As I write this post my 11-month-old puppy is asleep on my feet. Her cold nose is pressed against my big toe and her tail is wrapped around my ankle. I could reach down and let her silky ears slide through my fingers and have her gaze at me with absolute adoration. These are the moments when she is the prefect canine companion.
Then my baby will cry and I’ll have to stand up. Inevitably, Rosy will trot behind me and put her paws on the bassinet to get a closer look at what’s drawing my attention away. She’ll tilt her head sideways as if to say, ”This? This is the horrible thing that’s stealing you away from our comfortable cuddle? I feel so betrayed!” She’ll run off, looking for a target for her vengeance. Sometimes it’s my red Persian rug, couch cushion, our bedroom carpet — all of which have been destroyed by her burrowing claws. Or maybe she’ll take it out on the hapless barbie left on the playroom table or a steal a messy diaper and eat it under my bed. Either way, my house will end up covered in fluff, fuzz, leather or feces.
Those things are irritating and frustrating, but alas, they are actions of a typical pup. Destruction I can handle.
Unfortunately there are other acts, scarier acts of jealous rage that I can’t tolerate anymore. Sometimes when I choose the baby over Rosy (and lets be honest about what my priority should be) she stays with me, climbing into my already full lap and pawing at the baby’s back. Or worse, nipping at tiny toes and tearing away socks.
Obedience classes, a training collar, a vet consult haven’t yielded any positive results. They’ve all suggested that with time Rosy would get better, but lately it seems that she’s getting worse.
So I called the breeder. They’ve found a new home for Rosy. One with a large yard and a tall fence (did I mention that she escapes our backyard regularly and I usually end up chasing her down the street all with a baby on my hip?). Rosy’s new family already has one Vizsla, an older dog with a sweet temperament.
I’m happy for Rosy. I think it will be a better place for her. And yet, I’m still so sad. I’ve poured so much time, effort, and love into this dog, and held on to her even when everyone (my husband included) said she needed to go.
I know this is the right thing to do, but that doesn’t make it easy for me — especially when I have to deal with my five-year-old’s broken heart.
Why do some lessons in life have to be so hard?
I know I’ll feel better when I can lay my baby down on the floor, that I won’t worry about Rosy biting her or smothering her in a poor attempt at cuddling.
But I’ll miss having Rosy’s cozy body curled up against me on cold nights and the comfort she provides when I’m home alone and it’s raining.
She will be a good dog for someone else someday, but sadly I can’t wait for that time and jeopardize my children.
Goodbye Rose-a-pose. You will be missed.