I think I knew in my heart when I wrote this recently what was inevitable. It’s kind of like a bad relationship that you tolerate and try to make work, and portray to everyone as fine, until you finally get to the point where you’re ready to confess that it just isn’t working out. You know that once you confess the hard truth, you have to do something about it.
I think I had reached the point where I realized that we had made a mistake getting a dog like Twinkle. See, I’ve had dogs my whole life, but I’ve always had big dogs – whose temperaments generally seem to be quite different from Twinkle’s. I thought having a little dog would be fun, and easier than a big dog – everything would be on a smaller scale, right? Wrong. As it turns out, Twinkle has a pretty typical little dog temperament: high-strung, hyper, with a good dose of attitude. She ended up being very high-maintenance in more ways than one, and in the end, I don’t think she was any happier with us than we were with her. It just wasn’t a good match.
It happened pretty quickly: I started looking for rescue organizations early in the week, and found one in our area that specializes in small dogs, particularly Maltese and Yorkies. I called them, and they turned out to be a mom and pop operation – a retired couple registered as a non-profit organization, who take small dog breeds into their home until they can rehome them through a stringent screening process. They were willing to take Twinkle.
I told the kids, and honestly, they didn’t seem all that upset. None of them have ever really bonded with her except Finn. Kevin gave me attitude for about an hour, which really pissed me off because he really never even liked Twinkle much, but I think at his age he seems to have a need to find things to cop attitude about. Whatever. The other kids were like, “When can we get a new dog? A better dog!”
Today was the day. I took her to the vet on Friday and had her groomed and all her shots updated. After I fed her this morning, I began gathering all her things – toys, her bed, her food, bowls, etc. I kept thinking she must have suspected something was up. Finally it was time to go. Michael and I loaded her and her things into the truck, and off we went. We found ourselves in a beautiful, upscale, heavily treed neighborhood. The couple welcomed us into their home where we spent about a half hour chatting while Twinkle nervously trotted about trying to make sense of what was going on. We signed a paper relinquishing her, and that was that.
Saying goodbye made me a little teary. Suddenly she looked very sad, crouched low to the ground with her ears and tail down – forlorn and rejected. The woman asked us, “Are you sure?” “Yes,” we both said. And we left.
I feel like we did the right thing – I know we did. But it still feels shitty. I feel like we failed on some level.