This past weekend we dropped off Leon at his new home. It’s taken me a few days to fully digest the feelings and thoughts I have about that decision.
Eight months ago when we fostered and subsequently adopted Leon, we wanted our daughters to grow up around dogs because we are dog people. At the time, they were both terrified of dogs and it only seemed to get worse as they got older. They would both scream and cry for us to pick them up when any creature came within a 20 foot radius. Today that is no longer the case, they can calmly walk passed dogs (and other pets), and admire their beauty and personality.
Leon is a sweet puppy but there were many factors we didn’t initially consider. The biggest miss was that his energy level and breed needs didn’t match up with what we could give as a family. And just to clarify, when I say we, I really mean ME who was blinded by his cuteness and for once didn’t rationally analyze the situation thoroughly before acting impulsively.
During the last few months, Kyle and I struggled with the guilt of knowing he needed more, not having the time or energy to give more, and most importantly the pressure to fulfill our commitment to him. Kyle expressed how frustrated he was very early on and then internalized it so I wouldn’t feel guilty. However, I internalized my feelings completely, because deep down inside I knew I made a mistake and was quietly trying so hard to fix it.
A few weeks ago, I finally confessed to Kyle how I had been feeling, after a particularly challenging day with the kids and the dog. That night, we had a heart to heart and concluded it was best to rehome Leon. We knew he deserved better but we also needed to ease the stress his care and needs were causing us.
Fast forward to today. Leo (formerly Leon) is now living his best life and is on a permanent puppy-cation with the Cecil Family in San Clemente, just a mile away. They take him for walks, runs, and hikes. He is being showered with affection and attention from four adults and teenagers. We are forever grateful to the Cecil Family for providing him the life we always wanted for him.
I’m a firm believer that things happen for a reason. It’s not always clear what the reason is, but in this case it was clear as day. We were the stepping stone Leo needed to find his furever home. We tried our best to train him and fulfill his needs for the last 8 months, while his forever family became ready for him. The universe brought us together so we can all walk away from this experience with the best possible outcome. He will lead a happy and fulfilling life for many years to come ❤️
MORAL OF THE STORY:
- Do your homework, research the dog’s breed and consider how its needs align with your priorities/lifestyle. This is especially hard when you’re considering adoption because you don’t always know what you’re getting.
- A dog is a lifetime commitment! But at the risk of both you and the dog being miserable, consider the alternatives– is it better off with someone else? I hate when people poo-poo rehoming a pet when you’ve exhausted your options. We all deserve happiness and sometimes happiness is achieved while apart (said by a child of divorced parents). It is 100% YOUR responsibility to find your pet the best home, even if it means you have to “foster” them until that happens.
- Puppies are probably the cutest creatures on Earth, but looks fade and the pee stains on your rug are here to stay. The first year with your puppy will be almost as hard a newborn (because actual parents know you can leave your dog in a crate, but not your newborn, obvi). The second year is still demanding but perhaps a little easier. This means you should prepare yourself for two to three years of challenging your patience, commitment and balancing responsibilities.
Thank you for reading!
❤️Be Healthy Mama