Thursday, January 8, 2009

sigh... saying goodbye again...

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!

And ...

I think I'll get a bunny...

23 comments:

lgf said...

I am so sorry to hear of yet another loss for you! Loco and you will continue to bond, but letting go is never easy. You are in my prayers. I love you much sis!

Pet and The Bengal Brats said...

Oh Cari!
Darlin I am so so so sorry..
I will say some prayers for comfort and healing for you..

I am so thankful you at least have Lakota...

Do you remember when we had to put BlackJack down 2 years ago?.. his unpredictable behavior..landed me in the ER.. and 33 stitches where he ripped my arm open..
So while sad.. im glad he's at
peace, and you and other furbabies are safe..
hugs,
Pet

Riley & Tiki said...

Sending you purrs and soft woofs.

d. moll, l.ac. said...

Oh, my gosh, what an ordeal, I am so sorry. Difficult times are trying and yet allow us to make amazing personal leaps.
Hugs to you for your broken heart.
So what about that bunny?

furrybutts said...

Oh no, I'm so sorry! Poor you, and poor O'Reilly too! It must have been hard for him, having those bouts of uncontrollable aggression. He's in a good place now, where's he's going to be healthy and happy always, surrounded by lots of friends. You're in our thoughts & prayers, C *hugs*

Rabbits' Guy said...

Oh No .. you poor dear. What a horrid event to live through.

Good luck, sounds like it is taking you somewhere ...

My feelings about Mr. O'Reilly were pretty bittersweet, but still ....

Katie said...

I'm sorry to hear that O'Reilly is gone. He was truly a character and he's going to be missed so much.

thefluffies said...

I'm so sorry to hear about ur loss :'(

Room to Grow said...

I have been very upset after hearing about O'Reilly this afternoon. You had to make a really tough decision, and it sounds like the only one to make. I can only imagine how you feel.

It brought back some memories ... Before Thani, I volunteered weekends at a local shelter - walking the dogs. There was this one dog that no one liked to play with because he was very aggressive and strong. (I thought he was gorgeous ... slight ridgeback features, a real mutt.) One Saturday I came in and he wasn't there! I was estatic ... thinking he finally found a family ... but then learned that they had to put him down the day before due to aggression issues with other animals. They knew that they would not be able to adopt him knowing his issues.

Wow, you have showed so much love for O'Reilly. I will miss him too. I hope your heart heals ... it will take time. Take care and we'll be thinking about you!

Amber said...

I am so sorry about O'Reilly. My heart is breaking for you. I can't imagine having to make that decision. I am so glad that he had some fun times over the past two weeks. I am going to miss seeing his pictures...he was such a handsome boy. Well, I need to sign off before my keyboard becomes waterlogged. I am thinking of you and hope that your heart heals soon.

Amber

Jacki said...

I am so sorry to read about O'Reilly. He was really beautiful. It had to be a horrible decision for you but thank God you had the strength to make it and not let him suffer through a condition that would keep getting worse. I hope you and Lakota can come back to the dog park soon. Sammy and I miss you.

Praying for you,
Jacki

Jan's Funny Farm said...

What a shock! I are so sorry about O'Reilly!

Are seizures really a sign of a brain disorder? I hadn't heard that before and have a reason for asking.

I am offline except for odd moments as my computer is away from home again.

Glenna said...

Oh, I'm so sorry for your loss. My heart hurts for you....

PJ said...

O'Reilly had the time of his life with you, CA. God gave you a great pup and I enjoyed watching your adventures, your blog was one of the first I ever visited and it was about O'Reilly. ((((Hugs)))) PJ, Ranger Dog and The 2 G-Kitties

Sam and Bodhi said...

Hi, there! WE just wanted to send our regards, we are friends of Nala's and saw her post on your loss. Stay strong, time will heal. :)

Bodhi and Sam

Dughallmor Beagles said...

We were sent here by Amber, so sorry to hear what happened to your boy, what a heartbreaking story, sounds like he had a truly loving home and really wonderful couple of weeks.
Slobbers xx

ReiRutherford said...

Carri Ann, my heart is broken, and I am so sorry for your loss. I know you did absolutely everything you could to try to save OR. He had a wonderful life with you and because of you. Hold on to your fond memories of him, I always will.

Gabi said...

I'm sorry about your puppy :(
Sam will miss him soo much. They were truly brothers and I know they had a special bond. It will be sad to not have another visit with OR but he will be in our hearts. God had a plan for him. Also you are welcome to come visit Sam with Loko whenever you want, remember that. We wish you the best.

Sincerely,
Gabi, Rei, Gino, Sam, Foxy Brown, and all the kitties

Erin said...

I'm so sorry:( Just remember he's in a better place now. We're thinking about you.

Crafty Green Poet said...

sorry to hear that, it must have been hard.

Ruby said...

I'm sorry to hear about your loss. Making the decision you did is not an easy one. You will be in our prayers.
Ruby

Lucy said...

oh I am so sorry. So hard to have to make these decisions especially when it is so much earlier than you expect.

Yes, I agree...go get a bunny.

YowlYY said...

Dear Carri Ann,
It is just a freak thing that when I come over to say thank you for your lovely words on Hugo's crossing the bridge, you are now in need of some hugs, despite being only cyber ones. It has been a difficult decision to let O'Reilly go, but you knew it was the only way. At least he spent his last few weeks having fun, in fact, all the time he was with you it was surely the best of his life.
Every one of our companions on earth touches our heart and teaches us something, and it is up to us to get the message. We'll never forget our furries, and in time we will move on, slowly but move on we must. There will be a new member of the family in our house from tonight, and hopefully you will also have the comfort of a new pal for Lakota, and yes...a bunny or two, because there's nothing more delightful that a couple of bunnies with their antics.
We're thinking of you,
G., Miss Eve, Bing and Mr D