• When Aries died, I wasn't ready to talk about it. I just told people she died in her sleep, which is true, but is not the whole story.
    It's time to come clean.

    Back in 2010, my dog Katie attacked Aries.
    My mom's dog, Tallulah Belle was staying with us while my mom is out of
    town. Tallulah Belle started barking at one of our cats. Katie
    immediately went into hunt mode and leaped for the cat. Our other two dogs
    immediately joined in. The cat got away, and I got Petey by the collar, and out
    of the room. When I turned around I noticed that T-Belle had the Aries'
    ear in her mouth. I tried to pry T-Belle's mouth off of Aries'
    ear, and Aries screamed. Katie, still in her hunt mode heard the scream, and
    leaped in, and started to tear at Aries' throat.

    Somewhere in there I got bitten on the hand, but I do not know by whom. I had
    bruising, swelling, and about a 1/4 inch tear. I had to be hospitalized for 4 days for IV antibiotics.

    I got Katie off of Aries by remembering the wheelbarrow technique.

    I immediately took Aries to our vet where they stopped the bleeding, and
    stabilized her, but Aries had to go to the Veterinary Specialty Center. Aries had many
    severe punctures, and tears in her neck, and throat, and two cervical vertebrae
    displaced. She had to have emergency surgery, and stay the night in the ICU.
    There were no punctures, or tears in the ear.

    Katie completely ignored all Aries' cut off signals. Aries was flipped on her
    back, and urinated, and defecated, was screaming, and they still continued the

    On Nov. 8th, 2011, Katie was aroused by something, and went into her hunt-mode.

    Hunt Mode is hard to describe if you have never seen it. Katie gets very stiff,
    and excited, pupils dilate, and she stalks, and will grab any thing that crosses
    her path when in this mode. She also doesn't seem to hear us, or even notice we
    are there when in Hunt Mode.

    Katie came THROUGH the gate, and attacked Aries. The attack was awful. I picked Katie
    up by her back legs trying to use the
    wheelbarrow technique, and she just picked Aries right up with her.

    Our roommate heard me screaming, and came running downstairs. He literally laid
    on top of Katie, and pried her jaws apart while I pulled Aries out of her mouth.

    I ran out the door to the car, and noticed that a loop of Aries intestine was
    hanging out. I held the intestine in while I drove to the vet. The vet said it
    was the worst attack he had ever seen. Aries' body wall was shredded, and her
    intestine was punctured in 2 places. He did surgery for 4.5 hours trying to
    save her.

    I spent 3 days at the vet clinic sleeping in a dog bed under her
    cage, and waking up every 2 hours. On Nov 11th, 2011, she passed away between 5,
    and 6 am in her sleep.

    She was on hydromorphone, and acepromazine, so at least she was on good pain
    drugs, and didn't die in pain.

    We talked to 3 behaviorists, a veterinary behaviorist, and several regular vets,
    and trainers, and a lawyer. Almost all of them agreed that Katie would never be
    safe around other dogs, and the lawyer explained that if we rehomed her, and she
    bit, or killed another dog, we could be liable, so on Nov 21st we put Katie

    It has been said that management always fails. I never expected the gate to
    fail, but it did, and Aries, and Katie both paid the price.

    I wish I had put Katie down after the first attack. Then Aries would still be
    here. I miss her so much.

  • Wow, I really can't find the right words to say how I feel. I feel deeply for what you feel and understand how badly we can beat ourselves up when we feel we've failed our pets. I'm so immensely sorry for having to experience something so awful, not losing one but two loved pets. I dont blame you for not wanting to explain the circumstances about Aries death, it's important to remember all the great times and to accept this was truly an accident. Its going to take a lot of time to heal the vivid memories, the "what ifs" and the guilt but know you were a responsible owner to both Aries in being there for every moment of need and to Katie for thoroughly and responsibly making the decision to keep her and others safe. I wish you all the best in what sounds like a nightmare for you. We are all here

  • You cannot keep blaming yourself for this attack. You did the best you could at the time. Now you know why most of us are so, so careful. Especially with bitches. I am so sorry for all that you have been through. As Pat always says, it works until it doesn't. I can't tell you how sorry I am for you. I don't have enough words for your losses. On both counts.

  • I hope you are beginning to forgive yourself. Please stop blaming yourself. Of course you would have done something different if you'd have known, but we can't very well see around the corners of the the future. Your love for Aries (and even Katie) come through in your post.

  • Your post is one of the saddest I have ever read, I am so sorry for your pain and all you have lost. We all want it to work, when there are issues between our dogs, and usually it does. Don't blame yourself for trying to keep both your beloved dogs. As the saying goes, "hindsight is 20-20". Please know that we feel your pain and do not fault you for anything you did. Life is all about trial and error. Of course you would have done it differently , if you could have seen the future but no one can. Please forgive yourself, and when you are able, give another basenji a loving, wonderful home. Big warm hugs to you, you have indeed been through hell.

  • This is beyond sad, and my heart is heavy for you. But perhaps now that you have shared the story with us, you can start to re-heal and forgive yourself. Bless you. That is more than anyone should go through.

  • I,m so sorry for your heartache and wish you all the best and hope you find peace and let another dog into your loving heart.

  • I am so very sorry to hear of you loss of Aries and Katie.

  • Someone said you cannot keep blaming yourself. But you can. And will. You made a call, or avoided making one, that ended in horrible consequences. No one else had the power to make the call. Who else will you blame?

    But I hope one day you can look at your decisions and realize that decisions made out of love, even if they go bad, are the ones we must understand, accept that your heart was trying to do the best and that in the long run, you suffered more than either dog. They had love and they had a human doing all possible. And they are not suffering.

    We can destroy our lives with the should haves. Or we can take what we learned and move forward. If your story helps even one person, you have honored both dogs. There are no words to help you overcome the pain, but I hope you find it within to simply accept that you made decisions out of love and move on.

  • Very wise words. Thank you Debra. We all learn from our mistakes, and we should learn from the mistakes of others. It is impossible not to dwell on what might have been, and what should have been done differently. I think most of us have been there at one time or another. My sympathies, and I hope time brings you the healing you need.

  • First Basenji's

    I think it was incredibly brave for you to be as truthful as you were here. This was difficult to read, but perhaps your sharing it today means that someone will learn from your tragedy. Your dogs were loved, and they will continue to be, no matter the shadows that mark their passing. They are now at peace. I hope that you will find yours with time.

  • My sincere condolences to you… nothing can change the past, but we must learn from it. Thank you for sharing your story.
    Hugs and roos.

  • My condolences on the loss of your dogs…

    You can beat yourself up with right and wrong, could have and should have...but things are what they are. You loved your dogs and tried to do the best by them. Tragedy happened and it hurts...time to try and heal now.

  • I've already made my comments on the BBR Forum . Hugs to you.

  • Thank you so much to everyone who has replied. We loved Aries so much, and miss her so much, but I think talking about it helps.

  • @nkjvcjs:

    Thank you so much to everyone who has replied. We loved Aries so much, and miss her so much, but I think talking about it helps.

    Been there, done that….. we can only do what we can... and each dog is different. The decisions we make, we make as best we can. You did what you thought was best at the time. No use is "what if"... or that is all we would do for our life time. In the same situation, I think I would have done the same. HUGS

  • Oh, I'm so sorry! How heartbreaking. Some things are just hard and while time can't erase, I hope it can heal. Hugs to you!

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