Mid-Life Ramblings; Sanity Optional

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Dinner Outdoors

I have my deck back and tonight I'm going to enjoy it.

Six months ago we made a huge mistake. I'll take most of the blame for it because it was originally my idea. I thought I needed a German Shepherd dog. I'd had a beloved GSD years back and was missing him terribly. I had always sworn that once I had a house with a fenced backyard, I would get another. So on the day after we moved into the new house, E and I drove up to Birmingham, Alabama, to pick up Rikka, a GSD rescue.

At four months Rikka only weighed 13 pounds. She was and remains a very, very sweet girl. We brought her home and tried to have her as an inside dog but a week into the process Sneauball began throwing up from stress. Bichons can be delicate little dogs and Sneauball threw up for four days once he realized that Rikka wasn't leaving. Since we'd originally said she'd be an outside dog, we moved her to the backyard and Sneauball was miraculously cured. [rolleyes] The two little dogs were completely intimidated by Rikka's size and they never got along. In fact, the little dogs finally just refused to even enter the backyard. If we forced them to, a fight between Sneauball and Rikka would always break out. Now, in Rikka's defense, I must say that she never tried to hurt the little dogs. She always just wanted to play. But she grew from a 13 lb puppy into a 50 lb puppy rather quickly and the little ones wanted no part of it.

Puppies can be destructive and the bigger the puppy, the bigger the damage. Rikka was no exception. She pulled the outlet cover off our outdoor outlet, chewed the garden hose down into six-inch pieces, chewed the clapper off my large expensive wind chimes, damaged three window frames by chewing them, tore the screen off one of the windows, destroyed two pool nets, and I'm sure I could remember one or two more things if I sat here long enough. She's also a barker. We tried everything to no avail. We sprayed her with water, used a no-bark collar, tried training, the works but she still loved to bark, especially in the wee hours of the morning. Instead of getting better, it's been getting worse.

Add to all of this the fact that E lost his job and we can no longer afford to feed a big dog.

Weekend before last, E came to me and said we needed to find a new home for Rikka. We had agreed with the rescue group that if we were ever to give her up it would be to them. So after much arranging and rearranging, today was finally the day. E brought her to Mississippi to meet the guy from the rescue group. Rikka will be put back up for adoption and will, hopefully, go to a home where she's an only dog and has lots of room to run and someone who can work really hard with her training.

It is definitely hardest on E. God saw to it that I never really bonded with Rikka but E sure did. She became a daddy's girl immediately and he's spent lots of time with her. I know it was very hard on him to hug her neck and tell her goodbye today but I know in my heart that this decision is the best for us all, including Rikka.

By the time I get home, E should have my large wind chimes fixed and hanging back under on the pergola. Tonight for the first time since we've lived in the house, we're grilling dinner on the deck. We're going to bring the little dogs out into their backyard and let them enjoy their space off lead without being accosted by a huge dog that wants them to play. We're going to watch the sun set from our deck and relax for the first time in six months. I know we've done the right thing.


  • At 3:38 PM, Blogger Dixie said…

    Oh hon! I'm so sorry about Rikka. I know you and E loved her and so wished it could have worked out.

    But you're right. It wasn't fair to you or the little dogs and not fair to Rikka either. I know you did the right thing making her available to a family who can give her a home where she's the only dog.

  • At 7:15 AM, Anonymous Stephanie said…

    /comfort what a hard decision


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