Here's a video of Kaya, the Shiba Inu mix my partner and I had to have euthanized today.
We knew she would be work when we adopted her six years ago. We took her through several obedience classes and practiced a very strict routine with her.
Most of the time, she was fairly happy and goofy like you see in this video clip. She never had an issue with our smaller dogs, but we never left her with them without an eye on her.
She had always been overly excitable around cats, but we kept her separate from ours whenever she was unsupervised.
She was probably the moodiest dog I've ever met and I worked as a dog trainer, vet tech, and kennel hand. The training facility I worked at specialized in dealing with aggressive dogs. She would be fine one minute, then her mood would sour the next.
True to her breed, she often challenged my authority and the authority of anyone who ever handled her. She bit four people and showed her teeth several times to even more. Three months ago, she attacked our border collie Willow. We had that fight separated within seconds, but we still had to rush Willow to the emergency vet with deep puncture wounds in her chest that were bleeding profusely. Since that incident, we practiced a crate-and-rotate routine and worked even harder on Kaya's issues.
Earlier this month, she nearly bit a vet tech friend of mine who she knew rather well. My friend, also a no-nonsense and practical animal person, took her through obedience routines throughout the rest of her boarding.
Then just yesterday, I had allowed her outside with the smaller dogs she's never had an issue with and watched them play through an upstairs window. One moment, she was cavorting with Kiki and then the next (not five minutes later) we heard a horrible scream. My partner dashed to the window to see Hazel and Kiki barking at the fence and Kaya nowhere to be found. We were flabbergasted because Kaya had a weak hind limb and had never really been able to jump well. I ran outside immediately, unlocked the gate, and found her mauling one of the feral cats that lives in our alley way. She had watched this same cat for years without incident. She had been around our own cats without incident.
I managed to get them separated a couple of times, but each time Kaya would lunge for the cat again, shake him hard, and continue where she left off. My partner rushed out to help me pull her off him. We carefully used towels to ease the cat into a crate and took him straight to the emergency vet to end his suffering . . . he was already beyond saving.
We considered taking her back to the rescue we adopted her from, but due to her history of human and animal aggression, we decided that euthanizing her would be the most responsible thing to do.
If it had just been the one cat incident, we would have been more hopeful about her finding a new home.
We have been involved in animal rescue for seven years, fostering mostly cats and the occasional small dog. One of the things we had to take into consideration was the number of exceedingly adoptable dogs that would lose their chance because of the spot a nearly-unadoptable dog with a long rap sheet was taking up at a no-kill rescue.
We are also extremely lucky that the cat wasn't someone's pet. If it was, Kaya could easily have been confiscated by the shelter, labeled as a "dangerous dog," and the outcome would have been the same with a lot more stress to her.
In spite of all this, she was a lot of personality to lose from our household . . . She loved to run, she loved to sun herself on warm days, and she was essentially a wild animal spirit born in a domestic dog's body. It is my wish that she be reborn the wild creature she was meant to be.