The almost addition, part 2.

[I've talked about this a lot over the last few days and I'm tired of beating myself up over it. So this is the (believe it or not) semi-condensed version of the events following yesterday's post.]

While we were still on the front porch, one of my neighbours came over (one I like) and the dog went crazy. Barking, growling, and trying to get at him. It was all I could do to hold him back. I dragged the dog in the house and as soon as the neighbour was out of sight, everything was fine again.

Ice made a special trip home after I called him and the dog didn't like him either, even though he'd been fine on Sunday. After much convincing, the dog got close enough to take a treat and then everything was ok.

Taking him for a walk was a problem. He had a real thing about squirrels and would bark and try to chase any that he saw. He would also bark at any people, even if they were a block away.

There was more but you get the idea. All of these things make him sound like a terrible dog and the decision of whether or not to keep him should have been easy, right? Not so.

In the house, he was a really great dog. Sat instantly when told. Played ball with the kids. Perfectly housebroken. Came when I whistled. Intelligent. Slept alone on the main floor (his choice) and didn't chew a single thing. Adored me and followed me everywhere. He was very much my dog and that's what we wanted.

Ice said we should have called him Jekyll.

I thought maybe if I worked with him enough, I could get him to listen to me outside. I found a place out in the country where I could take him for walks. I tried to come up with solutions but the stress was too much and when Ice called me Wednesday night, I was in tears.

On Thursday, I made the decision to take him back. When I told the kids, K was alright with it, J said he was sad but otherwise he seemed ok, and L.... cried. Which is something she very rarely does. I felt terrible.

I thought I would feel an enormous sense of relief once he was gone but I didn't. I felt like a failure, like a quitter. That I didn't try hard enough, that I didn't give him enough time. Maybe if I'd done this, or that, or something, anything, we could have kept him. But as Ice said, he was too much for me to handle outside and, given that he was going to be primarily my responsibility, that was a critical point. I wanted a dog partly to get me out of the house more, and I also wanted one that would keep me company not only inside but also one that I could take with me everywhere. This dog just wasn't the right one for me.

So he's gone, I've stopped crying, and we've returned to our original plan of getting a puppy. I don't know when but hopefully before the summer is over.

Posted by Ripley on June 22, 2003

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