It's been a whirlwind of a month since my boyfriend and I adopted a 9 month German shorthair pointer from the shelter, Pinto. It was love at first sight for all of us, and we have truly loved and enjoyed him. He's an amazing puppy dog - we couldn't ask for better. But it's taken all of our time, energy and resources to work together to care for him - to a degree of sacrifice we weren't expecting - and after many hard talks, we've come to the decision that it would be best for all of us to find him a home that fits his needs better.
Since owning a dog, we've almost completely stopped salsa dancing. Everything is rushed. I hardly write and I pick up a book maybe a few minutes at at time. Ricardo buses back and forth between his office in Redmond and his downtown apartment, several times a day. I head straight from work to walk Pinto or pick him up and take him to a dogpark across town. Our conversations daily consist of puppy poo and his eating habits, what he's chewed that day, etc. My free time is spent researching foods that help dogs with diarrhea.
Let's just say, life has changed drastically. If we lived in the same place and were close to a dog park or had a fenced yard, things would be completely different. But Ricardo's apartment is downtown, and that is where Pinto has had to live. I've cried many tears this week over our puppy dog, feeling like a horrible "parent" for coming to this decision. Yet when Ricardo and I are gut-level honest with each other and ourselves, we both admit we weren't as ready as we thought to take on this level of responsibility at this particular place in our relationship. I guess sometimes the most responsible thing to do when you think you may have made a mistake is not to keep gritting your teeth and pushing forward, but turn around and take a different path. I don't like that, not one bit, but neither do I want to plan my life around a dog and that's precisely what we'd be doing if we chose to keep him.
In a city where people's dogs are their children - where there are a plethora of doggie daycares, dogwalkers, pet psychologists, doggie bakeries, natural pet care stores, dog parks and grooming facilities galore - it's pretty hard to admit that, while we love our dog and it's not his fault that we weren't prepared to take him on, we're not willing to stretch ourselves so thin to make it work right now. I just wish we didn't learn this after the fact, because I don't like going back on our commitment to him. I hope the most loving thing we could do for him is to let him go. And also, the most life-giving for us.
Augh, the learning curve can be painful. But we've grown a lot through this and will continue to grow, and we believe God's got a good home for our Pinto.