I had my German Short-haired Pointer, Loisgte, put to sleep this morning. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done.
Loisgte was only young, about two years old, and there was much about her to love. She came from good working stock and was a very beautiful dog, alert and enthusiastic, a great character, very loving and with boundless energy. She could run all the day without difficulty.
But Loisgte also had a dark side. She was very nervous, and seemed to be getting more so. She was wilful and domineering, and she was randomly aggressive. We got a first hint of this about a year ago when she snapped at a friend of ours when she leaned over to stroke her. Since then, the incidents have happened more regularly, including snapping at the vet two weeks ago when he tried to give her a routine examination, and requiring her to be muzzled before he could handle her. It became clear that it was only a matter of time before someone got hurt and I would never have forgiven myself if that had happened. The most important characteristics of any dog is that they must be trustworthy and predictable; very sadly, Loisgte had ceased to be either.
So it was that this morning I found myself giving Loisgte an early run and her breakfast, and then taking her down to our local vet. I had played through in my mind countless times how the visit would go and had been concerned that she might get very distressed when I came to fit the muzzle. Fortunately she was quiet and accepting and went to sleep in my arms a few seconds after her injection. It was there and back home mercifully quickly.
It was a horrible way to start the day, but I know it was the right thing to do.