Tuesday, December 08, 2009


The woman came over, and it was good. Or I should say, as good as this whole situation could be. She loves the dogs, and she had a Brussels Griffon puppy who passed away, so she is desperate to shower her love and attention on new dogs. She and her fiance won't be having any children (both in their late 40s and 50s) and the house would be all doggy, all the time. She even received clearance from her boss to bring the dogs to work with her, which I know they would love. They seemed to like her and kept going over to say hello and bring her toys and all that.

All of this doesn't make it any easier to contemplate not having Tango and Murray anymore. When I think about it from their perspective, the decision seems clear. They are clearly unhappy, clearly stressed, clearly and obviously do not like the kids. It has been 3 years, and they just aren't adjusting and in fact, it seems to be getting worse. Gabe walked into the room yesterday afternoon, and Tango got so stressed from seeing him 5 feet away, he pooped on the couch. Josh stepped in pee in the front hallway, right after they went for a walk. They cower behind the downstairs bathroom toilet if the kids make too much noise or start getting too rowdy, even if they aren't remotely near the dogs. The only time they seem happy is when the kids are napping or asleep for the night.

From my perspective, though, it is much harder. I feel like such a failure because I can't find a way to make this work. People have kids all the time and their dogs learn to adjust, so why can't mine? I can't bear the thought of them continuing to be unhappy, but I also can't bear the thought of abandoning them with someone else. I cannot believe they will grow old in someone else's home, in someone else's life. They are my dogs and I love them and I selfishly want to keep them, and I keep believing that a magical solution will come along to make things better.

I told Josh last night- I don't know if I can do this. I think they would be happier without kids around, but can I really let them go?


Stacy said...

It was hard at best, and I am sure you will think of them daily. Rest assured that you did what was best for all.
Some dogs do adjust and some don't, all situations are different. Please know that you are not the only pet owner that has ever had to do this!
HUGS to all.

Beth said...

Oh you poor thing. Try not to beat yourself up...I am not a dog owner BUT I think that it must be a little like parenting and one thing I have learnt about THAT is that there is no point beating yourself up about what is or isn't happening. Being hard on yourself because they haven't adjusted is like getting frustrated because your child doesn't sleep through the night, or eat vegetables, or anything really. They haven't adjusted. And that's OK. You ARE doing the best thing for all of you - believe that - and I am sure it will get easier for you over time. At least you can still see them...and the kids will be happier and relaxed, the dogs certainly will be, the new owners happy and Josh happier. Poor you will be the one with the broken heart but I am sure it will get better. Just remember you are doing the best thing for all of you even though it seems the worst thing to you...oh the scarifices a mother makes never ends! Lots of love to YOU because YOU need it. Everyone else will be fine. Promise.

liz said...

Sending hugs and love and the knowledge that you will be giving them a gift that they need.

Chatty Cricket said...

some of it depends on the breed, but a lot of it just comes down to your particular dog(s)'s temperament.

For instance, Lovey wasn't built to be a family dog, he was made to be a lap dog. But he does love the kids (our kids, particularly- other kids he could take or leave). He tolerates them when he's not really in the mood, but when he does want to play they're his favorite toys.

My sister's dog would prefer to have a child plastered to his back at all times. Any child. One of theirs, a neighborhood kid,
whatever. He's not particular. He'd even prefer two or three kids climbing all over him, but you know, one will do in a pinch. He's the dog that will pull the kids in the sled- something you will NEVER catch Lovey doing. But the sister's dog is MADE to be a family dog. Like, he would be FORLORN without children poking their fingers up his nose and sitting on his tail, and pulling his ears.

It breaks my heart to think of poor Tango pooping on the couch because of the stress. It's sad, but some dogs just don't like kids. No matter what. I don't think you've done anything differently than the people out there who have kids who's dogs go bananas over kids. If anything, I think you've tried harder to make it work than most people have to, or even would bother to.

But I really really think this could be the right thing AND the best thing for the dogs.

And when Harriet and Vincent hatch babies you can have the best singer. He will cheer you up when you're blue.

Anonymous said...

I truly think you've done the best you can, honey. Three years is a looong time. I know you'll miss them but you have to take comfort in the fact that they will be so much happier with this couple.

Maybe in the future you can adopt a more family friendly dog who will thrive in your home as they surely will in their new home.

Anonymous said...

I'm a long-time reader of your blog, but a first-time commenter. I have an almost 17 year-old pug and two cats and put my animals first to the point where I probably "cross the line" at times. My family is the same way: my sister's pug bit her son and she considered giving up her son before the pug! :)

For what it is worth, however, I think you are doing the right thing by finding your beautiful griffies another home. Some dogs (especially lap dogs) just aren't good with kids and never will be. It seems to me that you have tried everything possible to fix the situation, so you shouldn't feel guilty. Your dogs sound genuinely miserable with the kids around, and you have found a home for them where they would thrive.

I don't believe it is the right thing to, say, give a pet to the pound in this situation; but to find a new home for them makes sense for all involved.

Maybe you should make a contract or something so that if (for some strange reason) this new home doesn't work, she'd have to return the dogs to you?....

liz said...

Are they willing to take the dogs for a week or two to see how it goes?

Maribeth said...

When I first read what you were doing I was not a happy camper. But then I realized that your dogs were brought up pre-kids. Which makes for a tough time for many breeds.
I am a breeder of dachshunds. One of the things I have seen through the years is that pups that are carefully raised with kids, will guard those children and be their best friends. However, if the kids come after the dogs are raised many will look at the kids as competition.
So please do not beat yourself up about this and think about this. When Gabe and Josie are older and can learn not to touch and bother, that will be the time to get a pup. Remember also, look into a breed like a golden or lab, who are great with kids. My dachsies are because I raise them with children. But I think that age 6 and up is best.
I know you will miss your fur children. But remember, in time you can have a dog again. When things are settled and the kids are older.