I want to talk carefully here. I’m tired from about 14 days of continuous work and don’t want to be hasty in unfolding my feelings just this very minute. We’re going to lose two dogs this week. This morning we had an incident in which our Aussie bitch Red attacked our old girl Banner.

In the back yard Red was a bit over-the-top reacting to other dogs being on the property and because old Banner girl ventured near she became the victim of Red’s stimulation. And Blue, our little terrier mix joined in the attack apparently because it’s her nature to do so.

This isn’t the first incident for Red. A couple years ago in a similar scenario she attacked old man Ringer. And she has recently dished out some injury to Wizard, also an old dog. It’s true… we have a bunch of old dogs on the property.

I broke up the fight and I told Marsha about it. I think she had resolved herself within about 10 minutes what we are going to have to do. Red is going to be put down. She’s been given every chance and simply isn’t going to change her ways. Blue is going back to the pound. And we are hopeful that some single-dog oriented family might want her.

Through the beginning of the day I judged for a TDAA event, and led a light strategy focused seminar. Do you have any idea how hard it is to keep that upbeat demeanor when you’re grieving? Yeah, grieving is the right word. It’s like a dog you own has been hit by a car or has succumbed to old age. Like… but not exactly the same. To make a conscious choice to end a dog is a terrible thing.

I didn’t write this to inspect my own grief. Today I’ve been watching Marsha and wondering at her grief. Red has been her constant companion and absolutely adores her. Even when somebody or some dog is absolutely crazy it is certainly endearing when they love you and attend you. Don’t you agree? So for Marsha this has to be incredibly difficult. Oh hells bells I’m the wimp in this matter; and that’s for sure. It’s been Marsha’s call all along.

Blue, the corgi/terrier mix was originally rescued from the Parkersburg Humane Society. And that’s probably where she’ll return. She’s a gifted agility dog in her own building; but shows fear issues out in the world. The gist of her activity this morning is that she will opportunistically demonstrate a prey and pack mentality that isn’t very appealing. Though Red made the initial attack Blue jumped in with some relish and stood over Banner with her bristles up and her teeth on the old girl.

Though Banner is old, nearly crippled, and blind, she clearly deserves better treatment. It’s our responsibility that she not be a victim to boisterous and inappropriate youngsters.

And still it’s very hard.

I write this on the heels of a blog in which I pretty much condemned the brutality of Michael Vick in his treatment of dogs. It’s probably self serving that I state my case with demonstrable remorse.

I’m going to cry for my dogs.

Quotes of the Day

I mean, let’s face it, we didn’t have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing. Quite the opposite: slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back; I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark. —Rush Limbaugh, Voice of the Republican Party

The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. —Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King once said – “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” I believe that. The international community believes that. And right now, we are bearing witness to the Iranian peoples’ belief in that truth, and we will continue to bear witness.” —Barrak Obama, President, Democrat

Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran. — John McCain, Republican


Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: And Check out my new publication the Idea BookAgility Training for a Small Universe available at


7 Responses to “Grieving”

  1. Amanda Says:

    I am so sorry to hear this. It’s a terrible decision to make, but for what it’s worth, it sounds like you are doing the right thing.

  2. Teri Says:

    I am sorry you are having to go through this. I am having the same issue with my aussie, Annie. She has gone after my old sheltie multiple times. For her, it is the doorbell that sets her off. She is so anxious. She seeks him out and has grabbed him off the couch and shook him. This weekend, she failed the CGC test for barking in a threatening way at the evaluator. She has multiple agility titles and a rally title. But she gets so anxious at agility trials that we have kind of been stuck. It’s so hard. 95% of the time she is fine. I love her, and she has made clear that I am her only person. I don’t know if I have the strength to make the decision we have been considering for a while. I admire Marsha’s strength. Peace be with you all.

  3. Michelle Says:

    Bud, I am so very sorry. It’s so hard to make these decisions, Marsha must be devastated. I have read her writing about Red and know she is special to her. I have met Blue, and thought her a lovely dog, but have never sen her in a pack. Knowing and loving them makes these kinds of incidents so horrible for us humans. I hope Blue finds a grat home, and I am sorry Red will be put down. I know you and Marsha are torn up about this, you can only do what you think is best. We all know how much you two care about your dogs. You will mourn and think about it for some time, I hope you can feel better in time.
    I’m sorry this happened and you had to make such a horrible choice.

  4. sligo Says:

    There’s nothing I can say that will make it easier other than to state that you know that you have to do it for Banner and your other dogs

    Two Dogs Have I

    For years we’ve had a little dog,
    Last year we acquired a big dog;
    He wasn’t big when we got him,
    He was littler than the dog we had.
    We thought our little dog would love him,
    Would help him to become a trig dog,
    But the new little dog got bigger,
    And the old little dog got mad.

    Now the big dog loves the little dog,
    But the little dog hates the big dog,
    The little dog is eleven years old,
    And the big dog only one;
    The little dog calls him Schweinhund,
    The little dog calls him Pig-dog,
    She grumbles broken curses
    As she dreams in the August sun.

    The big dog’s teeth are terrible,
    But he wouldn’t bite the little dog;
    The little dog wants to grind his bones,
    But the little dog has no teeth;
    The big dog is acrobatic,
    The little dog is a brittle dog;
    She leaps to grip his jugular,
    And passes underneath.

    The big dog clings to the little dog
    Like glue and cement and mortar;
    The little dog is his own true love;
    But the big dog is to her
    Like a scarlet rag to a Longhorn,
    Or a suitcase to a porter;
    The day he sat on the hornet
    I distinctly heard her purr.

    Well, how can you blame the little dog,
    Who was once the household darling?
    He romps like a young Adonis,
    She droops like an old mustache;
    No wonder she steals his corner,
    No wonder she comes out snarling,
    No wonder she calls him Cochon
    And even Espèce de vache.

    Yet once I wanted a sandwich,
    Either caviar or cucumber,
    When the sun had not yet risen
    And the moon had not yet sank;
    As I tiptoed through the hallway
    The big dog lay in slumber,
    And the little dog slept by the big dog,
    And her head was on his flank.

  5. Ronni Says:

    My mini schnauzer was blindsided in an attack by a white shepherd/husky mix in agility class 2 weeks ago as I sent him to the table. I thought he was going to be shaken to death in front of my very eyes…

    Apparently this other dog has not only gotten into multiple fights with the owners’ three other dogs, but it has bitten the owners as well! And, they’ve recently learned that she doesn’t like small children and are wondering if she might be part wolf…..

    It takes an incredible amount of strength to do what you and Marsha are doing. Not everyone can sacrifice love when It’s incumbent to do so.

    I don’t know how you remained upbeat in the seminar with this decision hanging over you.

    But now you must take the time to grieve. It will probably always hurt, but it might hurt a little less in time. Know that you did the right thing.

  6. Diane Says:

    I just read your blog about having to euthanize your Aussie, Red, and return your little mix breed to the shelter.
    I know how difficult and heartbreaking it is to make that decision. I, too, have had to make that devastating decision and know how you feel.

    But, in your heart you know you made the correct choice. Some dogs just cannot live in peace and harmony in our homes. We have to protect our family members and others from whatever rages in the souls of the dogs who cannot control their inner drives to hurt and maim other animals.

    My sympathy to you and Marsha.


  7. Kelly Says:

    Was it not worth trying to give the dog meds like fluoxetine? I’ve had inter pack dog fights which have caused nerve damage in my thumb and one of our dogs to get stitches. How severe was the attack and how severe was the dog injured? My aggressive dog is in behavioral therapy and takes 20 mg of fluoxetine, she has shown lots of improvement.

    I’m saddened it has gotten to the point where your wife feels it’s necessary to put down her companion.

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