Tuesday, September 15, 2015

the time we gave our pup away

Five years ago Landon and I talked about getting a dog. Getting a dog was never something I wanted to do and I was quite leery about getting one. So we talked about it off and on for several months: what kind of dog, what we would name him/her, how it would affect our life, and other things you think about when you talk about getting a dog. I wasn't super keen on dogs in general, I think in large part because I was attacked by one when I was younger, but I knew Landon really wanted a dog. So I looked at pictures and read about all the dogs that interested me. We went to the Humane Society and met a dog we liked a lot, but because they didn't know exactly what type of dog he was, and had him labeled as partially American Bulldog, our home insurance wouldn't cover us if we got him. As I kept looking at all of the different types of dogs I came across a picture of a little Corgi and I fell in love. That was the puppy we needed. 

After doing more research on Welsh Corgis and finding a breeder in our area, I was excited to get a puppy. I figured that if we got a puppy, I might be able to love a dog and that they wouldn't attack me. Plus, Corgis are short, chubby, and cute, so that couldn't hurt, right? After a lot of discussion, Landon and I decided to go ahead and get a Corgi pup. We brought our puppy home with us when he was just a tiny six week old puppy. We named him Boady Sherman and he was the best little puppy ever. I worked on house training him and teaching him other tricks and we did a lot of playing and cuddling. One of Boady's favorite things to do was run underneath our couches while we chased him - he was that tiny! He went with us when we when to live in Washington D.C. for a while and was a true companion to me while Landon worked long days.

We loved Boady and Boady loved us. Then we had a baby and we gave Boady less attention than he was used to. After all, he had been our fur baby, the center of our attention, he was spoiled, and then suddenly he wasn't to center of our world any more. But we still loved him, took him on walks [when he would go], took him to see our family, and cuddled with him. He was our pup, he loved us, and we loved him.

Then our baby started getting bigger and braver when it came to petting Boady. While Boady was never mean to Emerson, he didn't really love him either. He tolerated Emerson and the bigger Emerson grew the more he became picky about when and where Boady could be. They had a very strange relationship, those two.

Then we had another baby. And Boady was getting less and less attention from us - Landon would spend his days away and since Boady is a dog and barks at anything and everything, and doesn't care for children other than Emerson, he spent a lot of his time alone and even in his bed during nap time [can't wake those babies...], and he would go to bed when the Emerson went to bed. He wasn't getting all of the loving he used to get. Though we still loved him and we still played with him. It just wasn't the same.

Some time after Oliver was born Landon and I mentioned in passing that if we ever found a corgi lover, we just might consider giving Boady a new home. We weren't going to pursue looking for a new home for him, but we talked about any time Boady would groan and moan when Emerson was trying to pet him. Then we mentioned it to Landon's parents, thinking nothing about it, just something to talk about. His parents called us days later to tell us about a lady, Linda, who had always wanted a corgi. She lived in their town, she loved dogs, so much so that she already had a few.

We tossed the idea around more seriously after realizing that we might really be giving him to a new person. And when we were at Landon's parent's house in August, we met Linda. We told her all about Boady, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the sweet stuff. We told her [and stressed] that he doesn't get along with other dogs. He is a people dog and does not like other dogs so we weren't sure how he'd do at her house. She reassured us that he would be fine, she'd take good care of him, let him have a slow and easy transition with her other dogs, and that she would send us letters and pictures occasionally.

I was worried, it was not the situation or setting I wanted Boady to be in. And I was torn, I never actually thought we would really give Boady away. I loved him. But because I loved him and knew what his days would look like in the months to come, I agreed to give him a new home - somewhere he could run around more, jump on the couch, but most importantly: get more attention. So we said our good-byes, gave our last squeezes, and pat our last pats. We watched as he drove out of the drive way, head sticking out of the window.

My heart was ripped into pieces. I loved Boady. I was going to miss him.

That night Landon and I sat on the couch and I couldn't help but think about Boady and wonder if he was happy, if he missed us, and if he would hate us forever. Landon told me he was fine. But my heart was still a heavy for him. Life goes on, even when you don't have your puppy any more.

all Emerson wants to do is love him . . .

Though this picture is blurry, it is probably the best representation of Boady's and Emerson's relationship. 
Love, hate, dislike, toleration, sheer joy . . .  

The next morning as I was feeding Oliver, my phone rang. It was Linda. I was surprised to already be hearing from her, and as soon as I heard her voice I knew things weren't good. She called and told me, "I'm going to have to bring your baby back to you." Apparently Boady did not get along with other dogs, [we tried to tell her...], and he was acting miserable at her house: staying in his crate, not eating, wanting nothing to do with anything. When she tried to pull him out of his bed [big mistake! but we told her...] he bit her finger. She wasn't upset about the biting, she said it just broke the skin, and she had been bitten dozens of other times, but she was concerned because he was obviously unhappy and missed us.

So after one night, after just nine hours of Boady being away from us, we got him back. He came running into the house and jumped up and down. He was home. He was back. He was our dog and we were his people.

Though apparently my heart was heavy and concerned with good reason: Boady really was unhappy.

And that is the story about the one time we gave our dog away. ... he didn't even make it a full day away from us. ha!


Amy said...

Oh wow. How is he doing now that he's back?

Lauren said...

Oh poor baby! We have a 90+ pound yellow lab, and he's our first baby too. I can't imagine how hard it would be to give him away, but we've also talked about it as well.

I'm guessing Boady just wanted to be back at home with his momma & daddy & brothers!

Jillian said...

oh Boady!!! i read this entry with such suspense and rush of emotions! i can't imagine how tough a decision that would be...but I had to smile at the end when he returned :)