It is with great sadness that I write this. I don't think any words can express what I'm feeling.
Yesterday, I made the very tough decision to put Rocky to sleep.
You all know the story of Rocky. How I hand-raised him from just a few days old. However something went very wrong, and rather than Greg getting his next competition dog, we got a dog that was extremely fearful, suffered from seizures, had extreme anxiety, and was simply not what most of us would consider to be "normal."
We spent the last year and a half trying to make him into a normal dog. We both spent time trying to desensitize him, using behavior modification techniques, training him...but all to no avail.
See, the main difference between Rocky and other fear aggressive dogs is that Rocky was more than willing to bite one of us if he was scared. This made so much of our interactions difficult. We had trouble taking him places because we simply never knew what would scare him. And while he never bit me, in reality, I knew the time would come.
Despite all his fearfulness, Rocky was the sweetest, loviest dog. He would come out of his crate and jump on us, and look at us with his big brown eyes. He would play with his toys ever so gently, just squeezing them and letting them squeak. When we walked by his crate, all I had to do was stick my fingers in, and he would rub his head against the crate door for some lovin! And I did, and always will, love this dog more than anything.
Several weeks ago, I made the decision that I would inevitably have to put him down. That I had done all I could for Rocky, and while Greg wanted to work with him, he simply didn't have the time. But I also knew that I wasn't ready to do it. I bought him some time by upping his dosage of Prozac to the maximum dose you can give a dog.
I did not take him to the vet yesterday with the intention of having him put to sleep. We were going in so that he could have his nails cut down really short, get a bath, and get a general exam. Greg couldn't get his muzzle on, even tried to play with him in the office to get him to calm down...he peed on the floor (lifting his leg for only the 4th time in his life). However, they eventually had to use a door to restrain him so that they could give him Telazol to knock him out. Chuck pulled the leash through the crack between the hinges, Greg used the door to keep him there, and he just screamed...then blew his anal glands...the whole time I had my back turned with tears in my eyes b/c I couldn't watch. After he fell asleep, Greg started to give him a bath, and as I watched, I just stroked Rocky's face.
I know so many people probably think I took the easy way out. That I just didn't want to deal. But anyone who really knows me knows that I did deal, and I did what I could, what I knew how to do. At the end of the day, Rocky wasn't right, and I'll never know if it was something we did or if maybe Asja started to kill her litter for a reason. And all I could do was love him, and it wasn't enough.
I felt so bad for what he had just gone through, and I realized that what I had just witnessed was the culmination of a life spent being afraid of everything. I realized that I wasn't being fair to him. That my love for him was clouding my judgment of how he really lived his life. And it was at that moment that I made the decision to set him free of those demons that were haunting him. So, I said my goodbyes. I stroked his face some more, and leaned down and kissed him, and left the room. Greg stayed with him the entire time while they did it - I couldn't be there...I simply couldn't watch it. I came home, and the first thing I thought was having to let Rocky out before he peed in his crate. I walked past his crate last night, and looked down expecting his big brown eyes to be looking back at me.
But he's not here. I don't know where he is. I don't know if I believe in the Rainbow Bridge. I just hope that wherever his soul is, he is free from fear. I gave him all my love, so I hope that was the one last thing I was able to give him.
Goodbye, my Lucky Rocky. You will forever remain in my heart. I'm sorry your life was filled with so much fear, and I hope you are finally free. RIP my baby! (1/4/07 - 8/14/08)
These were pics that I took of him last week...thank you for letting me share, and thank you to everyone on here who has given me so much support through his life and now...