Knox was an adorable puppy, sweet, good-natured, and eager to please. He learned to sit almost immediately at 8 weeks old and many skills followed. At 6 months old he got his rabies shot which should have been a normal, everyday occurrence. It wasn’t. Our vet is holistic, so before giving the shot, she did muscle testing but misunderstood somehow. She understood that he’d handle it fine. He didn’t. 

He had an immediate allergic reaction and was unable to walk. She gave him snake bite anti-venom and then he could walk to the car. But, back home the benefit from the anti-venom wore off and he laid down in our back living room near the back door. He wouldn’t get up, not to eat, not to drink. It was Friday evening so I couldn’t reach the vet for more of the homeopathic remedy. 

I spent that weekend nursing him, dipping his nose in water to get him to hydrate, hand feeding him, and helping him outside to pee. He’d hop to avoid using the 4th leg he’d gotten the shot in. On Monday, we got more anti-venom, the homeopathic remedy that helped relieve the allergy enough that he could walk. For another week I still had to help him eat and drink. He didn’t move around, walk, or play. He only went out to potty. 

Immediately after the rabies shot, he became aggressive, growling, lunging, and eventually biting people. We did all kinds of toxin flushing, anti-inflammation, and intensive training. It became clear that he was no longer able to be a therapy dog which was my intention. Now, he was a guard dog. He would bite anyone who entered my house or office or got too close to the car. Beyond that, he would bite Family members if we enforced boundaries, and got too close to his Place (a cot) when the environment was stressful. He seemed to have severe PTSD from nearly dying from the rabies shot. 

I learned that there’s no difference between the first shot and the rest, that they’re effective for 7 years to life, and therefore our dogs need way fewer shots than were required by law to give them. 

Throughout Knox’s bite issues, I repeatedly considered rehoming him, sending him back to the rescue, or putting him down. I learned that I couldn’t rehome him, in part due to my rescue contract, in part because I wouldn’t feel right about anyone having to deal with his aggressiveness and trauma. It also made me very sad. The rescue wasn’t very responsive. Eventually, they told me they would support putting him down. 

I tried several times to schedule his euthanasia and I kept canceling. He was my dog, devoted and loving 95% of the time, and it broke my heart. But the bites kept racking up, friends, family, and clients. One woman had to get sutures. 

Finally, with his most recent bite to me when I was trying to put his collar on to go for a walk, I knew I had to go through with it. All weekend beforehand, I grieved, and the grief persists. 

When I reached out to Knox, at first he was confused, but quickly he became aware. “This is great!” He told me. “Mia (that was my last dog) and I play until we’re tired!”  I got images of the two of them racing around a field, wrestling, and running some more. Heaven is for animals too. Then I reached out to Goddess to help me. He said, “Knox was miserable in that body. You did the right thing releasing him. He wasn’t meant to be physical for very long. “ I’m still sad. We physical beings need to grieve. But my spiritual self is happy for him. He’s not inflamed anymore. He’s not uncomfortable. He’s happy.