Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Daily Gripe #26 - Goodbye To A Friend

Four years ago, my wife and I adopted a three-year-old pug. Wow, has it been four years already? Time sure flies! Since then we've had two children, bringing our family to two adults, two children, and two dogs (we have a Dalmatian, as well).

Things can be quite hectic in a small house with so many little ones (dogs and children) running and crawling around. It can be quite difficult to get anything done that doesn't quickly become undone. Our Dalmatian is constantly getting into everything: the trash, anything left out in the kitchen -- you name it. Our three-year-old son leaves his toys scattered throughout the house and has to be bribed or threatened to pick them up. The pug is always trying to take away whatever snack my son might have at the time. And our three-month-old daughter demands constant attention. I'm not much help, either, I'm sure. Being gone for work seventy hours a week leaves me precious little time at home, and I don't usually want to spend that time helping with household chores. I'm trying to improve: washing dishes every night, picking up toys, doing whatever else I can to help. It can be quite a madhouse around here.

After much thought and consideration, we've decided that we have to make a change. After weighing all the options, I've decided that I'm not going anywhere. And we could never get rid of the kids. That means that I have to keep my wife around: someone has to look after the kids while I'm at work. Having narrowed the choices down to the two dogs, we had to make a final decision.

Could we ever let go of one of the dogs? They were both like children to us before our kids came along. If we did let one go, which one? And who would take it? Who would want to adopt the dog that we could trust to take good care of it? The first decision was that life in this little house would be so much easier without two dogs. But which one stays and which one goes?

We've had the Dalmatian for six years, since she was just six weeks old. She's actually my wife's dog, and my wife had to give up two Dalmatians before because she wasn't allowed to keep them in the apartment building she lived in at the time.

We've had the pug for four years. He's my dog, and we looked everywhere for a pug to adopt when we found him.

Both dogs are very loving and very loyal. We love them both very much. But I'm the father. I'm the sacrificer in the family. I could never ask my wife to give up her dog again.

Which is why we started looking for a good home to adopt my pug. As much as I understand the situation, and reluctantly agree with it, it really gripes me to have to get rid of my pug.

My wife put a notice on several local sites online and sent out emails to friends and family. Several people responded, but none of them made me feel any better about losing my dog. Until my sister called me yesterday and said she had found a home.

Today, we will be driving to Ohio to take our beloved pug to his new home. It's a familiar home, with a loving family. It's a home where we won't actually have to say "goodbye." It's my father's home.

My dad has agreed to adopt my pug. He will give him a good home, with lots of love, and I can go see him any time I want. I feel some relief at this sad time to know that my pug will be in good hands, and always a phone call away.


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