A Short Sad Story

It was only three days ago that I wrote enthusiastically about our new dog Mike. And now the story is over. This morning, I drove him back to Bethel.

I wish I knew exactly what went wrong. Instead of adapting and adjusting to living with us, Mike got more and more anxious. By last night, when Marge took him for a walk, he was afraid of people, other dogs, and even blowing leaves. Last night, he again refused to climb the stairs and spent most of the night whimpering downstairs because he was alone. By this morning, he wouldn’t go out on the back deck. Except when he was actually touching someone, he was whimpering.

On the way back to Bethel, he began panting and whimpering in the backseat of the car. I stopped the car, thinking that I needed to let him out, but that wasn’t the case. Once outside the car, Mike dropped into a crouch, shivering, panting and acting for all the world as if he feared being abandoned. That wasn’t right either, because then he didn’t want to get back into the car!

When I left Mike with the breeder, I said, “I feel terrible that we couldn’t make this work. I hope you can find a good home for Mike.”

The breeder’s response was icy: “That won’t be a problem.”

I wonder. Marge and I love dogs, and we have a lot of experience with Labs. As far as I know, we did just about everything right. Yet Mike was consumed by his own anxiety in less than three days. Maybe he can find a home with no stairs where he never has to be alone.

2 Replies to “A Short Sad Story”

  1. Sorry to hear about Mike. Hmmm. The downside of older dogs I guess, they don’t always adjust to a new home. You know, I was thinking that the best dog I ever had, I had from a pup. Now, when I think about getting another dog, I want one just like him, as he was as an older dog. Don’t want to go through that puppy phase again, just want the mellow older dog, house-trained, obedience-trained, … kind of like relationships. I don’t really want to go through the whole painful dating business, just want to get to the good stuff. Well, I sincerely wish you good luck in finding the dog of your dreams. If you can do it, then maybe I can too. Find a dog I mean.

  2. We adopted Rusty a couple of years ago from the Humane Society. He also goes by a couple of aliases:

    Rusty-Roo Roo
    Ned Nubbin, Dog Detective

    He is part boxer, part Rhodesian Ridgeback and was about a year old when we adopted him.

    Absolutely the very best dog I have ever shared a home with. I adore him.

    Then, a few months ago, we adopted a 4 month old part German Shepard, part Golden Retriever pup. Etta B. Dog when I call her, Etta Pickle when the hubby calls her.

    I love her, but sheez, I forgot how much of a pest a pup can be. She has strung toys all over the yard and her exuberance has marked my body with bruises and a punctured tongue when her head collided with my chin.

    Then, we have Max, the rat terrier. I adopted Max as a step-dog when I married his human. Grouchy, fat, and neurotic, Max is not particularly loveable, but he commands respect. He also has some aliases:

    Mad Max
    Shorty Lavender, County Commissioner

    We are definitely dog people. Hubby says I would be dog-poor if he let me.

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