When Doing the Right Thing SUCKS!

I have blogged about my three dogs.  I have a million pictures on Instagram of them and talk about them constantly.  They are the light of my other wise very boring life.  But sometimes loving your furry companion isn’t enough.  And sometimes doing what is best for them and right for them means having to cope with a broken heart.

We adopted our third dog on a bit of a whim.  Not because we didn’t want a third dog, but we hadn’t been actively looking either.  She came home with us and it was clear from day one that she needed a lot of special attention.  She came to us with a number of health issues to be treated and had not been socialized by her previous home.  All though obviously loved, she was untrained as well.  It meant that our work was cut out for us and we began the long journey of trying to help her become a happy and well adjusted pup.

As the years have moved on, countless hours have been spent with her, countless dollars have been spent on dog training, countless amounts of love has been given and countless amounts of tears shed.  She has made leaps and bounds of progress since we brought her home.  But as she has aged, it seems that each new milestone of mental or physical development has brought on a new struggle and new issue.  She is such a loving and sweet girl, but her fear and insecurity seem to grow more and more out of control.

About a year ago, she developed some very mild guarding issues.  We sought help and were so pleased to see her do so well.  However, a few months ago, she began to redirect these aggressions towards are other dogs.  We have worked very hard with her.  We have been patient and loving and know that this is not her fault.  But a few weeks ago, I left the dogs downstairs for just a few minutes when I heard her go after one of my other dogs.  I ran downstairs to find her snapping and lunging at him while he cowered in the kitchen.  I knew in that moment that we may not be able to work past this.  I knew that we were running out of time and resources to work her through these issues and had to begin to consider her own mental health and my other dogs safety now that her aggression seems to have reached such a point.

She had never had such a severe episode and since I wasn’t there to see what happened I can only guess what might have brought it on since we had already removed all toys, bedding and food items from the dog areas.  However, it was not the first time she has gone after one of my other dogs, but she had been doing so much better than I felt no harm in trusting her at that point.  However, we removed her from the other pups and stopped letting her be near them so that we could try to help her through whatever was causing her insecurity and fear.

It became evident after just one day that she was a better, happier dog without the other two.  She barked less, she was less anxious and less insecure.  She trusted me more and became less reactive to strangers or even strange and new things.  After days two and three it became even more evident that she needed the one thing we couldn’t give her.  She needed a single dog home…. And it broke my heart.

I love her.  I would have moved heaven and earth to give her what she needed.  But she needed the very one and only thing we were unable to provide her.  She needed to be an only dog.

We are not bad dog owners.  We give our dogs the best medical care money can buy, we give them absurd amounts of love and attention.  They never want for anything.  We have amazing dog trainers, a wonderful dog daycare where they are just as adored.  We have an entire town who knows and loves our dogs and I don’t know how to face them now.

It was not an easy decision to make.  In fact, it took a very good friend of mine telling me flat out that she needs to be in a single dog home and that I was being selfish for trying to keep her.  I knew in my head what she needed, but my heart was breaking at the idea of not waking up to her face everyday.  I do not believe that animals are disposable.  They are for life.  But this time, her life was going to be better without us.  And I don’t know if I will ever forgive myself for having to give her up.

She is not a bad dog.  She can get better with help.  But, I had to weight the safety of my other dogs with her needs.  And it become very clear that she was better without them around and they would be safer if we found her a home that could give her the one on one attention she deserves and the specialized training she needs to work through her aggression.

I ask that you respect my husband and me during this time.  We did not reach the decision to rehome her lightly.  Our hearts are heavy with the decision that we have had to make.

Sometimes doing the right thing just plain sucks.

*Comments have been disabled on this post.  While I’m sure most of you understand how hard this decision was for us, there are those who won’t.  Our hearts are hurting enough as it is without the judgment of others.

About A Girl

A Girl is a 20 something blogger who began blogging in 2008 as a means of coping with a deployment. She is a Veterinary Technician by trade and loves her work in Emergency and Critical Care. She is married to a 11 year veteran of the USMC reserves, whom she meet shortly after he returned from a deployment. They have been married for four years, have three, very bratty dogs, and are currently trying to muddle through the aftermath of a difficult deployment for both.

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