A Melancholy Wistfulness...

About what might have been.

My niece is studying to be a veterinarian. She likes animals and has raised chickens, ducks, rabbits, and for the last two years has had a rescue dog.

The Dog. Niece named the dog Neula (derived from New Life). Neula was a dog abused from puppyhood by her “owner”. This scum “won” Neula in a custody battle during a divorce. The man didn’t actually like or want the dog, just didn’t want the ex to have her.

Neula was a mix of several of the bully breeds by appearance but not a purebred dog at all and the cutest, prettiest dog you could wish for. A largeish medium or smallish large dog, she had a sweet personality with women and girls, but males she would not tolerate. Niece’s goal was to properly socialize the girl into at least tolerating menfolk enough to not need to be caged or muzzled.

I eventually became one of Neula’s favorites, the “Treats Uncle”. The last couple of weeks before the end she would actually only give me a cursory growl when I would enter the house and then I would be graced with licks and loves and snuggles here and there for whatever amount of time I spent there. Oh Grandpa Guest got foot warming, and Grandma Guest got a snuggle now and then and Mama (Neice) was obeyed, but, I was the favored one to everyone’s astonishment (including mine). This was a dog that distrusted and hated men and boys with a passion that verged on violence.

She came so so far. In the two months before the end, Niece started keeping Neula kenneled because she was afraid of her. The last time I saw Neula she snapped at my wife. Her last week on this earth, she not only snapped at Grandpa, she broke the skin and drew blood. All this surprised me as more and more she seemed to me to be progressing wonderfully.

When Niece adopted Neula, she was told that because of the socialization problems, there would be no second chance for the dog with the Humane Society and that none of the other local shelters would accept her. So, right before Christmas Eve, Neula breathed her last as she was put to sleep.

We all wonder what happened, why she not only regressed after all the progress made, but actually reversed herself and loved me and was aggressive with all others to include women and girls.

So, as the title suggests, I have this small mourning for what almost was and never happened

Oh that is so sad. I wish we could talk to our animals, to find out what was bothering them.

I’m thinking she was in pain; or something went haywire in her brain from all the previous abuse. But, oh, so sad.

My niece rescued a dog. There were some issues and Niece spent a fortune on an assortment of trainers. The last trainer’s opinion was that the dog would always be unreliable and she couldn’t not offer any guarantee the dog would be safe around strangers or children. So, reluctantly, Niece had the dog euthanized. Some hurts just can’t be fixed.

But Nula had the best of the best at the end. What’s that poem that ends with “the saddest are these, it might have been”. Oh, Maud Muller, that’s it.

I have to go hug my rescue doggy now.

I’ve wondered, Whatever4 and Baker, what the story was from her point of view. This accounting here is only from my point of view with a few scant details I got from my mom (Grandma Guest). The effort was mainly Niece’s, but there was still a general family contribution. I won’t say I was as invested as Niece, but I was the “Treats Uncle” for a reason. Some time, maybe in the spring when things are new again, I will get Niece’s side of the story.

I have a female rescue, half Boxer. She’s a complete sweetie and, after a rocky start, is pretty well behaved and very affectionate; I trust her as much as any dog around people.

However, I have to and do keep on her all the time. I don’t try to understand her; I assume she has exactly two thoughts in her head: Is there any food? & Why can’t I be Boss? - and she requires at least daily re-inforcement (by food) that I am the Boss.

Maybe Neula just didn’t see anyone else as being a strong enough challenge to her authority, after she became whole and healthy?

I don’t knowj666. I don’t think anyone in the family knows, Niece was readily obeyed. You could be right. None of the menfolk in the family ever tried to command or coerce the pup into anything. As far as I know, I’m the only male that actively tried to befriend her and lure her out with treats. (Never without Niece’s permission and supervision, I didn’t want to mess up the program in anyway) All the others tended to allow Niece actively mediate all interactions with the dog. But I only saw her, on average, once or twice a month over the course of her stay.
I guess thinking about it, the Alpha Dog idea does make some sense.

I dunno, in some sense, all that matters is that this beautiful creature had to have a terrible start in life at the hands of a monster, and that start led to this end, in spite of best efforts. She really was a sweet and loving pup (to me) once the ice was broken.