Breaking Up Is Hard To Do (And It Should Be)

A little while ago there was a blog post floating around Facebook (which I now cannot find) with a whole “judge not lest ye be judged” theme of rehoming ones companion dog.  It was a nice post, actually, talking about how sometimes life’s circumstances cause tectonic shifts in personal circumstances that force people to make decisions they might otherwise not make.  Truth – life sometimes sucks and we are made to do things that in turn also suck.

The post then went on to talk about people who give up their sport dogs due to injury or age, citing some sappy rhetoric about how the dog “knows” it can’t compete anymore and is heartbroken at being left behind, and it’s “kinder” to rehome the dog with someone who can give the dog lots of love and long walks on the beach or some such thing, and the dog will be better off for it … but don’t judge the competitor who sloughed off that useless canine, because they are doing it “for the dog.”

That’s when I started to get really, really irritated.

I do not understand this concept of giving up your friend because he’s no longer useful to your hobby.  Neither does almost-15 year old, can’t do agility anymore and has some difficulty getting on and off the porch sometimes, Tweed.

This blog post was quite timely for me, because two weeks ago, I rehomed Ender.

It was a long time coming, but it was also a decisive, “moment in time” decision where I simply sat down at my desk one morning over coffee and composed a rehoming post on a local Italian Greyhound forum I would sometimes frequent.  I tried to be honest – I talked about his good points, and I also outlined the things about him that drove me ’round the bend.  I stressed that I was giving him up because I did not like living with him, and that I’d made a mistake in acquiring him, and that it was important to me that he went to a home that KNEW they liked Italian Greyhounds, and not someone like me, who just thought they might like Italian Greyhounds.  I did not want him passed around even more than he already had been (six homes in 3 years before mine!), and that if ever it did not work out in his new home, he could – AND WOULD – come back to me.

I expected to be judged.  I deserved to be judged.  And I was.

And that’s okay, because rehoming ones dog when it is not a life-or-death situation is an activity that should be weighed against its own morality.  I judged MYSELF when I made this decision; I made a choice about what I wanted to live with and what I didn’t want to put up with, and Ender came out on the bottom.  He wasn’t killing me, or ruining my life.  I just didn’t like him very much, and I chose a life that did not include him.  That’s not very nice of me, when you get right down to it.  I rehomed Ender for me, not for Ender.

Of course, he did drive me BATTY.  I would find myself tensing up every evening listening to the ritualistic sounds of Ender getting out of my bed after his post-dinner nap; uncovering himself from my quilt, shaking his tags, thumping from the bed to the chair, the chair to the floor, clickety clicking across the laminate into the living room, and then standing behind my chair and doing his front-feet-off-the-floor hop and saying “arrlwhorlllawwr” in his grumbly way, asking to go outside to pee.  Repeat a minimum of 4 times between dinner at 7PM and bed time around 10PM.  Why the fuck can’t he just NOT PEE 400 times before bed, like every other god damn dog in the house?

Constantly screaming “ENDERENDERENDER!!” whenever I was out with the dogs, because he was always disappearing from sight.  Stomping up the road where I knew I’d find him, waiting to yodel his turkey alarm call at people out for an evening stroll, with or without their dogs.  Getting progressively angrier as he ignored me until he spied me, and would then shoot back onto the acreage with a facial expression indicating sheer terror at my advance.  Just stop doing it then, stay on the fucking acreage like everyone else, you stupid skinny asshole!

“I hate this one” my landlord would tell me, pointing at Ender.

Never mind the fact that I have to replace the laminate in my bedroom now, because he ruined it by constantly pissing on it.  I won’t even talk about how I discovered the mysterious pee smell in my living room was Ender sneak-pissing ON MY GOD DAMN TV STAND, finding pools of stagnant and dried urine under my stereo and PVR.  The jumping up and rebounding off my ass and the small of my back while I was preparing every dog meal, ever.  Couldn’t even cuddle the damn dog, because he was all elbows and legs and would kick me in the face or decide he’d had enough and spring off my body using my neck or torso as a flyball box.  I. HATED. living with him.

So I found him a new home.  They live nearby, they have another Italian Greyhound and they – get this – get out of bed every morning at 3AM to take their other IG out to pee on the porch, because she can’t (although I suspect it’s more like WON’T) hold it all night long.  They feed raw.  They loved Ender on sight, and wanted him right away.  So the next evening, I drove Ender and all his pajamas, jackets, belly bands and maxi pads, and favourite blankets over to their house.

He wouldn’t get out of the car when we got there.  And when I tried to hand him over to his new dad, he tried to run back to me in mid air.  And I sobbed all the way home, and well into the evening.  Although they live only 10 minutes away, just 15 minutes after I got home Ender’s new dad sent me a text that had photos of Ender playing with their Lab, and chewing happily on a pork bone I’d sent along with him.

Just because he didn’t like the moment of change, doesn’t mean the change isn’t a good one,” a friend of mine told me when I described how hard it was to hand him off to someone else.

Ender will be just fine.  And so will I.  I feel guilty, but not because I rehomed him – I feel guilty because after the initial sadness, all I feel is relief.  I have not missed him at all.  I did a selfish thing.  I don’t know if Ender knew I didn’t like him; dogs are pretty intuitive, so maybe on some level he did, though I tried hard to like him all the time and to demonstrate a fondness for him.  I cuddled and patted him regularly, I gave him the best food and veterinary care I could (he certainly was in MUCH better shape when he left me than when he came to me) and I played with him and taught him new tricks and treated him very well.  But I also found myself negotiating with myself all the time – today I will acquire the wisdom to accept the things I cannot change about Ender; I will not get angry with him, I will not have expectations of him that exceed his capabilities.  I will be a better dog owner.  And then I would come home to my jackets all on the floor with the pockets chewed up (because maybe cookies once upon a time in there) and chunks of cat litter and cat poop on the floor from his mid day snack (and once, chunks of cat poop IN MY SHEETS when he decided he wanted to dine in bed that day) because he had no respect for baby gates, and I’d lose my resolve and seethe with hatred for the 17lbs of insidious evil I’d welcomed into my home.  I hated him for how he made me feel, and I hated myself for feeling that way, and it was all because I just couldn’t accept Ender for who he was.  There is nothing about it that feels good.

Except now I feel good.  In the last two weeks I have not found a single sneaky pee in my bedroom or up the the back of my easy chair.  The cat litter box remains unmolested.  I’m not throwing soiled belly bands into the washing machine with unnecessary force.  I’m not burbling with tension on the verge of anger as my van pulls up in front of my house after work.  And I am enjoying time outdoors with the dogs again.  And there is a marked change in the happiness level of the other dogs in the house.  At our first agility practice after Ender left, Spring’s old enthusiasm returned and she was a ROCKET, bootin’ around the course at warp speed.  She’s been mopey at practice for a year or so, to the point where I’d almost decided not to enter her in Regionals this June.

She’s playing with Winter again, an activity that had all but ceased over the last year, presumably because Ender would get in there and piss them both off (none of my dogs liked playing with Ender).

The Littles’ play sessions are longer and more joyful, because there is no Ender to get in the middle of them and ruin their fun.

Everyone in the house is a just a helluva lot more relaxed.

But make no mistake – I didn’t do it for them.  I didn’t even realize that they were unhappy(ish) with Ender in the house, though it’s a nice side effect of him being gone.  I rehomed Ender for me.  And as someone who has made a lifetime’s work of advocating for lifetime commitment to ones four legged companions, I can’t pretend I gave Ender away for any reason other than I didn’t want to be his human.  And you can judge me for it, it’s okay.  Because I don’t think that anyone who passes a dog on to another home should feel anything other than badly about what they’ve done.  I’d be a much shittier person if I thought I deserved less than judgment.

Good bye Ender.

In other news…

I have started training Fae in agility, with limited success.  She is an up-and-down temperament – gleefully joyful one moment, paranoid and fearful the next.  She develops random phobias of a tunnel entrance or a jump directional in the middle of a little sequence.  It’s pretty frustrating.  So The Sadist said “find a toy she really likes and work on building her drive for that toy.”

I’ve been experimenting with different toys with Fae.

Meh

But have found only one thing she consistently likes.  Which is a clump of grassy mud.

WHEEEE!

Because she’s contrary like that.  It’s good thing she is so damn adorable!

This morning she tried to crawl up to my chin do her morning greeting (which involves biting me in the nose and scratching at my ears) but had somehow gotten herself between the duvet and the duvet cover, and she had a panic attack until I worked out how to free her.  She is a dearly odd little critter (who incidentally has figured out housebreaking all of a sudden, and is 100% reliable in the house now).

This insect makes me ANGRY!

For those of you wondering, Ancient Gemma Bean is still alive and kicking.

I don’t know how much longer she will be around though … Sometimes I wonder how much of a life she really has – she is either eating, sleeping, or scratching/chewing and crying about it.  We are trying her on prednisone now, since clearly her itchies are not allergy-related.  If this doesn’t help her, I’m not sure what else will, and I think it might be kinder to let her go.

The rest of the gang is doing great, although Wootie seems to feel he has some kind of dietary deficiency that requires him to consume large quantities of dirt, which leaves him resembling a hipster with an ironic mud goatee.

TWooie is still fat, and still rotten to the core ;-)

Rhumba is still with me :(  I put an adoption ad for her on the “Women Seeking Women” section of Craigslist, but it got flagged off in a matter of minutes.  Some people have NO sense of humour at all.  Harumph.  She is still looking for a ladies-only home, and she really is such a fun, cool little dog.

Still crazy:

Tweed’s doing GREAT.  He has started sleeping in “old dog positions” lately, which distresses me, but he still plays fetch twice a day, and chases Dexter all over the damn joint at top speed.  I don’t know anyone else with a 15 year old dog that is this spry!  Doesn’t look a day over 10 to me.

Piper refused to pose for any photos, because she only wanted to dance around behind me with a stuffie in her mouth.  But after years of promises, I finally came through and got her 5 baby Indian Runner Ducks.

ducks

 

When they are big enough, she can work them to her heart’s content.  Next I need to set up the duck pen … anyone want to come help me move the duck house to its new location?  It’s really fuckin’ heavy!

I’m loving the new camera lens … if only the weather would be more cooperative so I could take more photos!

But now I am on the hunt to purchase a second hand Canon 7D.  Anyone got one for sale?

Comments

  1. Wonderful piece! I have also rehomed dogs that weren’t working out in my home – either because of issues with other dogs, or issues with my not liking them – and I have never felt good about it. I was touchy about It, and I should’ve been brave like you and taken the fire. Thank you for your honesty. I love all your babies, and I’m entranced by rhumba!!

  2. Monique says:

    An honest and thoughtful post re: Ender, and much respect for writing it. Not every dog is right for every person/home, no matter how hard you want to or try to make it work. It reminds me of fostering for rescue and the people that tell me they could never foster because “I’d keep them all” or who’ve badgered “why aren’t you keeping your foster dog?” We’ve fostered some perfectly fine dogs that I was not sad to see leave, and who went on to have perfectly happy lives elsewhere, as it sounds like Ender will.

  3. You absolutely did the right thing.

  4. Leila Gaskin says:

    I think you hit every point spot on. Having these fur-kids in our lives is never easy, but they teach us so many things. You got Ender ready for his new home. That is sometimes what our jobs are. Good to see you on the blog.

  5. So. I am a dog trainer who is also a major Judgy McJudgypants, and working with clients and trainers and just PEOPLE who do things that I consider WRONG or in ways that I consider WRONG and I get frustrated about on a regular basis. Driving has a particular set of rules in my life. So does dog owning.

    That said, I have a tremendous amount of respect for your honesty about rehoming Ender, and I can say as an official Person Who Shall Judge Things, I think you can let yourself off the hook, especially given that it sounds like you made the right choice. Whether you rehomed Ender for you or for Ender, there is no doubt in my mind that a dog is better off when they are in a home with people that *can* love them for who they are, even if who they are is a completely obnoxious nitwit.

    I love dogs. I do. But there are some that you could not pay me to live with (this is why I don’t do board and trains), and if I found out that a dog that I was living with happened to be one of the ones that made me as frustrated as you were at that moment, I hope that I would make the same choice and find a home that could adore that dog. Particularly if I felt like, of all the people finding homes for dogs, I was as capable of sifting through the rubbish homes to find the gems (like a home 15 minutes away, seriously, so you can check on him if you want to and they KNOW what living with an Iggy is like?! Seriously, that sounds like he walked into heaven and he just didn’t know it.).

    So. Whether you like it or not, Judge SheWhoKnowsEverything finds you not guilty of the charge of being a total asshole. I’ll send you a certificate if you want. I’ll get it notarized if you REALLY want.

  6. I completely agree, not every home suits every dog. You thought you’d done your research on the breed, and thought you knew what you were getting. Only to discover you were wrong. It happens ALL THE TIME. Sometimes it works out perfectly anyways. But sometimes it doesn’t. And when you’re miserable with the dog, its in the DOG’S best interest to have you find him a new home, and its in YOUR best interest to find him a new home. Its selfish sure, but if you’re that unhappy with the dog then he’s honestly not getting 100% from you and its better for him too.

  7. No judgements here. I think people need to spend a bit more time minding their own business. You know, that whole walk-a-mile thing. I understand that giving up a dog because their YPS doesn’t satisfy you is a total asshole move, but you know what? If that’s how that person is, it IS better for the dog to go somewhere else. Personally, I HAVE to have peace at home. Have to. I could not deal with aggression in the house. No room swapping and crate swapping and all that. Just, no. Too stressful for me and my personality. I know people that do that and seem to be totally fine with it. I just can’t. My criteria when looking for Kate was full grown, under 45 lbs (apt requirement at the time) and not dog aggressive. No way was I bringing a dog in that would make Bella miserable. Life is too short to have a bad dog! “Bad” being a personally defined thing, of course.

    Ender will be fine, you’ll be fine. Just post something about kibble and everyone will forget. :-)

  8. Maybe it’s just because I’m a horse person, and it’s pretty rare for one person to keep a horse their whole life… But I think responsible rehoming is a GOOD thing, for all parties. I rehomed a cat who I liked but was driving me nuts because she needed me home much much more often than I could be. She lives with a couple who adore her – we started with an unhappy human and an unhappy cat and ended with three happy humans and one blissed out cat. I don’t see the bad there. So – no judgment from this animal lover!

  9. I’m happy for Ender, who is in a place that is better for him. Not that you weren’t good TO him, but as you said, he probably knew he wasn’t in the right home for him.

    I’m sad for you, because we all make mistakes and we should be more understanding of ourselves. And having given up a dog (who wasn’t with us nearly as long as you had Ender), I know the pain and self-flagellation that remains behind afterward. Only a good dog person would feel the way you do. People who give up dogs for all the wrong reasons give no further thought to what they did or didn’t do to help the situation. I hope at some point you’ll be able to forgive yourself because I suspect all who know you know that you did the right thing for Ender, for your other dogs, and for yourself.

  10. Amber T. says:

    Oh. You are me, and now I feel a lot better about being me.

    I mean, I still feel lousy about the whole situation I found myself in, but not being alone is comforting. Thank you for posting this.

  11. Stephanie says:

    We had a beagle for three years. I studied up on beagles, I thought he was exactly what we wanted, we adopted an adult who needed a home, so we wouldn’t go through the destructive puppy phase. He got on great with the existing dogs. I loved many of his beagle charms, but some of the stuff he did just drove me nuts. I’m used to really smart dogs, and he was just not very bright. Every morning he dove out the backdoor in full beagle alarm at the anticipation of finding a bunny trail to follow. I dreaded that woo-woo-woo first thing in the morning! And the baying that would result from so many other situations. And the stubborn not coming when I called because there was always something more interesting to sniff. I finally came to the conclusion that the hound thing just wasn’t for me. We found him the best home possible – he actually got to go back with the family we got him from, who had a little girl who had been pining for him since they gave him away! And our house became so much more peaceful, I had no doubt I had done the right thing. Happy ending for everyone.

    Our job is not necessarily to keep every animal from birth to death.I don’t think you get bonus points for holding out and making yourself and everyone around you miserable with a bad match. We DO have a responsibility to make as certain as possible that their lives are safe and good, even if that means giving them to someone else who can make that happen.

  12. Natalie says:

    Good post and timely as while I’m not planning on rehoming my Chucky I was recently asked by my parents if I’d consider taking my sister’s dog if needed (she has allergies – don’t get me started why she got a non-hypo-allergenic dog when she has bad allergies) and as much as I know my sister would want that, I said no. Because I never felt a connection to her dog, I can tolerate him on small doses but even watching him for a weekend drives me nuts and I’m always glad to give him back. I felt really bad saying no and went back and forth on if I was just being selfish. But his quality of life wouldn’t have been as nice – I would have given him the same care as I give my dog but I didn’t want to cuddle with him and Chucky doesn’t like to share long term either ( by the end of a weekend he’s usually sitting on one end of the bed giving her dog dirty looks). Luckily she is keeping her dog (for now!) but it’s good to know that it’s ok to not want a dog you just can’t give your unconditional love to.

  13. You signed on to take the best care possible of Ender, and that’s what you’ve done. I’ve been in a situation where we had to keep dogs separated at all times, and when I moved out with my dogs I couldn’t believe the release of tension. I hadn’t realized how unhappy we’d all been until we were all safe again.

    Hugs to Tweed from 15-1/2 year old Amelia, who is a trifle confused but still appallingly healthy.

  14. riosmom says:

    I feel like I should judge you because no one else has – just kidding. Actually, I do judge you for finally coming to your senses and realizing that re-homing Ender was the right thing to do. I hope, too, that you are done beating yourself up for doing it and I am glad your dogs are validating your brave decision and are happier.

    Re: Fae’s favorite toy being strange, Greg Derrett, a well known agility instructor, had a dog who didn’t like toys until they finally found the one thing the dog liked – a tin pie pan! He didn’t say how they discovered the dog would play with a tin pie pan, but showed a video of the dog happily “attacking” the tin pan. It is because dogs are so strange and so different that we love them. Love the picture of Fae snarling at the ground and Wootie with his beard and Tweed being Tweed. Truth be told, I love all your pictures (even of Ender) but am especially partial to some of the subjects.

  15. Happy for Piper, and for good old Tweed, but also for you. Because, I have to say, I wish people did not feel badly about rehoming (of course, to an appropriate, knowledgeable home, not just dropping them off at a shelter), or even humane euthanasia if indicated. I work with dogs with aggression and separation anxiety and sterotypies all day long. And I see people who have adopted or purchased dogs that are a terrible fit for their lifestyle or capabilities; sometimes this is because they didn’t do their homework, and sometimes it is because they adopted a dog for their kids that they thought/were told was a sweet dog, good with kids and strangers and other dogs, and instead ended up being terrified of life/unable to be touched/unable to be left alone/more likely than not to bite a visitor or another dog at the park. And it ruins their marriages, or makes them unable to have friends over to their house, or means that they are unable to have a dog as a companion and cuddler and running partner. Most of those dogs can’t be rehomed, and so we end up discussing euthanasia instead. Because after all, yes, we love them, but why must we as humans feel obligated to give up everything we love and enjoy in life, to give up any sort of quality of life for ourselves or our family, for a dog? I may do that, and you may decide to do that, too, but I would never in a million years judge someone for deciding not to make such a huge sacrifice. Even more so in a situation where another home is a possibility, and where the person cannot bond with the dog in the way that needed. Too, then, I think it is invariably kinder to not only the human but the dog to let them move on to that other home. Because what kind of quality of life is it for the dog to live in a home where he is not loved or even liked, when there is another home that will cherish him? And so I am happy that Ender has found such a home, and I am happy for you, too.

  16. Tatyana says:

    I don’t judge you for rehoming ender. Honestly, every issue you had with him sounds like quirks of the breed. I know, I have IGs. It’s definitely not a breed for everyone. Some people don’t mind those quirks and just love them anyway (I’m one of those weirdos). Some people just don’t get them (my husband…). I’m glad he went to a home with ig people, hopefully they’ll ‘get’ him and won’t be bothered by those quirks :)

  17. (I am an entirely different Lise.)

    You were good to him while you had him (any of my dogs would cheerfully chuck me for the lifestyle you can offer your dogs, ha) and you found him a great home, and now everybody’s happier. You deserve to have a good life too! And honestly, every dog deserves an owner that goes googly eyed for them, right? God bless the iggy people. ;-D

  18. Martha Sundquist says:

    Seems to me the selfish thing to do is not rehome Ender. I believe you found a win win situation. It takes a woman with balls to realize she made a mistake and own up to it and do the better thing for the dog.

  19. You are not the same as the kind of people that callously get rid of their dogs when it doesn’t work out. You put a lot of thought into this, and took the time to find him a GOOD home. That makes you different right there. You have the ability to recognize that there are other GOOD homes and GOOD owners other than you out there, and you took the time to find one.

  20. Maria Shanley says:

    You did the absolute right thing. I lived 11 years with a dog who didn’t like me or I him (he adored my husband), but would have given him to the right home ASAP if he hadn’t fit with either of us. Ender will be happier and so will you and the other dogs.

  21. Janice in GA says:

    Hooray for Tweed hanging in, from his GA fan club!

    I won’t fault you for rehoming a dog like Ender. I’m not there and can’t say I would have done any better. Best wishes to him in his new home, and glad that the other dogs are happier too. :)

  22. I have such enormous respect for you.

  23. My goodness, I was so worried about you. It had been so long since you posted. You are so honest and I respect you for being that way. You went the extra mile for Ender. Please keep on posting.

  24. Robin L. says:

    No judgment against you here. I remember Patricia McConnell’s thoughtful post about having to rehome a dog and going it responsibly . That may be one of the ones you remember. But anyway, I can’t help but think life is just not black and white the way judmental people say it is. And Ender will probably be much happier now too.

  25. There is an entire world of difference between getting rid of a dog and thoughtfully rehoming a dog.

  26. Kate D. says:

    I totally respect what you went through and what you did to help Ender get into a IG home a definite win win situation for everyone.
    Loved the new pictures they all look great, poor little Gemma Bean tho I hope the new medication works
    go easy on yourself, you did everything right and nothing wrong

  27. suzanne says:

    Kudos to you for doing the right thing. I currently have a dog here that I refer to as my penance here on earth. I told myself all the typical BS that he would “grow out” of assorted behaviors, that he would settle down, are his behaviors all my fault as a result of him living here etc etc etc If I had had your courage life here might have been different for all of us… for me, most assuredly for my other dogs, and for him… there was probably someone out there who could have loved him as he is, something which I have not as yet been able to do. So thumbs up to you!

  28. suzanne says:

    just wondering, did Fae become housebroken before or after Ender left?

  29. you may not have had Ender in mind when you made the decision, but happily it turns out that it was good for him too! Sometimes personalities just don’t mix You made an awesome effort to find him a good home and it sounds like you were very successful at that. Too many people would have just dumped the dog and you didn’t do that. Please don’t judge yourself so harshly. You are an awesome dog owner.

  30. Simply, you did the best thing for Ender, for you, for your other dogs, and it sounds like Ender’s new owners!

  31. Thanks everyone! I know I did the right thing for both of us, but I felt like a right shit heel when I did it.

    Come to think of it, Fae’s suddenly perfect housebreaking happened around the same time as Ender leaving, which leads me to believe she felt that if he could piss in the house, so could she. Also, she is less fearful with Ender gone, and happier to get praise for peepees outside!

  32. clairesmum says:

    Ditto to everyone else..please be proud of yourself for working so hard with Ender to help him learn some of what he needed to learn, and in working hard to find him the next right place. You did not just ‘dump’ him somewhere, you were honest with yourself and others about what he needed, and you didn’t let him go until you found a place that would likely be a good fit AND you could check up on him. All very responsible and not just based on what you needed/wanted.
    Long time reader, I think I recall in the past that you have struggled hard with dogs with problem behaviors (Woo and Twoo for sure) when they arrived. Other fosters that have lived at Casa de Food Lady have needed your hard work too, to help them be ready to move on to forever homes.
    No judging, no blaming, no shaming. Do what you can with what you have – that’s a lot. Happy Easter!

  33. I’m glad Ender is happy in his new home, and it’s really interesting to hear the other dogs’ reactions to his leaving. Happy Easter. :)

  34. yes, you did the right thing. for yourself, and for all the dogs, Ender included. and have you considered the possibility that maybe Ender WANTED to leave? he obviously didn’t fit in with the crowd, and it just could be that all that pissing could have simply translated to ‘piss on this place’!

  35. BlondMaggie says:

    I’m judging you for rehoming Ender, and I judge you to be worthy. I have a dog that was responsibly rehomed. She wasn’t a good fit in the home she was in, in a similar way. They thought they wanted a smart energetic herding breed. But when they got one, they realized she was a little too smart, too energetic…too much. And they responsibly rehomed her, using all the resources they could – breeder, breed rescue etc. They interviewed people. They arranged meet and greets. And she ended up with us, who loves her for exactly the same reasons she was too much for her previous family.

    I judge that you did yourself, your remaining dogs, and Ender a solid. And I don’t think it’s a question of whether you “should” or “shouldn’t” feel bad about it – that you do represents your motives well. I hope for all of your sake that he walked into the same situation that we have with our pup – it sounds like he did.

  36. Wondered why the interminable silence, so glad it was so productive! Difficult decision, difficult process, difficult subject. And your abilitity to articulate it so clearly makes this post all the more valuable. Think your actions are unimpeachable based on the the time, thought and consideration that went into “rehoming Ender…”

    All things considered, it was clearly the best for you, the pack, Ender and YOUR readers! Thank you.

  37. You know who deserves judging? The family who bought a German Shepherd puppy from our friend M. (a well respected breeder), asked several times about return policies (and where told that not only would M. take the puppy back, the contract stated that they HAD to contact him if they needed to re-home the puppy). Less than a week later, another client of M. contacted him and said “hey M., I think I saw one of your puppies listed on Kijiji!”). (Yes, M. did get the puppy back). That family deserves the judging, not this situation.

    BTW, what are “old dog sleeping positions”? What should I look for?

  38. I don’t think rehoming Ender was selfish. He now has a shot at a home where he will click and be loved for who he is. How is that selfish? Making everyone miserable by keeping him forever to satisfy a guilty conscious, ego, or martyr complex is selfish. Now, when will you rehome Fae? I NEEDZ MEZ A FAE.

  39. Rehoming makes perfect sense to me. Would you rather live with someone who enjoyed you and was at ease with you and your “habits,” or with someone you drove batshit everyday? Ender didn’t have that choice, so you made it for him. He took it much better than you did :) Brave of you to do what was best for you both, even though it was hard.

  40. We rehomed a cat this year, first time in my life I’ve done that – it was hard, I felt terrible, months later I’m still sad that he pushed things that far.

    But within a few hours of him being gone, we found out one of our other two cats apparently didn’t have serious and constant anxiety. He’s now very calm. And our other cat is now able to walk around the house without being attacked. How did I not realize that it wasn’t just that we had no furniture left, and four floors destroyed, and had to close every door in the house, and leap out the front door and close it within seconds, and couldn’t invite people over because everything had the foul odor of cat pee, the bottles of enzyme, the endless piercing yowling at the door, how did I not realize that every being in the house was being bullied and were walking around the house wincing and resigned.

    We live on a main road, heavy traffic – he had no car sense at all, but yearned to be outside. We debated letting him out, but it upsets me how many neighbours cats have been hit by cars, and crawled into shrubs to hide. Couldn’t do it. So he’s a very happy barn cat now – we get pictures of him smugly lounging on the tractor in the sun, or sitting by the heater in the barn on cold days. He’s in heaven, I still feel like a jerk, oh well :)

  41. minabey says:

    You can’t please everybody. Even if they don’t agree with your rehoming Ender, it’s not going to affect their life. At the end of the day, you’re the one living with Ender and not them. Don’t feel guilty because Ender is in a home that understands him and you were honest about his history. Ender is lucky to have had you in his life. It’s just sad that the other guys seems to have been affected by Ender as well. Glad that they’re all around happier. I’m not hating on Ender even though he seems like an asshat. It’s just not a good fit.

  42. Danielle says:

    **positive comment about Ender–I swear!

    i know this is way after you originally posted, but all i could think when reading about Ender was that you weren’t selfish. you did rehome him for him. you gave him a place where he would be wanted and where he could thrive. while you may not have been happy having him at your house, you realized that and gave him a place where his new owners could be happy to have his weird quirks.

    i really don’t think you made a selfish decision.

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