Thursday, March 31, 2011

As you can probably guess, things are a bit crazy around here as of late. With wedding planning (which, thankfully is pretty much done), mine and Glacier's retraining, applying to Grad school and working on moving to Scotland, things can seem a bit overwhelming at times. Leader Dogs for the Blind emailed me back and said that they wanted Glacier and I to come in from April tenth until the twenty-second. That will give us about ten days of training, if you exclude travel days. That makes me feel a bit better about the whole thing; just knowing that we'll be there a bit longer than a week.
The other big change is that Mr. K and I have decided to find new homes for our Dachshunds. This was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made. These little guys are our family and I didn't want to just give them up. I sort of felt like I had failed as a Dog Mom. I mean, I want to open a rescue one day and here I am giving my dogs away. However, maybe that is even more motivation to open a rescue. I can't tell you how many times my eyes have sprung a leak the last couple of days, but we are really doing what is best for everyone.
Our reasoning for rehoming our dogs is simple, if I retrain with Glacier, or have to get a new working dog, I have to give that new relationship 100 percent. I cannot be giving love to other animals or attention for that matter. Glacier and I are already so rocky, reducing the factors that may cause us to not work out as a team is probably the best idea. If I get a new dog, we have to bond and that means giving that new dog all of my attention. That could even be applied to Glacier and I. We have been together for two and a half years, but this retraining is our opportunity to bond again as partners and having the little guys around will just be a distraction for both of us. If Glacier was just a pet, this wouldn't be a concern, but he or the new dog are responsible for my safety. Some guide dogs can have other dogs in the home and that could be the case if I et a new dog, but I think having to share me does not work for Glacier. His confidence is so shaky that I think the time and attention I give the Dachshunds make him even more insecure. Also, I will be starting a brand new program, in a new city at a new school. Did I mention it was in a new country? All of these factors have the potential to create new challenges for the bonding process. It also is not fair to Aria, Balloo and Doc if I am not able to give them the love and attention they deserve. Dachshunds are a  fantastic breed if you love little cuddle bugs and I love cuddle bugs, but I would not be equipped to snuggle them as much as they would want or need. I'm not sure if I am explaining this well.
The good news is that we have found homes for everyone already. We wanted to keep them in the family or in our circle of friends so that we know how they are doing and also  know how they would be treated. We have two people lined up to take Doc, who was never supposed to be ours in the first place. We are going to meet one of the potential adoptees tomorrow. He is a friend's Uncle who is a widower and has had dogs pretty much all of his life, but after his wife died so did his dogs and he has been without dogs ever since then. When he heard that we were rehoming Doc, he jumped on the chance. If he meets Doc and decides that the little guy is not what he wants, one of the vet Techs at our fabulous vet clinic said that she wanted him. You can't go wrong with a vet tech adopting your dog. :)
Balloo is 99 percent going to one of my best friends who lives in the town where I grew up. Originally, Mr. K and I had agreed that I would take Balloo with me for the two months that I am gone just because Balloo is a Mama's boy and it would be easier for Mr. K to handle his school work load with two little dogs instead of three. That plan turned into Lindsay agreeing to meet him and decide whether or not she wanted him. She has been in the market for a small dog and after talking on the phone last night, I think Balloo will go to live with her. She has already applied for a "New Puppy" kit to welcome him into her family.
Aria also has two options for her new home. We have asked Mr. K's mom if she would like to take Aria because she is a single woman and she loved Aria so much when we were visiting at Christmas. We know she would be well looked after there, but if she decides that she works too much our friend from down here has called dibs. Aria already knows him and loves him because he takes her for car rides. I actually think she would be quite happy going to his house. There are quite a few people living there, so she would get a lot of attention and there is another Dachshund named Precious. Precious is six years old and a bit out of shape, but two weeks of Aria living there and Precious will be losing the weight her family has wanted her to lose. I like that Aria would have another dog there because she has always had another doggie companion.
Our decision to re-home them was quick. We decided on Tuesday night and people have stepped up since then to take them. It eases some of the guilt knowing that there are loving, caring people out there who volunteered to take these dogs and love them forever. We have made the agreement with them, though, that if anything comes up, they are to contact us first if the notion of giving the dog up ever crosses their mind. Moving them into a new family once is probably stressful enough and if the situation wasn't what it is, we wouldn't even dream of finding them new homes. But it is what it is and I have to do what is best for my working relationship with either Glacier or a new guide dog.


Kolchak Puggle said...

I can't imagine how very difficult that this decision must have been for you, but I have so much respect for the fact that you are looking to do what is best for all your pups - and most importantly, for you. Paws up to all the wonderful people who have stepped in to be sure the doxie babies have wonderful homes. I can't wait to hear how your re-training with Glacier goes. I hope it brings about a much better (and safer) working relationship. ♥

L^2 said...

I'm so sorry to hear you are re-homing the dachshunds, but I'm sure it will definitely benefit your relationship with Glacier to focus only on him. And you are so totally NOT a bad dog Mom. Being a responsible dog owner means doing what is best for them. Unfortunately, doing the best thing is not always the easiest thing to do.
I also felt like a horrible dog Mom when I finally made the decision to re-home my pet dog Stella last year and also with re-homing Willow after her retirement. Ultimately though, I knew it was the right thing to do for them, me, and the new guide dog, since, like you, I knew that I would need to give my new guide dog 100% of my focus to really solidify us as a working team. But I knew that would be impossible to do with Willow and Stella also still in my home.
I really hope that already having familiar people lined up who want your fur babies helps to make this transition easier for all of you. *hugs*

Donna and the Dogs said...

I'm very sorry that you need to find new homes for your dachshunds, but I'm certain you didn't come to this decision lightly. It is great that you found them all good homes, and that is the most important part. Dogs adjust, and it will give you the time and space needed to bond with Glacier or another dog if need be. (Routing for Glacier though!) (((Hugs))) to you at this difficult time.

Dog Foster Mom said...

Aww, that's rough - I'm sorry that you're having to make that decision. But dogs are resilient, and they'll be just fine in their new homes. It's great they get to go to people that you know and trust. Don't feel bad for rehoming them - like Kolchak and L^2 said, you have to do what is best for everyone - that is being a responsible owner! Hang in there, and good luck with the upcoming re-training!!

browndogcbr said...

Hi Y'all,

I know how painful it can be to have to make a decision effecting your family.

The bottom line is that it does not matter what those around you say or think. Only you know what is best in your unique circumstances. Never apologise.

Our prayers are with you.

BrownDog's Momma