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Saturday, February 14, 2009

thanks for the memories

Yesterday was D Day.

Thursday night I contacted the vet who assured me Schwartz's injuries didn't sound life-threatening especially since he was still eating, doing his business and in mostly good spirits...ya' know, given the circumstances.

First thing yesterday morning, we took Schwartz to the vet. His injury was his ear, a puncture wound right through. Ear injuries in general are bleeders. Even with people. I know that for a fact 'cause one time at band camp...I mean, one time in my freshman year at college, when I was in a semi-drunken state, I was dancing around my dorm room to Steve Winwood and I fell and whacked my ear on the heating unit and man, did my ear lobe gush! But that's a story for another day. Or not. Getting back to Schwartz - that area of his ear was shaved, cleaned and he's now on antibiotics.

Immediately upon returning home, we took Jasper back to the Humane Society. Trust me, I was still back-and-forth about whether or not I should actually do it. There was a small part of me that was thinking about giving him one more chance but I had given him that one more chance so many times, it was time that I faced up to the fact that we were not a perfect fit for his needs. He needs to be with someone who doesn't have any other pets. He would certainly thrive in an atmosphere where he is someone's soul attention.

I'm sorta' torn about how I feel about having to return him. On one hand, we're all enjoying the calm again with out that nervous boy running around here stirring up all sorts of trouble! I found it rewarding that I was able to teach him certain commands, how to walk on a leash and in just a month's time, he became more fit and healthier. Those are some accomplishments to be proud of, I think.

At the same time, I'm disappointed that Schwartz no longer has a playmate who, when he was behaving himself, was giving Schwartz great amounts of joy. I was also disappointed about not being able to break him of his few bad habits such as his jumping and his jealousy. I realize those things take time and had he not exhibited such aggressive and vicious behavior so often towards Schwartz, I probably would have been successful with both of those behavioral adjustments. But unfortunately, I just can't make miracles happen. Other than that whole walking on water thing. *wink*

And the thought of him being in that cold, dismal kennel again really tugs at my heart strings. *sigh*

The good news is is that because our circumstances were different than most peoples', we are still permitted to adopt through the Humane Society should we ever choose to again. Most of the time that people surrender their pets, it's for some lame reason...like when Jasper was brought in because the couple had just had a baby and they didn't want to be responsible for him anymore.

The bad news is, the kids heard this and immediately ran into the area that held the dogs to look at puppies! I'm not sure WTF they were thinking because I knew if I didn't keep my head on straight, I was bound to lose focus and we were gonna' be walking outta' there with another dog! I won't deny that I wasn't tempted. A lot of the dogs were puppies and adorable ones at that. There were quite a number of older puppies that, of course, the kids fell in love with and wanted to adopt! No matter how much they wanted one, the most I could do was promise them that in a few months we could start talking about it.

I think the most difficult part about saying 'no' to them was trying to make them understand that what was written on the kennel about a particular dog was not necessarily the truth and given that we adopted two dogs without being given all the details, I decided the only way we're going to be able to adopt a dog that fits like a glove into our family, is one that has no prior understanding of rules, commands, etc.. In other words, a puppy. Despite the fact that taking on that kind of responsibility is really not an interest of mine, that is truly the only way that we can train a dog not to be aggressive towards other animals, not to chase the cats, hurt Schwartz or make sure that they can fit well into a social setting. With regards to the latter, I really didn't think I would be able to take Jasper to daycare or to Camp Green Dog without hearing about him being overly aggressive towards another animal or even hurting one. Considering he was raised with no rules and no limitations, a month's training was certainly not enough time to teach him social graces.

Whatever the case, even though Jasper was not a perfect pet for us doesn't mean he won't be the perfect pet for someone else. And even though he was more aggravation than worth mentioning, doesn't mean we didn't enjoy his company at times. Luckily, I was able to fill out a detailed two-page information sheet on all his needs (which I wish I'd had before adopting him) about how loving and affectionate he was and what a great cuddler he was! I hope he can soon cuddle his way into someone else's home and heart.



Blogger Charlie said...

I would have done the same thing, Kool: wondering if I'd done the right thing, the wrong thing, the right thing, the wrong thing, until I was nuts. And I know your decision had to hurt.

But I think you did the exact right thing, and once things settle down you can start again with a trainable pooch--God knows, there's a million of them who need a home.

February 14, 2009 at 10:27 AM  
Blogger Koolio said...

Charlie, it was a very difficult decision and even today, the silence is weird but I will admit, very peaceful. And if I had the time and the space, I would have taken each one of those dogs home with me.

February 14, 2009 at 10:32 AM  
Blogger Attila The Mom said...

...my mind is still boggling that you went to band camp.

Didn't they make a movie about that? ;-)

I'm sure Jasper's next owner will be grateful for all the details. That was really good of you to provide them.

February 14, 2009 at 3:46 PM  
Anonymous Giggle Pixie said...

So sorry it came to this, but I totally would've done the same thing. You just can't have a dog that is that aggressive in the home - it's not fair to Schwartz! I hope Jasper will find a better fit in a single-dog home.

Hugs to your kids - I'm sure they'll get over this loss and hopefully you'll be able to try again sometime soon.

February 14, 2009 at 5:22 PM  
Blogger Leave It To Cleavage said...

It IS really sad, but I do think that you did the right thing. When Smokey was alive Rocky was very aggressive towards him when it came to feeding time and towards the end, his rage fell on me when he couldn't get to Smokey and Rocky is VERY cuddly and sweet. I think with more time Jasper might have turned on your kids OR he might have accidentally bitten them in his rage if they had tried to intervene between him and Schwartz. You're right, you need to find one that fits into your life and if it's meant to be, you will. I'm sure Jasper will find someone especially with the additional info you provided.

February 15, 2009 at 5:04 PM  

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