This post has been sitting in my draft folder for a very long time. A few weeks, then a month or two and now it has been almost a year. At first I didn’t write about it because I was angry and ashamed. And then it became something I feared others would use to judge me. Nevertheless, it is part of my story..
I gave our pets away. All of them. I became one of those people. I grew up with cats, always wanted my own dog, and the situations around each of them leaving our home and finding new ones were just… awful.
Graham, our chocolate lab puppy, had an intestinal issue that required him to be crated pretty much all the time, but definitely while we were sleeping or away from the house. And we were away a lot. I agonized over the decision to find him a new home. I couldn’t install a doggy door. It wasn’t fair for him to be an outside dog when neighbors would throw chicken bones and trash in our yard on a daily basis. I couldn’t not kennel him when he would have uncontrollable diarrhea all over the house. Basic training didn’t help. A private trainer couldn’t help. The veterinarian he had seen since his initial puppy exam said it wouldn’t get better, lack of muscle tone meant he couldn’t stop the accidents. It would never change and it might get worse.
I know someone reading this will probably think I’m making up a story, but I promise I’m not. We paid a lot of money for a life long companion and it turned out his life with us was short-lived. He lives on a farm with a six year old boy and some cows, as an outside dog. His new family, his forever family sends pictures every once in a while. They had prayed for a chocolate lab, but couldn’t afford one themselves. He looks happy. At the very least, happier than he ever could have been while in a kennel over half of his life.
It was a hard decision. Giving away our cats was equally as difficult. Meeko was the black and white “tuxedo” patterned kitty. I was warned that he was likely feral when I adopted him at five whole weeks of age, but he had always been sweet with me, so it wasn’t a huge concern. As he matured, he became more and more aggressive. He would get into the kitchen cabinets and push glasses out. Would bite the other kitty until she howled and pulled hair out. He developed a habit of pooping behind furniture and under tables despite his litter being cleaned daily and changed twice a week. And then he bit me, after the sailor left for one of his many underways last year, and I had had enough. He was given to a barn to help control the mice via the local ASPCA’s barn cat program. I don’t exactly know what happened to him.
And the other kitty found a home with a little old lady. She was always the perfect little lap cat, constantly needing and demanding attention and affection. She had a tendency to scratch if her need for attention wasn’t met, and her new owner was aware of that and informed to keep her nails short.
So there you have it. My truth on why we don’t have pets anymore.
I hope some day a stray kitten needs a good home, but I’m in no rush to add a furball to this mix. Cat allergies run on both sides of our family so I’ll have to wait until the bumble butt is older. Who knows..