Goodbye Jasper

A few months ago we got the urge for a puppy, to keep Pete company – give him a companion.

I searched the online resources and found this:

I said, “Paul, that’s our puppy!”

A few days later we met him, took him home and loved him.

Now, neither of us have  ever had a puppy.

It’s not easy.

Especially when your puppy:

-chews on everything

-digs out of the fence every chance he gets

-barks and barks and still tries to dig out when he is on a chain

-pees and poops in the house

-eats all the food off of Parker’s tray

-barks and makes biting snaps at you when you tell them to go to their cage or go potty

-attacks your mom’s dog

-knocks the baby over and acts as if she doesn’t exist

-the list goes on

We were in over our head, then we found out that number three  baby was on the way.

Honestly we contemplated sending both dogs to better homes.

I even contacted a girl friend who helps place dogs.

BUT I didn’t have the guts to do it.

I mean, they are hard, but a puppy will grow up.

He will learn, obey and grow out of these BAD habits.

I also had noticed some aggression in him, but I didn’t know if it was just rebellion or what?

I wasn’t completely sure that he wouldn’t nip my children.

So I put off finding homes for them and lived with our dogs.

I definitely felt like they could have better homes – more attention – more love.

I mean taking them for a walk is impossible.

Between the stroller, keeping an eye on Pierson, and two dogs – it just doesn’t work.

Well, I felt like the horrible mother – that has a choice – the one who wants to drop her baby off at the firehouse.

I felt irresponsible, and it had been bothering me for a long time, but I loved our dogs – even though they were not easy.

I mean taking care of any living being isn’t easy, it’s work and dedication, but  I am not a quitter, ever.

Sunday rolled around and Pete was outside barking like crazy.  Paul went out there to scold him.

He ran in, ‘Japer’s out!!!’  Which wasn’t a surprise because he ALWAYS digs new holes or pushes out fence posts.

… but something didn’t seem right, Paul ran through the house out the front door.

I went out there.  He had gone in the back and was dragging Jasper by the neck.

I said, ‘Just let him go, he’ll come.’

“NO!”  Paul said.

Next thing I knew my sweet neighbor, several years younger than me, came out of her front door.

Disheveled, scared, breathing heavy, she was not okay.

I was clueless.

Well, Paul ran through the house because her heard her screaming on the other side of the fence.

You see, Jasper had gotten out – specifically to attack her dog.

A little Schnauzer.

Well, when she picked him up to protect him Jasper didn’t stop attacking.  He wanted that dog.

He jumped up on her, ripped her shirt, wounded her arm and kept biting the dog, kept attacking.

Keep in mind Jasper is ONLY 6 months old and not THAT big.  I have never been aware of such aggression in puppies.

I was scared.  I felt AWFUL.  I mean – seriously our dog attacked another dog and a human!

What if it was a child?  Someone we didn’t know?  Someone who didn’t understand?

She was kind, understanding, she took her dog to the vet – and went to the doctor to get cleaned up and a shot.

We paid – obviously – for those visits.

This was it.  This was the moment I made my decision.

He has to go.  We cannot have two small children and Pierson – fall victim to a violent dog outburst.

It takes one time – one time for something horrible and irreversible to happen.

Nor could we have it happen to neighbors again.

Jasper is going to get BIG.  Big enough to take Paul down if he wanted to.

I have always loved Pitts, beautiful Pitts, he is half Pitt and half Weimeroner – so we believe.

So his background may not be good – may be inbred – may have been abused, he was rescued from the shelter and we got him from the rescue at 3 months old.

I contacted the rescue people and asked them for help.

Through correspondence we figured out the best thing was for her to take him back.

It was best for all.

She got him on Tuesday.  It was sad.  The day leading up to it – I felt awful, guilty, like a bad ‘Mom.’

Then she came to get him and Pierson started crying.  He cried out, “I don’t want Jasper to leave.”

Oh my, I started crying – telling him, “I know, but you guys need to be safe – it is about the safety of our family.’

There were no moments of, “thank goodness he is leaving, finally, amen.”

It was only, “goodbye, sweet boy. Couldn’t it be another way?”

Parker loves him, calls all dogs and many animals, “Jasper.”

Pete loves his BEST buddy.

Yes he was hard, but he was OUR FAMILY.

Wednesday rolls around and I get a knock on the door.  It’s animal control.

I explained how he was back with the rescue.  Well, that doesn’t cut it with them… there are rules, documents, procedures.

If a dog attacks they must be quarantined for 10 days – in the city shelter or at a vet; a vet you pay for the daily care.

Basically what I had to do – was meet up with the Rescue and Jasper – at the Animal Control Shelter.

I had to take him in and surrender him to the city.

It’s the only way the rescue would ‘rescue’ him again.

So yesterday – we went – we met with the Rescue and Jasper.

I signed the paperwork.  We loved on him a lot.  He sat between my legs while Parx pet him and Pierson hugged him.

This was it.  This was the final moment.  We were saying goodbye in a cold and scary environment.

And feeling more guilt – he was in a city shelter.

When the shelter worker said, ‘Okay that’s it, y’all can go.’  We began to walk out.

I heard the guys saying, ‘C’mon, c’mon Jasper.’ and I turned around to look.

He was taking Jasper, on leash, back to the room – probably filled with cages.

I saw Jasper, terrified, pushing his feet into the ground.

Fighting, not wanting to go back there, pulling back.

I just started crying.  I felt awful.  Again.  But REALLY awful.

He was scared, he was alone, he was sad, and he was ‘surrendered’ to the city – by me.

Last night Pierson and I were lying in bed and we said a prayer for him.

Praying for comfort, safety, for him to not be in fear, and for all of this to work out in Jasper’s favor.

We prayed for Pete and for all of our hearts to be healed.

I hate that the last time we saw him, he was full of fear, full of sadness, with no one familiar.

However, I know this had to happen.  He will be better off, we will be better off.

God will provide for him.  I pray for his healing – for his anger to subside – for his attacks to diminish.

I pray that he will live in a home – where he is happier than ever – and loved beyond words.

So, Goodbye Sweet Jasper… we miss and love you.

To my neighbor, we are terribly sorry and horribly embarrassed that such a situation happened.


Some photos from yesterday.

And when we got him, Parx was very curious – Jasper, was not!:)

He had her toy, she didn’t like it, one bit.

He would take her blanky  and she would scream and go get it from him.

He took our shoes, her play laptop, diapers, stuffed animals, bows, pens, clothing, towels, bathmats.

He would drag anything into his bed.He was getting so big – they use to sleep on here together.  Then they were sleeping ON one another – IN the chair.Pete, will surely miss his pup.

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by Arden Prucha

show hide 11 comments

Elizabeth Clearly it wasn’t working, and with small children around, you couldn’t risk it with a demonstrated-ly aggressive puppy. It is sad, true, for all involved, and tears are in my eyes too, but the animal control quarantine is out of your control, and as a RESPONSIBLE dog mom and plain old mom, you made the best plan for your family *and the dog* by making arrangements with the rescue to take him back. Didn’t abandon him like so many other dog owners. Didn’t beat him or neglect him out of frustration. You did it the right way. Good for you for taking the time to do it the right way like so many other pet owners don’t.December 5, 2011 – 9:01 pm

Jennica I’m crying my eyes out. Not for you. For your dogs. It makes me so sad when people who clearly shouldn’t have animals get them anyway. Why get another dog when you have thought about getting a new home for the dog you already have? Why get a dog from a shelter with a broken background when you have no time for him? I don’t get it. Animals have feelings. It’s because of YOU that poor Jasper were dragged buy the shelter looking scared and alone. He should have been in a better home to begin with. Sad, so sad…December 5, 2011 – 8:01 pm

Julie Rayner I am so sorry. How sad. I pray for your family. May God heal your broken hearts and comfort you. May He bless you with the peace the surpasses understanding. I also pray the same things for Jasper as your family did.January 27, 2011 – 6:54 pm

carole I went through something very similar when my son was 3.5 and my daughter was 2– except we had our girl-pup, Zola, for seven years before. It was horrific. I totally feel your pain.
I had terrible dreams afterward, for almost a year. about Zola showing up on our doorstep and having to make decisions all over again.

Feel free to email if you need to talk to someone who has been through a similar thing– it’s just heartbreaking.January 27, 2011 – 1:37 pm

Samantha Workman You did the right thing. I know it doesn’t feel like it, but you did. Avery was bitten on the forearm, by my best friends dog, the day before my c-section with Zoey. It was traumatizing, for me AND obviously for her too. The dog had never bitten before … but it only takes ONCE. He’ll be better off in a home without small children; maybe on some “land” with an older couple? Either way, your babies are safer, and that’s all that matters. I’ll say a prayer for him too. Keep your spirits up!January 27, 2011 – 1:17 pm

Kimberly Horne Arden,I’m so sorry. My prayers are with you and your family and Jasper. This put a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. You did the best thing though. I too have never had a puppy and am having a heck of a time with mine! But I don’t have babies to worry about. I wouldn’t be able to handle him if I did.January 27, 2011 – 12:09 pm

Erin Bankston Ugh…made tears come to my eyes too. I rescue lots of animals too, and I know it’s so hard to say bye. And I know how you’re feeling for HIM too. Beautiful pictures of him too. So sorry!January 27, 2011 – 11:59 am

Sarah Potter Oh Arden, I am so sorry you had to go through this. It’s one thing to do it as an adult, but to explain it to children is even harder. We had to do a similar thing with our cat when she became almost “possessed” like and would attack me to the point of injury and the day she attacked my young niece, the decision was made. It was one thing for her to attack me, but a small child that’s under your protection…it was the hardest decision to make – but in the end it had to be done. My prayers are with your family and Jasper during this time.January 27, 2011 – 11:59 am

Pam D Waaaah… I am all teary-eyed. I really wish that he could go live with Caesar the Dog Whisperer for a while. I think you did the right thing, Arden. Without the training and experience in handling a dog with this background, you really are putting your family and everyone around you at risk. Pit bulls, Rotties, Dobies, and German Shepherds are all wonderful dogs, in the right hands. But the reality is that they are like weapons; they have to be handled by people who have been trained, or they can be dangerous. With all that you have on your plate, this was not the best fit for you OR for Jasper. Praying that he will be OK during the time of quarantine and that he’ll be placed with someone who knows how to train and control him. He surely was loved while he was with you, and that will stay with him forever.January 27, 2011 – 11:53 am

Erin Wilson Oh Arden, this made tears come to my eyes. As a dog lover, I know how hard this must have been. Dogs become part of the family, like a child and it is so hard when things like this happen. I will say a prayer for Jasper, that he receives some loving and effective training and rehabilitation and that he will find his forever home. XOXOJanuary 27, 2011 – 11:47 am

Farewell Sweet Pete » Arden Prucha Photography […] had been contemplating this for over a year (even before Jasper was in our family, in fact one reason we got Jasper was to entertain Pete – as a […]September 13, 2011 – 12:42 pm

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