Sunday, September 25, 2011

State of the dog

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.


rebekah said...

including chickens... love it. So glad it worked out well for everyone involved.

hotflawedmama said...

eeeek! I got goosebumps! Pudsy looks like my Abe too! Though Saffron and Abe looked identical, being Blue Great Danes. Pudsy sounds perfect!

And what great news about the other dog. A perfect fit, it sounds like!

Mark and Sarah said...

Congrats on your new addition. Sounds like a perfect match. Love hearing that Eden has found a family who she fits with so well too. Wish you could have seen the end to the story months ago, but then that's all part of the journey, I suppose.

Jess said...

Oh my goodness look at that face!

Pebble to Stone said...

She's absolutely beautiful! And I love the story. I am so glad Eden found her home.

Mama Papaya said...

I am so happy to hear the missing pieces found their puzzles. She seems pretty darn perfect. Welcome Pudsy!

Pluto said...

Congrats on another Dane!!! Raina is still going strong and one of the most friendly dogs on the planet. I lost Gilligan (Ferret) this summer, he was pure sugar.

fiddlehead said...

Oh, I am so happy you found your dog a perfectly suited new home...that is so loving. And then to have a Saffron clone come into your life, well that is just amazing!

Me. Us. She. said...

oh I am so glad this all worked out. I've been thinking of you since CO Springs.