Monday, June 15, 2009

Doggie dilemma

Once upon a time I had a dog. She was a hyper-active, obsessive compulsive German Shepherd. She was a royal pain in my ass. But she wanted to be good. She probably would've been good - better, at least - if only she'd been given the proper attention.

Once upon a time I also had a husband. It was the husband who wanted the dog. I did not.

Don't get me wrong, I love dogs. It's just that I love other people's dogs. Dogs are a lot of work, what with the walking and the training and the bathing and the poop scooping. But, much like an 8-year-old child, the husband promised to take care of the dog all by himself; promised that the dog would never be so much as an inconvenience to me. And so we got a dog, and Yoda was her name-o.

...and the husband didn't do a whole lot of taking care of her.

When we split, The Ex took Yoda because, after all, she is his dog. He has continued to not do much taking care of her. She's no longer allowed in the house. She is left for entire weekends without making arrangements for anyone to feed her or refresh her water. And the skin condition on her back (an allergy that can be treated with a topical cream) has been allowed to become a hairless scabby mess over at least 1/4 of her back.

My son mentioned this to my neighbors. They've since provided me with the number for a German Shepherd rescue facility. And I agree - it is time to rescue this dog.

Here's the thing. My son, of course, is attached and the thought of giving her away makes his face crumple and his lower lip tremble. He's never been without her.

And even I'm a little attached. She was a total pain in the ass when other people were around - just way too excitable. But when it was just the family, she was a very sweet dog.

Even more endearing? When The Kid was The Infant, she never once barked and woke him up from his tenuous sleep. And? AND? When The Ex took The Kid hiking on his fourth birthday and LOST HIM IN THE WOODS AND HAD TO CALL IN THE RANGER OH MY GOD, Yoda never left The Kid's side. I am forever indebted to her for that single act of loyalty.

So when The Kid asked me last night if she could come here to live, I actually considered it.

Dogs are still a lot of work, and I'm a single mom. I don't have time for one more thing. But The Kid, much like the 8-year-old child that he is about to be, is promising to take care of her: feed her, play with her, pour food into a bowl for her, bathe her. And The Kid, to be honest, pretty much rocks the chore thing.

And when I told The Man about the dilemma, he quickly piped up with an "I'd be happy to help," suggesting that he could use an incentive to get up and jog in the morning and reminding me how nice family walks in the evening can be. (This, incidentally, has only made me love him more, but that's beside the point.)

So I'm actually still considering it.

Two people promising to help. Two people who I trust to keep their word. And did you see that picture? She loves my kid. And my kid loves her.

Can I really say no?


Cat said...

She stayed with him when your Ex lost him. That dog should be drinking out of a gold water bowl, not scabby and ignored. Stupid Ex.

It's a lot of responsibility though. If you really trust them to help you, I'd do it. Does your son do his best to take care of him when he's with Ex? Can you afford scab cream and regular vet visits? If you think there's a probability it'll all fall back on you, rescue might be the better option, but if they'll actually help he could be a nice addition to the family.

Anonymous said...

So, did you take the dog?

My vote is to take the dog. We just got a golden retriever puppy back in April. Yes, a lot of work - I believe it is so worth it. :)

jen said...

ex is an idiot, if that's the only bad thing your kid hear's you say about him, then I'd consider him a lucky kid. Kudo's to you for keeping the dog and doing the right thing.

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