We lost our little dog only two weeks ago. Last week I found myself perusing the Humane Society website (I still don't know why). Well, Beth got involved and Wednesday we found ourselves walking around the place looking for a companion for Toby. We found one. Nearly an identical copy. A flat-coated retriever mix. The same size as Toby. We made a rush decision and took him home.
It's been a very trying 5 days.
Last night we came to the conclusion that we'd made a mistake. In our grief and guilt over our loss of Marshall we'd made a rash decision. Eddie, the new dog, turned out to be just too much, too soon. He's a 1 year old (Toby's 8 now). Toby never was top dog, but Eddie was all but bullying Toby in trying to establish his place in the pack. Eddie also became defiant against us in training. I know it would have simply been a matter of a few months of training and adjustment, but I'm not ready to go through that right now. I was also feeling miserable for Toby, who should be enjoying his retirement years, not being subjected to harassment by a young pup with youthful muscle and boundless energy.
I've never had many friends in my life and I'm without one at the moment. The main hobby and enjoyment in my life is the renevation of my home. I've worked hard to make it a fine and comfortable home. To have a dog pee on my hard work, right in the bedroom in front of us in open defiance (for the second time) was too much for me to take. I know all the explanations of doggie psychology, but it doesn't make me any less mad. After cleaning it up with the steam-vac I was so mad that I simply put on my coat and hat and went for a walk, slamming the door behind me without saying a word.
I walked my anger off and ended up at the Horse Brass Pub. I haven't been there in forever it seems. I had a pint of Guinness. The Horse Brass is an authentic English pub and serves the best Guinness in the state. I mentioned I hadn't been there is several years. When asked why I responded "Because I'm married". After the pint, I was sampling a half of a fine English bitter called "Ole Speckled Hen" when Beth called and tearfully asked me to come home right away. When asked why I was leaving so soon I said "Because I'm still married." Beth and I had a good talk and we ended up taking Eddie back right away (Beth found it easier to just do it quickly).
The problem with thinking that a dog needs a companion for when we're both gone all day is "where does it end?" You end up constantly getting new dogs and suffering the loss of the last one. They never simultaneously pass away, so where does it end?
The other problem is someday I like to be able to do things and not have to "make arrangements" for the canine version of a two year old. I'll be 48 this year. Some day I'd like to be done with raising children.
For now Toby is going to be a single dog. He's going to enjoy his retirement years and enjoy being the sole recipient of all the attention. Beth's new hobby of cycling doesn't fit with dogs and I can get back to home renevation without the hopelessness of fighting a losing battle. In less than two hours last night the energy and stress level of the household decreased 300 percent. We all breathed a sigh of relief. Soon Toby was out cold and snoring, and slept solid the whole night long.