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One less man in my life.... [Oct. 3rd, 2004|10:55 pm]
Just me.
The advice columnist Ann Landers famous question to the spouse considering ending a marriage was, "Are you better off with him, or without him?".

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.

[User Picture]From: labrujah
2004-10-04 06:33 am (UTC)
Have you considered taking him to obedience school? My friends have a sweet huge German shepherd who was really hard to live with. He jumped and knocked everyone over and barked all the time. And they live in a small Brooklyn apartment. They took him to obedience school, and when he came back, they just had to watch him and shake a can full of pennies (the "correction" sound) whenever he started to jump or do anything he shouldn't. Now he is totally manageable and they're all very happy. I don't know if you've had a lot of dogs in the past but in my experience, a little training can make the difference between livable and unlivable...you can probably find a course for a couple hundred bucks. It just kills me to see dogs in the pound who have been dumped because of one little behavior. Dogs are so trainable and really want to please you. (I know you wouldn't dump him!)

If you can curb the chewing by training him, maybe he can go un-crated during the day, which would make a huge difference for him. Or maybe you could find a cheap dog-walker who can take him out mid-day for an hour and run him...

Poor guy, and poor you!
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