Can I Go Through With This Plan?

May 12, 2009

Kip is my first Cardigan.  I had German Shepherd Dogs, a parti-color American Cocker, a Pem . . . then, when I first started practicing law,  I had no dogs.  I traveled all the time (or at least it felt that way) and it was too difficult to keep and train a dog when I was out of town so often.  When my last Shepherd died, I didn’t replace him.  Instead I bought a townhouse.  The boys were on their own (I wanted to make sure there wasn’t room for them to move back in), and I needed to simplify my lifestyle so I could juggle the work load.  After about ten years of the sterile life — even off-white carpet and white tile — missing a dog caught up with me — though I did not miss the absence of kids in the house.  I cut down on the travel, turned away out of town cases, and begin looking for a dog.  Since I had sold the restored Victorian (read: “scads of room”) to purchase the townhouse, German Shepherds were not a practical choice.  The Pem had been fun, but the temperament was a little sharp for me — I like serious thinking dogs.  Cardigans were the breed that was the closest to perfect in my mind.  I waited almost a year for Kip to be born.  Adrienne and I visited him (not knowing which one of the puppies we’d get) from the time the litter was nine days old.  She told me after the first visit, “we want the one with the green necklace.”  That happens to be how it worked out, and our Kip came to live with me.

Kip will be four in July.  He is the happiest, easiest going dog in the world.  He has very bad hips so he’s not been allowed to do agility or herding — both of which he wanted to do — but he’s been a sparkling obedience dog and a fine tracking dog.  He’s earned his CD TD RN, is a registered therapy dog and a Reading Education Assistance Dog.  He’s trained for Open Obedience and needs only one more leg for his Rally Advanced Title.  BUT . . .

This makes me cry . . .

Chase picks on Kip, and Inca joins in.  Chase is assertive and strong.  Kip is a small Cardi and very submissive.  He won’t fight back.  I don’t have a kennel set-up — and no place to create one.  Logically, Chase should go away because he’s the last dog in the door.  I could probably find someone to take him (ya’ think?).  However, Chase loves to work and is physically able to do it all.  He’s also handsome and showy.  Chase and I can do everything that I enjoy about having dogs.  Kip is, however, not safe when Chase is at the house — and he will be, full time, in another few weeks.

My son Brock, his wife, and my granddaughter want Kip — when their old dog dies.  She’s acting like she’ll live forever though and I need Kip to be safe now.  So, here comes the probable decision . . . my friend/house sitter and her parents had two Goldens.  Last week, the older Golden died.  The younger dog is so lonely.  I went to law school with my friend’s dad (who is also a doctor), and she was my paralegal for years.  Their dogs are house dogs that get the best care and companionship you can imagine.  They don’t want to go through the puppy stages again.  They want a happy, already trained companion.  Jill already loves Kip.  He’s going to go to their house for a couple of trial days this week.  I know this is a perfect arrangement.  I know I’ll miss Kip more than he’ll miss me (dogs are so adaptive).   I know it is my responsibility to keep Kip safe . . . I know, I know, I know . . .  but I’m so sad.

  1. Le'o says:

    You’re already telling yourself everything I could think of.

    Hugs for taking care of the situation responsibly even if it hurts you to do it. You are right. Kip will be fine. And it sounds like you’ll get to visit.

  2. *hugs* Dogs can be so disappointing. We get them with big hopes, dreams, and goals, and all we can do is hold our breath that all the paths meet together.

    You are thinking of Kip, and yourself, and what both of you need. If you can find a better home for Kip, this sounds WONDERFUL, and you can still keep your bratty working boy, who’ll really do you proud in any venue you choose! You’ve heard me go back and forth on the Galaxy bit, and also, if a better home for Cove ever came around, he’d go. Placing either though, will break my heart (Even if I’m not willing to admit it).

    Since we can’t have unlimited dogs, and those ‘once in a lifetime’ dogs for each person only happen on occasion, sometimes we do make the choice to ‘move on’. Not because we don’t care about the dog we’re placing, but because we feel it’s best for them, us, and of course, the new home which falls head over heels in love with them (And can’t picture life without them)

    Also like Le’o says, you get to visit. He’ll be close to home, and sounds like he’ll be super spoiled, in a happy retirement home. You know what’s best for you, and you’re the best judge on what’s best for all your dogs. Good luck!

  3. Sandy says:

    Penni…oh, how I wish there were more of ‘you’ in this world. I understand your sadness, because I think you think you’re throwing Kip away. Absolutely NOT, dear. You are deciding there CAN be a home as kewl as yours and you have found it. Your motive is totally unselfish.

    I often think I am the ONLY one who could possibly make my animals happy. That’s not so and I really, really know that. But when I think about finding new homes once in awhile, I fall back on that feeling. My home is number one, right? Nope. Any home where the dog is happy and the people are happy is some kind of magic.

    Yes, dogs are adaptable. It sounds like the “move” will be about as perfect as any deserving dog would want.

    Now, if you could bottle this magic I know a couple hundred thousand dogs who would like to buy a 6 pack.

    Lots of hugs…

  4. Laura says:

    Ditto on what Leo and Emily said. How nice that you know the family and they are close to you. Hugs to you and the Cardis.

  5. Julie says:

    Oh Penni, what a tough situation. You are doing what is best for Kip and that is what is important. You are in my thoughts. I hope the test-drive goes well.

  6. dawn says:

    Penni, It sounds like the best possible placement. Hugs to you for having to make such a hard choice.

  7. traci says:

    My heart aches for you, Penni…. but you ARE doing the right thing. Especially if it’s Chase you want to keep to do the “fun” things with. It sounds like you’ve found a GREAT home for Kip where he’ll be happy and loved 🙂 And you’ll even be able to keep in touch with him, which I have found to be important as well! 🙂 Please keep us posted… and know that I’m thinking of you. *hug*

  8. C-Myste says:

    And of course I’m sorry that Chase is a baddog who beats up on poor little Kip 🙁

    And I understand the pain having been through it too often.

    But we both know that Kip will be just fine. He is a happy little dog.

  9. Lybertygirl says:

    Oh my – It is a tough decision to let Kip go to a new home, but this home sounds like the perfect “retirement” home for him. Those don’t come along often. I have a terrible time placing my older dogs, but sometimes you have to do what is right. It is wonderful that you will be able to visit him.

  10. That’s a tough situation. I would hate to have to give up one of our guys. I know you will do what’s best for Kip.

  11. Sherilyn says:

    I agree with everyone else on here, Penni…you are making the adult decision (I hate being an adult sometimes!) to place Kip in a new home where he can be spoiled rotten with lots of love, and you will still get to see him. You love your dogs so much and it is obvious to all, no one will think worse of you for making sure they are safe, no matter what the cost to you. We all admire you for making this tough decision, and definitely don’t envy you in that choice, but we are all here for you, with lots of shoulders to cry on, if needed. Hugs to you and the 4 legged kids! You are doing the right thing.

  12. Ah.

    One of the oh-so-hard parts of parenting.

    It’s about them, not about us, and we have to do what is right for them, even when it hurts……………

    Sending you hugs.

  13. Jeri says:

    You know that I know exactly how you feel. I’m sorry that the pack isn’t working out, but at least you know he’ll be in a wonderful place. And CLOSE, I wish Leo were closer so I could see him occasionally. I miss all of my dogs that have moved on, but Leo was one of a kind (well, one of two maybe :P) and he is still missed around my house and talked about by Charlie. I know I did the right thing, but it’s still hard.

  14. Shelley says:

    I can only add to the hugs everyone else has. You are only considering what is best for Kip, no matter how much pain it causes you. It’s a decision I hate making, but it sounds like you are definitely doing your homework and it is a great home. I know, its still a worry, that no one can love him as much as you do.

  15. Holly says:

    I know this road you are going down. Many hugs. I agree with what everyone else has said. I know it is hard but to see Kip safe & happy will be greatly satisfying.