The title is dramatic and I’m writing this before I’ve done the blog rounds but I need to get it out…I’m so sad right now.
Today we celebrated Christmas with my parents.
We organised the entire trip around Zoey and, to a far lesser extent, our other dogs.
This was our Kong / Puzzle feeder schedule:
The plan was:
– We walk Kasper, he goes away with a Kong
– We walk Raiden, he goes away with a Kong
– Right before my parents arrive we take Zoey for an off lead walk
– We go upstairs to the bedroom with her for ten minutes (as we do every time we leave) then she gets three Kongs and a Buster Cube
– We leave the house, passing Kasper another Kong as we exit
– Drive for a meal with my parents to a nearby restaurant, and swap our gifts as we eat
– We come home and go to the hall with Zoey and my dad so she gets to see him and have fun; my mum and Nana wait in a local pub (mum’s allergic to dogs)
– After 30 minutes at the hall we bring my dad to our house
– Zoey goes in the kitchen with puzzle toys and my dad gets to see Rey and Kasper for ten minutes each
– My partner stays home with the pups and me and my dad go join my mum & Nana at the pub
So that was the plan.
We centred everything around Zoey and not leaving her alone longer than we have been; on keeping her happy and tired.
We got back from the meal, having left her just over an hour and a half, and find she has ignored most her food toys and chewed some wood from the door frame 😦
This has left me and my partner devastated and broken. Rehoming her is once again a very, very real possibility.
We are going to have to take her training right back to the beginning AND find somewhere else we can safely leave her…now that she has targeted the door frame she will do so over and over.
We had such a WONDERFUL time with my family; they loved all their presents and it was so nice to spend time with them…then we came home and everything was just horrible.
We still took Zoey to the hall to see my dad, and she had so much fun, but she was too stressed to put in the kitchen when we got back home. This meant Kasper didn’t get to see my dad, which is really not fair on him as he wanted to so badly.
My partner stayed home with Kasper and Zoey, and me and my dad took Raiden for a quick off lead walk. Raiden did great, my dad adored him.
Originally, back in mid November, my parents weren’t that understanding or supportive of the Zoey situation…they couldn’t understand why we were getting upset or even thinking about rehoming her, even though I tried to tell them how ill I was and how stressed Zoey was when left.
I don’t know why, but my dad seemed to totally understand it all tonight.
I don’t know if it’s because he could see how close to crying my partner was (I am skilled at hiding behind a mask, especially around my parents), if he could see how much we clearly love Zoey or if it was because the training had been going so well and he was surprised that she would destroy something after all this progress.
Whatever it was I really appreciated his support, and I know my partner did too.
My mum didn’t really get why we are so gutted. Lots of changing the subject and meaningless platitudes; “it’ll get better”…that’s not really the point. The point is it would involve me not leaving the house AGAIN – the meal tonight was the first time I have left the house other than for dog walks in over a month, because of Zoey. That’s not okay!
I am too fragile mentally to stay home every day, and only leave the house to walk Zoey. I need time away from her, I need time with my other dogs, I need time with just my partner. I want to be able to walk the boys.
I want to go to shops and go on day trips and have fun.
I want to be able to have Raiden in the living room on his own, so we can do training and play whilst Zoey is somewhere else.
I want to have somewhere to put Zoey so I can get my guinea pig out and cuddle him for as long as I want whilst watching TV.
I want to have friends over and be able to put Zoey in a different room so I’m not having to focus ALL my attention on her and keeping her busy and away from visitors…but we can’t do that now because we have *nowhere* safe to leave her.
They’re not big wants. I just want her to be happy alone so I can do things, too.
Why now, why for Christmas?