A few weeks ago I was surfing Petfinder, reading the sad stories of homeless animals.
“People should marry their pets,” I suggested to Boyfriend.
“I’m pretty sure that’s illegal,” He replied.
“No…” I explained. “I mean… like, there should be vows involved with bringing a pet into your life. I can’t imagine surrendering [our dog] because she was too big or because I was moving or because she was sick. For better, worse, richer, poorer, sickness and health… I am her mommy and I plan to take care of her.” (I know Jolene knows what I’m talking about)
Of course, the reason I was surfing Petfinder was because I was looking for another dog. We lost our male a couple months ago and I had a deep desire help a homeless animal. Finally, we found one that we thought would be a good fit. He had the cutest mushy face, he was well-mannered and, at the preliminary meeting, he ignored our sassy princess when she barked obnoxiously at him. We brought him home last weekend and our sassy princess immediately opened her heart to him. She was ecstatic to have a new companion and she wanted to play. But he didn’t want to play with her. We figured he was stressed from the big change. We concentrated on setting rules and routines to make him comfortable.
It didn’t take long for NewDog to begin settling in. And when he did, he decided he didn’t like our little girl too much. He growled at her from across the room. He fought with her. He gave her dirty looks. Although it was her house, Princess was afraid to venture out of her crate- even when NewDog was gated in another room!
He wasn’t the right dog for us. Even though he previously lived in harmony with a female like ours, he’d experienced some trauma that changed his perspective. He needed the kind of love and attention offered to an “only child”. Our circumstances weren’t conducive to his relaxation and recovery. Instead, we supplied him with additional stress. And so after 4 days, we took him back.
I miss him. I love him. I love his mushy face and his gigantic paws and his soulful eyes. But I can’t give him what he needs and my efforts only hurt him more. By my own logic (above), I got divorced again. It is bittersweet.