It's easy for me to blog about the things that are funny or annoying, frustrating or interesting. The stuff that really hurts, though, I always find myself holding back. It isn't a conscious thing, I'll just realize that days have gone by without me posting, and I know it is because I don't want to talk about the giant big (Gabe's favorite phrase) elephant in the room.
In this case, it's the dogs.
It just isn't working.
I kept telling myself that our problems with the dogs would be resolved once we were done moving and packing and selling the house, and our frustrations would magically disappear. I called the behavioral consultant, I tried walking them more often, playing with them a bit more, giving them their own private space, locking them out of our way for a while every day, letting them outside more often. I have yelled at Gabe more times than I'd like to remember for harassing them or chasing them or kicking them. I've cleaned up so many messes in the old house and the new house without saying a word to Josh because his frustration level is 3 times mine with regard to the dogs.
But still, things just stink.
As soon as we moved into the new house, despite taking them out several times a day, the accidents began happening right away. In one night, 4 pee accidents on the dining room rug. In one afternoon, poop in the kitchen, the living room, the front hallway, and the dining room. The dogs dislike the kids, but won't stay away from them, so I end up yelling at everyone because the dogs snap at the kids, the kids won't leave them alone, and the dogs won't leave the room.
Worst of all, the dogs seem anxious and sad. I know what they want- they want the life they had before we had kids, when I came home from work and played with them for a couple of hours, cooked their food, took them everywhere with us, slept with them in our room, but I can't give them that life anymore. The truth is the kids are here and I'm doing my best, and nobody is happy with the way things are going.
Josh is the most frustrated of all, and we regularly have arguments because I'm clinging to the idea that it will get better, and he is far beyond that point. A family friend would love to take the dogs, a middle-aged couple with no kids, and he thinks that is the best place for them. It kills me, though, and I'm drowning with guilt. I've probably cried every day for a week, anytime the subject comes up, and I simply cannot fathom not having Tango and Murray anymore. They were my babies! I pampered them in a totally insane, ridiculously extravagant way. I used to cry at the thought of them growing old. I have heaps of dog toys and sweaters and leashes and accessories. I love them, I do. I feel like I'm holding on to this life, though, while everyone else around me is unhappy.
Just tonight, about 10 minutes after they went out, the dogs pooped once in the living room and twice in the kitchen. I ended up stepping in the poop and tracked it throughout the house. Then I discovered that Josie had crawled through another area of poop and had it all over her hands and knees. I finally found it caked into one of Gabe's toys, smeared all over the cloth wheels and side of one of his favorite school buses.
I can't live like this, and the dogs shouldn't have to live locked in the kitchen or the bathroom or the basement, or wherever else I lock them when I just can't do it anymore.
Maybe this makes me a shitty dog owner, and trust me when I tell you, I'm consumed with enough guilt for all of us. Maybe, though, if I meet this couple, if I let Josh bring them in, maybe the dogs will be happier, maybe I'll be less stressed, maybe Josh will yell less, maybe we'll argue less over this.
I'm at the end of my rope on this, and I wish someone would just tell me the right thing to do.