tooey actually almost bit me the other night when I was trying to catch her going after Kitty.

But a dog is different, because they are a real liability with their aggression and the unpredictability of an uneven temperament. Unless Cinni can be mellowed somehow, she will do further damage and, even if it's only mental and emotional baggage she carries...it is still pain.

However, I don't think I could even take that step myself unless I had explored every avenue. My 14 year old husky, Shadow...years ago he nipped my nephew when he was up here one year. Left a bruise the size of a fist but didn't break skin. The boy had been running after my daughter and perhaps Shadow thought he should protect her. Maybe he was just 'correcting' an 'unruly pup'...honestly he can put 1500 pounds of pressure behind those jaws. If he'd wanted to hurt the boy, he could've done it.

But I was terribly worried after that because I'd always heard you can't let a biting dog live because they never stop. Something in the future will always set them off. I realized later that my nephew probably smelled of cigarette smoke (his mom's habit) and that would've set Shadow off (he was burned with cigarettes by his former master) but it still didn't excuse his behavior. I thought for sure my sis-in-law would insist I have him put down.

However, Shadow has never bitten or nipped another soul in his life since then. I would've missed him so much all these years, he's been a good boy, even if he was abused before we got him. I was afraid for my kids, who were between small and teenage at the time, but I simply didn't want to put him down unless I saw further aggression, which we didn't. We wanted to give him a happy home to spend the rest of his life in and I think we got through because his mindset wasn't so much protecting himself as it was protecting us. He knows we love him. He's had a good life with us. It really helped him be a different dog.
A caveat, he does not mingle with either my cats or my bunnies. I know his son would chase a small animal down to kill or catch it, but I've never seen that behavior in Shadow...still, he's an outdoor dog and I don't take the chance. Although I have seen him roll a ball at my two black cats trying to get them to play.

I'd still look for some way to help Cinni, maybe medicinally, but I think one way or other she needs to be kept away from any other animals. This is what we have to do with Kitty. She is not predictable enough to know what she will do with either my cats or my bunnies, even if she does seem to like Mimzy since they showed up here at the same time. She also loves the dog, which is just plain weird. But I never know when her bad behavior will be triggered and so that is the one thing that you would have to get under control if you kept her..the triggers. Unless you feel her mental and emotional pain is too much for her and putting her down would be a release from the bad memories if nothing else.

And of course, the possibility she'll bite someone, even a trespasser, and you get sued...not a good thing. I'm sorry, Liz, I wish I had an answer for you. But I'm here for support.
 photo 3ca1b95d-0cfb-478a-9ea7-bfc6fff29518_zpsa40198b1.jpg

User is Offline TARM
VA
1281 posts Send Private Message
2/19/2010 3:52 PM
This dog has a habit of baring her teeth at you and she's already bitten you once. You were lucky you were able to walk away with minimal damage.

What if one day when your mom was home by herself Cinni attacked one of the other animals for some reason. What if when your mom tried to break it up by herself Cinni redirected her aggression and attacked your mom the same way she was attacking the other dog. Would you regret that you didn't go with your gut? Not a pleasant thought but it happens. It's happened to me and I routinely deal with aggressive dogs. I've lived the crate and rotate life. I know what you're feeling right now.

A dangerous dog is a dangerous dog and as much as I know you'd like to believe there is a way to save her you can't be 100% sure that you can manage her safely. It's your decision and it's one that can't be undone, but if you choose to keep her and something horrible happens you can't undo that either. :0(

User is Offline BunnyLiz
Covington, Ky
1229 posts Send Private Message
2/19/2010 6:07 PM
I wish I could just keep her separate like you do with Hello Kitty, Mimz. But in reality it wouldnt work, my house is too small. Id never be able to keep them apart unless everyone lived with a cage system going on. Rotating everyone in and out of cages and locking cats in a bedroom. I wish I could do that, part of me wants to consider trying that, but I know it wont work for everyone for long. Cats would meow and start going crazy. Dogs would start howling and whine to be let out of the cage etc.
Technically this isnt the first time she has bitten me, she has done it before but had never broken the skin and made me bleed. And hearing your story, TARM, does make me a little nervous. When she drew blood, all I had to do was yell and she stopped. Id learned that she stops sooner if you dont fight back or pull away or basically move. So I just yelled and she was immediately back to herself. But I can also see her losing control and not realizing what she is doing until its too late. I know I need to do it, but every time I decide that Im going to I cant imagine doing it. My mom wont be involved in it at all so I have to go alone and do it. I want to stay with her so she will know Im not abandoning her, but im scared ill change my mind or just wont be able to stay with her at all.

As of right now Im putting her down. I dont know how in the world ill be able to do that though. I think ill wait at least a week, so I can get used to it and make sure Im not gonna change my mind a second to late. Ill buy her a burger and we will spend a day at a park walking around beforehand so she can have a good last day.
Photobucket Rose- Loved you yesterday, Love you still, Always have, Always will.

User is Offline MimzMum
Interior Alaska
7888 posts Send Private Message
2/19/2010 6:35 PM
That's how it is with Kitty too...if you fight her, she only digs in harder. If you just relax and wait, (which is almost impossible with long knives digging into your skin) she eventually lets go.
Yeah, caging animals is not good in any case. Sometimes it can't be helped, but especially with dogs it only makes them more anxious and eager to misbehave. Or it could outright drive her crazy.
It is hard to stay with an animal when euthanasia is being applied. I have only had to put down ill animals, but it's still hard. The finality of it is all you can see at that moment, and usually it's only after introspection that you may feel Cinni is still with you. However, I can definitely say it is a kinder end than an animal who passes without this humane aid.
I wish I could be there to help, Liz. I am sad that your mom will not at least go to help hold your hand.
I spent the last day with my girl dog, Dusty, walking her around the yard and talking to her, apologizing for what we were about to do. (She had an anal tumor and was bleeding every time she went to the bathroom, but did not appear to be in any other significant distress, so it was almost like having a healthy dog with me in those last moments.)
We brought her in the house when the vet got there and let her go to sleep in the living room where we could all be with her and say goodbye. It was still sad beyond belief but I knew I was releasing her from certain suffering...having just been through cancer treatment myself, I wasn't about to wish that on her for a dismal prognosis.
Sometimes dogs are just too damaged by their circumstances. I feel in some obscure way, Cinni is hurting. Can you imagine how she must feel when she realizes that she's bitten you? I'm sure you can see the regret in her eyes afterwards when she comes back to herself and you even said that she tries so hard to make up for it. This must weigh heavy, even on the canine heart.
TARM is very knowledgeable about dogs, from everything I've read that she's written. I trust her opinion. I know I am ascribing too much sentimentality and anthropomorphism, but even though the choice is hard, I think you are making the right one.
Perhaps, somehow, someway, Cinni will be freed to return to you as another dog. It was the astonishing revelation I got after Taiku passed...that he was actually so much like my Irish Setter I had as a kid. The similarities were undeniable.
Even if not, you will be releasing her from a difficult impulse she cannot control. You will be lifting her burden. It may be the kindest thing you can do for her, besides the love you've already given to let her know she was worth keeping.
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User is Offline Monkeybun
Hillsboro, Oregon
10458 posts Send Private Message
2/19/2010 6:42 PM
Oh Liz.. I'm so sorry you've had to make this decision. In a way, Cinni IS sick.. its a mental problem instead of a physical one, which can be just as bad. She knows you love her, and loves you in return. This really is the best option, for both her and everyone else involved. Its better to let her go before she causes someone serious harm without meaning to.

*hugs*

User is Offline jerseygirl
Australia
14795 posts Send Private Message
2/20/2010 3:53 AM
(((HUGS))) I can only offer my support to you at this time Liz. I did wonder if you can have a vet come to the house, then MM mentioned they did for Dusty. So, if you do have to take this path, maybe this might an option - so you can be with her at home?

I'm so sorry your facing this decision!

User is Offline mellowzmom
236 posts Send Private Message
2/21/2010 2:54 AM
Wow, that is hard! I don't know that you have any other choice though. Cinni sounds like a dangerous dog and anyone who comes onto your property could be at risk of a serious dog bite. Even if you take her to a good trainer, she would never be totally trustworthy. You could try a muzzle, but she can't wear it all the time. Unfortunately, some dogs just have "shadows" in their heads that never go away. It also sounds like she was not socialized early enough. The experts have found that dogs need to be socialized with people and other dogs before the age of twelve weeks or they lose something permanently. Let us know what is going on, no one here will judge you as you are definitely in a no win situation. Unfortunately, you have a couple of choices, but neither of them are good or easy. I am sorry for your dilemma.

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
Forum Leader
11452 posts Send Private Message
2/24/2010 11:43 AM

Bunnyliz

I can help you, with some friends help as well, design a program to work with her. In that time you'd need to keep her seperate and work very hard with her. But it's nothing that cannot be fixed. If your interested let me know and we can set up a starting point and rough outline of a program (postive reinforcement, desensitizing and counter conditioning) -so I'd need more history background etc etc, and I would be consulting and giving you sources. If your interested, let me know-you can pm me here, message in this thread or email me at kokaneeandkahlua@binkybunny.com

Also although you wouldn't take this dog to the local spca or humane society, because her issues would flag her for euthanasia likely-there ARE rescue groups who are interested in taking these difficult dogs and giving them a second chance; AND there are many trainers who will take these dogs from you, work on them and rehome.

Let me know if I can help.

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Kokanee & Chuck My Bridge Bunnies-you left paw prints on my heart

User is Offline Monkeybun
Hillsboro, Oregon
10458 posts Send Private Message
2/27/2010 1:48 PM
*hugs* So sorry Liz. RIP Cinni, keep an eye on Liz from the big puppy heaven in the sky.

User is Offline BunnyLiz
Covington, Ky
1229 posts Send Private Message
2/27/2010 2:22 PM
Well I did it today! It was a bit harder then I imagined, I had to tell them my phone number three times before they understood me and could find me in the computer. I gave her bunches of kisses while she was going to sleep so hopefully that was the last thing she realized. She made me feel so guilty though, she was an angel all day at the park and didnt whine or try to go the other way when we got to the vet. She just walked right next to me and sat down when I told her too. When we got into a room though I feel like she knew something was going on, she wouldnt move from the door willingly. But at least she got a good last day, we spent the day at the park. We walked a lot, ran a few times (her fav), visited the dog park (which was empty). Then she got two double cheeseburgers, on top of all the treats she had gotten throughout the day.

KK- I had avoided BB these past few days so I wouldnt come to this tread. Now I wish I had checked it out, but we wouldnt have been able to keep her separated so I guess I still made a good decision. Oh well, can't do anything about it now.

*Run free Cinni* (instead of binky free)
Photobucket Rose- Loved you yesterday, Love you still, Always have, Always will.

User is Offline mellowzmom
236 posts Send Private Message
2/27/2010 3:15 PM
I am so sorry you had to go through this!!! It is really, really tough. ((((((hugs))))))

User is Offline kralspace
West, Texas
2680 posts Send Private Message
2/27/2010 3:50 PM
oh Bunnyliz, I was afraid that was what was going on. I'm so sorry you had to go through that but you showed great courage for your baby and Cin carried those hugs and kisses with her. I know it doesn't feel like it, but it was a great kindness you did for her. Now I'm crying again,

(((hugs for you))))and Run Free Cinni!
Kathy
My Bunny Burrow is full! Pringles & Toby, Daisy & Lola, and my senior citizens Hershey & Simba.
The piggies are back, add Brownie and Sweetpea to the mix.

User is Offline MimzMum
Interior Alaska
7888 posts Send Private Message
2/27/2010 3:57 PM

I'm so sorry Liz. It is obvious how incredibly hard this was for you both. But something I realized while considering how short our bunnies' lives are in comparison to other animals we keep as companions....

Think of all the wonderfulness you try to squeeze into a life that you know is going to be shortened somehow. I have had to look at it seriously, having been diagnosed with cancer 5 years ago (yes it's been five years this spring...I can't believe it!) and you know people tend to make their 'bucket lists' when they find that time is growing short.

You did all that you could to make Cinni's life as delightful as possible in the short time she had. Had you not taken her in to live with your family when you did, her life would've been very different in comparison, and certainly not as comfortable as it was, despite the recurring behavioral trouble.
Also, you took her to do her favorite things, spent those last moments with her and gave her your love. What more could any dog want?

If animals are here to teach us anything, it's how to give love unconditionally, barring even the constraints of time. To all around us. I think you just showed one of the most loving things you can do for an animal in return. And I'd wager Cinni knows this too.

The mortal coil is all we know. It is our limited perception that causes us the pain we feel when the corporeal is removed and only the memories remain, because it's harder to touch and interact with them. But I pray that you will find comfort in the happier memories you have of Cinni.

I hope that Cinni finds a way to return to you someday...in a happier and healthier body, and that the two of you will recognize one another straightaway..and then maybe you can pick up where you left off, leaving behind all the hurt.

Bless you, dear...you did the right thing. For both of you, and for all your other charges.
((((((((((((((((hugs)))))))))))))))) Run free, Cinni!

http://www.gratefulness.org/candles...d=10288907

 photo 3ca1b95d-0cfb-478a-9ea7-bfc6fff29518_zpsa40198b1.jpg

User is Offline TARM
VA
1281 posts Send Private Message
2/27/2010 4:26 PM
Oh, Liz, I'm so sorry. You are very strong and brave to go through with this decision. Even though I know it doesn't feel that way now you did the right thing. In the next few days you will notice a whole new atmosphere in your house. There will be a very obvious lack of tension and you will realize just how much strain having her in the home was to the other animals. I know it's sad and that you won't want to think about it that way but in releasing Cinni from the things that haunt her you've released the other critters and even the people from the product of them. Just know that the peace you feel in your home is the same peace Cinni now feels at the bridge.

I had to put down a foster dog about four years ago because he was a dangerous dog. I loved this dog and I still miss him like it was yesterday. He was so well behaved on his last day. He knew I was upset about something and he did his doggy best to bring me comfort and it was so hard to follow through but I take comfort in the fact that he never knew love before he lived with my family and my choice to set him free rather than return him to life in a cage allowed him to go peacefully with his heart healed from the life of loneliness he suffered because of the people who failed him.

You have given her the best gift she could ever imagine. She knows that and she will watch over you now the same way you watched over her while she was with you.
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