Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It's So Hard to Say Goodbye

Before I get to the sad part of this entry, I need to take care of a little business here. Due to the fact that I'm DROWNING in comment love this week (thanks so much you sweet readers!), I wanted to answer one of the hottest questions that I've gotten in the last 24 hours.

The book that I read was "Bitter is the New Black" by Jen Lancaster. And I loved it. More on why I loved it when I post my Spot's Sunday Entertainment Roundup this Sunday. In the meantime, here's the scoop on my depressing day today.

I have been a lover of German Shepherd Dogs (GSD's) for as long as I can remember. I had one as a very small child and then hubby & I obtained a puppy the DAY after we moved into our first house. (The house just wasn't home until we had a GSD pup running around ruling the roost) We added another GSD a couple of years later that we rescued and we had a Boxer as well. It was a huge & happy family. And then we added 2 kids of the human-kind and our house was really bursting at the seams. And then in the course of 13 months, we lost all 3 of our dogs to sudden illness. Just as it seemed that we were starting to feel normal again, another passed away, until we were dogless.

In April of this year, we decided to rush into getting another GSD into our home. Hubby could see how miserable I was without my GSD's and he just wasn't having it anymore. We ended up adopting a brother/sister pair from a local shelter. We kept Chloe and ended up adopting out her brother to a great home. The story of all that is here, if you're interested.

Everything was going along swimmingly until I left to go to Maine with my mom for a long weekend at the end of May. I got a frantic call from hubby on my 2nd day away saying that Chloe was growling at my kids. For no good reason. Thinking that it was probably because I was away and hubby was now home 24/7, I kind of dismissed it. That is until I got home and she started that behavior towards my kids while I was present.

So, for almost 2 months now, I've researched training methods, tried to talk with professionals and contacted multiple rescue organizations to try and fix this situation. The growling has now escalated to full on teeth baring and voracious barking anytime my kids come remotely near her. It has to stop.

With a VERY heavy heart and a lot of tears, I'm taking Chloe this morning to a brand new shelter that just opened up near my house. They have a behaviorist on staff and plenty of room to make sure that they find her the perfect home (with no small children). I feel so awful about this. I really feel like I've failed her as a dog-mom. I know many people don't have this kind of connection to animals, so I'm sure there are at least a few out there rolling their eyes and saying "good grief woman, get it together, it's JUST a dog". The problem is that I've never seen any of my pets as "just a dog". No matter how much they angered me or got under my skin for whatever reason, they were part of my family and I loved them.

So, be thinking of us today because although Chloe will no longer be in my home, she will always be in my heart.


Lisa said...

I am so sorry. Very sad. Let me know if you would like company or would like to drop the girls off today; or perhaps Lupis or Brusters for lunch? I here they have cheese and chocolate ice cream.
Then we should work on speed walking a marathon. That was a good idea from your commentor. I'd do that with you.

CrystalChick said...

I'm really sorry to hear your sad news. We have 2 dogs and 1 bad mean swatting bratty cat.
I would be heartbroken if one of the dogs had to go.
I'm sure they will find a really great home for Chloe.

HRH said...

Oh I am sooo sorry. You are doing the right thing, but it just isn't easy to do. My brother had the sweetest Akita who ended up biting their daughter on the face. It was a horrible situation. Thankfully my niece is fine, but it was so sad to have to say goodbye to the dog.

Angela said...

Okay, I just sent you like three confusing emails because I'm still not fully awake this morning! Sorry! I forgot today was the day. Hugs and love. You're doing the right thing! I know it's so hard.

Shannon said...

Its hard, but you know you are doing the right thing. The A's come first... just know that Chloe will find a good home :)

Anonymous said...

That is so Horrible. I completely understand and as a child, my parents had to make a similar decision. It killed us all to do, but sometimes it is the only option.

Nik said...

Ohhhh noooo! For my family, any pets ARE family so I completly understand where you are coming from.

And you know what, YOU ROCK for doing the right thing. Think of how many people would immediately jump to the "we MUST put this dog to sleep - it growled" option. Even worse, think of how many people might just stop off at a field on the way to the 'shelter'. At least you're giving her a chance to enjoy her life somewhere else.

Unfortunately, we went through the same thing with my dog...a cocker spaniel that my husband gave me for my 18th birthday. When SHE was 13, she started getting aggressive towards our oldest a bit. We simply gated off part of the house so she could have her own area to be safe in and ALWAYS let her out after the kids were in bed...gating off her path to go to their rooms. She lived until she was 15 when I had to put her to sleep due to health reasons and it tore me up. I would hope if she was younger(or bigger) I would have had the strength to do what you are doing today.

Good luck and know we're thinking about you!

Connordog said...


I am so sorry. I know how hard this is for you and your family. The right dog will come along for your family when you are ready for it. It took us 3 years.....

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

Oh sweetie - I'm so sorry. I understand that love for a pet, and having to give one up is SO hard.

When you feel like it, stop by my blog, there's something there for you.

Sonya said...

I came to you from SITS, but didn't want to overwhelm you on your SITS day!! Although Congrats!

I am sooo sorry for your loss! We here are animal loving people too, they are part of our family and I know of having to give back a rescued animal. I have had to do that twice!

My heart goes out to you and your family! It will happen one day, you will be whole with your puppy kids to grow old with!

Take Care,

Kat said...

Oh, Angie. I am so glad that you found a good place for Chloe. A facility that will find her a good home. So she can be where she needs to be. I know that taking her there will be heart breaking. Sending you big cyber hugs {{hugs}}

Jennifer said...

oh sweetie.. i'm sorry. that is a really hard thing to do. :( I would not want to be in your shoes today.

i'll be thinking of you and your family... including Chloe. I'm sure she is going to find the perfect home. And don't blame yourself, maybe she isn't feeling well or something else is going on with her... I'm sure it wasn't you... you can tell how much you love her.


Jennifer said...

oh sweetie.. i'm sorry. that is a really hard thing to do. :( I would not want to be in your shoes today.

i'll be thinking of you and your family... including Chloe. I'm sure she is going to find the perfect home. And don't blame yourself, maybe she isn't feeling well or something else is going on with her... I'm sure it wasn't you... you can tell how much you love her.


Jennifer said...

just a thought... but can't you get rid of the kids???

just wondering???


Okay... maybe not a good day to joke with you... but I thought I'd try to get a smile on your face.

I know today is not fun for you. I'm thinking of you.


Heather said...

I am so sorry to hear that. Its such a hard thing to do because pets become like our family members. I really think you are doing the best thing for your family. And Chloe will find another great family.

Be Strong!! I will be thinking of you.


Kelly said...

I understand completely...we had to get rid of our dog, Bubba due to Emmy's allergies. It still breaks my heart thinking about it...My heart goes out to you...

Heather said...

Awwwww....I am so sorry! You are doing the right thing and Chloe will be all the better for it.

Jenn said...

I'm so sorry, we had to get our dog put down three weeks before I had the baby and I had her since she was a baby ,she would have been 6 in August, I still cry when I see a dog on tv that looks like her.

Michelle said...

Angie, I've volunteered at a shelter since I was in college (ok, so I haven't done much for them for the last two years and since I moved an hour away from it, but I still make it to their big fundraisers to help out).

We had people drop off animals (ok, give up since there was a list and people couldn't just pop in to drop off their dogs) for a variety of reasons (my favorite being that they were remodeling and the dog didn't go with the new house).

Sometimes you have an animal that just doesn't fit with the house. It isn't anything that the people did or didn't do or the dog did or didn't do but just that the personalities didn't mesh. I liken it to a relationship where sometimes you have to break up because you aren't good for each other. It's better for you both to move on and find your soulmates than to try to force it.

I feel your pain. I understand your grief and your feelings of guilt, but know that it isn't you. This dog will find a great home somewhere that fits her personality, and she'll have her soulmate for life. You know you gave it your all (and for a similar but human version, check out AnyMommy -- many parallels).


Lula! said...

I'm so sorry, Angie. But I know you love this dog deeply--because you are sacrificing for her. (Sacrificing her absence, I mean.) Wish I could hug you in person!

sassy stephanie said...

How sad to hear this. Dogs are family. I know ours is. Sorry it didn't work out with Chloe. Just think though...she is prolly already running on a big ranch somewhere with some empty nesters.

I just got Bitter in the mail and will start reading it today on the plane. I can't wait.

Julianne said...

SO sorry about Chloe. You really didn't have a choice and I'm sure she will find a wonderful child-free home where she can be happy.

Jules said...

Oh Angie,
I'm so sorry and I can totally understand how you feel. i would feel exactly the same way. Exactly!



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