Tuesday, September 10, 2013

it's not him, it's us

I never thought I would be one of those people.

You know, one of those people who got rid of a dog.

In fact, I always secretly judged those people.  I've been a dog-lover my whole life, and I couldn't imagine ever wanting to get rid of one.  Ever.  Ever ever ever.  No matter what.

And now some of you dog-lovers out there are probably judging me.  And that's okay.  It's only fair.  I've been doing it my whole life.

But we are getting rid of Rhodie.

It hurts my heart to say it.  I've grown quite attached to the sweet little guy in the last week that we've had him.  And the reason we are taking him back is totally my fault.

I could tell you it's because he gets severe separation anxiety and destroys doors and their molding whenever we go anywhere, however short a time.

I could tell you it's because he growls at every single stranger we meet, with the hair on his neck and back sticking straight up, and he's only six months old.

I could tell you it's because in his eagerness to show his love to our daughter, he bowls her over and we can't ever leave her on the ground anymore.

But the truth of the matter is that with time and patience, those things could be overcome.  They really could.  And maybe even the fact that I had my first-ever panic attack the other night and severe anxiety ever since could be overcome, too.  Time and maybe a little medicine could be my cures.

But that panic attack made me realize something.  If you read this post about our second year anniversary, you might remember that I listed all of the things that have changed in my life within the past two years.  And as someone who isn't normally good with change, I was secretly astonished every time one of those things happened and I didn't have a meltdown.  But I think this was the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak.  Just one more change.  One more change that my body and my emotions apparently couldn't handle any longer.

Like I said, that could probably be overcome, too.  But then I noticed that my ever-smiling, ever-happy husband was starting to show the strain, too.  And we finally had a heart-to-heart about the whole thing and realized that maybe we don't want to overcome all of those things right now.  We had a really good thing going before.  A really, really good thing.  And maybe all we want right now is to focus on each other and on our sweet little girl.

Maybe someday we'll get another dog.  Maybe once we're past the babies stage we'll think about it again.  Maybe we'll think about a different breed, one that isn't so prone to separation anxiety and doesn't have such a velcro personality.  Maybe I'll do more in-depth research and find the dog that is right for us, and at the right time.  Maybe.  Maybe...

But the truth of the matter is that even though it makes us sad, we feel a little relieved to be taking him back to the breeder tonight.  I feel like I can finally breathe again.  And so, in the name of making ourselves feel better, we've decided to look back on this experience as that-time-we-dogsat-Rhodie-for-a-week.  Because he really is a good dog and we really did have some good times with him.

Like that time we went day-camping with him.  [There are more pictures from our hike on Tim's phone, but I don't have that with me right now.  Oh well!  Maybe later.]

And lastly, a picture of Ellie.

Because it just feels right.


Katie Elizabeth Hawkes said...

You do what you gotta do, friend :) No judging. I like the perspective of "the time you dog-sat Rhodie for a week." It's like you were foster parents!

The Muse said...

NO NEED to feel guilty. You've got to do what's best for you and your family. This is best. Even though we might get a dog someday, just the thought of having a dog in my life right now (or any other pet, for that matter! Okay, maybe a fish...) gives me the shakes, too. No guilt, sista. NONE.