Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It's me or the dog.

You've seen that show, right?  It's on Animal Planet, if you have that channel. 

This week, it became me (and my sanity) or the dog.  Specifically, my dog.  My little furball, Hudson.

Hudson joined our family right after we bought our home in 2006.  He's half-Yorkie and half-Silky, so he doesn't shed, and needs regular haircuts.  He was so little when we brought him home, but now he's about 20 pounds.  He is named after my hometown of Hudson, Ohio or if you're old enough to remember, Mark Price also named his son Hudson while he played for the Cavs in the early 90s. 

Hudson started out stubborn.  I walked him before leaving in the morning, and Ryan walked him when he returned after work.  We tried every collar/harness/trick to get him to walk appropriately on a leash, and he continued pulling to the point of being splayed out like Super Dog at the end of the leash.  He also refused to poop in front of us.  One morning, after three days of refusing to poop, he escaped his crate while I was in the shower and left a pile of poop roughly the size of himself on my bathmat.  We worked through the issues, and Hudson became a sweet snuggle puppy who slept under our covers, nose tucked up against your armpit.

When we moved to Virginia, with Ryan's hours and my hours at work, we felt it best to get a doggie door for our fenced backyard.  Hudson thanked us by sneaking up the stairs to our little-used loft and leaving piles of poop.  Clearly he was not pleased at being left alone so much, even though he had his little playmate Killer.  

After moving back to Boston, the dogs had a difficult time adjusting to "asking" to going outside again.  Instead of going out only for potty breaks, they were accustomed to going out for any whim, and would scratch and whine at the door.  I never figured out how to break them of this habit, and ended up letting them out at every request, because the consequences of ignoring the request was often  peeing on the leg of the table.  There was no reliable way to tell the difference between potty request and play time!

While pregnant with my second baby, the dogs really began to get on my nerves.  Though Hudson didn't snore like Killer, he would be snuggled in bed next to me and it was so uncomfortable to move him and move me to roll over and re-adjust to get comfortable.  After weeks of debate, I threw the dogs out of bed, and sent them to sleep on dog beds in the kitchen.  Which they promptly ate.  I found an old couch cushion that proved indestructible, and gated them in the kitchen.

And so the downhill spiral started!  The poor dog just wanted attention, and decided that peeing on my things was good punishment.  Though they were locked in the kitchen whenever we left the house, they started sneaking around while we were home.  I found pee on the toys in the playroom, so they were banned from the playroom.  We got new furniture and in an effort to keep it clean from the dog fur and smell, they were banned from the furniture.  I found pee on the kids' bedposts and blankets and then the rocking chair and my bedpost and bedspread, so the dogs started spending their days and nights in the kitchen.  Still, they managed to sneak into bedrooms while my back was turned, and I was doing 2-3 extra loads of laundry a week (on top of my already unmanageable laundry rotation).   

Now pregnant, sick, exhausted and barely able to keep my kids occupied, I finally caught Hudson in the act, or at least soon after the act.  With Killer outside, I saw Hudson slink out of my room, to find my bedspread soaked and piddle all over the floor next to my bedpost.  It was no longer debatable, MY dog was the culprit.  After weeks/months of threatening the pound, it dawned on me that a Yorkie is a much-desired breed and I could find a rescue to help re-home him instead of playing doggie-roulette at the pound.

Right before I contacted a Yorkie rescue, a friend in Maine said she'd take the dog.  They have children a little older than ours, ready to love and squeeze and entertain the dog until he can't take it anymore.  I gave her a low-down on the dog's history and behavior problems (and the fact that through it all, he's still super gentle and loving with the kids, he just wants someone to love him too).  They're prepared, and Hudson heads to his new home this weekend.       

Some of you will cheer with me when he trots off to his new home, some of you will vilify me for failing my first fur-child, but it took a long time to come to this conclusion and I'm comfortable with it, no matter what you think of me.  I kept the explanation simple for the kids, but I know they'll be sad and confused too.  KH has promised updates on how he's doing, and even offered visits, but I don't think I can do that.  Hudson deserves a fresh clean start.  I just wish I could explain to him how much happier he's going to be, and spare him the confusion when we drive away without him. 

Good bye my little fur-baby, I know you're going to be so loved and happy with your new family. 


  1. I know you didnt come to this decision lightly. It sounds like you are making the right choice for you and your family! Big hugs as Im sure its going to be heartbreaking to leave your first furbaby behind with a new family.

  2. Awwwww, my heart is breaking for you and your family. Our dog has been through a similar scenario with the addition of two kids in three years, and it's been hard on her. I've often wondered if I could give her up, but I just don't think I could. Then again, another pregnancy... just might change that! (And NO, Im not getting preggo again, we are D-O-N-E!)

  3. I have had those same thoughts. Then they pass, but then again I just have one child. Well two children if you count our dog.