So… who had “48 hours or less” in the puppy pool?
Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!
Yesterday at lunchtime, after days of not being able to sleep or eat and after being on the phone for almost an hour with the dogs’ foster mom trying to have her talk me off the ledge, I loaded Maverick and Iceman back into the giant dog crate, along with about $250 worth of awesome puppy gear, and drove them back to the Chattahoochee River Club. Oh, yes I did. And I feel like a horrible, horrible human being.
I have birthed and am raising five children. I manage a home and our finances and a complicated schedule and I (occasionally) write this blog. I keep food in our pantry and clean clothes in our drawers. I am sometimes overwhelmed with chaos, but generally things run pretty smoothly around here. Until Sunday when those little poop machines came in and set me spinning. What is wrong with me?
I came into this situation with such pure and good intentions. I planned and prepared and did it over a period of more than six weeks. We came up with fabulous dog names from an iconic 80’s movie. I took baby steps. I still knew deep down inside that I am not a dog person by nature, but I truly believed that I could overcome my discomfort and even fear with the power of positive thinking. Wow, was I wrong about that. I was a complete wreck for almost three days. I actually had a physical reaction once the puppies were here. And to make things worse, I could not get out of my own head either. It made me feel a little insane in the brain.
Facing a weakness or a flaw in myself is not my strong suit. I like being good at stuff. Moreover, I like being awesome at stuff. But I don’t really want anybody to know because I think that being undercover awesome is way cooler. Plus, fewer people will ask you to serve on the PTA if they think you suck. So I point out my flaws every chance I get. But in my heart, I know I am a good mom and a good person. If I am truly content and confident, then I do not feel the need to shout my own accolades from the rooftops.
Then I go and do something that is making my kids cry and not speak to me and creating trust issues and possibly damaging them permanently, and I feel so very, very bad. No more undercover awesome. Just bad, bad mommy. And of course I do feel the need to shout this from the rooftops. I am embarrassed. I am sorry. I am flawed.
But I will not beat myself up over this forever. I made the decision to return the puppies so soon because they will have a much better chance of being adopted permanently when they are young. They are lab mixes and people love labs. I also found some comfort in the dogs’ excitement when they were reunited with their litter mates back at the foster mom’s house. I believe that it is much better for me to make this decision now, rather than to keep them and change my mind a few weeks down the line, or even to keep them forever but be resentful.
By the way, I can not tell you how many people admitted to me over the past two days that they don’t really like their dogs. I have talked to so many people who said (now you tell me?) that they want to give away their dogs, that their dogs scare them, or that they just wish they didn’t have them anymore. One friend even called her dog an asshole (mainly because he bit another friend on the butt when they were out walking). I am sure none of these people would ever intentionally hurt their dogs. But I definitely found it very interesting to hear about this secret side of the dog coin.
Now, I also know just as many – if not more – people who have dogs and love them like they are their own children. Others have told me how their dog(s) complete their families. I just saw last night on Dance Moms that Abby Lee Miller was thinking about having her three-weeks dead dog stuffed so she could keep it with her forever. That is some serious dog love right there. I get it, but I just don’t feel it myself.
So I sit here with my broken heart and my broken awesomeness, thinking about everything that has just happened. I will get over it. And I believe that the kids will eventually get over it too. Sheepdog has been wonderfully supportive of me and my craziness. Everybody will have to heal in their own way.
I did ask the dog foster mom to put my name on the Adoption No-Fly list, just to protect me from myself in a couple of years when I have forgotten this and again decide that I have overcome my fears and think that getting a dog will surely be a good plan. She was so understanding and (too) kind to me when she told me one last thing before I left the puppies with her yesterday. She said when she first met me she came home and told her husband that she wished that she had someone like me as her neighbor. She thought I was strong and confident, but that I seemed fun and funny at the same time. And then she added that she noticed right then that my family was already complete. I never really thought about it until she pointed it out to me, but apparently I don’t need dogs to make our family whole.
Wish me luck for tomorrow…