Thursday, November 1, 2007

Want a dog?

(Un)relaxeddad has pointed out the imperialism inherent in calling November NaBloPoMo. So I thought about making my tag be IntBloPoMo. But I'm not being official, anyway, so I'm just gonna go with "November."

So that hiatus I took--there's still a lot on my plate, but I'm finding it a little easier to cope. It's the new normal, you know? Also, I find it useful to scapegoat my dog.

Last year, after Diva Dog died, at the end of August, I got stuck feeling like it should still be August right through the end of December. Emotionally speaking, I just skipped the Fall and landed--hard--on my ass in January. This year I got most of September in, but October did not register. It's early days for November, but I think I'll manage to settle in. I've got my handy tag to remind me, after all.

One of the things that happened in my extended August last year was we got Annoying Dog, and it will not surprise you that I never bonded with her. Not in the correct headspace for bonding, you know? The fact that she had a minor but hideous injury the second day we got her should have helped me feel tender and solicitous towards her as she settled into her new home, but instead it just made me feel like we'd made a mistake to have another vulnerable life in the house racking up vet bills. And she barked at everything!--when going down the stairs, when people showed affection, when she felt like herding people, at 5:30 in the morning (when A.'s alarm goes off), and for a solid hour before mealtimes--well, it did not endear her to me. Also, I don't like her name, but she's old enough that it would be unfair to her to change it.

With her now getting into fairly regular spats with Hunter Dog, leading to the whole biting-Z.'s-hand-because-Z.-put-it-in-the-middle-of-a-dogfight incident, I am entertaining fantasies about not having this dog any more.

Have I mentioned the regular bouts of diarrhea in the house?

But giving her up would entail massive guilt, and probably a weekend spent driving her back to Ohio. We talked to someone at a dog discipline service, and it sounded okay until he got to the pricetag. So we're back at scapegoating, but doing nothing about it. Probably if we actually got rid of her, we'd realize it's all just us, anyway.


kabbage said...

My belief is that it is okay to rehome a dog that doesn't fit in with your family or that you don't have the mental/physical/emotional resources to care for in the way that you might like. I don't know the circumstances behind AD's arrival beyond what you wrote in this post, and I'm assuming she's another Aussie. It's entirely possible that on some level AD picks up on your feelings and is uncomfortable because of them, leading to the behaviors that drive you nuts.

Nine years ago this coming Christmas I adopted a 4-and-2/3-year-old dog, Sleek. She bonded to me tightly within a few months, to the point where she would go with her previous owner (still co-owner on paper), but with her head over her shoulder watching me. A year earlier I had taken another dog from the same person (she does some private rescue, although Sleek was one of her personal dogs) and returned him within a few days when it was obvious to me that I wasn't able to handle him.

My point is not to put you down for not bonding with/liking AD. My point is that it is actually MORE fair to you and to HER to rehome her, and guilt need not be a factor because you would, in fact, be doing the right thing. I think it's far more fair to a dog to give her a chance at a home that will love her for who she is than keeping her in a home where she is disliked and resented. While I'm sure you try to keep from showing your feelings to her, a sensitive dog will pick up on the vibes. If she's less than 10 years old, she can easily adapt to a new home. Even if she's older, you've only had her for a year and a bit, and she will adapt to a new home.

If the Ohio location is her breeder, do contact them to see what they think is the best way to handle a dog that doesn't fit in your life. Ditto if it's a rescue group. Find out if there is a way to help rehome her from your location. Even if she's from a known breeder, rescue groups will often agree to list a dog looking for a new home on their sites. If it's a national rescue group, she might be able to be moved to foster care in your area, rather than Ohio. If a breeder, they may just want the right to approve a new home/owners.

This is doable. Really. Sorry if I'm coming across as too intense, but the value of rehoming is something I believe in deeply. The two best dogs I've ever owned (okay, only of 3 total) are my Aussie Fluff, dumped at the Humane Society when she was 8 months old, and Sleek, rehomed at 4+ years old so she could get more attention because her previous owner had too many other pulls on her time.

kabbage said...

oh, if you want to talk about this further, feel free to email me. Email is on my blog profile.

niobe said...

I have nothing to add on the dog issue, but I will say this: I'm not seeing the inherent imperialism in the Na of NaBloPoMo, because it doesn't necessarily refer to any particular nation. It's kind of like meaning of the term "state fair," which changes depending on which state you're in.

Julia said...

I am not doing the thing officially either, and I haven't gotten around to tagging things yet, so that's not the question for me. Heeee, love me a loophole.

Scapegoating sounds fine to me, as long as you are in agreement :).

kathy a. said...

maybe kabbage is right. some matches just don't work out.


(un)relaxeddad said...

When I was tiny, the terrier my parents had apparently snapped at me (old and jealous). So they had her put to sleep. I still feel guilty about that, even though I was 18 months old at the time. They should have taken more trouble.

This probably isn't at all helpful! Re-homing sounds like a good idea if it just isn't working out.

S. said...

Okay, everyone--you have spoken, and it seems clear that the consensus is to find a new home. I have to say that this does make me feel less guilty, knowing that other folks have weighed in.

kabbage, it is a rescue group in Ohio, and I will get in touch with them to see what advice they have.

(un)relaxeddad, sorry about goofing on your blogname. I do know it! I'll correct asap!

kabbage said...

Yay! If the Ohio group can't help you, try ARPH, assuming AD is an aussie. You can find ARPH at

Good luck, S.