True confession time: I am not liking being a doggy-mommy very much. :( Sawyer is more attached to me than anyone else in the family and, instead of enjoying it, it is totally stifling to me. Plus, he's still nipping the kids if I'm not watching him constantly. The dog trainer says that will stop with time (every time I correct him he does stop now) but that in the meantime, I can't leave him in the same room with the kids unless I'm in that room, too. Which is just almost impossible to do and leads to kids screaming because he's jumping on them or nipping at their legs or taking things out of their hands. In all fairness, he is better than he used to be, but I'm just done with it.
And then there's the part where I'm really tied to my house. I've been dying to go visit several friends or go shopping for the day with my sister-in-law but I can't because he has to be walked. I can be gone for about 4 hours at a time, but that is it. The only way I was able to visit Sharyn was because he was getting neutered. And the smell of a dog in the house is driving me up a wall. Not to mention the barking, the baby gates up everywhere and on and on.
Honestly, it's so much worse after getting back from Sharyn's house. Having 36 hours without him was so wonderful. And, somehow, during those 36 hours with him away, I had a horrible thought enter my mind. "He's not a child. We can give him away to a family who will love him and value him more than us. We don't HAVE to keep him." And I've been struggling with that thought a lot this week. Every time I get mad at him, it enters my mind and nags at me, tempting me to take the easy way out. I could go back to having 7 hours alone while the kids are at school. We could take off to Chicago for the day. We could go down to Indy and visit family for the weekend. We could.....we could....if only we didn't have the dog.
I realize that this means that I'm a total failure at this doggy-mommy stuff. It feels so horrible to even admit all of this. I'm the one who introduced the whole idea of a puppy to everyone. It was me who wanted him. But, I was simply naive. I didn't see or understand the restrictions it would put on me. And those restrictions are just killing me and my mind wanders into the idea of giving him away again. But, I know that I can't live in limbo with that thought. It's truly horrible and eating away at me. It's not fair to me, to Sawyer or to the kids. I have to commit to either embracing the dog or find him another home. There's no inbetween.
For the sake of the kids, I'm going to do my absolute best to banish the possibility of giving him away from my mind. It's like divorce. If divorce is an option for you, it's easy to take that road when things get tough. If divorce is not an option, you have no choice but to work things out. I need to remember that with the dog.
One of the reasons I wanted a dog, a golden retriever in particular, was for Libby. I wanted her to have a soft place to fall, a dog that she could take care of and love and nurture. And she adores him. Often, when he's calm and sleepy, I'll find her sitting beside him petting him and talking softly to him, crooning little messages into his ear. I guess I need to keep that image in my mind.
So, we're having a fence company come to give us a quote on fencing in our backyard this week. I think it will help if he can be outside without being on a leash. He can run and run and get out the excess energy, he can have time to explore and play even when I don't feel like walking him again, and I can throw him outside when he's driving me crazy. I'm fairly certain we can't afford a fence. But I'm also fairly certain that I'm not going to have any sanity if I don't find a way to pay for the fence. So, I guess I'm committing to embracing the dog.