Well, Fiona is no longer part of our family (well, at least she won't be part of our future). I'm so sad as I write this, but I'm also feeling quite a bit relieved. And I'll probably feel a lot more relieved once the sadness wears off.For weeks now, we have been trying to find another--better--home for Fiona. Little girl just had way too much energy for this little condo, and she was pretty defiant and getting to be very dominant. Though sometimes she could be the sweetest, cuddliest dog, there were also times when she would be a little devil.A couple of months ago, this guy came to our door and seemed to get along with her really well. He asked if he could take her home... It's a long story, really, but at that point, she had only been with us a few weeks, and we were still hoping that we could turn her around. 10 days later, I called him to say that he could have her. But I never heard back. But, the moment that I started envisioning Fiona living on his farm, with another puppy, with lots of land to run in, it seemed to plant a seed. I realized that she really would be better off with a different type of family. She's not content to be a couch potato like Nala. She needs more attention than we're able to give her, and she needs more time put into her discipline than we have.
Matt jokes that she 'misrepresented herself' when we adopted her. Ironically, the reasons that we chose her were because she was calm & submissive and that she didn't bark. Boy, were we fooled!!! She ended up being a crazy monster who in fact, hardly ever stopped barking. That's not a good fit for a small condo. Especially a condo that also houses a rather large, injured dog.
Our neighbors tried to fine us for her barking (as if we could stop her if we tried!). Eventually, we got a muzzle and had to keep her muzzled a majority of the time. Still, she found a way to make an enormous amount of noise in the form of a high-pitched yelp. Ugh. So frustrating.
Then, there was the house-training. She was potty trained, for the most part, when we got her. However, she seemed to always want to make a statement in the form of some type of deposit on our floors--or on our bed. I can't even count the amount of times she peed on our bed. Mostly right after she had been fussed at. Then, there was the one time she peed on Matt's face. And the fact that she was sick for weeks, and every night, we'd come home to diarrhea/poop in her crate and have to spend a couple hours cleaning up after her. A couple hours that we really didn't have to spare. I haven't even been able to do the 'normal' laundry entirely pretty much since we got her... because we were constantly cleaning up after her messes. Washing sheets from our bed, washing blankets, washing the comforter, and also washing all the blankets and sheets from her bed. (Man, I look forward to doing normal laundry!!)All that being said, I am sad to see her go. I have struggled so much with giving her away because I don't want her to feel 'rejected' or 'not good enough' or 'unloved'. I don't want her to think that we don't love her because she was bad. I also don't want people to judge me for being a failure as a dog-owner or for being irresponsible or selfish. Man, that's some vulnerability right there, but as I verbalized all of this to my sister on the way home from work, I was balling my eyes out as all of those things cut really deep. I think I struggle so much with 'rejecting' Fiona because I can picture myself in her shoes.
I need to remember that she's a dog. She can't rationally think through any of these things. She can't logically understand the reasons we couldn't keep her or even the reasons that we struggled with giving her away. She's not a person.
Which leads me to one of my other fears: someone joked with us a couple weeks ago that when we have children, we won't be able to give them back like we can return or re-home a dog. Though I'm sure the person (and I can't even remember who it was) didn't realize it, they were actually verbalizing the very thoughts I've been afraid people would have. I don't want people to think that Matt and I are too irresponsible for children. We learned a lot of things about parenting through Fiona: about sacrificing time, about the way we work together, about discipline, and about frustrations. In the end, we sort of admitted defeat but also realized we were probably being selfish in trying to prove that we could do it. In fact, at this time, in this season, we can't handle her. Though parenting a child has it's similarities, it's also different on way more levels.
Probably more later, but this is all I can process right now...