A dog named Coco(nut) to be exact.
She is our dog, our gentle little whippet.
She came to us from Kamloops B.C., and I drove 5 hours there and 5 hours back to get her, with 9-month-old Sadie and my dad. On the ride home Coco lay curled in the tightest ball in the front seat, and didn't move a muscle. The car deck on the ferry rattled her. The first walk I took her on, she decided to turn into a statue at the halfway point. I had to carry her home while trying to steer the stroller. I received many a sideways glance.
Tomorrow she will be Cara and Darrell's dog.
I know there are a lot of animal lovers out there.....I am one of them. But I have something I am ashamed to admit about Coco the Dog:
She. Drives. Me. CRAZY.
And in order to be a fit mother and wife, I must retain my sanity. Therefore, we made the painstaking decision a few weeks ago to find a great home for our family pet.
No more checking the food and water dish several times a day. No more muddy paws scratching to be let in, let out. No more clicking nails pacing the floor. No more damp snout on the back of my leg, following me from room to room and back again. No more guilt for being gone for several hours while Coco is left in the laundry room (on a comfy bed of course). No more paws on the countertop. No more pee on the rug in the playroom. No more eating her own poop. No more hearing a raised, exasperated tone exit my mouth within earshot, always within earshot, of my girls. No more dog for the MacNeills.
A meteoric burden has been lifted.
I'm sorry, I just don't have the time for you right now Coco. You are a lovely animal and I know your life will be wonderful with your new owners.
Cara and Darrell are a couple with another whippet-cross (named Sara), and Cara is a dog trainer and owns a dog daycare where Coco and Sara will spend their days. Darrell is a runner and Coco will surely enjoy a daily jog. They don't have children; Coco will get all the attention she needs.
I wanted my children to grow up with a pet. But I don't want them to grow up with the impression that a pet is a nuissance, a chore. But, at this point in MY life, that is what this dog is for me. I am spread too thin. I don't have the time. I swore that if and when we brought a dog into our home, it would be for the duration of the dog's life and I acknowledged that commitment. Unfortunately, I underestimated the extent of Coco's neediness. Whippets are an affection-craving, highly sensitive breed. I've learned my lesson.
But tomorrow will be tough nonetheless. I take comfort in knowing that she will have a better life with Cara and Darrell, who love her already. In a way, I feel like they were always her owners, and that we have been serving as Coco's guardians until her perfect people came along.
Has anyone else ever had to give up a pet? I feel awful about this.