Over the last couple of weeks my wife and came to a very difficult decision. One of our two dogs needed to find a new place to live. We’ve had one dog since the winter after we got married, we celebrated 11 years this summer. Our other dog we adopted around 3 years later. They were our kids until we had kids. Like a lot of families when human children arrive the animal children are required to take a back seat. One of the dogs has adjusted more easily than the other. I’m sure their breed mixes have something to do with that. The chow/lab mix has grown more and more displeased with his place on the totem pole as time has gone on. The lab/retriever mix continues to be as happy-go-lucky as always.
The final straw came recently as the chow/lab began to become more aggressive. Growling under his breath. The choice became clear. We couldn’t trust him around our boys (4 and almost 1 year old). Last week I drove with him to a local shelter and surrendered him over. I hope that he will have a chance to live his remaining time with a loving family (without smaller children – which seem to annoy him).
I’ve already witnessed the largest benefit to giving up one dog. Our remaining dog (the lab/retriever mix – Duke) loves the boys and loves to play. Before the weather turned colder this week I was able to take a walk with all 3 boys in the afternoon after their naps. D wanted to hold the leash. While initially a little uneasy, I knew that Duke would listen to me better than our other dog ever would have. We gave it a shot. D had the best time being able to walk Duke.
Seeing this just solidified to me that we made the right decision. While we made the decision for one reason, it’s clear now that the benefits will be much greater than if we continued on the way we had and my boys can go back to loving and living with the happiness that is a dog.