Dear Sweet Zach

On Tuesday June 21st you reacted negatively to something we did and my husband got injured in the process. At first that’s what a lot of people are suggesting. We didn’t do anything wrong, all we did was move and talk while you sneaked in beside my hubby and nibbled on your rawhide. I know you wouldn’t have reacted if you weren’t guarding your bone but your recent behavioral history suggests that you have been deteriorating gradually. We fear that your PTSD is too much for us to handle. My heart breaks thinking we may have reached the end of our journey together. We decided to take you to the vet…

When we met you we knew of your limitations. We worked around the clock to make you comfortable and safe. We didn’t care if that meant you couldn’t be walked or bathed, and we soundproofed the house so no one could hear your spirited barking. It all looked good for a few months and then one day you reacted badly to our attempts to calm you down during a thunderstorm. We decided it was our bad, we should have known better but as rookies we didn’t. Chalk it up to inexperience. I read every book I could get my hands on that talked about conditions like yours; anxiety, fear, dislike of strange humans and dogs. We made peace with the fact that we may never get trained to walk you even though this was promised to us. We raised alarms whenever we thought you were sick or sore. We got you through a behaviorist visit and a vet visit when everyone thought it was nearly impossible to do so successfully and without added stress. Our hope was that a medical condition could explain your recent changes is demeanor and that you could be moved to another place after you recovered. We don’t feel we are equipped to deal with your anxiety because it started to affect our own lives. We move, ever so cautiously around you because we know it can be pain what motivates you to strike.

Of course there are a few reasons why you couldn’t get better. Maybe it is a gastrointestinal obstruction and if it is too severe you could die during or post the operation. For some obscure reason you could have doggy dementia or your anxiety may be so crippling that to have any shot at life you could need medication forever. It may be that our once quiet street isn’t so quiet anymore. The more data I have, the more at a loss I am about what may be occurring. Everyone at home is on edge. Many people want to meet you before you move on. We are so tired and jumpy we don’t even know how to get through each day. Your foster daddy hasn’t sat down on the couch for fear you could react again. 😦

As I typed this, we were waiting for your prognosis. We are sad that we have decided we cannot keep you forever but the injuries and reactions are too much for our egos to overcome. All of our plans with you fell through. Does this make us bad people? I look around the house and all I see are your toys, beds and treats. I tear up because I know that regardless of the outcome, there will be a day when these things will not be here anymore. I can’t stop thinking somehow we did this to you, that we sabotaged your progress because of our lack of experience. The reality is you are here with us, alive, because we took a chance. That it didn’t work is very easy to understand as the odds were a bit stacked against us. If only we had unlimited resources and a bigger yard. </3

My heart breaks Zach because in a world so wide and large you found me. These past 6.5 moths have been wrought with challenges and uncertainties that have forced me to fold my hand. The resources we have to train and correct your anxiety are low and dwindling. We are hurt, beaten and broken by a situation we cannot fix. As engineers this is the part that haunts us; the scientific method we have employed hasn’t made you victorious but added so much additional doubt and data that it skewed the results. We are at a loss here. We can barely cope. The thought that we have betrayed you by deciding not to adopt you has been devastating. I could barely get out of bed the last couple of days thinking that eventually we will have to say goodbye.

I am very grateful for the handful of people who have worked with us through this part of your journey. To our friends who came by to meet our good boy and played with him on occasion while we barbecued. To my sister who taught him many tricks and would keep him if only she didn’t have two dogs. If only you, dear Z, could handle living with other dogs there would be hope to rehome you easily. This decision will test everyone’s limits…

Since no plans have been made yet, and no clear results are in sight, I beseech all of your fans to not only pray or send good vibes our way but to be ready for the next steps. Being networking, fundraising, opening their home to you, or in the worst case saying goodbye forever, we need to band together to provide Allicia and her team (which includes us) the support we will need to save your life and secure you a better future. The expenses are piling up. We need a win for you Z .

Paws and fingers crossed!

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