Goodnight, sweet Blue

Yesterday, we said goodbye to Baby Blue. We gave her a big breakfast, took her on a long walk, let her play with her favorite toys, and allowed her up on the couch for a while. Then I loaded her up in the car, bought her a cheeseburger at the drive-thru, drove her up to the shelter that had tried to save her, gave her a treat and a big hug, and held her in my arms as she went peacefully to sleep.

We didn’t know it was going to turn out this way, but we knew that the odds were against us.

Blue’s timidity and behavior at the shelter made her a little too questionable for a traditional adoption, so in order to get to know her better and further evaluate her, Blue was placed with us, an experienced foster home. We wrote gently about the uncertainty of fostering Baby Blue a few days ago, but didn’t put it as bluntly then. Probably because we held out hope that we could work miracles. Now the truth is before us, as plain as it is painful. Baby Blue was not adoptable.

I’ve had a lot of ideas before about the hardest part of fostering: maybe the hardest part is falling in love with a dog and then having to say goodbye when its forever-family comes along. Maybe it’s realizing that your new foster is more of a handful than you had expected. Maybe it’s picking one from the shelter and knowing that the one you didn’t pick may not make it.

Turns out this all pales in comparison to the real hardest part of fostering: realizing that no matter how much you want to help, you can’t fix every dog. Loving a dog, but coming to terms with the fact that it is too troubled for this world. Trying to snuggle her fears away, only to realize that no amount of snuggling will ever be enough to make her feel safe. Recognizing the signs of insurmountable fear or inability to interact with the world.

When a dog bites.

After Blue came into our home, it became heartbreakingly obvious that she had not been properly socialized as a baby and held a deep-rooted suspicion of people, especially men.

A lack of socialization can be addressed through positive training and rehabilitation and does not necessarily make her unadoptable. When she was confronted with an uncomfortable situation, sometimes she would try to hide, other times she would bark or growl, and sometimes she would lunge and snap. This type of fear aggression can also be worked with and does not make her unadoptable. But sometimes, she would nip or bite with no obvious provocation at a person who was being still and not making any noise. A few incidents like this over her first week with us made her unadoptable under our shelter’s policy.

These incidents were also the crux of the problem. Without easy-to-decipher triggers and varying red flags from Blue, we had only the vaguest idea of what was causing her behavior.  We consulted behaviorists and dog pros who agreed that this particular behavior was extremely difficult to work with and that she may not be a safe adoption candidate.

The foster/ownership equation-changer.

If Baby Blue were our own adopted dog, this story may have turned out differently. We would have seen trainers, doctors, and behaviorists. We would have worked hard with her to earn her trust and help her explore the world in a non-threatening way. We would have to make some serious adjustments to our life, in an attempt to create a safe, stress-free existence for her. And even then, we might have come to the same conclusion that we did as her foster parents.

But as foster parents, our responsibility is not only to help prepare a dog for adoption, but also to help evaluate dogs for their suitability as family pets, so that we are helping to place safe dogs into society.

Given the severity and complexity of Blue’s issues, we did not feel that we could confidently introduce her to potential adopters. We also questioned the effect that another major life change would have on Baby Blue, who clearly was so stressed by novelty that she felt the need to take extreme measures to protect herself, even from the kind, non-threatening people who move slow, speak softly, fed her, and shared her home.

The breed issue.

Through blogging about Baby Blue’s issues, I’ve heard so many stories from others about their experiences owning or fostering fearful, reactive, or aggressive dogs. Those stories have varied as much as the types of dogs they were about. We’ve heard about aggression issues with labs, poodles, bloodhounds, shepherds, boxers, and little fuzzy mixed-breeds. A dog’s likelihood to bite has little to do with its breed type and everything to do with its unique, individual combination of environment, history, genetics, temperament, and management by humans.

Unfortunately for her, Blue drew some short straws in early life.

Compassion holds.

When we first came to this realization about Baby Blue, a close friend sent us a beautiful story from BADRAP about fosters who do compassion holds – take care of a dog temporarily who is either too sick or too troubled to be adopted. Compassion holds allow the dog some solace and peace from the big scary world in the dog’s last days, weeks, or months. People who do compassion holds are angels. I can’t imagine anything more selfless than giving your own heart in this manner. After semi-unexpectedly ending up as Blue’s compassion hold family, I have all the respect in the world for these good people. The full piece is here.

So goodnight, sweet Baby Blue. We wish we could have built you a beautiful world that makes you feel safe and protected. We have comfort in knowing that today you’re running happy and free amongst the stars and constellations.

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94 responses

  1. This is truly heartbreaking. I couldn’t hold back the tears as I was reading it. May Blue rest in peace and find happiness over Rainbow Bridge. :(

  2. Thank you so very much for showing Baby Blue love & compassion. Something that she unfortunately did not get enough of early in her life. I am shedding tears for you, as I read this post. Give Chick a big hug & know that this was out of your control. You did everything you could to help her, but now she has found peace from her fears. I’ll say it again…You are truly an angel for the dogs! RIP Sweet Baby Blue.

  3. My heart breaks! It breaks for Blue and the past that made her this way. It breaks for you and Foster Dad who volunteer to do these truly awesome mitzvahs for these forsaken animals.

  4. This is just heartbreaking. And the third such blog post I have read in as many days…does that mean the problem is growing or that I read blogs written by people who are unusually compassionate and willing to try and help a dog with severe behavior issues. I don’t know, but hopefully if things happen in threes, things will be better all around for a while. I admire you for trying, and for writing so bluntly about your experience. RIP, Blue.

  5. Thank you for giving Blue the love and compassion she deserved and for making such a tough decision. It takes a very special family to give of their hearts so freely, even under such difficult circumstances. Rest peacfully Baby Blue, run free sweet girl.

  6. So heartbreaking. You gave her love when she needed it the most. Your family is truly special and probably gave her the only love she’d ever known. Poor baby girl just had a rough start to life. Bless you.

  7. My deepest sympathy for what you are feeling today. And my deepest thanks for being there even if for a short time for Baby Blue that she might experience the love that she missed out on. I speak from first hand experience on this topic. I fostered a little Pit Girl that after much work, thought and prayer the same decision had to be made. Gracie was with me almost 9 months and I literally thought the decision was going to kill me. So my thoughts are with you guys today. Baby Blue is free now of this place and I know she is happy, healthy and fear free now!

  8. Wow, I’m in shock. Just last Friday your first post about Baby Blue mentioned her as “quiet, housetrained, mellow, and very people-centered.” It’s so hard to believe that now, just one week later, she was put down. My heart hurts for her and her short life.

    • it’s hard. The first day was great, probably because she was in shock from the changes. Then she met Ben and some neighbors, and suddenly we were dealing with a different situation. The weird thing about foster blogging is wanting to present the best side of a dog while remaining honest. I didn’t want to bog our posts down with Blue’s temperament and behavior issues since I hoped we would be able to turn it around…. and then it was too late. Sorry for the sudden sad news :(

      typed telephonically. please excuse tybos.

      • I can relate. It’s always hard to decide what to blog and what not to blog when dealing with foster dogs. No dog is perfect; each has its issues. Like you you said in your reply, it was just so sudden :-(

  9. I’m so sorry to hear this. What a heartbreaking story for Blue and for your family. Thank you for giving her so much love, and for sharing the realities of recovering from such abuse. My heart breaks for you and for Blue.

  10. This made me cry. I so wanted it to work out for Blue – her issues were much like Sadie’s. Of course, as you said, it might be different if she had been your dog instead of your foster dog. I know personally how long that type of rehabilitation can take and we were lucky it was successful, it very well could have ended differently. I know how hard this must be for you but you did a great thing by giving her a chance she would otherwise never have had. This is the hardest, crappiest, most heart-breaking part of rescue but I am so proud of all that you do for all of your fosters, whether it works out or not.

  11. Sobbing, as usual. Eloquent and perfect for a shitty situation. Thank you Alex.

    … and even in this most dificult of situations you are continuing to educate, and allow others along on your journey. Take time for youself today and give yourself credit for nobily seeing Blue off. You are amazing!

  12. So sorry to hear. I hope you find comfort in knowing her last days were filled with love, stability and peace with a great family in a home and not cooped up in a shelter cage with lots of scary noises and unfamiliar people. She’s a peace now. You can’t save every animal, but you did a great honor by allowing Blue into your home and giving her lots of love.

  13. Thinking of you, Aleksandra. You and your hubby are so brave and so strong. Blue was lucky to have you both in her life to help her through the end.

  14. MayzieMom here. Aleksandra, I’m so sorry. My heart is breaking for you and for Blue. I had no idea her issues were that deep-rooted. I’m just so sad for Blue that she didn’t have the start in life that she deserved. A start that would’ve allowed her to live out her days as a beloved member of a family. I honestly can’t imagine how difficult this must’ve been for you but I hope you’ll find comfort knowing that you probably gave Blue the most safe, loved, and treasured days of her too-short life.

    Hugs to you and your hubby. And thank you for everything you do.
    Amber

  15. I’m sitting here crying….I can only imagine how devastated you and your husband are. Poor Baby Blue – she was lucky to have been introduced to someone who would love her and nurture her as much as possible in what turned out to be her last days. I’m glad to know that she was in your arms when she left…now she’s on the other side running free and fast….with only good memories. So sorry Aleksandra!

  16. Alex, you write so poignantly, such a touching experience. My eyes are watering as I comment back. You are so courageous and loving, Blue was most fortunate that her last days were with you.

  17. dear LAAL,
    i found your sweet and cheerful blog some weeks ago and have delighted in reading it. you have a lovely voice that comes through so clearly. i am an avid fan. you have a gift. thank you for sharing it.
    when i read about your blue problems, i knew in my heart of hearts that the outcome would be hard. my dog-reactive pitbull type dog turns 8 this summer. she has lived with me and my partner since she was 10 months old. she was a typical pound puppy: born on the streets, yanked from her dam too early, over-excitable, under-socialized. we thought we knew about dogs but what we knew about dogs was very little indeed. we learned fast though. we learned a lot. we also cried a lot and spent heaps of money on trainers, good and bad, on various collars, prongs, leashes, food, treats, behavioralists, “calming medications,” and bottles of gin (in which to drown our sorrows). i wish i could say that she has never bitten anyone. she did so once (a Level 1 bite with no breaking of skin) and it was All My Fault and i know that with a more experienced owner, it wouldn’t have happened. it was a long time ago and it’s never happened since but i still regret my handling errors on that terrible autumn night six years ago. our dog has improved so much since those early, stressful days. she is a loving, loyal companion with a great sense of humor, an uncanny intelligence (a huge part of her problem, i suspect), and is 98 percent perfectly obedient. we stuck with her because we knew that the *only* alternative for our dog was humane euthanasia.
    you have now earned some serious chops in the rescue world. you have completed your first compassion hold and you went into with your eyes open. don’t stop thinking about the three lives you elevated and the one life you eased to the end. i applaud you both, i look forward to new stories, and i thank you again for your Good Works.
    Oxo in Harlem

  18. So so so sorry to hear about Blue. I can’t even imagine how you must feel. Just heart breaking. Thank you for giving Blue a few days with a loving family just to know what it felt like. Blue’s in a better place now…

  19. A few years ago, my friend was contacted by a no-kill rescue group who wanted her to take on a problem dog. She did, and even after working with this dog for several years, she had to make the decision to euthanize. The vet offered her some comfort by saying that the dog could have had a slow-growing brain tumor which caused the problem behavior. I suppose that’s possible, but it still doesn’t make it any easier.

  20. OMG OMG OMG I am crying hysterically right now. I have a knot in my stomach. I feel as I have gotten to know you so well via this blog and ur experiences you describe in great writing. All of the pics you post of your fosters I save to a folder and have it as my screensaver. And I always have an extra soft spot for grey/blue pitbulls and dear sweet Blue was no exception. What an agonizaing decision you had to make and I truly admire you both for it. I felt so connected to Blue getting to know her this last week and I am deeply saddenned for both ur loss and her unfair hand she was dealt for life. I will be thinking of her fondly today as I live vicariously thru u, I dream of being a foster nearly daily but my current housing situation, its not an option. But with your inspiration it is something I will make happen soon hopefully. Good nite dear sweet Blue. May you run in the grass-fresh fields of heaven. ♥

  21. I sit here, sad for the one that we lost, but so proud of you. It takes a strong person to be involved in rescue, and stronger still to be someone who makes the hard choices that sometimes come. It is never easy to let go of any dog…and it is evident in your post this was not something you took lightly.

    It is important for people to remember the “honeymoon period” that we see with fosters…they are never truly themselves until they settle, which is why we sometimes need foster homes to properly evaluate the ones who are so in their shell at the shelter. Thank you, as hard as it was in the end, for being that home for Blue.

    You will never forget Blue, and the final days she spent with you took her from just another statistic who wasn’t given a chance, to a dog who knew love.

    Mourn, regroup, and take the memory of Blue back into the fight for the breed we love. Let her memory power the fight to save more of her kind.

    XO

  22. I am so sorry to hear about Blue but after reading your post the other day about her behavior I did sense it coming. My hubby and I had a boxer with the same issues and we spent thousands of dollars, many hours and shed many tears trying to help her. We did the best we could but just couldn’t save her so I completely understand the heartache you feel. My eyes are welling with tears for both of you and for Blue. I have been following your blog since Gonzo Bunny Ears (who, if we lived in your area, we would have tried to adopt…..love at first site of those gorgeous ears!). The two of you should be very proud of the work you do to help save these wonderful animals and all the love that you give to those who might not ever know it if it weren’t for you. Lots of love to you both and, of course, to Chick!!!

  23. You gave it your best effort, and we all have learned that no matter how hard we try, we can’t fix every dog. It’s better to let Blue be in peace than in constant worriment. She now knows peace and will see you again over the rainbow bridge!! She knows you did the best you could. :)
    Take care.

  24. So very sorry to hear this. I have a fearful rescue dog of my own, but her fear response manifests itself at the opposite end of the spectrum, as extreme submission, cowering, trembling, and hiding, so the process is quite different. I can only imagine how heartbroken you must be. Thank you for your continued good work and for saving these beautiful dogs and giving them some peace and love in life. Best wishes to you and your family.

  25. We are so saddened to hear this, but I really appreciate how honestly and forthright this was all presented. Usually this is the side of dog-rescue that nobody wants to talk about and is hidden, but I think it is so important for people to know. And we all know it wasn’t from lack of trying. I can tell Blue knew how well-loved she was.

  26. First I want to say what a well written, composed, compastionate, and well thought out post this was. I can only imagine what you all are feeling, but don’t for a second blame yourselves for the decision you had to make. I know you all thought long and hard about this. The more I read about the work you do, the more I want to commend you for the level headed-ness you are adding to the foster dog world. So many people think that we can fix dogs simply by loving them, and it’s not usually the case. I have little else to say as you have already said most all of my points concerning this tuff decision.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to you all
    Anna
    http://www.akginspiration.com

  27. I’m so sorry to hear about this. I know the two of you would have done anything you could to help Blue overcome her fears, but sometimes it’s just not possible. If she was living in such a constant state of heightened anxiety and fear, she wasn’t a happy girl, and you did the only humane thing you could. There’s no quality of life for her when she is so scared. I’m sure this wasn’t a decision that you reached easily, but I’m sure it was the right one no matter how difficult.

    You did an amazing thing by giving her a chance and bringing her into your home. Without that her last days would not have been as wonderful as they were. She was able to feel loved even if only for a short time because of your work. RIP Sweet Blue.

  28. I am so sorry. There are no words, really, to fully encompass anyone’s feelings after making such a heartbreaking decision. Even when you know it is the right thing to do, the only thing to do, it doesn’t make the action or experience any easier.

    I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to write this all down. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with Blue. I have no doubt that her last days were some of the best of her life.

  29. What a well-put goodbye; my heart goes out to you both. This week I’m experiencing the same situation, but one step removed. I applaud your efforts to give Blue an opportunity to experience life as it should have been-even if it was for a short time. She was able to sleep on a couch, enjoy a gentle pat and a kiss, eat a burger, and that is no small thing for a dog like Blue. I’m sure that if my Skye had spent another 6 months or a year living her prior life, her story would be identical to Blue. So thank you and thank you again for being the best part of Blue’s life.

    http://parkerskye.blogspot.com/

  30. Oh, I am so, so sorry. You write beautifully about Blue’s struggles, and yours. It’s heartbreaking to realize that you can’t work miracles to save every dog. You did an amazing, brave thing for her. Thank you for filling her last days with love. Goodbye, dear Blue.

  31. It takes a lot of courage to admit some things just can’t be fixed. I’m sorry you had to go through this, and I hope, after a “recovery stage,” you’ll go on to more successful fosters. Imagine had your foster career started this way– it may have made you more reluctant to continue. But with three successful adoptions under your belt, you know that this isn’t the only outcome possible.

  32. So sorry to hear about your sad news, but grateful and appreciate that you gave Baby Blue the love and attention that she deserved. Thank you for all that you do.

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  34. (((Hugs))) to you guys. This post made me cry. So sad for everyone hoping she could be helped, but so happy for her now. You guys are awesome!

  35. Fostering is never a guarantee for a happy ending. It is only an opportunity for hope. Hope is what you provided. You gave her a chance to see that hope existed. She may not have been able to overcome her beginnings, but she saw Hope. She’ll be around whispering sweet nothings in the ears of future fosters, comforting them in their moments of stress. Forwarding Hope. Because Hope is a flame that burns brightly forever when people care.

  36. Ola, I am very sorry for your loss. LIke many other posters my stomach is in knots and my eyes are filled with tears for you, Ben and Blue. I am so proud and awestruck by your loving heart and how you give so much to these amazing animals. Jamie

  37. Aleksandra- I am so so sorry to hear about sweet Blue. I can completely relate and know how hard and devestating it is to be in a situation where you feel so helpless. I want to commend you for being so in tune with the needs of Blue and the reality of her being unadoptable. I am sure you guys made her last weeks as bright and happy as possible and she was able to spend her last days being loved and doted on. Again I am so so sorry, you guys will be in my thoughts.

  38. You were probably one the the few humans who made Baby Blue feel loved. There are some hearts that can’t be broken, some pain that can’t be healed. Blue is free now, running at the Bridge, remembering you, and waiting for you, where he will meet you as the sweet soul he was born to be and got beaten out of him by the evil in this world.

  39. Your actions and thoughtfulness inspire me to strive to be better person. Thank you for everything you do for the dogs who come into your world, but also thank you for being strong enough to tell the hard story as well as the happy endings. My thoughts are with you and Ben.

  40. Like everyone else, I am so sorry that Blue’s story had to end this way. Thank you for trying. Being involved in rescue is definitely an emotional roller coaster. My no-kill shelter has to occasionally make these decisions for dogs that have been returned to us, had unknown issues prior to coming to us, or have suffered from kennel stress. It’s never easy, but in the end, I always take solace in that we tried everything we possibly could.

    I also am truly humbled by the awesome responses to this post. I expected to see verbal attacks and blaming. The words spoken here make me so proud to be part of the rescue community (especially the bully loving one).

    • We too feel so honored and blessed to be part of such an amazing community. I had braced myself for much more doubt and questioning, which would not even have been unreasonable, given the seeming suddenness of what happened with Baby Blue. Our hearts and minds were spinning in a conflicted whirlwind all week, and we are still playing catch-up. I wish we had been able to bring everyone along on the journey in a more play-by-play manner, but it was too hard to wrap our minds around, and we just couldn’t make it happen.

      Thanks to all for your love and support.

  41. I have been trying to think all day what to say. There is nothing I can say to comfort you and your amazing husband, who I feel we have become close to because of your blog. We just want to thank you for all you do and being so frank with your readers during a difficult time. RIP Blue.

  42. Ditto what everyone else has said. I hope this is the only time you have to make this decision. You made Blue’s last days as happy as possible and her leaving as peaceful and loving as possible. I applaud you for what you do with fostering and for what you did and tried to do for Blue. She will be at peace now for possibly the first time in her life, and smiling ALL the time.

  43. Foster momma and dad, you guys are really angels. Thank you so much for all that you do.

    Of course I’m a blubbering mess right now. This cannot be easy for you, and I’m sorry for this loss. As I first told you when you showed us Blue, he looks just like my kitty from my childhood. Now he’ll get to meet him (maybe he already did?), and that is a happy, happy thought!

  44. I do NOT cry easily but this post had me sobbing. We’ll never know what happened to poor Blue in her previous life to cause her to be so unpredictable and I only wish every pet received the kind of love that all of us heap upon ours. You made a very wise and brave decision that unfortunately obviously needed to be made. At least her last days were comfortable and as fear free as they could be for her and she was held in loving arms as she departed this world. Too many dogs out there will never have even that.

  45. Oh Aleksandra, I am so very sorry for you, your husband, and sweet Blue. This breaks my heart. I cannot express enough how much I admire your dedication and compassion for your fosters, especially Blue. What a lucky girl she was to have had you two in her life.

  46. To a most wonderful foster family – You were Blue’s angels and thank you for that.
    I can’t begin to imagine your heartbreak.

  47. I don’t know if you were Blue’s angels or the ones to escort her to the angels – either way, you were chosen for one of life’s most important jobs. And one of the hardest. All my love to your family.

  48. I read this yesterday and cried my eyes out for Blue and I thought all night about what I wanted to say. And then I re-read your post and have been sitting here crying again. I’m sure everyone has strong opinions about this, but beyond my heart breaking for this poor girl, I am also imagining what you and your husband must have gone through. I hope this only helps to make you even more amazing foster parents so that you can help more pups like Blue or Gonzo or our favorite Wonder Dog. I hope you guys are hanging in and that this doesn’t derail your efforts to help other pups find their loving homes. Just remember that you are making a difference and inspiring your readers to make an impact too.

  49. As always, your pics tell the entire story. So sorry this is how Blue’s story ended and I’m sure you’re hurting. I’m hurting and I wasn’t even involved! Hope you know that you made a BIG difference by loving him to the end. Bless you for what you do. Keep us the incredible lovely work that you do!

  50. I am so very sorry to hear about Blue’s fate. However, I am also very empathetic to your decision. Of the 9 foster dogs we have had, one ended up being unadoptable. He was an extremely adorable 5 yr. old boxer, and he adored me as well as most people most of the time. However, like you described, he would often snap on people with no warning at all. Because his reactions came without any warning, he was deemed unadoptable. It was so hard to see him go, and after a few more foster attempts (one with a certified trainer), the decision was made to let him go. We fostered him for one week, and I absolutely adored him. However, sometimes it’s too late…which is so heartbreaking to come to terms with. I wish you strength and peace in the decision, and know that you did all that you could for this poor sweet dog.

  51. I’m so, so sorry and sad to hear about the end to Blue’s story. Not so much about her last week and day, at least she had got to experience what life can (and should) be like and she’s at rest now, but about the two years leading up to this point.
    Thanks for being so open and honest. I always enjoy the successful adoption stories but it is easy to forget or push to the back of your mind that there are tens of thousands of dogs who are not that lucky. As always, putting a face to a story really drives home the point and makes me and hopefully lots of other people more determined to do something about it – even if it’s just speaking up when people you know are being incredibly stupid and thoughtless when obtaining, raising or just living with their dogs.

  52. i’m so so sorry. poor blue. but also, lucky blue for having the time at your house that she did, trying to be a normal dog. hope you guys are doing ok.

  53. Oh Baby Blue. We’re so sorry to read of this.
    What a hard decision this had to have been to make. I can’t even imagine the torn emotions you (and your husband) must have gone through.

  54. Tears are running down my face. I had to do the same to my Darcy man, my little boy, my beauty and it hurts so much.

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  56. I am so very sorry for your painful loss. You have our complete support and empathy. Oh honey. How tough that must have been. How brave of you to do the right thing by Blue.

  57. My heart breaks for you. Sadly, there are tough choices to be made in situations like this and you’re brave to have tried with her. Thank you for showing her love and care. Hugs to you.

  58. I am so very sorry that you all had this experience, but also so thankful there are amazing people like you who give these dogs a chance. Thank you.

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  63. i have a friend who recently had a very emaciated and abused pit bull pulled from a local shelter in north carolina for fostering. she fostered him for about two months and he just couldn’t overcome his tormented past. she said good-bye to him yesterday and he went peacefully to sleep knowing he was loved by her.

    about a week ago, she admitted this was the course she may have to take with him and i sent her your blog series on your experience with blue, just so she wouldn’t have to feel like she was alone.

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  65. Someone just sent me the link to this, and I am so glad they did – though I wish I had found it earlier. Right around the time you had Blue, we had an 8 week old puppy with either behavior issues (fixable! He was only a pup.) or medical issues (not so fixable – if it was medical, it was brain damage). We took him in to evaluate him in a home setting – what sounds like the compassion fostering you mentioned. After 2 weeks, we realized that it was a non-fixable issue, and we had to say goodbye to him. It was really the only option – but that didn’t make it less heartbreaking. What did help was knowing that we gave him the most love he could have had in his whole life; his last two weeks were really as wonderful as they could have been. Thanks for writing and sharing this story – I’m glad to know we are not the only ones who have gone through this.

    • Hi there- thanks for this note. It was a tough time. I’m sorry you had a similar experience. It’s even worse with puppies, I think, because we are programmed to think they are so innocent and friendly. From what I’ve heard from dog trainer friends, if a puppy is showing aggression at 8 weeks, it is likely a very serious neuro issue and probably not treatable. It sounds like you came to this conclusion too, but I just wanted to offer another vote in your corner. Let’s hope neither of us has to go through this again — it’s harrowing.

  66. i’m just reading this courtesy of Kristine at RI. everything about it breaks my heart. the pictures are a powerful story on their own. i take my hat off to you for being a foster to dogs that eventually do find a home, and even more, to dogs that don’t have a chance.

  67. I found your blog on facebook through Love A Bull and have been sitting here at my reading it for about 2 hours. I have enjoyed your joys and celebrations and then I got to Blues story. I am a total mess right now and just cant get a grip. But I am SOOOO thankful to you and your husband for all that you do to devote your lives to giving the innocent dogs a chance that in most cases they probably NEVER had their entire life. While you get to relish in probably the most purest joy of seeing your foster baby make it to the forever home its cases like Blue that remind us that the problem still exists and most likely always will. I personally have committed to doing what I can along with many others. Together we will NEVER give up on this breed!

    God bless you and your husband (and Chick) for devoting your heart to dogs like Blue! I feel certain that God has a special place in heaven for him!

  68. Pingback: The Dog That Started It All (or The Hardest Part of Love) « That Touch of Pit…

  69. Pingback: Dear Doodlebug: napping with headrests, hunting for Atlantis, and how to become a Celebridog « Love and a Six-Foot Leash

  70. I read this blog post today after reading Doodlebug’s current post. I cannot even begin to tell you of the respect and admiration I have for you. It takes very special people to be able to take in foster dogs, let alone handle a special situation like this. I’m so glad you were able to make Baby Blue feel so much love and comfort.

  71. Pingback: Fawn neutered Dobie needs help - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums

  72. I just want to Thank you so much for this article. It brings a little peace to my mind and heart knowing that there are other people out there making the same decisions we do everyday. I run a small rescue that takes in “wards of the town” (mostly unwanted pits of course) and with that have acquired the daunting task of deciding who is or is not adoptable. I absolutely feel your pain and couldn’t agree with your decision more. We have held and loved and bought many McDonalds cheeseburgers for countless dogs prior to their last moments and cursed the people who have put them in this situation. I thank you for being strong enough to make this decision for Blue instead of allowing her to be passed from one rescue to the next. Again thank you.

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