Rescue Journal

first night

Carol  ·  Mar. 24, 2013

it wasn't such a bad night after all. odie finally laid down and slept around 11 pm...he was awake and whimpering again a couple of hours later so i gave him another tramadol and he slept til 6. i gave him his morning dose and now will try to keep him to every 8 hours which is how it is supposed to be given.

i found a soft cone for him in the shop. i keep putting it on, he keeps taking it off. but at least he is not biting me over it so that is ok. i should take the vet wrap off his leg from the IV but quite frankly i am afraid. maybe when i don't have such a headache, i will feel more brave.

i have decided to pull a scarlett o'hara and try not to think about fletcher today.

yeah right.

or maybe i just need to get it all out.

the thing about fletcher that scared me the most..was not so much the attack and refusing to let go. it was that i did not even exist. i beat that puppy on his head, i choked him til he had to open his mouth to breath again. i grabbed him by his life jacket and threw him hard to the ground, not once...but four times because he kept getting up and trying to go back at odie for more. he didn't even see or feel me enough to redirect and go for me...he saw nothing in his rage haze except odie.

he was a puppy fer chrissakes...he should have been terrorized and peeing himself at my feet but he wasn't.

i took him and put him in the pen in the shop while i took odie into the vets. when i came back i moved him over to the dog room with everyone else shut out. and while i certainly wasn't still angry with him...he wasn't afraid of me like he should have been...he had no memory that i was a danger to him and had beaten the crap out of him just an hour before. he was happy to see me. when he was in his killing zone...i did not exist. my violence towards him had not even happened...he had no memory of it at all.

when mo and i loaded him up to take into the vets..he was sweet puppy fletcher...laying his head on our shoulders, licking our cheeks. at the vets, he was so happy to see everybody. he hadn't a clue about what was coming...such a betrayal of him.

i have so much guilt over this...guilt that i have killed a puppy, guilt that odie was hurt, and here is the kicker...guilt that i am relieved that fletcher is gone. i have watched him these past two weeks like a ticking time bomb. the bomb exploded, it is over and done and now i can deal with the aftermath and move on.

i can list off the ones i have killed in my head...emmit, angel, bear, clyde, watson, and now fletcher...each with a horror story attached and each with my guilt that i can never forget.

it just fucking sucks.



I am so sorry for what you are going thru. What would have happened if you weren't there at that moment? Likely Odie wouldnt have survived. So maybe you should try looking at this in a different light, you saved Odie's life.


Dear Carol,

I found your blog today, please PLEASE don't feel this terrible guilt at euthanising Fletcher - what else could you have done? Kept him alone in a cage? He had a good time with you, and you gave him a safe and peaceful death, around those who loved him.

15 years ago, I adopted a senior dog from the SPCA who was going to be put down, a big old lump of love female golden retriever, with no bad habits at all, just owners who didn't have time for her anymore. She had two good years with me, and then began to have small strokes, and get the canine equivalent of dementia. She was a big dog, so when she began to growl at me, I was a little nervous, but when she growled and frightened our neighbour's grandchild, who up until then had come by every day and given her a mint, or a treat, or whatever, and received a thousand kisses in return, I put Sandy to sleep with great regret. I cried for weeks afterward, feeling terrible guilt. But I couldn't take the chance that she would hurt little Alyssa who loved her so, I had to do it, the vet was very insistent, and I knew it was right.

You did the only thing you could have done, Carol, forgive yourself, and be grateful that you have the strength of character to make these choices, and still be a loving soul. Bless you.


So sorry to read this, I was gone all weekend. You did the right thing Carol as Fletcher was becoming a handful and causing serious damage. Still sucks to have to do it but he was a real threat to all the old frail ones. He was hard to keep away from the animals in the field last weekend and does not take "no" very well. Still sucks :-(


Yes, I agree with Susan... something more was going on, something in his brain. You know dogs better than almost everyone I know, and even you saw that something was not right. Fletcher's unpredictable, uncontrollable aggression was a danger to all the other animals, and maybe to humans, too. You did what needed to be done. As Mr. Spock once said -- "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few... or the one." The needs of all the animals at SAINTS unfortunately had to outweigh the needs of this one sick puppy. What would have happened if you adopted him out to a pet-free home and he went after his foster parent? You did what you had to do.


I'm so sorry Carol. You did what you had to to protect the old ones and even Fletcher from himself.


Beautifully said Bunny. I totally agree. Carol, I think something else was going on with fletcher. Something you couldn't see. Whether it was mini strokes in his brain, or some bleeding there, it's impossible to know. I think you would have had to let him go sooner rather than later regardless. Please don't feel guilt. You gave him time to experience love and joy that he otherwise would never have had....

I'm so glad odie had a better night than you expected!


It takes real courage to do what you did. Euthanizing a dog when they are old and sick is hard enough. You did the right thing and had the strength to do it. Don't beat yourself up over it but know that we are all behind you on this. I hope you get out and enjoy the sunshine today.


Well said, Bunny. We all feel so terribly sad about Fletcher, but you had no choice, Carol. I doubt anything we say right now will help relieve your guilt. Hopefully time will take the sting out of it. Seems to me if you had given Fletcher another chance, it could have ended in an even more serious incident at Saints.

Bunny Horne

Dear Carol, do not beat yourself up about Fletcher. You did everything you possibly could for this wee guy. It is everyone's job to ensure that the animals, all animals, in SAINTS care are safe. If they appear not to be safe you take immediate action to ensure their safety (ie moving Floyd). With the dogs it is not as simple as putting them in a pen on their own. This is not what Saints is all about. We spend lots of time in a day ensuring that gates and fences are locked so that no animal can harm another. Everyone has to live in some sense of harmony. Last weekend Fletcher charged the gate where Raven and Gideon were and set Raven into a frenzy. Raven could have suffered another seizure, he could have fallen and injured himself and/or he could have injured Gideon who was just feet away. A volunteer got Fletcher out of the area immediately and thankfully it took only minutes for Raven to collect himself. I am most grateful that you were on site and present when Fletcher lost control. You have so much experience with all types of animals and they all know you. The situation was brought under control quite quickly with you at the helm, without your presence yesterday the situation may have been much worse.
Yesterday was supposed to be a great day for you, beautiful weather, anticipation of the fund raising event and a gathering of people, who strongly respect and believe in you and SAINTS Rescue. I am so sorry the started and ended so differently. Do NOT beat yourself up over this. You did EVERYTHING you could.


My heart goes out to you Carol. You make the most difficult decisions almost every day, but as you have said before, your job is the safety of all that stay at SAINTS and you did the right thing in my opinion. I hope you find peace soon.