Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

It’s been a very long time since I was able to make an Ask Phoebe post, but I am pleased to say that I do indeed have a question to answer for you this drabby fine Tuesday morning. 😉

This question comes to you from our very own Brad, over at Green Embers and GER.

What is one of the hardest decisions you’ve ever had to make?

Anyone who’s been here with me from the start of my blog knows that I love animals, and that I currently have 2 dogs and 2 cats. Once upon a time though, I was a solo pet owner. She wasn’t your typical dog adoption. I didn’t go looking for a pet and she most certainly was not a puppy, or a shelter dog needing rescued.

I was living in Idaho at the time, and had paid a visit to a local farm looking to buy some fresh vegetables they had been advertising. I had no sooner opened the door to my truck when I saw a flash of black, white and brown dart past my face and into the cab. What caught my attention most, was the vast amounts of mud covering my once pristine seat covers. That was the brown that I had seen. The first emotion that slammed me was anger, but it was quickly replaced by curiosity when I looked up to meet the big chocolate eyes of the dog that had leaned forward to within inches of my face. She wasn’t growling or being aggressive in any way.. just staring into my eyes quizzically. From what I could tell she was a Dalmatian, Labrador cross, with the Lab being slightly more dominant.

“DeDe!”.. I heard the lady speak from behind me, and I saw the dog visibly stiffen at her name being called. I turned and greeted a kindly looking older woman who was surrounded by 3 more dogs of various breeds. Again she called out to the dog in my truck, and once more was met with resistance. I reached out a palm to allow DeDe to sniff, and acquaint herself with me. Her head melted into my hand and she began to rub herself quite willing against it.

The woman and I began to converse and it turned out that DeDe was one of many foster dogs she had taken in from an abusive hoarder. DeDe was not a difficult dog, nor was she aggressive to other animals or people, but she did have a major aversion to the male population, which at the time I found no fault with. lol According to the woman, she had been pretty shy and unwilling to get close to any potential adopters, and was almost 7 years old already and set in her ways. She had never seen her do what she was doing in my truck at that moment. We both coaxed and pleaded with that dog for almost 45 minutes trying to convince her to vacate my truck but she was having none of it. She just kept rubbing herself against me and staring into my eyes. I made a decision right then and there that I was going to keep her. SHE CHOSE ME. Something about me.. the time.. the place.. it had all fit together for her and she had decided THIS was where she needed to be.

I took that precious dog home with me and never looked back. She was protective and sweet, well-behaved and just the perfect companion. I loved her like she was a part of me. To this day.. I still do.

One day though, several years after she became part of my family, she started acting slightly off. I knew immediately that something wasn’t right with her. I took her to the vet and heard the words that every pet owner dreads the thought of hearing. She needed to be put down. That day.. in that office.. I made one of the hardest decisions of my life. I kissed and held DeDe one last time as I watched the life leave her eyes. It is not something I ever wish to repeat, even though I know someday I may have to.

I love all my animals — past, present and future… but there will NEVER be another dog like DeDe. I will never forget how she chose me that day, and changed both our lives for the better.

I would have put a picture of her up here… but to be honest, I don’t think I could handle seeing her sweet face right now. Writing, and sharing this post, was hard enough.

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7 thoughts on “Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

  1. I had to do the same thing several years back with my cat of 15 years – it’s just heartbreaking. But you’re right – our pets choose us. Shadow, our cat of 10 years, absolutely chose us at the shelter and he’s got more personality than I’ve seen in some people!

  2. Every time I lose an animal I can hardly bear the loss. Then overtime the pain turns to joy as I recall all the wonderful moments. We humans have a responsibility to our pets to be brave enough to do what is best for them. It doesn’t make it any easier though. *hugs*

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