A biting dog does more harm to himself than it does to humans. Unless it is a severe attack, dog bites are manageable, and the injury heals in a few days. But for the dog, biting can literally be a life sentence.
There are many reasons a dog resorts to biting. Usually, it is because of past trauma. Humans will try to rehabilitate a biting pup, but, unfortunately, they may have to put the dog down if that does not work.
I met one such dog, Toots, when I was visiting Miss Laura this week. He had been homeless most of his mortal life, and she provided him a family at the Bridge. When he was on the other side, he was charming but reacted when startled by biting. The therapists spent hundreds of hours working with him, and then he was adopted out but quickly returned when he nipped again.
The shelter workers loved Toots and gave him every chance to be a family dog, but he could not quell the instinct to bite. Finally, they made the saddest decision. Being unadoptable, Toots would have to go to the Bridge.
The workers were heartbroken. They decided to give Toots a special day. First, they took him to Sonic for a burger that he happily scoffed down. Then they brought him to the park where he ran and swam for hours. The entire time Toots had a huge smile on his face. But, everything must end, as did this day. They brought Toots back to the shelter.
One of them held Toots and told him what a good dog he was. The other got the dreaded needle, patted the smiling boy’s head, then hesitated: Maybe if they gave him one more chance. But, they had granted him a half dozen. There were no more. She put pressure on the plunger.
Toots slipped away peacefully. His body was sent to the crematorium, burned, and then done away with as if he had never existed. But, he would live on in the memories of the workers who gave him a special day. None of them could erase his smiling face from their minds.
The fact that Toots, in his final moments, was unaware of what was occurring haunted those in attendance. He told me it was the opposite. He knew that they were giving his troubled soul the release he had long yearned to experience.
While passing to the Bridge is a joyous occasion because it marks the beginning of an immortal, worry-free existence, there is usually great sadness as the soul mourns leaving its family and home. But, when you have neither, the passing is pure jubilation.
Every mom here invites dogs who never knew a home to live with them at the Bridge. Toots had many to choose from, but he picked Miss Laura, who had just started building her terrific pack of Bridge rescue dogs. Toots is getting the love, attention, and snuggles he has desired, without the inclination to bite. It is finally a beautiful world for him.
When they sent him to the Bridge, I know the workers thought that they had failed Toots, but the truth is they saved him and gave him the happiness he would never have on the human side.