Saturday, March 06, 2010

Greener Pastures

WARNING: This post is purely for myself. Lots of gushing and blubbering. Consider yourself warned.
Yesterday the Calderwood Family lost two members of their family. Our dogs were adopted by a nice couple in Spirit Lake, just north of CDA. They live on 5 fenced acres, have grandchildren and have raised a fair amount of their own labs in the past. You may be asking WHY we would do this, well....on one hand it was purely selfish reasons. Our small once well manicured backyard was being mangled by two cooped-in active dogs. On the other hand, our dogs were EXTREMELY lonely. They have not been allowed in the house since we moved here and labs especially need human interaction. They were not being taken on walks....they were just neglected. Long gone are the days when John was able to take them mountain biking with him on the weekends, or down to the river on his days off. John was their best friend (besides each other). With John being so busy since we moved here, the dogs have grown lonely. We decided to give them away last summer when we first moved into our new home, but when it came down to it, we decided not to because we just loved them too much. 6 months later, we have come to the conclusion that it is the best for both sides.

My sister who is moving to CA volunteered to take one dog, but John felt that if we could find them a good home where they could stay together, that would be best. They have never spent a night apart and even when we bought them two doghouses they refused to sleep in their own. They would rather be squished up together than apart.

We drove the dogs to their new home last night. They were SO excited just to be somewhere new. Their new home is huge filled with tall trees. Their owners have a fenced in kennel that is bigger than our backyard with a homemade HUGE doghouse. It was so hard walking away, but we have exchanged information and have promised to be dog sitters whenever they go out of town and they said that we were welcome to call or come visit anytime we wanted to see the dogs.

We are filled with a lot of guilt and I spontaneously start crying at random times. I grew up with labs and when I think about when they died it still brings me to tears. Giving the dogs away is a very similar experience for me.

I can't help but reminisce about playing hide and go seek with the dogs in the house when they were little, or when I would go out of town and John let them sleep on the BED with them (yuck), Chloe's tender heart where she ALWAYS looked like we just beat her if we were ever said a stern word to her, how excited they would get when they would see John's bikes, how one day I couldn't find Lucky in the yard and then found him sitting in the back of John's truck, and how if you sat on the floor Lucky would still climb in your lap like he was a puppy and want to be held (there go the tears again). The last 4 years have been a fun adventure. I hope their new owners realize how special they are. Here are A LOT OF pics for your viewing pleasure.

Here is Lucky and Chloe the first day we brought them home. They were litter mates and we really just wanted Lucky, but Chloe QUICKLY wrapped John around her paw and we took them BOTH home. They were EASY pups. They kept each other company and only ever had ONE chewing incident.

While I loved BOTH my dogs, I don't think it was a secret that Lucky was my boy.

The dogs LOVE water.

See what I mean about the cuddling?

We would wake up in the morning and they would be on the same bed.

Classic Lucky.

Classic John with the dogs. As much as I love those dogs, John loved them a tiny bit more.



John said...

Handsdown the right thing to for the dogs. They will love all the space and attention. I'll miss them a lot, but it would be selfish for me to keep them away from this great opportunity.

thewaddsquad said...

I am so sorry you had to let them go. I was heartbroken when we made the choice to give Yeager up. I felt like I had failed him and had a ton of guilt for the mean way I treated him the last several years. I was such a jerk to him and all he wanted was love. Poor guy. I think he's happy now with some family that treats him like a king. I'm sure your sweet doggies will have so much fun in their new home. It is a very hard decision to make, but it sounds like they will be well taken care of. If you want to cry about it to me, I'd be happy to listen. Although I'll warn you, I haven't quite gotten over saying goodbye to I'd cry too. :)

museumeg said...

My heart is breaking for you Karina. Hopefully the hole in your heart mends soon when you think of your sweet dogs running free.

R Family said...

this made me cry. your dogs were so very lucky to have you guys - for all the love you gave them and for making such a difficult choice for their benefit. hang in there!

Rob &Linder said...

As hard as it is you did the right thing. I know that your heart breaks, but they will be happy.
They weren't my dogs to love but I was happy for you guys when you got them. Even thought they were far away and got into trouble they are beautiful labs.
Thanks for the photo's and memories we made because of them. I will miss not seeing them but that just means more time for John, you and Kelsi when we come up in a few weeks.

Tamar and Trevor said...

My girls will be heartbroken...but you made the right decision for you doggies. I love ya!

Amanda said...

We grew up with labs too. Although I don't have any now I still miss the ones we did have even if I didn't always show it when I was older. When I was living with my parents the family dog rio disapperead and we haven't seen him since. It so heart breaking. I wish my kids could have a dog but I know with our yard and the energy it takes to love them and care for them we haven't got it in us. I hope the days get better. There so so sweet. Sounds like there in a great place. :)