A Heartbreaking Decision

I haven’t even typed half a sentence on this post and I’m already in tears. As I mentioned in my last post, we have been struggling with some really hard decisions- two things that will drastically affect our family before Baby #2 makes his or her entrance in the world in 2013.

The first decision is we are going to move. We are most likely staying in the same area of town, but are looking in neighborhoods that at this point are more financially doable for our family. Our house is on the market now, and while it’s annoying (and very difficult) keeping it show-ready at all times, I know it’s relatively short-term and we will survive.

The second decision has been heart-wrenching. As evidenced by just the title of this blog, I am a dog person. I love them. I work at a pet ranch. For almost 5 years, Ryan and I have had four dogs, which most people think is insane. And it is. Before I had Grayson, I would take them to the dog park every single day after work and spend several hours watching them play, swim and chase squirrels. It was my bliss.

I vowed I would never be a person who gets rid of her dogs after having a baby. After all, they are family members. But this was before I had a baby, and a baby who most of the time requires a lot of extra work. And this was before I unexpectedly got pregnant with another baby.

My dogs are sweet. They are respectful of Grayson and I never feel like he is in any danger with any of them. I still love them to pieces. But honestly, they are not my bliss anymore. At all. I resent the amount of work they are, on top of taking care of everything else. I do not walk them, nevermind going to the dog park. I resent cleaning up after them, remembering to let them out to potty, and dealing with their barking- basically, just their “dog-ness”. I am stressed to the max, and with a newborn coming home in a few months, something’s got to give.

I’ve known for months that I cannot have a special needs toddler, an infant, four dogs, and my sanity. Logistically and emotionally, it’s just impossible. But I ignored this fact for a long time. Thankfully, I’ve had several close people in my life, as well as my counselor, approach me about this recently and have helped me to face reality.

We are not making this decision lightly. I DO NOT think dogs or any pets are disposable. This is incredibly agonizing and I can’t stop crying about it. But I know it’s for the best for myself and for my family.

At this point, we are looking to find homes for our 3 female dogs, Chloe, Gabby and Izzy. Right now, we are planning on keeping Hank and seeing how it goes.

If you are local (or can get to the Houston area) and are interested in giving one of our sweet dogs a good home, email me at elikline25@hotmail.com. I’m not on my computer at home so I am not posting pictures right now, but there’s a lot of pictures on this blog or you I can email you some. All three are current on their shots, well socialized (they go to doggie daycamp several days/week) and are on flea and heartworm preventative.

Here are some facts about our little sweethearts- feel free to forward this post to anyone you know who may be interested.

Chloe: West Highland White Terrier. We think she’s about 7 years old. Sweet, obedient, loves to play. Good with kids, although probably not toddlers because she will snap if you get right in her face. Good with other dogs- loves to wrestle around with Izzy. No health issues.

Gabby: Lhasa Apso, blonde. Approximately 8 years old. Very sweet. Will cuddle for a few minutes at a time, but is content to hang out near you, not necessarily, on you. Only has one eye, but it’s adorable. Is fine with other dogs but would be great as an only dog too. Would be good with calm, respectful kids. No health issues. 

Izzy: Miniature Dachshund. 5 years old. Very sweet, spunky and oh-so adorable. But can be stubborn and naughty too. Needs a home with consistency and gentle discipline. Has a small bladder and needs to be let out often. Izzy loves to bury herself under the covers, blankets, or laundry. Wants to be with us at all times. Great with kids and other dogs and loves to play. No health issues.   

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11 thoughts on “A Heartbreaking Decision

  1. Elizabeth, I know that's a really hard choice. We made the same one recently with our one dog. She is living with our inlaws and is much happier. She recently came to stay with us for a week while my in-laws were out of town and I realized just how much "extra work" it was to have a dog. It's an added stress no matter how much you love them. I can only imagine how difficult this choice was and will continue to be, but I hope in the long run it will help increase sanity for all, including the dogs! I hope that your house sells quickly. That will be a huge relief!

  2. Oh sweetie. Such a hard decision!!! I'm so sorry! I'm sure you'll find them wonderful, loving homes… and *try* to remember that they'll be much happier as well, in a home that has the time to give them all that they need. It's okay to put yourself, your family, and your children first… even ahead of your much loved pets. You can only do so much, and you're right, something has to give. I think it's the best, most responsible, and most loving decision you could make. *hugs*

  3. I'm so sorry you're having to make these choices, but I totally understand. Life changes, and sometimes things have to change with them. And just as sometimes friendships have to morph into something else when kids come into your life (especially challenging kids!) … sometimes your animal friends need a new situation too. We know you're not doing it lightly.I hope you find them a good home that can give them all the love and attention you wish you could.

  4. I totally understand your predicament!! (Although I can't imagine having 4 dogs!!!) I LOVE dogs. I've always grown up with 1-2 dogs in my house. When my husband and I bought a house, we got a lab. He was supposed to be an outside dog, but I didn't have the heart to put him outside as a puppy and now he's a 100lb 100% inside dog! He was our baby and we'd spend hours working and playing with him. Since Reagan was born, he has really been neglected. He never gets walks and sometimes he's lucky if he even gets let out before noon!! There is black dog hair ALL over my house. You sweep and 30sec later, it's covered again! I'm also the type of person that would never get rid of my dog…but if someone wanted to give him a good home and more attention, I'm sure he'd be a much happier dog!! Hopefully you can take solace in the fact that they will be happier in their new situations and life will be much easier for you!!!

  5. Oh Elizabeth, I know both of these decisions must be very hard, especially about the dogs. You have to do what's best for your family, and it sounds like you are definitely doing this. I hope you can find good homes for your pups!

  6. So sorry you have to make such difficult decisions. We are in the same position wtih are 2 dogs. They aren't really aggressive, but seem rather sad and neglected. Our lives are so busy that we don't feel it's fair to not spend time with the dogs like they were used to before Aiden was born. I used to think of them as my babies and now I hate to say it, but sometimes they make my life more difficult than I need. Hopefully there are great homes out there for your dogs. Thinking of you and hoping your house sells quickly!

  7. This is such a hard thing to decide – and it's good that you took time to sort through it. Truth be told, we considered giving one of our cats to my parents because I think he'd be happier there (B said no to this idea after thinking on it for a month – so we still have 3 cats). I don't like even typing that because it makes me feel guilty. But you are doing what's best for everyone, dogs included. I think so many pets are sort-of forgotten once a baby comes along and they will enjoy being the center of someone's world again.A toddler, newborn, and 4 dogs is just too much. I'm an animal lover too, but I am also a realist. That is just too much for one family.Good luck with selling the house! It will be nice to move (even if it is a pain).

  8. Oh my dear, I am so sorry for your tough decisions and heartache. What hard things to have on your mind, but I think it is the best decision for you all, it will make life a little easier and calmer, which you need. I like the other comments that you are finding them a place to be the center of the house again, which is a good thing. Fingers crossed you can find them great homes and the house sells quickly so you don't have to keep it show ready for long. Love you.

  9. Oh E, I'm so sorry. I totally understand. With our 2u2 and ONE dog, we are struggling to give her the attention she deserves and have contemplated finding another home for her– I get SO upset when I even think about it because I love her so much, but that's WHY we consider it. Not because we don't want her, but because we think that she deserves more attention than we're currently able to give her.I hope that you get an amazing offer on the house SOON and that you find the perfect new home for your family. While these decisions are SO TOUGH, it really sounds like the are steps you need to take to make life a little easier.Love you, friend!

  10. Oh Elizabeth! I'm so sorry. We had to give up a puppy we had been fostering to adopt when K was little because of similar reasons and THAT was hard and we didn't have the history and relationship that you have with your dogs. I can only imagine how tough this is. I hope they all find really wonderful, loving homes and that you'll have peace about your decision.

  11. We've been going through the same thought process with our 2 dogs. We only had one when Isaac came home, but my mom moved in and brought hers (she has a full Schnauzer, we have a 1/2 Schnauzer, 1/2 Min Pin). We're planning on putting the house on the market again in the spring and moving to a smaller rental, and we just can't imagine being able to find a place that will allow two dogs (and a cat). Plus, they just aren't getting the attention they need (especially Eddie). Most of all though, Eddie's been dealing with some jealousy issues with the baby – he's snapped at Isaac countless times, growls at him any time he comes near, and generally makes me very anxious to have him around. He is so sweet, though, to everyone else – even other people's kids. I just don't think he could handle being displace by a baby :(. It kills me to think of finding him another home, but I'm thinking it might be the best thing for both of them…Anyway, hope it's not too difficult to find homes for your doggies!

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