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It turned out to be an easy decision for us to make in abandoning my emotional support dog. He left us no choice.

My wife was taking the dog out to the lead and had to let go of the aggressive 100 lb. leash puller to keep from falling. The dog immediately ran to the neighbor’s and latched on to the neighbor’s dog neck. Our dog had always had an aggressive demeanor toward other dogs but we had no idea how bad. Luckily the other dog wasn’t harmed because of my wife’s quick reaction in kicking our dog off (three times).

I have no tolerance for violent behavior in dogs after witnessing my pet rip part of a neighbor kid’s face off in the 80’s. And now I had another violent pet that was constantly around my children. We had no choice.

We took him to a local no-kill shelter where, as far as I know, he still is. He is an absolutely beautiful dog and has a great demeanor around people. I’m sure he’ll be adopted pretty quickly. At least I really hope so. It breaks my heart a little to think of him there and it makes me feel pretty cold-blooded in writing about this episode.

But he really didn’t do his job. We adopted him with the intent of him being an emotional support animal for me since I had bonded so closely with many dogs in the past in my childhood and as a younger adult. This dog just wasn’t interested in bonding at all. Sure, he was friendly with us, but that was about it. He might have legally been a service animal, but he provided no services.

Walks in particular were awful with our dog. He was always on a constant alert for other dogs pulling toward any distant bark and flipping out with the site of any. In Los Angeles where I had the most problems with my disease I had to take him on a walk to use the bathroom twice a day – this turned out to be a stressful prospect for me every morning and evening.

But we are not giving up on the idea of a dog being part of my support network. We have already paid a deposit on a Great Pyrenees puppy that is still too young to adopt. This breed has a reputation for natural instincts as a support animal and getting her as a puppy we will be able to assure she is properly socialized.

I feel like an ass for turning my back on our dog. Even now, almost two weeks later, my son is still broken hearted. But I’m excited at the prospect of getting my kids a puppy that, again, by breed reputation, is known for closely bonding with their host family.

This time around we likely won’t be officially papering the dog as a therapy dog. We did it before so that our apartment they would have to allow him. We really don’t need registration now as we don’t need for the dog to gain access to any areas where she would typically not be allowed.

I have high, but guarded, hopes that this next dog will work out better than the last one.

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