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Do you think this was good advice? (long)

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  • Do you think this was good advice? (long)

    Yesterday I had a longtime client come in w/her Shih, Princess. It has been many months since I did last did Princess even though she was typically a monthly client for much of the past 13 yrs that she has been a client. I have been her only groomer.

    A little history: Princess had always been your typical bratty shih. Nothing horrible, just kind of a snippy brat that I found to be more amusing than threatening. These past few years, according to her mama, she has gradually gotten much worse at home, tho I hadn't seen it during grooming till yesterday when she suddenly went into a "rage"......it was scary and rather shocking how bad she was. If I didn't have her hooked up to the GH she would have attacked me. Not just bit or snapped, but full out-attacked for no reason and w/no warning!

    Two things have changed in Princess's life. Her mom had a baby 3 yrs ago, which can definitely be a factor but also I have noticed a steady decline in her coat, skin and body weight the last few times I groomed her, which I know can be an indication of thyroid (or other health problems) and might also be a reason for the drastic personality change.

    Here's the problem. Princess's owner is a single mom who lost her job almost a year ago and is the sole support of her daughter. That is the reason I hadn't seen Princess for grooming for so long and why she can't afford to take her for tests.

    When I groomed her yesterday her mom told me she was probably going to take her to the shelter as she had bitten her daughter several times and was having to be kept locked up in a bedroom most of the time. She was in tears about the though of doing this, especially when I told her (as gently as possible) that she would probably be euthanized because of her issues.

    The advice I gave her was to take Princess in herself to be euthed. I think since she can't afford vet tests and treatment (you can tell Princess is miserable and doesn't feel good), and since the dog is such a threat to her child that this is the most responsible and the kindest thing to do. Sure, she can take her to the shelter, but that will be so much more stressful for the dog and more than likely will still end up in certain death.

    I even refused payment for grooming so that she would have that money for the vet. Please don't' think badly of me for recommending she do this. Euthanizing isn't something I take lightly. I just really feel, considering her circumstances and having finally witnessed Princess's frightening and dangerous behavior that this is the best thing to do for her family and for Princess.
    SheilaB from SC

  • #2
    I think it was good and humane advice. Princess isn't living a very good life now and you're right if she takes her to the HS they'll euthenize. I think it is very good advice. It was also very kind of you to let her have the groom so she could take her little Princess to the vet.
    ~*~Robin~*~
    "In a perfect world, every dog would have a home and every home would have a dog."

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    • #3
      Personally I think your advice was good advice. Especially considering the dog has bitten the owners daughter more then once. I'm not a euthanize happy person, but when it comes to dogs biting children I draw the line. Maybe because every day I see the scar on my husbands head and it's a reminder of what an out of control dog is capable of doing.

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      • #4
        I've been in that situation at least 10 times over the years. 3 Mals, some Springers, a beautiful Choc. Cocker. I essentially said the same thing.
        I pointed out to the owners the liability and unfairness of taking the loved (but now dangerous) dog to a shelter...to spend whatever time it had left...in confusion and fear.

        I think it's super hard to give them the "responsible and ethical" advice...but alot of times I've found that I have been the only completely objective person who will. Sure there are those who "hate" the dog...and gladly jump on the "put it to sleep" wagon, but I think the owners always knew I had the dog's best interest at heart first, and certainly the owner's best interest...a close second.

        It's a difficult thing to respond to, when an owner asks, but I've always had the feeling they were prepared for the answer...they just need to hear it, as sad as it is, from someone they trust.
        Plus...it allows them to do some grieving as they process.

        The only one that never followed thru...didn't have to wait long. A week after our "discussion" their Springer nearly took the face off a 7 year old child visiting their daughter, when she bent under a kitchen table to pick up a dropped crayon. He spent his final 10 days in quarantine at the pound...then euthanized.
        I continued to board their subsequent pets..but she always said how full of regret she was that she procrastinated on that decision.

        It's a hard thing to do, and a hard discussion to partake in, but absolutely, under those circumstances...I think it was sound advice.
        Often it's not what you say, but how you say it.

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        • #5
          I think you gave her the best, HONEST, advice anybody could give her.
          I'm sure it was heartwrenching for her to hear what you had to say but in my opinion I'd rather have my and my pet's last memory being of me holding it, than being sent off to a strange location and a strange person.
          I would hope she respected you even more after what you had to say. I hope it all turns out for the best.
          ~*~*~Shawn, C.M.G.~*~*~
          Apparently common sense isn't all that common
          *~*~emipoo on egroomer*~*~*

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          • #6
            Your advice was perfect, just perfect!

            Like 4Sibes I also have had to take the time to "have that talk" with clients about their ailing and sometimes dangerous pets.

            I did an Oes for years, great girl, but she developed a tumor behind her eye. This was a horrible thing for the dog. She was rapidly going down hill and I felt in pain. When the owner, MR, came back for her I had to have a talk with him about his dog suffering. He listened and didn't say a word to me. One week later, I get a phone call telling me they took my advice and thanked me for my honesty.

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            • #7
              Kudos and hugs to you. And it always gives me joy when I can surprise someone and "bless" them with a no charge groom.

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              • #8
                No, No, No............get Shih Tzu rescue involved. Click on www.petfinder.com, then go through the steps to get to Shih Tzu's, then find the nearest rescue closest to your zip code..........It is a very popular breed and this little darling will most likely return to it's normal self in a different enviornment.

                Happy Rescuing a poor doggy

                Dolly's Barking Bubbles, LLC

                www.dollysbarkingbubbles.com

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                • #9
                  Considering the dog is 13 years old, she can't afford the cost of vet care (which will only rise with age), and the fact that the dog is lashing out (probably due to illness/disease), then you gave good, honest, loving advice.

                  The dog may be developing some form of dementia, making it confused, which could be causing the aggression.

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                  • #10
                    I think it was good advice.
                    "The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind"-Theodorus Gaza

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                    • #11
                      [QUOTE=Dolly;382019]No, No, No............get Shih Tzu rescue involved. Click on www.petfinder.com, then go through the steps to get to Shih Tzu's, then find the nearest rescue closest to your zip code..........It is a very popular breed and this little darling will most likely return to it's normal self in a different enviornment.

                      If Princess was a younger dog I probabaly would have suggested she look into the possibility of a rescue taking her. However, w/her age, health and ESPECIALLY the scary display of rage that I witnessed I couldn't recommend that. I wouldn't want to be privy to someone being attacked by her.

                      Thanks everyone for validating what I suggested to her. Even though I really felt it was the best solution for her, it was still weighing on me.
                      SheilaB from SC

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                      • #12
                        Sheila, 7 years ago I had a Pei that had Mast Cell cancer. Started small but spread. We did everything we could possibly do to keep this dog alive. She lived about a year after diagnosis. The last 6 months were horrible. Why did we let this go on and continue treatment you might wonder, because the vets, professors, experts and anyone we talked to told us that it was very curable and we held on to that hope.
                        The point to this story is: I wished just one person would have told me it was time. I was driven by my heart not my head. I think you telling this client that it is time was courageous and may have confirmed what she already knew. I hope that I can do the same if the situation ever arises.
                        ~*~Robin~*~
                        "In a perfect world, every dog would have a home and every home would have a dog."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think the advice was perfect. Way better to simply cry, hug, and euthanize an old dog than to put that dog through multiple days in a shelter until the shelter decides it is unadoptable and puts it down.

                          I strongly agree there is a time and place to call breed rescue, but in this case, the realistic option is to humanely euthanize the dog rather than to call rescue with an old, ill, biting dog.

                          The owner should not feel ashamed to make the choice of euthanasia.

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                          • #14
                            Given the circumstances. I think you gave her the best possible advise. The dog would spend its last minutes in comfort of human she trusts.

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                            • #15
                              A good groomer can and will be frank about the animals we care for. A good groomer will eb able to recognize issues that are not normal and be able to leave their heart out of it. A great groomer will not be afraid to discuss the issues with the owners in detail. I think you are a greta groomer. I have had to counsel many people over the years about many issues and euthanasia is one of the hardest but at least we can see beyond the Love of the Pet to what is Best for the Pet. When my dog passed a clot I knew he was suffering, and took him to the vet ASAP. The vet said it was bad but could p[ossibly be treated (not cured mind you) I told her my dog was suffering and after watching many pets suffer thru the years because thewir owners could not make the decision I was not willing to continue his suffering. While it broke my heart I did what my years of experience told me to do. Do I regret it? No because it was best for him. I think you know as the groomer of this dog for 13 years that teh solution you gave was the best one. I hope her Mom realizes it and takes your advice.

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