I've been thinking about this alot lately, as I'm strongly considering finding a new home for Elzar. (Elzar is my dog, in case you're thinking I have the dorkiest-named boyfriend in the world.)
I sent out an email to freecycle today outlining the situation. the crucial paragraph:
Why am I looking for a new home for him if he's so personable? Well, I live by myself, with two cats, and I have a very long commute. I'm having to
leave Elzar in a crate for 10 hours at a time while I'm at work (to prevent
him from chewing things he's not supposed to chew) and when I get home, I
don't have enough energy for him. He wants to walk on the leash, play
fetch, run, etc, and even if I can give him an hour a day, it's not really
enough. I would like to find a family for him where he has multiple sources
of love and attention throughout the day. I got him in May 2004 under
circumstances where I had to make a quick decision about adopting him, and
I don't think my home/lifestyle is really a good match for him. I have no
deadline by which he must find a new home, but the sooner he's with a more
compatible family, the better.
I got a few responses, which I am in the process of trying to schedule appointments for us to meet. But I am sad. We (Elzar and me) had a good weekend together (car trip, played with another dog a lot, got lots of social stimulation), and its easy to think it could always be like this, or that this is enough to sustain our relationship (Sound familiar? hahaha). But in my heart, I know this is the anomaly and that keeping him in the crate 10 hours 5 days a week isn't right for either of us.
I got all sad today when the reality hit me. I'd planned on this for a few weeks and talked it over with Ivan, who's been very supportive about the whole thing. He too, really loves the dog and understands that I want the best for Elzar, even if the best for him isn't me. And after this weekend, I was thinking, oh, maybe I should keep him. And then Ivan asked the crucial Ann Landers question:
"What's going to make you more unhappy, giving him up, or keeping him?"
If I keep him, I can look forward to guilt (for the 10 hour crating), being woken at 4am and 7am when Elzar wants to go outside or wants attention, being woken more often than that when Elzar isn't allowed in bed to sleep next to me, and probably a few more random chewings of things I own. None of these are so bad on their own, but all together, I think it speaks of a bad match.
So the email is out there, I've had several responses, and I'm trying to come to terms with my decision. Just because I know it's the right thing to do doesn't make it easier.