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Why "I am NOT a VOLCANO!"

Why "I am NOT a VOLCANO!"
click the volcano for the due explanation
"In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured." — Gordon B. Hinckley
Exaggeration is the spice of life

Book I am Currently Reading: Peter and The Shadow Thief

Monday, February 15, 2010

At What Point Does YOUR Family Become More Important Than Your Pet??

Welcome to Touchy Topic Tuesday!!! Feel free to join in this discussion! I want your opinions AND experiences! (Rememeber to play NICE!)

For Lilly's second birthday, back in 2007, we decided to get a dog. Mahone was only 8 months old, and we were planning a 2 year break from pregnancies. It seemed like the perfect time. Brandon had been re stationed at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, and we had a back yard with a 5 foot chain linked fence.

Sprocket, our new little cockapoo puppy, was house broken within a few days of constant, watchfulness by me, he loved our children, and things seemed to be going well.

Until a few months later when we were faced with Brandon's soon-to-come re-enlistment. We wanted out of the military so that Brandon could start school, which was the reason he had enlisted in the first place. Unsure of what the future would hold, and knowing that the insurance would never be better than the military's (3 children, all costing ZERO dollars in doctors and hospital bills) we decided to forgo our plans to wait two years for another child, and have one more while the military would pay for it. Scarlet was planned. But it was an unexpected plan.

Soon, Scarlet was on her way, and I got very sick. I had two children to look after, Alabama was sweltering hot, and our lovable dog began to be extremely naughty.

When let outside to do his business, he would immediately hop the 5 foot fence and take off running, which meant that I had to chase him. Doing this with a 2 year old and 9 month old baby in my house was out of the question. I could not take off running across the vast neighborhood of military housing leaving my toddler and infant behind. Not to mention, it made me vomit to run, since my morning sickness was pretty severe. I'd have to load my children up in the car and go looking for him each time. It was very time consuming. We couldn't leave him outside when we went places- which wasn't a lot of places, since I've been a SAHM since my children were born, but we did go to church, and we had to get groceries. Within a few weeks of being locked in the laundry room on occasion (because he couldn't stay outside for jumping the fence) he had dug through the drywall, and there was a big hole in the wall. He chewed on everything, and destroyed several pairs of shoes, some furniture, and many toys- despite his abundance of bones, balls and chew toys. More than that, he was like some kind of new breed of pig. If there was mud, he was IN it. Daily baths were a pain I had to endure.

I realize that this could have been partly my own fault. At first, I felt wonderful, and i had the time and energy to play with my dog while I played with my children. But having decided to expand our family, I was so sick, my children were the only ones I spent any effort on. My dog was fed, watered, and let out when he needed, but my children were not old enough to be responsible for his playtime. And Sprocket, himself, was only a few months old. He was a puppy, and he was just doing what puppies do. But I couldn't handle it. He irritated me beyond belief and that irritation often overflowed to my children. It was magnified by my sickness.

With much discussion, and many tears, we decided that we needed to get rid of our dog. There was a Humane Society a block away, but we preferred to find him a good home. It didn't take long, and we gave him to a woman with 8 foot brick fences, 3 teenage children, and another cockapoo dog for $200.00. (We bought him from the pet store for 900.00, and since he was only 5 months old when we gave him away, and already had his shots, she felt that 200.00 was a fair deal.) She sent me a few pictures of him in his new home with his new family, and all was well.

Until I hopped onto a forum I had joined because there was a group of women who were due at the same time my new baby was. I vented about this, because I felt awful, and like I let my children down, hoping that someone would offer condolences, and maybe tell me I'd made the right decision for my family.

Instead, I was greeted with literally scores of backlashes, insults and reprimands. I was shocked to find out that my personal plight, where I felt I had done the right thing, was such a hot debate. I was new to the message board world, i hadn't yet started blogging, and I did not know that people were so blatantly stone cold.

One woman accused me of child abuse (I have NO idea how THAT subject came up) and reiterated something that i had mentioned in a previous post: That I wanted at least 7 children. She asked me if I was going to sell my children when I 'tired' of them too. I was baffled. I didn't think that my dog would ever rank so near my children. A family member yes, the same as my child, no.

There were near 6 pages of "Shame on you!"'s and "You shouldn't be allowed to be a mother!"'s

Only one person on the entire board, in the entire 6 pages of insults, stood up for me. And she was raised on a cattle ranch in Texas, where she was regularly involved in the processes that come with it.

I quickly found a new message board after that, and though I found that there was still consistent controversy, I was not the center of it. Through the rest of my pregnancy and until Scarlet was 5 months old, I participated in conversations with other women, which helped me through all the insecurities of pregnancy. But when Scarlet was 8 months old, I saw a series of posts that shocked me once again.

A long story made short (because I've already taken a long time here) there was a woman who had a dog (and Bingo was his name oh! Oh...wait...) and she also had a son who was not quite 3 years old at the time. She also had a daughter that was within days of Scarlet.

Shortly after adopting their dog, her son became deathly ill. He was admitted to the hospital with rashes, breathing problems, lethargy, and many other maladies. If I remember correctly, he was in the hospital for near two weeks before he was 'better' and they sent him home, only to have him return days later with worse symptoms.

Throughout all of this, they eventually figured out that her son was allergic to their dog.

Now, to ME, the obvious answer was to get the dog OUT. OF. THE. HOUSE.

Instead, this woman kept her near 3 year old boy in his room while she tried to find a new home for the dog. She refused to take her to a Humane Society because she LOVED her, and couldn't bear to think of her in a place like that (while her very young child remained shut in his room and the dog roamed the house freely.) I did not participate in any of these conversations because i knew that since I didn't agree with everyone, who seemed to be supporting her decisions 100%, it would only cause problems.

Now, I do understand this feeling. It was painful for me to give my dog away too. But what got ME into trouble was, when two weeks later, she hadn't found a home for her dog, and she announced on the forum that she would never be speaking to her mother again, that she was cutting herself off from them and that they would never see her children again.

The reason? her parents would not take her dog. How could they DO this to her, when she was so worried about her poor dog going somewhere awful? (Nevermind her son...)

I was banned from the site because I mentioned that she should probably not be too hard on her parents. If they had wanted a dog, they would have gotten one already. It seemed to me, maybe her son needed HER more than she needed the DOG.

Once again, i was shocked when near 50 women defended her, and turned on me. Apparently, I was wrong. And I was banned from the forum for it. And I swear on my own grave that I am not exaggerating. There was no conversation from me beyond that comment, no argument, no mean words from my side. I was banned before i could defend my point of view or comment back on any of the lashing and flaming that ensued. And there was a lot.

My question is, exactly HOW human should a dog be treated?

I do not believe that people should flippantly adopt a pet and then drop them off without remorse at a pound or abandon them to wander the streets uncared for. Obviously a pet is a lot of work and that puppy (or cat, or bird, or frog or whatever) should be treated with care and love. Perhaps i was wrong to give our dog up so quickly. Maybe I could have tried to cable him into the yard. Maybe I could have just sucked it up and dealt with what is obviously what a dog DOES. But I found him a good home with people who loved him. And he wasn't making my children sick.

I believe FIRMLY that pets are very much a part of the family. I hope my dog Hunter lives forever, because I will be heartbroken when he is no longer around. But if something happened, and he was sick, or hurt very badly, I am not sure our family could afford extensive surgeries, or ct scans or anything. For a CHILD, it goes without saying that we would go into massive debt if it were to save her life. As a matter of fact, we've been-there-done-that.

But for an animal? I know it would be a torturous decision, but euthanizing the poor soul might be our only option. I would not put our family into serious debt for an animal. What if it were YOUR child and YOUR dog that weren't compatible? What if your child were allergic to your dog? What if your dog was violent, or prone to biting? Would you keep your dog? Would you find it a new home? What would you do?

At what point does YOUR family become more important than your pet?


Casey said...

I have to say that I 100% totally agree with you. We had to give our first dog away because she started acting out and we felt bad she wasn't getting the attention she deserved. She was acting out and like you dug a hole in the drywall. She then started acting out against my daughter fighting for attention so it was time. I am sorry but my kids will always come before a pet and if that makes me a horrible person, so be it

Song from Briseis said...

Hmmm. I find myself wondering if I have been on the forum you're talking about. Though, they can all be pretty rough. As far as pets are concerned- ha! I had a friends with a service dog. That dog was her life, and she was the dog's. They spent all their time together and you just couldn't be any closer than they were. When I had my daughter she clearly explained that dogs were not people and her dog had no right to get in my babies face. (this happened once) Her dog was very well trained and when it got overly excited she told it to "Get out of the circle" which would mean that it couldn't run around the circle we were all standing or sitting in and demand attention and be rowdy.

This is my stance, too. Dogs are not people, they are animals. They cannot be held to the same standards as people (they're never gonna grow up and take care of themselves) and if they're making you're life unbearable, I'm sorry. It'll hurt but they have to go live somewhere else. The difficulty and emotional pain of that situation is something that the "owner" for all legal purposes is going to have to deal with (though I'm sure it's hard for dogs, too :( And really- their lives are so short compared to ours! Why should they have to live through five years of you hating them before you have the time to devote to them to make them happy? That's not fair either.

Michelle said...

I agree with you, too. I think it's easy to sit in judgement of someone when you're hundreds/thousands of miles away behind an anonymous User ID. How many of those people would say the same to your face? None, I'd wager. We had a golden retriever who went bad. We had him 5 years, then he started pooping in the house (minutes after being let out!), biting, and growling. He had to go once he drew blood on me. Dogs are unpredictable, and while I love having them as part of my life (currently we have one, a chihuahua), my humans come first and dogs are kept in perspective. I am not willing to live with an animal that 1.) destroys my property (esp when it's military family housing, where we live now) 2.) gets terribly ill and costs way more money than we can afford -- euthenasia at that point or 3.) terrorizes my family as in the case of the golden.

I think it's very, very important to think out the decision to become a pet owner, but one can only foresee so much and selling/giving away/putting down an animal is a hard, but available option when things go wrong. Especially when they go THAT wrong.

I can't imagine banishing my CHILD to her bedroom while doting on a DOG. THAT is child neglect IMO.

Oh dear. I've rambled. The end.


Alicia said...

i am an avid animal lover, but i am aware that they are animals. it drives me crazy when people forget that. at any moment, that animal can turn on your child. we love our animals and they are part of our family, but we also took our time in selecting these creatures. no breed of dog that even remotely has a guard instinct made our list. and prior to ever having kids, we would routinely test the dogs by taking away food or toys and making them sit before getting it back...just in case our child ever decided to put her hand in the bowl while the dog was eating.

i understand where you're coming from, but you did make a couple of mistakes that you should own. you bought your dog from a pet store. pet stores buy from puppy mills and the dogs are often inbred causing many issues. and you got a puppy. people forget how much time and effort it takes to get through puppyhood. a.lot.

my brother-in-law has gotten three dogs and then gotten rid of them when they didn't suit his life anymore. he is an a**. we believe that while an animal is not on the same level as your child, it is a living creature that is dependent on you. it is not like buying a sofa and then changing your decor.

the animal lovers get heated when they feel that people buy dogs on a whim. 101 dalmatians comes out and people run out and buy dalmatians. dalmatians are incredibly high energy and suddenly there is an influx of dalmatians at the pound. they can't adopt them all out and so many have to be killed. because the humans are idiots.

so while i understand your plight and i think you did the right thing by finding a lovely home for your dog, i can also understand why you were met with such anger. the animal lovers are the only voices for the animals. some are extremist, but most are like me...they just want people to take responsibility.

gadget said...

i remember those posts brae, i agree with you. i dont think i posted on that post though bc certain people had it out for me as well. hell, i got banned for no reason. but that is for another day.

i LOVE my pets. we have 3 dogs, 1 cat & a guinea pig. they are family. yes, i know they are animals but they have hearts & love me no matter what.

i had to put my rottweiler, sasha down in sept of last year due to cancer. i STILL cry about it. it was one of the hardest things i have ever had to do. she was my dogter. both of my sons loved her to death. i always said if she had thumbs i would leave my kids with her. she loved them more her food. she was the best dog i ever had and she has a spot in my heart. people think i am weird, but she helped me get ready for my kids. i had her before i had my oldest. she taught me more patience. she taught me, a lot of things. when i had my oldest i was ready so to speak. i remember being pregnant and she was always there making sure i was ok. she laid with me, sat next to me in the bathroom when i was getting sick, she let me hold her when i cried. she was there for me (bc my husband at the time wasnt, he could care less). when i brought B home, she was so excited, her nub was going million miles an hour. she was gentle! when she came up to see him she was slow and careful. gave him a gentle kiss and slept by his bassinet every night. he cried she was right there. we would joke that i had him for her (lol). they were best friends. he could jump on her, sit on her, climb, bite, etc and she wouldnt do anything but kiss him. she was very much my family. when she passed i was heart broken. i had ankle surgery and i made sure i was there when we took her to the vet. she sat by me when we were there and i was looking at the x-rays. i got the last kiss and the i love you look.

so yes, pets are family to me. i do have another story...

we had a hyper chocolate lab. we got him bc someone couldnt take care of him. he was a very sweet dog. but we got him too late, he had to no training what so ever. he bite my sasha in the tongue bc he thought he deserved something she was getting. with me being pregnant with F, we decided that the best thing would be to put him down. we couldnt find anyone to take him after they heard about him biting another dog. we all felt bad but it was one of those, my children come first. we didnt know how he would react to having a baby around. i wasnt going to take the chance.

we love our pets as they are family, wait they are family to us.

I'm NOT a VOLCANO! said...

Song- I'm not sure I count a service dog in quite the same way- they do not serve the same purpouse as a 'pet'- they are a way of life. But still, I think you're right. They are still animals.

Alicia- you are right. And I DID say that some of it was my fault, though, even thoughh we got him from a 'pet store' and I don't know where SHE got him from (She was an amazing veteranarian who gave him his first shots herself, gave us her home number to call for any reason, etc.) he was papered. Typically, dog shows down show cockapoos, but they're so common now, some people are trying to make that happen. I did not pay attention to his papers, as we were not going to show him, but when that lady took him, she asked for them, andI was happy to hand them over. Like I said, I didn't pay attention to the papers, but I'm sure that he wasn't inbred or they couldn't give him papers.

So, I have a question. First off, I TOTALLY agree with you that people shouldn't flippantly buy a dog to just give it up- but i have already explained that that was not how our situation worked. OUr family situation changed and so the circumstances changed. When we GOT the dog, we put a lot of thought into it, we went to that store several times over several weeks to look at dogs and hold them and test them out. However, you mentioned all those dalmation puppies.

My question is, well, statement/questions are: Those dalmation puppies are going to be bred and born anyway. The breeders/puppy mills wherever you get them, are going to have them. They are around. People buy them. And then they give them up. But I bet SOME people keep them. And here's the real question: What happens to all those puppies if NO ONE buys them? I bet they end up dying anyway. I agree that no one should just buy a dog ona whim. BUT, how is is saving a dog's life if you don't go buy one? They're still around. They don't just disappear because people ignore them. Puppy mills don't just go away because people don't buy their dogs scores at a time.

Just for the sake of argument (not contention) and information.

Katie- I actually remember hearing about your dog...OH! And I am supposed to draw you a heart with wings! OMG, I forgot until now! And I also have seen pics of your new puppies! So cute!!!

Once, on our first military base, there was a pit bull who started hanging around our yard. We didn't know her, so we kept Lilly (my only one at teh tiem) away from her, and Brandon tied her into our back yard (no fence) because there were TONS of kids around. we fed her and put up pictures all over hte base. She HAD to belong to someone on base because the whole thing is surrounded by a barbed wire fence, and the only way in and out is through the guards.

After a week of no one calling, we tried to take her to a humane society. But they wanted us to pay 75 dollars to drop her off. But she wasn't ours, and we didn't, at the time, just have 75 bucks to fork over. Also, we tried to report her to the Humane Society as a stray dog, but they wouldn't come get her because she was on base and out of their jurisdiction, and the cops on base wouldn't touch her because she was a pit bull. Branodn loved her and called her Honey- but we both knew we weren't ready for a dog, and though it's a stereotype, I did NOT want a pitt bull.

Brandon talked to a guy at work who already had an adult male pitt bull. They decided to take Honey (Who was still young- we guessed that she was just over a year) They brought their dog over 3 nights in a row for a couple of hours so they could get to know each other. They took her, and I guess they were happy with her because we never heard from them again.

See. I'm such an animal hater. ~Sarcasm~

Elizabeth said...

Well, I must admit that I am only a recent lover of pets... and really I only love my little dog, although my appreciation for all animals has tremendously improved and I can empathize with those who love love love their pets. I really do heart Petchi. (My petcharoola petcherina petchi petch).

Unfortunately only after very shortly owning her, and definitely after falling head over heels for her. We found out that my nephew is seriously allergic to dogs and cats and specifically my boston terrier. Her saliva makes his skin puff up and turn blue and purple till he looks like someone beat his little face to a pulp. Ironically we learned this just after my backyard was completed and ready for the first family bbq. It was only minutes after the licking (Or the "incident" as we like to call it) that his mother had to rush him to the bath tub and make him chug allergy medicine. I was devastated... and still am. It takes everything I have to not bring Petchi where ever I go, but, a people is a people and a dog is a dog, and Joseph gets priority. So although Petchi is a grandchild... she doesn't get to visit her grandparents very often. Most sadly though, my backyard has been retired as far as family functions are concerned.
You were right... on your forum... and well, some people are seriously CRAZY. (Maybe they should be chugging a little medication of their own.)

Alicia said...

hi again! i certainly wasn't comparing you to the dalmatian scenario...i know you put a lot of thought into your decision. i was using the dalmatian scenario as an example of why the animal lovers lose it when they hear about someone giving up their animal.

the fact is that the general public is not that educated on the whole puppy mill issue despite efforts by the humane society and breeders to do so. having "papers" simply means that both parents were the same breed. it does not mean that they couldn't be siblings. if you go to the pet store tomorrow, look at the puppies. look at their eyes. most of them will be sick.
if people stop buying from the pet stores, then the puppy mills will not have the means to supply the dogs. even in the last 20 years, many pet stores have stopped selling dogs or closed down all together. and those puppy places, that open up around christmas, are usually gone pretty quickly when they are turned in for being a puppy mill. that's a victory!

and you can't think of it as "saving" one puppy, because as long as you keep buying these dogs, they'll keep breeding them. and more dogs will have to suffer - you know, they also provided dogs for illegal animal testing too. think about those poor things.

like i wrote earlier, i believe you had the best intentions and made the best decision you could at the time. i'm glad you found the dog a home instead of dropping it at the pound.

i was simply trying to provide a little insight as to why those people might have attacked you. does that make sense?

Christina said...

Good post. I always like your honesty. First off, I think I mostly still go on message boards (especially BBC) specifically because I tend to be the person who defends the poster who needs defending, you know? I hate when everyone just gangs up on someone and everyone just jumps on the bandwagon with reinforcement and enevr really thinking of both sides of an argument. People dont do this in real life (as much so as online) or if they do, they dont get away with it as easily anymore...being so judgemental.

I have a dog ive had for 11 years now and she was like my first child. Im a very loving person toward animals and of course I can get pretty upset if I think anyone is abusing or neglecting an animal. BUT I know that some pets dont fit right with new owners. Minnie (my dog) had a litter of puppies and the one I wanted my sister took and I was left with a rowdy one. Eventually I had to find a nice couple to give it to after months of trying to keep it.

I can see how its harder to bring it to a shelter vs finding a person you know will keep it and enjoy it.The reason this one was wanted by so many people was b/c she was purebred pekingese. Some people want a specific kind of breed.

Anyhow, you gave it a try. Of cours eyoru kids are going to come first. I just did a post on how I feel badly that I tend to sometimes negelct (emotionally) my dog ive had for 11 years now (not spend enough time with her as id like to). Because having kids demands all of your time for some people.
You had just got the dog, too....its kind of on a trial basis.Its a sad case for the dog, going back. But you did go in and give it a good chance and hopefully someone else will too. Lots of people prefer high energy dogs....(not me!)


I'm NOT a VOLCANO! said...

Alicia- Thank you for the info on puppy mills. I'm not sure I know a lot about them. We got our last dog (Our Hunter that we still have him- and hopefully for a long time) from the Humane Society. I am so glad we did too. He is such an amazing, sweet dog, and it would be a shame for them to have had to put him down because no one took him.

I think, any future dogs we get will be through the Humane Society. Not only can you get an older dog that is past the hyper puppy stage, doesn't chew or whatnot, and is housebroken, you know EXACTLY why people are getting rid of them. Many of them, in this economy are abandoned only because their owners had to move for losing their home and couldn't take the dogs with them wehre they were going. Some dogs are turned in for violence, though, and you KNOW when you walk in there because of the information posted to their kennels, that this particular dog does NOT do well with small children. It isn't a trial you have to make, and hope it works out. All the animals are tested with children and other animals.

Animals that have genetic history of being violent or being bred to guard (such at pitt bulls) are studied in detail before being put out to adopt. It makes me feel very comfortable.

Not to mention, it only cost us 75 dollars to adopt Hunter. We spent nearly 1000.00 on Sprocket (which was fine because it wasn't 'out of pocket' it was our tax return- but still, it's a lot of money.)

I am totally an advocate for the Humane Society. I really feel like we saved Hunter.

And Christina- YES! I know what you mean. One of the big reasons we got Hunter as opposed to several other dogs we saw (We went daily for 2 weeks, and got to know the dogs really well) was because of his extremely calm demenor. It's funny- he sleeps for most of the day. He likes to run in short bursts, like when we got to the park, but he won't run with Brandon- he goes for about a blog, and then gets tired and just walks. He's fat, and lazy- won't even play with toys, though we think that was because he was trained to hunt. He loves his bones though, and he likes to lay in the sun in our yard. It's perfect because he doesn't demand that i play with him or give him attention. At night, when the kids are in bed, he'll come and sit on the couch and demand that we pet and scratch him. but he just leaves us alone during the day while he sleeps. LOL.

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip said...

I completely agree with you. Pets are wonderful, but your family has to be top priority. You are an awesome mom and even more so because you know how to make those tough decisions.

Kristi said...

I totally agree with you. You absolutely did the right thing!
Animals have a place within the family and everything should be done to ensure their welfare. However, when their needs collide with or hinder those of human family members there's just no question in my mind. People come first.
In fact, two years ago we opted to turn our beloved dog in to a no-kill rescue after she bit my then 4-year old in the face, barely missing her eye. Unfortuately, she just did not like children and no matter how much we educated our kids about our dog's temperament it didn't help.
Our child's safety trumped our desire to have Trixie remain in our family. We miss her dearly, but we feel that we did the right thing. What she really needed was to be placed with a family with no children.
I'm sorry that you had to deal with all of that backlash. It's ridiculous that people can't express their opinions and views in a constructive and non-accusitory manner.
By the way, I'm glad I stopped on by again to vote for you in Top Mommy Blogs. I really enjoyed this post!

Kristi, Live and Love...Out Loud

esianoyam3 said...

I think you have to do what's right for the family AND what's right for the dog.

DH surprised us with a puppy when we moved out here. She was an adorable little thing, and the rescue group told us she was part chihuahua and part *small* terrier and that she wouldn't get very big. She ended up getting very big very quickly. I had a newborn baby at home, and was trying to get settled in a new home across the country from any friends or family members.

The puppy couldn't be convinced not to jump on the baby every chance she got. She also refused to be housebroken, and she barked all night in her crate. It reached the point where she was dangerous for the baby, and we had to keep her penned up in her play yard for most of the day (to keep my children safe). She was obviously bored, and she started chewing my baseboards and licking holes into my walls.

I told DH that to be fair to the dog, we needed to find a new home for her. I felt it was cruel to keep her penned up all day, and we don't have a fenced yard, so she couldn't play outside. Luckily, he had friends from work who were able to take her, and it all worked out well.

I want another dog at some point, but I want something small, but sturdy enough for my kiddos.

esianoyam3 said...

Oh, and as far as euthanizing goes, I totally understand where you're coming from. My parent's dog came down with cancer practically overnight. She was a very beloved pet. The doctors said that chemo MIGHT help, but they couldn't guarantee that it would do anything, and it would cost thousands of dollars. My parents decided to euthanize. I went with my mom to the vet, and while it was sad to say goodbye, I was grateful that there's such a humane way to put a sick animal out of its misery.

Interestingly enough, my parents now own a pet crematorium. Their personal experience allows them to empathize with their clients on a daily basis.

Annette Piper said...

Sorry, computer is playing up - please delete if this is a double comment!

I had a wonderful dog when we were just a couple and she was gorgeous. She had her share of vet bills with tick poisoning, a broken foot, a dislocated tail, desexing, car accident....

When she was about 8 we had a baby and although I still loved her I certainly didn't have as much time to spend with her. She was patient though and grateful for her walks alongside the pram and the odd pat as I would hang the washing out. (BTW, she was an outside dog allowed in for an hour or two on cold nights).

We moved to the farm and she revelled in the expanses but no longer came inside at night as she was located in her kennel down with the working dogs. A couple of years later I had the twins, and spent even less time with her.

She was getting old but still a gorgeous, loving dog.

One night something went wrong and the next morning she wasn't with us any longer. I still get very sad when I think of her no longer with us and so very grateful that she was with us for over 10 years. She was a family member, but she was still a dog and treated as such.

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

First the people in those forums were giant a-holes!!!

Poor you.

You made the right decision totally! My parents had to give their dog away when my dad got arthritus. It was just too much work.

If a dog is harmful - BYE BYE!!!

Now, you know our situation with our dog's bone cancer. The bottom line came down to 2 things for us:

1. She could have up to 3+ great and healthy years, or she dies in 3-6 months if we do nothing.

2. Use our Fun Savings, and not get a new kitchen floor, or save our beloved dogs life.

We had the money even though it was earmarked for somethng else, but we just couldn't justify getting a new floor over helping Emma.

We actually did take a week to think both options through, but in the end we are happy that we spent the money even though the cancer has gotten worse.

The irony is, is that with her 3 legs we had to cover up the floor with rugs so she doesn't slip!!!

If we didn't have the extra money, we wouldn't have done it.

Now, whatever happens in the future with her, we know one thing - she won't suffer. If she begins to, we will have to do the right thing.

But today she is awesome and today I can love her and play with her - I won't worry about tomorrow!

Chrissy said...

I'm just stopping by from MckMama's forum. Love your comments on the stay-at-home/working mom post.


Trench Mommy said...

Wow. I totally agree with you. I highly respect the need for loving treatment of animals, but when they become set above humans there is a problem. I also know what PuppyMills can do to animals. My parents bought a German Shepherd Puppy back in May & by July they had to give it away to a couple who could "handle" him better. This was the 2nd GS we had as a family and this one was just extremely aggressive (more than normal) - long story short is that they stayed in close contact with the friends who took him and by August had to put him down because he was suffering from MAJOR seizures due to imbreeding. The vet said he would either have to stay caged his whole life or be put down. Putting him down was the most compassionate option seeing that he was also in pain. That was an eye opening experience learning about pet stores and puppymills.

Muthering Heights said...

I LOVE animals...dogs included. I think we have so much to gain by caring for God's creatures, however, I also believe that animals are NOT people.

When we found out that my pets were causing my husband's allergies to increase in severity, and that their poo could carry bacteria that could harm my daughter and unborn baby, they were OUT of there! I know they were going to good homes, and that I had done the right thing.

While I feel that animals should be treated with love, compassion, and high quality care, no animal could ever come before my better half, of the precious human beings that God created inside my body. EVER!

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you here. There is no point that my family comes before the pet because they always come before the pet. It was incredibly sad when one of our dogs died a few weeks ago and then when the other got hit by a car and almost died just after that, I was actually hysterical. I've never been "that" person. I love animals and love pets but, they aren't people to me. And, as happy as I am that our other dog is going to be fine, my family still comes first!

I'm furious that you were treated that way on those forums. It's ridiculous. And hey, that's coming from someone who has had a debate with you on a forum! ;-)

Julie said...

A dog is a dog is a DOG! A child is a child is a CHILD!!

And now, because I feel I must, in order to avoid hate mail..wink wink..we have had our dog for 14 years and we love that big ole' lug!!

Love your blog!! Glad I found it! Thanks for the vote. And now I'm off to vote for you!

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