I wrote the following almost a year ago and in that year Lucky Dog hasn’t changed all that much, but we have. He is still the same energetic hound dog who nips when he gets excited. He is still a leaner and he gets up at 0545 and wants his breakfast. Then he and I go outside and then back in to the TV room where he has his own corner on the back of the couch overlooking the kitchen garden and I take the rest of the couch and go back to sleep. The following paragraphs explain why we had made the decision not to keep him but neither of us had the gumption to take him back to the shelter and slowly we grew on each other. So, sometimes we make the right decision by not following through on an earlier one.
We lost our dog of sixteen years last November and the house felt empty. I don’t know what we would have done without Tailwagger Jack for all those years. He was such an integral part of what we did. He was a great listener and I would read aloud to him what I had written for the day. If he didn’t yawn we passed it. If he did it was back to the computer to revise. So, his passing left a hole in our lives that we had difficulty filling.
Then my wife happened on a young beagle mix while out for a walk. He was a happy go lucky looking fellow and we decided to adopt him. We took him for training, we arranged play dates with other dogs and we played keep away and tug of war and all the other games that give a dog a good work out. He is groomed once a month. He is an affectionate dog; a real leaner as beagles are, but the demands of a young dog, transitioning from feral to domesticated, finally wore us out. Although fifteen of our acres are fenced we can’t run him because of coyotes who find their way inside the fencing as well as his ability to clear a four foot fence with room to spare.
In short, I’m too old and crippled to take care care of a young, energetic puppy, did I mention the barking, and our decision to adopt him was the wrong one. Now, we have to find him a good home with other dogs, for he is definitely a pack animal and loves being with other dogs who would run with him and offer protection from the plague of coyotes we are experiencing. I will miss him for, in his quieter moments, he can be a loving companion on the sofa or my writing chair or my… well, wherever I am, he wants to be in my lap. Now a thirty-five pound hound in your lap can be a distraction, especially when that hound wants to be the center of attention.
I grew up with dogs; hounds, Heinz 57s and even started my life with a pureblood Spitz bred by my aunt. But like taking up a lot of my oriental carpets to preclude trips and broken hips, I’m afraid thirty-five pound dogs making head-long rushes through doors and hallways will have to go as well.
Sometimes we make the wrong decision and rather than making an effort to muddle through to hoped-for better times, we have to reverse the original decision, making another in the best interests of all concerned. Sigh,