O'Reilly died yesterday. Well no, I had to put him down. He was not yet 2 and I have had him for a little over a year.
For the last several months I have been dealing with somewhat unpredictable fits of aggression against other animals. He would "snap" and attack another animal. Sometimes it *seemed* clear in that maybe it was over possession of a toy or bone. But sometimes, like on Tuesday, there was NO REASON. Tuesday, several times over the course of the day he was fence fighting with the neighbor dogs. He's never done that before. In the last fit of fence fighting he got hold of one of the neighbor dogs' nose and would not let go. He was insanely trying to pull her nose thru the chain link fence.
And he wouldn't release. I ended up literally having to pry his jaws open.
I adopted him from Ridgeback Rescue so I contacted them, 2 different coordinators that I spoke to directly and others emailed me suggestions. Janay, the local coordinator that I work with, had been for months helping me troubleshoot his issues. We were working his butt off with training but he always seemed one step ahead of us.
Cesar would not be able to rehabilitate this dog. He needed to be put down...
Then, later Tuesday night, my sweet boy that didn't used to have this aggression showed me why. He spent Tuesday night having seizures.
O'Reilly had a brain disorder. After seeing this, several of the coordinators said "AHA!" Odd, erratic behavior is sometimes a precursor to a brain disorder.
My heart absolutely broke. I'm still broken.
The choice didn't change, he would not get better and all the money in the world might not fix him. And in the process of trying to find a fix he would continue to be an unpredictable dog.
I took him to my vet yesterday morning and said Goodbye.
I am still recovering from my ruptured calf muscle and have not been able to run him. So last week Janay picked him up and took him, with her three pups, to the snow and he got to play in the snow for the first time ever! I have wonderful pictures of the day.
Monday, the day before the fence incident, she took him running with her dogs and he had a blast playing in the settling ponds! He LOVED to swim and splash in the water.
So he's had a great couple of weeks with new experiences.
I loved my guy so much. Even when he took out my bunnies, my snarky Archi Ann! I understood it was part of his sighthound and I accepted that and changed my life to match what he needed. I was happy to do it.
I have changed so much in the last year because of him. I have grown so much in my patience, understanding, dog training ability and social skills from all the trips to dog park for his sake! He had lots of energy and needed exercise and loved to play and had to be playing with lots of dogs. So things like dog park, and long hikes and walks to the settling ponds became a new part of my life.
Because of O'Reilly I am a better person. For that I am so thankful to him.
I miss him terribly.
But I also trust God. I know that He used O'Reilly to mold me more into the person that He desires me to be.
I will move forward. Lakota, his big sister, is still going strong at 7. She's a fantastic dog. I'm going to spend my time growing our relationship and doing things she enjoys!
I think I'll get a bunny...