Bernie and Sean

I have had a few dogs in my life. I have had to put 2 of them to sleep and to this day I still feel the emotions when I think about it.

But the story I want to talk about now is not resolved one way or another.

Bernie is a Terrior/Lab mix we got for my son 6 years ago when he was 17. My son, Sean, was troubled at the time and wanted a dog. So he chose a rescue dog from the shelter.

Bernie and Sean were inseperable for many years. My son’s problems became worse and eventually he moved out.

Suddenly, Bernie was left like the little toy soldier on the shelf. We thought he would just adapt to being part of the family even if Sean left—but no dice.

Ove the past couple years the dog has chewed through fences, through metal, spqeezed through iron fences—found all manner of escape from the yard and broke out of his indoor kennel. (we can no longer afford the luxury of giving him his chair that he occupied every night).

Fore the problem is not that Bernie escapes, it is that he now attacks and bites without warning or provocation, He has caused stitches and scars–bad ones on several people. We can’t trust him around anyone,

The vet says we should Euthanize him because he is really miserable. some trainers say he can be rehabilitated if the whole family, alongside me, will help.

But, no dice. My husband still is terrified after being attacked twice and my mother is too old. And not one else is interested except my son –but that will not help if he doesn’t live her because his abandonment was the problem. I have been attacked but missed blood by a hair.

This is not always the story. Sometimes I can lay down by Bernie and rub his tummy and make him give me a kiss. 5 minutes later, he may be lunging at me growling and try to take a piece of me.

So, my dilemna is whether to force the issue and try to rehabilitate him because no one will take him and the shelter is not an option because they will euthanize him anyway.

And in the back of my mind I realize that a lot is at stake. On one hand, I cry over the thought of putting Bernie down because his anxiety was caused by us. The other haunting thought is that some day, somewhere, there is a chance that some poor child or adult may become disfigured by one of Bernies vicious bites.
Because how do we really know if he is rehabilitated even if we put in all the money and time.

Could he later revert and change the course of a human life forever.

I have seen a child who was mauled by a large dog. The scar runs from the top of his head to his neck.

So, I don’t know what my decision will be–but I wanted to share my dilemna with a fellow dog lover.

I know that I will cry for a long time, just as a cry for my Natasia who had cancer.

Thanks for listening

Pan from CA