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Monday, March 14, 2005

Something I Never Thought I'd Do

Saturday our dog Heidi went to a new home. This was actually a happy event for her and for the adults at my house. However, my 11 year old daughter J. was griefstricken by this event. She threw herself on the ground and wailed, said she hated me many times, begged, screeched, and carried on for hours. She kept saying we didn' t care about her feelings, that she loved Heidi so much, and that she'd give back all her birthday gifts if she could keep her. I never thought I'd deliberately do something that would hurt one of my children so much. It was a hard bit of parenting. I wavered, but D. reinforced our decision. It was the right thing to do. She was picked up at 7am Saturday morning. J. got up to say goodbye to her, but the hysterics were over and by that afternoon she seemed almost cheery. It helped that that was the afternoon of her family birthday party, and all the relatives were coming to celebrate with her. Since then J. hasn't said much about it, but seems happy.

No one knows how to push your buttons like your sister. My sister, who is a "neat freak" and boasts a spotless house even with 4 children living in it, and has only a gerbil for a pet, felt that I was making the wrong decision, which she made clear. I called my sister in the midst of the hysteria for moral support and she sided with my daughter! And after we hung up, she let my niece call back and commiserate with J., telling her that her whole family was sad, too, whipping her into a real frenzy. I did not appreciate that. My sister didn't care how Heidi felt, but felt that she should stay for J's sake. The facts of the matter are that J. actually didn't spend much time with Heidi, and Heidi wasn't very attached to the kids. She prefers adult attention, which we don't have to give. The time and money that the adults spent grooming, cleaning up messes, and repairing damaged doors will now be time and money we can spend on and with our kids. So my sister said, "We'll just have to agree to disagree." She is right, but she said it in a smug way and I could tell she felt better than me as she said it. I'm an easygoing person, but I could feel my temper flaring, so I bit my tongue. She claims that she would have taken Heidi if her husband would agree, but after 2 rounds of diarrhea she would have wanted to get rid of her, guaranteed. We lived with that and other problems this dog had for 7 years.

A rescue organization called Tails of Hope from Maryland took her and will be finding a new home for her. They had volunteers each drive her a leg of about 60-70 miles of the journey from Michigan to Maryland. I didn't contact them, they approached me after seeing an ad I placed in Petfinder.org.

1 comment:

Gretchen said...

Oh Paula, I wish you could have called me instead! I'd have reassured you that you did indeed do the right thing. I have a sister who knows just how to push my buttons too! My dh doesn't understand how after a phone call I can swear I'll never talk to her again, then the next month the phone bill is sky high with calls to her! LOL

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SE Michigan, United States
Mother to 10 fabulous kids, ages 4 to 21 years! Married for 26 years to my best friend.

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