I don’t think I am using the whole social media/internet stuff the way most do. I don’t spend a great deal of time working on getting the right angle for a selfie, I never post encouragingly affirmative snippets gleaned from others, and I try not to brag about my sons too much. I’m really not interested in showing my best face, I kind of like my warts.
If you have been following this blog, you know that I am a slightly zaftig, somewhat sarcastic, mostly unemployed occasional pot smoker (not really, you have to read the blog) with a penchant for deviling my darling husband while pointing out the absurdities in our lives. There is seldom a time that I don’t cop to my own bad behavior and poor choices. If it is painful to share, it’s usually good reading, for all 54 of you that religiously skim my blog.
But I do have something to confess, something I have kept off my blog for a few weeks, as it is so painful. No, I haven’t killed anyone, or kicked a kitten. But I have done something heart wrenching, that caused pain to multiple beings, including myself.
Perhaps you remember our rescue dog from this summer, Otis. He is an adorable hound/labby mix that was a stray rescue. He is sweet, affectionate and loves his people. He also has some behavior issues that were unknown to us, even after having a sleepover before adoption. He and our other dog Lily starting out just playing roughly together. It exacerbated as they both decided they were the alpha dog, and neither one would give in. There were some scrapes and bites, but we tried to mitigate. Otis also was an extreme guarder. No one would get in our house or yard without a pretty scary challenge by a snarling, barking, lunging 57 pound pup. He especially disliked men, and even after calming down, would out of the blue start harassing them again.
We were in over our heads. We have never been strict disciplinarians. It seems to have worked well with our sons, but not with Otis. We called in a professional dog trainer who came to our house many times to help us with our problems. We actually did follow the training tips and techniques, yet Otis grew steadily worse. We could no longer take him to the dog park, as he had become aggressive towards other dogs, very likely because Lily was in the middle, barking and stirring things up. These two were truly oil and water.
We recently were out of town, and boarded Otis and Lily with separate families, as they were not getting along. We thought a brief separation would help them. When they both returned to our house, they had their first full-on dog fight, and it was scary.
We had been agonizing and soul searching for many weeks, trying to come to a decision. We were unhappy and stressed, and so were Lily and Otis. We had kept in touch with the amazing rescue organization (retrievers and friends st. louis) throughout our struggles, and they knew the situation. We finally made the heartbreaking decision that Otis was not the right dog for our family, and our family was not right for Otis. He is back with the rescue organization, (going by his old rescue name, Simon) looking for his forever family. He is a sweet, loving, goofy dog, and would be perfect for the right family.
I was never a disposable pet person. My first pets, the darling Melvin brothers, were two cool cats that lived to 14 and 19, including home IV treatment, constant cat sick and finally feline dementia. Our first dog, Sammie the Wonderlab, lived to 15, eating drywall, furniture and shoes along the way. As she aged and became stiff and arthritic, we would help her with her favorite morning ritual. We would lift her up, help walk her outside to get the paper, put it in her mouth and lead her back in. Our next dog, Charlie, was an adorable beagle/something rescue mix with ears too large for almost any animal, and a heart of gold. He died from pancreatic cancer much too young at 13. Heck, we even had two gerbils that lived for five years … FIVE YEARS! We then got our darling rescue Lily, about a year ago. She is my heart. Like all the rest (except for the gerbils. It’s hard to truly bond with rodents). Every pet deserves that.
I must also confess that I am guilty of judging other people who have been in our exact position and had to make the same tough choices. Oh, how I wish I had tried on those moccasins before forming and spouting an opinion. Sorry.
Okay, one more confession, as long as I am getting it all out. I love watching sappy, vapid Hallmark Channel Christmas movies, and I have been known to get a bit teary. Don’t judge me!
And I’m still in my pajamas…