As some of you already know, we don’t have Sally Dog anymore. We love her very much and yesterday morning, I thought that we reached a turning point with her and our children. She seemed genuinely relaxed and comfortable around them. I had an email ready to go about how we’ve worked passed our problems — complete with cute pictures of my son and Sally!
(Our problems recapped: A few weeks ago, she nipped my kids three times. She has also growled at each of them here and there. We hired a dog trainer and implemented every suggestion. But I made myself a promise that if she nipped or snapped again, we would not keep her. I love animals but my children’s well-being and our family feeling safe are paramount.)
However, two hours after our BREAKTHROUGH and with no provocation, she snapped at my son. In his face. My son was terrified. (I would’ve been, too.) I held E and was grateful he was not hurt. But I began to quietly cry. Because I knew that Sally had to go.
It is not fair to my children to have a dog who is not safe for them to love. Nor is it fair to Sally to be in a home where she feels uncomfortable.
On our way to soccer, we saw an SPCA billboard.
E: Look! A cat!
Me: Do you like cats?
E: Yes! And dogs. But I deserve a dog that doesn’t bite me.
Me: Yes, you do.
The veterinary office, from where we adopted Sally, took her back at 6 p.m.. The vet tech, who I thought hated us for adopting Sally, hugged me as I stood in the busy lobby sobbing. And while she may have hugged me for failing, she did say: I hope you don’t give up on dogs. Y’all are a great family and will make a dog very happy. It just didn’t work out with Sally.
Our own vet echoed this weeks ago when he became aware of the problems between her and our children.
He promised that there is a dog for us.
One that actually LIKES my kids.
And although I feel like a failure in choosing the wrong dog. In not MAKING it work. In having to say good-bye to Sally. We are keeping our hearts open to the probability of another dog. Because much to my surprise, I really love having a dog. And i usually don’t have a lot of love for those who randomly frighten my children.
I miss her already, but I am very grateful that she inspired us to open our home to a dog.