Spike has gone to his new home with a very nice man who loved him from the outset, and whom Spike loved in return. I spent most of yesterday just… missing the little guy. I was pretty torn up, but today things are better and I know that Spike is in a place where he is safe and happy and loved by others.
I wish that I could have made things work for us. I believe that I can make it work with two dogs in my house, but I think that I was unprepared for what that would entail. So… my husband came home last night and told me that a friend of ours is having to place a black lab, 7 months old due to a situation with where she works. I don’t know her exact job title, but she works with senior citizens and does home visits. So it’s not odd that she would come across something like this through the course of her job.
It took me a few seconds of thinking to process what he said before I said no. The timing is bad, that’s really what it boils down to. I’m getting ready to start classes again. Most of my day will be devoted to doing homework, I don’t have time to start obedience training with a second dog. But after he asked, I had a strange dream about Spike and Reilly. In my dream, they were getting along. There was a bit of growling and a nip from Reilly and then they were standing side by side looking up at me with both of their characteristic, “What?” expressions on their faces.
I woke up missing Spike pretty badly.
I think my subconscious is trying to tell me that we can do it, as long as I trust and feel confident in trusting Reilly implicitly. So I decided that I had to create circumstances that would make me comfortable with having two dogs in my house. When my husband woke up, I asked him a few more questions about the dog that our friend has to place, and then I shook my head. again.
I want a female. Period. I know that male labs tend to be more clingy and right by your side, but it is easier to integrate males and females than it is to integrate two males. My husband thought this dog was a male. Also, I want to do it this spring, with a dog that is already house broken and preferably at least knows how to sit and down before I bring the dog home, but the latter two issues are entirely negotiable. I can train dogs to sit and down easily enough, but I need to be able to have complete control of this new dog so that when the situation warrants it, I can place this dog in a submissive position in the event that my old man gets cranky. I also just want Reilly to meet the new dog first. I want to see someone else interact with the two dogs together, to increase my confidence in both dogs so that I can look at them and go, “Well if so and so can do it, so can I.”
Spike… I miss him. He is a wonderful little dog, but I know I did the right thing. I wasn’t ready to do what needed to be done to make him safe in my home, even though I was ready to love him. I am glad that he spent his first Christmas with us. I will cherish that memory and be glad that I gave him the best Christmas present a dog in his situation ever could ask for, a loving home with someone who will be there for him for the rest of his life. I hope I can give that to another dog, with the caveat that I will be prepared to do what it takes to make her safe in our home being my number one priority.
We’ll see what happens.