Thursday, December 20, 2007

Hard Decisions

In spite of my melancholy mood, here's a lovely picture of my blooming Christmas Cactus. It sits in my studio and gets afternoon light. Every year it blooms no matter what happens.

I am thinking of Bjorn and Anton. I just looked at pictures of dog bites in children and oooftah has it affected me. I am thinking that my reasons for wanting to keep Bjorn are selfish. And that's not good. To keep Anton safe from Bjorn I have to keep them separated. That's for at LEAST the next 5 years. No joke. How fun is that? That means Bjorn's away from the family. Listening to us play without him. While he broods in the corner or whines to be with us. And if we want them together, then I have to be literally in between them and make sure neither appears too threatening to the other. It is no fun and very hard work. No wonder I have a headache.

I keep picturing Bjorn at the breeder with all the other toy breeds. Yapping and playing and being dogs together. Bjorn was always a little jumpy around people. When he spent a few months at the breeder's he came back to us confident and more affectionate. He literally rubbed all over us like cats do. I realized that he had adopted that behavior from other dogs. That they were all snuggly and friendly with each other. Puppies together.

I am thinking about whose family is better for Bjorn?
And how would I feel about Anton really getting bitten and living with a scar? I owe him more safety than that.

My reasons for keeping Bjorn are selfish and not good for anyone but my own comfort. He's my teddy bear and I just need to let him go. He was my first "child". I am still in love with him. Still melt at the site of his beautiful face. Still love just the thought of him.

I dunno. I am feeling less guilty as I did a few days ago. No matter how much love or discipline or exercise I give Bjorn, I will never truly be fully confident that he won't try to bite again. If he can bite me, his favorite person in the world, then what could he do to Anton?

What is the more loving thing for me to do for Anton?
Keep him as absolutely safe as I can.

What is the more loving thing for me to do for Bjorn?
Keep him as absolutely happy as he can be.
Does that mean live in a house with gates away from family?

Yes, the training I've been doing with him these past few days has been great. The walking has been really good for him. Good for me, too. Yes, my making sure I walk thru doorways and up and down the stairs first has been great. Bjorn gets it.
BUT he still can be threatened by Anton. He is too little a dog to not to be threatened by Anton's unpredictable movements. No amount of training will ever completely guarantee that he won't bite when threatened.

I cannot have both of these creatures at once. I must choose what's best for both of them.

So I am, at this moment, leaning towards giving him back to the breeder. She is willing to take him.

I just have to be willing to let him go.

Anne. What is the most loving thing to do? The most loving thing to do. I am a good person who does loving things and I can make this choice if I make it out of love and not selfishness, neediness or sad desperation.

Again everyone. Thank you for reading and considering my dilemma.

We go up to Rabun Gap to be with Mom and Dad on Saturday. We will board Bjorn while we're up there. When we return after Christmas, I will really make up my mind.

Any thoughts you have about this loving choice I have to make are still appreciated. Prayers, too. I want this to be another peaceful Christmas.


Social Mange said...

This post reflects something I've thought for years - toy breeds and children do NOT mix. Toy breed dogs are far too fragile to live with children. They are meant to be companions to adults.

Even the best-bred dog should not be subjected to the abuse children will dole out. Children should always be supervised around dogs.

Contrary to media and political propaganda, pure breeds that are good for kids are Staffordshires, AmStaffs and APBTs. Get one from a good breeder who promotes and guarantees temperament, not a backyard bred or puppy mill (pet store) dog. These dogs love humans.

I'm glad the breeder will take the dog back, and it won't become another shelter statistic.

Anonymous said...

One word: Cats. Cleaner and dont mess with kids. Personally I feel Burmese are the best- friendliest cats on the planet- a lot like dogs in personality.

Good luck- I know it's hard to make a decision like this one.