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A big, sad and painful decision I must make

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by JayAmel, Nov 29, 2003.

  1. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France

    I'm just coming back from the hospital, where my daughter (12 years old) has suffered a small surgical operation. She was playing with our dog, Perceval (5 years old), when, suddenly, he bit her hard on the nose.

    In the past, he had already had a few aggressive behaviours, bur they were never as serious as this one. To prevent this aggressiveness, we had hired a famous vet, specialised in animals' behaviours, and she came and see Perceval every 3 months. After 1 year and half with this vet's visits, Perceval was much cooler and showed no aggressiveness at all. And suddenly, this evening, he committed the most serious act he ever did.

    My wife and I, despite of the endless love we feel for him, have decided we cannot keep Perceval any more. We don't want to take the risk that he does this again, or even worse, who knows ? And unfortunately, nobody we know can take him (it's a Pyrenean dog, he weighs 120 lbs).

    We now have only two solutions :

    - The first one is to abandon him to a public refuge for animals, where the specialists will have to find him new "adoptive parents".

    - The second one is to take him to the vet for euthanasia.

    We would prefer the first solution, but we don't want to take the risk that Perceval bites (or even kills) a child later. There are no accurate controls on these refuges, and it is possible that the refuge, if they want to get rid of the dog, "forget" to say he can be dangerous.

    I'm afraid the only solution is the second one. I'd like to get your opinions. Many thanks.

    Here's a pic of Perceval.


  2. Put him to sleep as hard as it may be. I'd rather have a clean mind and be sad for a while rather then worrying "what if ? ".

    BTW : Totally IMO and sorry about your daughter. Good luck.
  3. Have you looked into rescue homes? I'd imagine that there are many Great Pyrenees-only rescue shelters within a fairly short drive of Narbonne (being that you're practically in the Pyrenees as it is). Most accounts I've heard say that breed-specific rescue homes are also a lot more reliable/ethical than general-purpose shelters/refuges.

    There are plenty of people who don't have children who would love to have a big dog like Perceval; the childless couple who lives next door to us has a Pyrenees who seems reasonably happy, although he doesn't get to run around nearly as much as a dog his size ought to.

    Don't put him to sleep if it isn't absolutely necessary. Since he's only 5, I don't think it is quite yet.
  4. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Agreed with Quak. Also, if the refuge functions as you suspect, anything else would be irresponsible.

    It's a sorry situation, and everybody loses, no matter what you do.
  5. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Dude, I know he's your pet and you love him. But he bit your child!!! Do you want it to happen again? Or to someone else's?
  6. Erlendur Már

    Erlendur Már

    May 24, 2000
    I'm sorry to hear about your daughter.. But I think you should put him to sleep.
  7. yoshi


    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    The dogs probably just pi$$ed off because you named him percival. (I jest, sorry).

    I aggree with those who suggest to give it to a rescue home.

    I strongly disaggree with the 'second option' but I won't go into that due to the nature of the post.

    Edit: implemnation of a set of [b)[/b) tags.
  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Option 1. Just get him out of the house, mo-skosh, riki-tik.
  9. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    First off, let me sign the desclaimer and say that I'm an animal lover.

    Unfortunately Options 1 and 2 aren't that different. Most pet shelters have a time limit. If they can't find adoptive parents withing that time frame, the animal is put down anyway.

    Option 3:- Put an advertisement in the newspaper.
    "Free to good home, preferably with no children".

    Option 4:- Re-design your house so the dog does not have free access to all areas. Make it so he can't get to your daughter. Train your child that she isn't allowed to play with the dog unless an adult is present.

    Remember that dogs were originally pack animals and traces of that instinct will always hang around. Option 4 effectively makes YOU the leader of the pack. Percival probably thinks he's the leader right now, so he won't like the restrictions at first, but he'll come to accept his new situation over time.
  10. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    Before what happened this evening, and except the _very_ minor and _very_ few incidents that had happened before, you can't imagine how kind and calm Perceval is. You also can't imagine the hundreds hours I spent playing with him. Whatever decision I make, it will be tough as hell. If I can avoid him euthanasia, I will make a 1,000 miles drive if necessary.

    I checked for Pyrenean-only refuges, but unfortunately I found none on the web. I'll have to check another way. But I can't wait for days and days, since I want to take no more risk for my family, and more especially for my daughter. And for no other child, either.

    Thanks to all, I'll keep updated.

  11. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    There are interesting points here.

    First, the SPA (in French, means "Animals Protection Society") refuge close to my home NEVER puts animals down, even if they've been there for a long time.

    Secondly, we supplied Perceval with a long-time education (the way you described it), to put him at the lowest level of the family hierarchy. He does NOT think he's the leader of the pack ; he knows he is not. But I believe you're right about hierarchy, though. I think he's in competition against my daughter, and I believe that's why the accident happened.

    But I wish to say that, despite of the huge love I have for this dog, I shall not keep him. Because I have no way to split him totally from my daughter. And because even if I could, there's still a risk. Half a second of carelessness, and you don't know what may happen.

    About the newspaper advertisement, if I write "preferably with no children", people will understand he may be dangerous. And anyway, the deadline for the advertisement will be at least 5 or 6 days, and I won't wait that long.

    Thanks again,

  12. Well I'm not a big fan of dogs, but I still feel bad for you.

    But this is why I like cats better. If they bite you are do anything bad, you can boot em good. But to be more direct they are usually less irratic and more mellow.

    But still, hope your family does better.
  13. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    Thanks, but that's very far.
  14. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    The smug one beat me to it - Google is great.

    Jean, why don't you contact them anyway to see if they know of any local groups? Also, I see there is a French group "RACP": http://www.chiens-des-pyrenees.com/

    I bet if you contact a local breeder, you can find a good home if the rescue groups don't work out.
  15. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    This has been said.
    I would look for a club or group that would take him in. If that isnt an option, which there is good chance of no clubs being around. I would put him down(euthanasia). The dog may bite or attack someone again.

    I dont think taking him to a shelter is a good option.

    Sorry for this tough decision. I have had to make a similiar choice once and it is hard.
  16. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    But he evidently thinks he should be.
  17. miccheck1516

    miccheck1516 Guest

    Feb 15, 2003
    as much as you may love the dog, you love your daughter more, put the mutt to sleep.
  18. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    When you decide to buy a pet, be it a dog or cat of goldfish, you take on a responsibility to look after it. You don't shoot your kids when the going gets tough. I'd like to think that that adoption route was at least attempted and euthanasia be used as a last resort only.

    My ex girlfriend's next door neighbour takes in troubled dogs until he can find them a new home. The new owners are made aware of any behavioural or health problems the dog may have and he ALWAYS finds someone who will love the dog warts and all. In your case Jean, he would make it clear that the dog can be competative with children and would not even consider giving the dog to a family with kids. Call it a reference check, but he does a bit of homework before handing the dogs over. He does this purely out of the goodness of his heart. Maybe there is someone like that in France. The hard part is finding them. I'd be calling breeders, dog clubs etc.
  19. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    Pete I see were you are coming from. But this dog has shown a fairly aggressive nature. His owners have tried to fix this problem. It didnt work.

    If it was a human it would be put to sleep. jail, death penalty, fined etc. So that arguement aboout humans doesnt count. If a child would attack someone there would be a punishment. But you cant punish a dog when trying to sway aggression.

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