My husband and I made a pact last week: “No more new dogs until we’re down to just one.” Then we did a fist-bump to seal the deal.
We absolutely love and adore our four dogs. They bring lots of smiles and loads of laughter into our lives every single day. At the same time, life with our canine buddies has been an emotional roller coaster. We lost Annie to an aggressive form of cancer three years ago. Then Bogey passed away one year later. Also from cancer. Gus had two major “knee” surgeries, and this summer we almost lost Buster when he developed a perforation in his stomach. We rushed him to Virginia Tech Veterinary Hospital in Blacksburg, Va., where he underwent emergency exploratory surgery. After that he spent a week in ICU. He’s much better now, but still suffering some residual effects from the ordeal.
The most difficult time, however, came just three weeks after Buster fell ill. My husband and I had to make the painful decision to put our youngest dog, Huck, to sleep. He was acting out aggressively and in unpredictable ways. When I found Huck on the side of the road as a scared little puppy less than a year and half ago I had no idea he would develop the issues he did. God knows my husband and I loved him and cared for him the best we knew how. I’m not going to relive the experience by going into details of the situation, but I will assure everyone that we did everything possible to correct the problem. It was determined by professionals, (our veterinarian and our dog trainer), that his behavior was genetic and irreversible. It was a heart-breaking experience.
Needless to say, we are feeling pretty drained, and now we are now facing more trying times as three of our four dogs are aging way too quickly for us.
That’s where the pact comes in. We’ve decided it’s time to slow down with our dog rescue mission. At least until we’ve lovingly and attentively seen our special boys Gus, Buster and Hobbit through their golden years. Then I am sure we’ll be ready to take in another dog in need.
At least, that’s the plan. We were recently tempted by a homeless golden retriever that was brought to our attention. Maybe that fist-bump should’ve been an actual handshake – or even a signed contract.