With help from friends, my vet, family, and Anthony, I've come to a decision about Diamond: we'll need to have her euthanized. I'm tentatively planning on a Friday appointment, and feel sad and resigned, but also a little bit peaceful. This is the least worst decision in a bag of crappy choices. I couldn't surrender her back to Austin Pets Alive and trust that they wouldn't whitewash her issues to the next adopter (like they did with me). A vet friend has told me that she's seen the same dog re-adopted to three different owners by APA, and each time the dog presents with the exact same issues that are a surprise to each owner. I couldn't allow her to end up harming other pets and/or kids. I also couldn't put her through the stress, anxiety and confusion she would feel being back in the shelter. She is my dog, and I can't foist her issues onto someone new. That seems to be the least responsible choice I could make.
Keeping her would mean committing to a decade of constant vigilance, isolation, and worry on my part. She isn't able and won't ever be able to play at Auditorium Shores, or "Barking" Springs, and she certainly can't walk calmly and proudly with the other staffie/pits at the Love A Bull walks. I would need to always keep her away from other stranger dogs, she would be kennelled whenever I had people over, my friends with children wouldn't be able to come over, I wouldn't be able to have kids either. Even if I did all of this, incidents could still happen. Her prey drive, jaw strength, and anxiety are a cocktail of unpredictability for anyone who isn't me, Anthony, or my dad or one of my sisters.
If we were very, very vigilant, and very, very lucky she wouldn't cause serious injuries, just minor ones like she has in the past. She is a liability to the people in my life I care about. I don't think I could live happily under those restrictions. No trips (where would she stay?), constant worry, needing to move if landlords revoked her pet authorization (mine has started asking pointed questions), and the looming fear of another desperate attempt to separate her from another animal's face or belly. I cannot go through that again.
And so, I've talked to my vet about euthanasia. I understand the process, and feel in my heart that this is the right option. I hope people will understand, and support my decision. I think I'll be donating her stuff to the Austin Animal Center, but I'll still have extra treats that need eating. Can I come give them to your pets? Anthony and I will need the licks and tail wags they can give us.
ps - This was a tough to read, but helpful article.