Do you have pets? What is your favorite kind of pet? For me...ducks are my all-time favorite. They're easy, they're hilariously entertaining, they don't need me to give them their sense of identity. Second favorite is cats. Cats are a step above ducks because they sit in your lap and purr and let you pet them, but they're a step down because they crap in a box I have to clean up.
But lots of people are "dog people." Hubbs included. I never have been...not ever. I see the benefits, I do! They can be cute, they certainly offer a high level of companionship (I call it being up my arse, but whatev) they can be trained to keep watch of the house or to do awesome things like herd sheep or cattle or save little boys from the well.
Then there were the vet bills-which amounted to about as much as we spend on gas in a month because he was eaten up with fleas and worms and needed shots out the wazoo.
Then it was too cold outside for him (he was not allowed inside full-time until he was trained to stay out from under Hubbs prosthesis. It is better for the dog this way, I promise) and we had to buy a dog house.
Then it thawed and his poop turned our oasis of a backyard into a mine field of funk.
Then the humping and the next ginormous vet bill of having him neutered.
Then the digging holes in the yard, which led to spankings, nose rubbings and a general dislike on Hubbs part.
Then the chewing of EVERYTHING.
What is your breaking point? At what point do you say, "it's over, dog. You must find a new place to live." Is it after he runs away 2x in one week? Is it after he snaps at your husband or herds your children by nipping their ankles and wrists? Is it when he eats your kids' toys?
Nah...I prayed through all of those things. I've begged and pleaded with God to give me compassion and love for Johnny. He has come through with flying colors (of course!). He has heaped it on me and despite my serious irritation with Johnny over the last 9 months, I've always bounced back, determined to "make it work." I've rationalized and conceded and spent way more money on that dog than I've even spent on myself.
But I can't rationalize this:
That one is completely unsalvageable because, near as I can tell, Johnny ATE the piece of fabric that belongs in that hole. It's nowhere. Not in the yard, not in his house, nowhere.
This one I stitched back, oh yes I did.
It would be different if it were the first time. Or the second time. It'd be different if we hadn't been specifically training him to NOT do this for the last 3 weeks. It'd be different if he didn't destroy things I can't replace.
So here I am-left feeling guilty and awful because every dog-lover's criticism I've ever heard is playing in my head OVER and OVER. Rhiya's plea that we "CAN'T get rid of THIS ONE." Pat's considering him such a family member that she included him in her Christmas letter for GOODNESS SAKES! Gracie-Rayne's tears when he ran away last week, Vi's smile when the dumb dog comes in the house. And mostly...Little Man. Johnny is the brother Little Man should have. They wrestle and play and do things that boys do together. And it breaks me. And maybe that's what I'm *really* crying about.
I feel like I'm losing another dream and it sucks. Something inside me is begging, "just wait until he's a year old. Just wait a few more weeks. But I don't know if I can handle losing more to this dog. He's eaten the straps out of Little Man's swing, he's chewed the mirrors off of the power wheel, he got into our garage and ate my stockpile. He's run the grass down and killed my flowers. ARGH!
This is getting an abrupt stop right now. I'm not sure what else I can say.