so. asher bit me on friday morning. it was mostly my fault. he has been snapping at nee nee for the past three or four months and actually did bite her on the nose i think at least twice. both times were without warning and for no other reason than he was sleeping on the couch. the same thing happened to me. tho i never ever thought twice about approaching him when hes sleeping his entire life. i mean, because of the way he is, when he was little i made sure to bug him when he was sleeping and eating so he wouldnt bite. anyway, every morning after work if he's still sleeping in mom's room, i go in, wake him up and he comes in with me and sleeps. only this time he bit me. there was no snarl, no growl, just straight bite. i didnt have time to react at all. it was the strangest experience. painful. everything went black and although the bite itself lasted maybe about five or ten seconds, time froze for an instant where i could actually hear the skin tear. such a sick noise. probably the equivalent of scratching your fingernail over a canvas bag. and then the blood came. i covered my nose with my hand, still holding onto the copy of the watchmen i just bought along with my cell phone. im not sure how i kept hold of them, and even more amazed i didnt spray blood on either item. mom was in the bathroom getting ready for work when i said something along the lines of, 'the dog bit me. theres blood everywhere.' i dont even remember if there was panic in my voice at all. the pain showed up five min late to the party. asher, for his part, had no clue what he had done. he didnt chase me, he didnt try to bite again, he didnt growl or snarl. nothing. fortunately because of his expert aim, ash bit me high enough on my nose that he didnt take out an entire chunk. its still intact. no offense to the sphinx in egypt or anything but i really didnt want to sport that particular style in my proboscis.
ive had this dog for 12 years. raised him from a puppy, taught him everything he knos. i am the last person on this entire earth that he would ever bite. and yet here we are. thats whats so scary about the whole situation. its no secret hes led a challenged life. im fairly certain he dropped out of the womb preconditioned to be emo. ultra emo. probable inbreeding and premature separation from his littermates only compounded the situation. add to that abuse from small children (scared to death via bats on a fence, possible hair pulling, smacking, and whatever else went on when we werent home) and beastly laughter from their obese grandmother (and lord knos any abuse SHE ever inflicted on him) all made my dog a paranoid and fearful dog. consequently making him aggressive as well. however, he really only had problems with children..never needing to be provoked into biting them, as well as anyone that resembled the old lady's body type. anyone who knew him before those attacks were safe though. he remembered everyone, even people he met only once, like jaime's college roommate, chrissy. and tutu. he's never snapped at me tho. or growled or anything. i could do anything to this dog and he would sit there and take it. aside from cutting his nails. thats probably the only thing his fear wouldnt allow me to do. sigh.
but now this situation presents a difficult decision for dad and me to make. he's old. 12. but not only is he technically old in numbers but he ACTS old. he can barely get up some mornings because of the arthritis in his knees and hips, which has been affecting him for over a year now. climbing up the steps takes a millennium and he only lasts about a block before he starts limping on walks or falling over. and forget it on the ice. it was like a slip 'n slide except after he was done sliding, he didn't want to get back on. he takes medicine for it but it only helps so much. he still falls over spontaneously like hes being tripped by a mischievous leprechaun or something. his eyes have been growing more and more cloudy in the past six or so months as well. im not sure exactly how much he can see anymore. but he also sleeps more and is harder to wake up. we think he isnt that cognizant when he wakes up. maybe his eyesight is cloudy, or maybe he has trouble distinguishing reality from dreams as hes being woken up. in any case, hes no longer safe when hes sleeping. especially in the mornings or if hes been asleep for the better part of the day.
so what do we do? hes becoming more and more dangerous, only this time theres no warning when he'll bite. and theres no telling how bad the next bite will be and who it is that he'll bite. the last thing i would ever want to do is put him down. but what real choice do i have? dimentia in dogs is slightly treatable, i did a search and theres a drug that will ease symptoms tho none of the symptoms i read included biting as one of them, and didnt say whether or not it prevented biting. thats a problem. hes old enough as it is and for the amount of regular pain he must be in from his legs alone, i have a problem giving him medicine that im unsure of what it will do to him. and even if it DOES lessen the symptoms, what exactly are we keeping him alive for? to live in pain and anxiety for another year or two? i dont mean that to sound insensitive, but it seems like that solution would really only make me feel better and ease the situation for me, and not him. i want to be a good mom and do whats best for asher, not what makes me sleep better at night. i dont want to cheat him out of life, but i mean, this dog has tried his entire life to be a good boy. hes so sick with loyalty and love for dad and me that he sits around and mopes when we're not around. literally. hes done that his entire life. every day hes dealt with anxiety, aggression, and fear. and we've done everything we possibly could to make him feel better and fix the broken pieces of his psyche. but like mom said earlier, i dont think anyone could have fixed him fully. isnt it time for him to finally be at peace? and at least it would be our decision and not some awful situation. like i said, we've prevented him biting anyone his entire life. ok well not EVERYONE, but to be fair, those he bit were warned not to go near him or put their face in his or bend over or come in the yard uninvited etc. so those bites werent entirely his fault and none of them were nearly as bad as how hard he bit me. none of them. and i think the number of people he bit was actually between 5 and 10. and hes never bitten another dog aside from neen recently. so in that department, i think we won.
i absolutely do not want to say goodbye, i dont. even as im typing this, my eyes wont stop leaking. im surprised i can actually see the screen. the very thought of seeing him lying on the table like tori was makes me want to throw up, but i dont want to put him through more agony. i dont want to look back on this six months from now and think, i should have let him go when he was fully aware of who he was..when he could go without pain. its just really awful because his good days are great. hes the same. but his bad days are so unpredictable, who knos if hes going to start biting legs or the next time he bites neen, its in a worse place or its when no one else is home. the other thing is that all of this has been coming on relatively fast. so i dont even kno how much time he realistically has left. i dont want tow wait until hes on his last straw and everyone who comes over has to tiptoe around him. we've sacrificed so much for him. well, that i could care less about but mom...shes sacrificed so much to keep him. and i kno most people would have given him to the spca or worse yet, destroyed him. that was never an option for her. and im extremely grateful for that. in reality, hes probably very lucky hes lived this long. i just dont kno what im going to do without him. for the longest time hes been the one constant in my life. whenever anything was wrong i could just go hug him. he was there through the worst time of my life, arguably. middle school, when you want to shoot yourself every day. during pop pop's death, when i didnt want to talk to anyone about it...through all the ended friendships, and all the stupid boys that didnt like me. through dan and the daily mindfucks he put me through for most of the nine months we dated. when jess left and i couldnt go home for two weeks and every single night i was home, he stayed downstairs til i fell asleep and he made sure i was ok. no matter who came in and out of my life, he was the one thing i was always sure about. it didnt matter who i had in my life because i had him and he was never going to go away. maybe thats why i was never afraid to be alone.
i remember when i went to college and was depressed for more than a month because i left him. i cried to him for an hour while i was packing up the car. and dont even mention when i moved to main street. i thought that was the last time id ever live at home again, so one night i completely freaked out on jesse, and made him drive me home to see ash and i just sat there at the top of the stairs where he was sleeping and hugged him, rocking him. i read him bedtimes stories as a puppy for gods sake. i kno that ill never be able to replace any of the dogs i have in my lifetime but theres something special about your first dog, and the connection we had and he'll probably always be my favorite. i pointed him out when he was just ten days old. there are just something things you know instinctively, and that was one of them.
he gave me so much. this is probably the hardest thing ive ever had to do. im going to miss him more than most people could ever possibly kno.