One of the “left-overs” of my family days were our two yellow labs Hershey and Coco. They were brought into the family under the premise of us living under the same roof.
I knew by the time we broke up that holding on to the dogs would be a huge burden for either one of us. Taking proper care of two dogs when you live on your own is a huge sacrifice. Having no family or other backup anywhere nearby was making things more challenging. I had to cater to their needs first and subordinate my schedule to theirs. This is especially hard in a phase of my life that is filled with traveling and many changes of my schedule and routine. My neighbors that were getting annoyed with the dogs barking when they lacked attention because the house was empty. I had to leave a Thanksgiving dinner at my friend’s house at 6:30, just when dinner was being served.
Since me ex-wife decided to move out of state the option to share the burden was gone. I decided to find a family that would offer a happy and safe place for them. I never considered giving them up for adoption to strangers or dropping them off to a shelter home.
I put up an Craigslist ad describing the pets and their habits in detail and posted images that were descriptive of their characters. I made clear what my expectations would be. I was prepared for this to be a lengthy process.
I invited potential owners to my home and had them to meet the dogs and see how they interacted with each other. As a next step I decided to visit their place and make sure it would be similar to the environment our dogs were used to.
There were plenty of candidates that were interested in adopting the two dogs:
- There was the single guy living with 4 roommates.
- There was the contractor that wanted to drive the dogs around from one construction site to the other.
- There was the single mom that was working from 8 – 5 and wanted to leave the dogs in their yard.
- There was a family that missed their appointments to look at the dogs.
- There was the man with a dog run far behind their house.
- There was the mom with the 2 year old that could have gotten run over.
These might all be qualified dog owners but it would have meant a major transition for our two dogs.
I ended up finding a family that had tears of happiness in their eyes when they first met the dogs and then again when I brought the dogs to their home. The dogs get to lick many faces of happy new owners. They get to play with children which they are used to. They have access to a big yard that also serves as a playground. They can stay on their usual schedule with human interaction throughout the day. They get to stay together which was another important criteria. This family offers stability. They owned dogs before.
I knew this was a situation I had to deal with and I also knew that I’d feel bad regardless. We all have choices to make in life. Some of them are tough. This doesn’t mean that we can try to make the very best out of situations that are being handed to us. We owe it to others and ourselves.
I will miss the two bundles of joy. Knowing that they’ll be ok helps a lot in mitigating my feelings of guilt and pain.
Liana and Jacob, the new owners, are wonderful and their approach to the pets closely mirrors how the dogs were treated at our home. The one difference is the cat in their new home. Hershey and Coco set the tone by emptying her food bowl right away :)