Rescue Journal

this ending sucked

Carol  ·  May 30, 2008

thank you to everyone for your support and kind words as i struggle thru this...they all brought tears to my eyes...the white bull poem and esp. barb's story about her dog and her very last comment.

we are a society that hides our failures, we hide our shames. we re-write history or pretend something never happened. we do this to protect ourselves but what we end up doing is perpetuating lies. and those lies not only cripple us but they cripple others too.

how many parents struggle out there to do the very best that they can? and still their child strays into a place of danger or violence...automatically the parents are to blame. they can't defend themselves, the judgement is made... there HAD to be something wrong with them or their parenting skills or how else did the child get to that bad place? it is always the parents fault. we all know this so we don't share our struggles, we don't want anyone to know, we think it is better to hide it all because maybe no one will know. and all the other parents who are sharing the very same boat, think they are alone in that vast empty ocean of personal inadequacy and parenting failure. they suffer in silence and fear because of what others will think of them. and it perpetuates the perfect lie...good people don't have shameful things in their lives.

we do the same in rescue. good rescuers never have bad endings. we sprout this utter bullshit of happy fairy tales where everything we do is right and everything is good and we are so absolutely perfect in every single way. and we are not. it is a lie. rescue is freaking hard, it is fraught with struggle and pain and victory and defeat. it is dirty and it is bloody, it is shining and pure and it is is so freaking small minded and petty sometimes, it just makes you want to puke.

and we hide it...anything and everything that maybe someone will use to knock us down or make us feel small or somehow make us feel even more guilty. why should someone like barb be afraid to tell her dog's story? a dog she so deeply loved.
why should i hide the true events before swinger's death, just so someone couldn't call me a killer? what has that misinformed opinion got to do with anything at all? it had nothing to do with swinger, it had nothing to do with had everything to do with the holder of that opinion but for the rest of us it meant less than nothing.

we are humans, we make mistakes, we take the wrong roads and we royally mess things up sometimes. we do all the right things, we try our hardest and it still all falls apart. we are humans, not some magical race of gods.

i feel no guilt because i couldn't save clyde, i knew this all along....i tried my very best to give him as much time and happiness that i could and i think i was fairly successful in this. my guilt comes very simply from taking his life which was not mine to take.

i feel alot of guilt because cuddles got hurt...i left him the back area and he scaled the gate. i SHOULD have left him in the cat room where he would have been safe. i did not mess up with clyde, i messed up with cuddles, i made another mistake.

and i share all of this life here, not so someone can judge me, who wants to suffer that? i tell you so that when you make a mistake or have to take a life, or suffer a failure, or do something don't feel so very alone. so you aren't afraid to keep trying even if it doesn't always end with a happily after......sometimes it ends with a "this freaking sucks." and if you keep going even tho it freaking sucks, then you are a real rescuer or a real parent or a real whatever because you have what it takes to keep moving on.
maybe you will share your story with someone to help them like barb did. endings that suck happen in rescue, they happen in families, they happen in life...they happen to all of us...we are never alone. i hate the perfect lies. it cripples me, it cripples others. it hurts the animals in the long run because if you really truly can only do this if you are perfect, who the hell will be there for them when they are not?



we all make mistakes, carol. it just happened to prove to you that it was time.

you did do the right thing.

i'm going to miss clyde, even though i saw him once, when he arrived; he was always one of my favorites. in this, what you're written, what other people have said, it was getting out of control, and it had to be the last time. those medications helped, but not all the way. anything more might have simply maxed his liver completely out. and, there are only so many meds they've tested on dogs with these kind of problems- i'm sure there will be more. (and then there's the side effects).

i love clyde. and bewildering though it was for him, and still is, he's where his mind is calmer, and he won't hurt any of the other bairns.


I have a dog, MacKenzie (aka Shark) with whom I have shared 8 years of life. Kenzie was a yard dog, tied with a 3-4 ft chain that went directly from the hook fastened to the house to around her 4-6 month old puppy throat. She was supposed to grow up to be a guard dog, and since she didn't show natural tendencies towards aggression, she was beaten, often, and kicked, and left out during fireworks displays, firecrackers, gun blasts, car crashes and was at the mercy of little bas**rds teasing her from the alley behind her house.

Skip forward. MacKenzie is now my dog. Her life has done a 180, and she's learning to be a family member, not a prisoner with a three foot radius to circle.

Mac , we learned immediately, had issues, lots and lots of issues. She's a resource guarder (from being fed only when the people in the house remembered she was there), she bit randomly, thought I belonged to her and should not spend any time with any of our other dogs. She was a bully, picking on and sometimes wounding any dog smaller than her. The list goes on, and on, and on.

Jump to now, almost 8 years gone. We have an elaborate system in place to keep MacKenzie safe (there was, truthfully, one very dark and painful night when we discussed euthanasia). She is in the thick of things, in my office, with all her toys and her bed, with the office door sawed in half. The top half is gone, and she can see over the bottom half, plus she can hear everything. This keeps every dog in the house safe. It is an imperfect system; Kenzie is muzzled when she is outside the office but inside the house. She sleeps with Chris and me, along with Kirby and Madison, minus the muzzle, and she plays well outside with all the dogs,problem free and is unmuzzled then. We used to have a complicated baby gate set-up in our townhouse, and also for a while after we moved to MR.

Having to make hard choices about your dogs is heartbreaking, but true love means sacrifice. Barbara, I am sorry for your great loss, and I'm so fortunate that I didn't have to make the same decision. Thanks for being brave enough to share a memory that might not be well received.


Heidi, the difference between Clyde and Carly and Phoebe is that with intensive behavioural training, a good understanding of what causes the behaviours, and the ability to manage the PREDICTABLE, or at least somewhat predictable behaviours of Phebers and Carly, those two dogs are manageable. They are difficult to manage, but not impossible.
Clyde was a different dog altogether. His problems were organic, and no amount of behaviour modification, training or medical intervention could save him from his own disordered mind. Clyde attacked and badly injured Cuddles. He didn't do it out of normal jealousy or anger, he did it during a psychotic rage that he couldn't control.
Clyde had no chance of waking up from the nightmare that was his life, Phoebe can be worked with, as can Carley. Some broken dogs are just beyond repair, no matter how much love, support and caring is poured into them. Clyde was one of those dogs, Carley and Phoebe are not.


I am so sorry for your loss Carol and doing what you knew had to be done. I can't imagine the anguish you are going through and I feel for all involved; Clyde, Cuddles and you. I loved this blog today. So true about the parenting, etc., etc.

Take care of yourself, Diane


I' m sorry about clyde carol but I am upset and kind of angry as I really liked clyde. what about phoebe hasn't she bit at least two volunters and what about carly?