Conflicted Happiness

I woke up Friday excited about our trip to Napa and the long weekend with my family.

I went downstairs to get our new dog Lady. She had been doing well getting used to our family, but there were some things that concerned me about her. She was a bit nervous and scared. She really disliked the cats and she was just seeming too tired for a 1 1/2 year old dog.

When I went inside the room she greeted me as usual with her sweet wagging tail, but something was off. She could not walk. She could put no weight on her back left leg.

I carried her outside to go pee, told Steve what was happening and planned a trip to the SPCA Vet Hospital.

When I arrived I just knew this was not a minor injury. She had already had a string of medical situations. If she was going to become injured within the first 10 days of us having her with very limited exercise… how was I going to care for a dog with recurring problems? With these thoughts came fears that maybe there was something worse going on with her. What if she dies? How will I explain to 6 year old Ella that her dog died? She would think it was her fault.

While I was waiting to be seen I asked to speak to the adoption consultant. She seemed to understand all these conflicted ideas I had and made it safe for me to communicate them to her. She made it clear that if the proper care of Lady was not going to be possible with our family, that the SPCA could take her back, do her medical treatments and find a home she would be more suited for. She also made it very clear that we would be able to adopt a new dog. There was no judgement.

I saw the vet who was not able to figure out what was wrong with Lady, but her initial doctor visit estimate was over $1,800 just to discover what was going on with her.

I burst into tears. I know our family. I know our financial situation. This was not going to be the right fit for her. It would not be fair to her or to us.

I kissed Lady and said goodbye.

I cried a little more and then I was a mom on a mission. There was no way in hell I was going to go home and tell the girls their dog was gone and that was it.

The adoption consultant mentioned Buck as a possibility. He was a one year old lab-retriever mix who had been in the shelter for about a week. He was friendly with a lot of energy.

I took one look at him and said yes.20130902-214507.jpg

The girls were sad about Lady, but understood that she was having body problems and we were not going to be able to take care of her the way she deserves. I told them that the doctors were doing a good job finding out what is wrong and were going to fix her. The adoption consultant told me they would find her a good home.

Now on to Buck. He is amazing. He is happy, full of life, eager to please and a little rough around the edges. So far he has learned “sit”, “come” (sort of) and knows his name. He is just the cutest little pup.

We couldn’t be happier.

I called the SPCA Sunday to find out what was going on with Lady. It turns out that she has hip dysplasia. That is when the leg bone does not fit properly into the hip socket. It is a serious condition that can lead to a lot problems down the line.

It’s weird to “give a dog back”. We took her thinking we would have her for a good 10 years. It turned out to be a good 10 days.


Ella with Lady.

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