I've been hesitating to post on this topic because it's been such an emotional experience, but it's been a big change in our lives, so I think it's important to get it out there.
After the last post about Eden, we continued trying to make it work. We took her to two more behaviorists. The first told us, "You absolutely cannot keep this dog. There's no way she can succeed in a busy home." Number four outlined a last-ditch one-month training plan, which we implemented religiously but without much success. One day when we were locking Eden in the bedroom for the 10th time of the day, Greg and I looked at each other and agreed that it was no way for a dog to live. It became clear that the constant state of anxiety caused by our frequent visitors was just more than she could handle; she needed to be someplace without so much stimulation.
We contacted the rescue and asked them to start looking for a more suitable home for her. It wasn't easy—most people who want a Golden Retriever are not interested in an aggressive dog. But a few weeks ago, we got a call that there was a couple interested in her. I took her to meet them, and they were totally amazing. They have decades of experience dealing with dogs with all sorts of behavioral issues. Their kids are grown. They have visitors once a week, tops. They live in a quiet area and go for long walks and/or hikes daily. Plus they're sweet as pie. I wanted to live with them. Eden took to them immediately, and vice versa. They kept her for a couple weeks as a trial, with the understanding that we'd take her back if it wasn't a fit. Then last weekend, they let us know they'd fallen completely and had decided to keep her.
The whole experience was so difficult emotionally; there was guilt, anxiety, sadness, loss—compounded, of course, by having to help the kids through it. In short, it sucked. But at the end, Eden ended up in the absolutely perfect home for her, and we have had a huge weight lifted.
We thought about getting another dog, but given the timing—baby #3 will be here in a couple of months, we're renovating the basement, and we have some travel ahead—we decided against it. Unless we could find a Saffron clone, we decided it would just be too much stress to try to add another dog right now.
And then … we found a Saffron clone.
Seriously, isn't it uncanny?
Introducing Puddle (Pudsy for short). She is a 4-year-old Great Dane and is perfect in every single way. She loves people (especially children), is calm and affectionate, walks perfectly on a leash, and is submissive to every animal she meets—including chickens. We are completely, totally, head-over-heels in love, and I think the feeling just might be mutual.