Doggie Begone

Is it wrong that I feel like I don’t love my dog anymore? When we first got her, she was our fur baby and the basis of many an article for our newspaper. We doted on her, bought her health insurance, the best quality food and never went on vacation without her. 8 years and one skin kid later, I am ready to send her packing to goodness knows where, as long as it isn’t my house. I know. Sounds awful. I have to say that it feels pretty awful to type it, but awful doesn’t make it untrue.

We just downsized our house. Partly for economic reasons and partly for proximity to work. We went from almost 1800 sq feet to just over 1200. The purge process was good: it allowed us to sell, give and dump a boatload of stuff that we didn’t need. Never did I think, in all the planning and packing, that one of those things to be dumped would be our dog.

Maggie has always been a poo eater. From day one. For the first few years, we did everything under the sun to deal with it: every remedy, every advice from vets… We would go with her in the yard. She got smart and wouldn’t poo until no one was around, resulting in a short bout of poo’ing in the house. In 1800 sq feet with entire areas where she could be separated from us when she had “Poo Mouth”, as we call it, it wasn’t too bad, even with our daughter around. We managed to co-exist in relative peace.

Then the other day, I caught my daughter giving Maggie a piece of her bagel. She was just about to put the rest of the half chewed piece in her own mouth when I screamed and scared the bejeesus out of her, the dog and probably half the neighbourhood – this was all done over a baby gate that separated them, though not by enough. Kiddo dropped the piece of bagel and that signaled the end of interaction with Maggie for her. I could just see her getting never ending gastronintestinal problems from Poo Mouth, at the very least. Maggie was relegated to spaces at least one room away until the kiddo went to bed, or unless Maggie was in the back yard (chomping on yet more poo snacks).

This week, we moved to the new house and realized that there was no separating the two without a mountain of baby gates – for the dog, not the kid – or relegating Maggie to the basement 22 hours a day: doggie solitary. That didn’t seem like much of a life for her. So we put in a call to our vet for suggestions about ‘re-homing’ Maggie. A part of me feels so awful: we took on the responsibility when we brought her home and that responsibility doesn’t end in the face of inconvenience. However there is a part of me that is at her limit on this one: we are talking about the physical health and well being of our daughter. The dilemma is great. We don’t want to make the wrong choice but being ruled by our hearts won’t help either…

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