Springer Rage Story

A readers Springer Rage Story:

My husband and I purchased our first English Springer Spaniel nearly six years ago. Sophie was a black and white girl who resembled more of a bench Springer. She was an amazing family member. She ran with us (we're both marathoners), loved going to parks with us, lived in our home, slept in our bedroom and was a great girl. We were fortunate to be able to leave her outside of a kennel while we were gone and she didn't really get into trouble. She was trustworthy with our friends and family and small children.

In late May, I was home alone with Sophie before leaving for work. Like our normal routine, I got to my knees and pet her. All of a sudden her body froze. Her eyes because set on something, not me in particular, but there was a drastic change. I stood up and she lunged at me and bit my armpit and then my hand (three stitches). I screamed and yelled "no" and the attack probably went on for about 20-30 seconds (but seemed like eternity). Then it stopped. Sophie was really acting weird. She seemed confused and walked right by my legs wagging her tail and acting antsy while I went to clean my wound.

After the incident we took her to a University of Minnesota vet behavioralist. We had a consultation and she thought the problem may be from a result of anxiety and prescribed prozac. Sophie was on the medication for 10 days.

My sister (26) has lived with us for the past year and watched Sophie since she was a puppy if we were out of town. Mike and I were in San Francisco last weekend and while away Sophie went after Katie twice. Both times were unprovoked and Sophie actually came up behind Katie, lunged up and bit her shoulder.

All of these incidents were unprovoked and after a lot of thought and talk with our vet we had her put to sleep on.

Mike and I are devastated and feel so sad and guilty about losing her. We are also looking for some kind of explanation and it's impossible to find. The vet loosely used the term "springer rage" but mentioned how rare it is and that's it's not really something they can prove.

I want something good to come from Sophie's death and just wanted to share our springer rage story.

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