|Muttin, Jeff and Annie|
By putting this out there, I'm risking judgement from strangers who will read it. It's funny how the ability to be anonymous has made it so easy for people to be ugly online. But I want people to know that it's okay to do what's best for YOU, and just to learn that it's to hell with anyone who has to judge.
I chose to put my beloved Muttin/Jeff to sleep, even tho they were basically healthy dogs, despite the fact that they were close to 12 years old.
Muttin/Jeff and Annie = Hard Place
Multiple Sclerosis = Rock
It came down so many things. So many pros and con lists, that I always crumpled up and threw away.
Annie shouldn't have been part of the equation, but she was. She was the dog who was able to help me as a Service Dog. Big enough, and strong enough, and young enough to train. The little ones were definitely trainable still, but one is not normally allowed 2 service animals on the bus, planes and restaurants. And let's be honest... Muttin as a service animal? Wasn't gonna happen. Loveable, yes. Selfless? Uh, no. Jeff could have been trained, but to leave the house without his sister? That also wasn't going to happen. Like their name - they were inseparable. Siblings who didn't give a damn about me for at least their first 3 years because they were so bonded to each other.
Annie fell into my lap and it was discovered how helpful she was to me. She wasn't a cane that could be forgotten to be brought along, or left behind in the restaurant. She wasn't a walker with wheels that I I couldn't control and get tangled up in. I had enough trouble with my own legs - to add the four more of the walker ... I just couldn't seem to manage. Yes, Annie has four legs too, but she was in control of her own, and helped me with mine - score!
Muttin, much as I loved her, was the bane of my life. Ohmylord, that dog could get under my skin. She was definitely the alpha dog in the family, and her brother, Jeff accepted all the guilt for the naughtiness she/they got into. She was the leader. During their puppyhood, they ate 2 of the 3 cushions of my couch. My very nice couch. She escaped from the yard every. single. day. for months, until I finally figured out how she got out. I wrote about their first time on a least, and things didn't really improve from there.
Blast from the Past:
Today, I took the pups out for a walk. Decided it was a fine time to teach them "leashes". I thought we'd walk to the 7-11 two blocks away.
It was terrible. Jeffery went berserk at the slightest tug of the lease, and of course, it was mostly Muttin who was doing most of the tugging ans she was leaps and bound ahead of us, so I was torn between one dog behind me and one dog in front of me. He screamed bloody murder the entire time, and I expected the Humane Society to pull up at any moment cause I'm sure the neighbors probably called me in for abusing the poor darlings.
Oh did I mention there was snow on the ground too? Cause I fell on it. Because of them getting me all tangled up. I decided that we weren't going to walk to the store after all, so we got in the car instead. The walk from the door to the car is about ... 75 feet. It took forever. Two little dogs on two separate leashes for the first time = not advisable. It took forever. Yes, I know I said it twice. It took so long, I forgot I said it the first time. I fell twice on the way to the car.
Finally, we're in the car and they're sitting in the front passenger seat trembling so hard it made MY teeth chatter. I drove the two blocks to the store and bought a Twinkie, a mug full of Mountain Dew, and a Almond Joy. Got back in the care and they're crying pitifully for me. I calm them down, the poor little darlings. Took a deep breath. Consider the liquor store another 2 blocks away, but decide it wouldn't go well with my Twinkie, Mountain Dew and Almond Joy. Went home. Picked up the mug, the bag with my purchases and my purse. Open the door for pups to jump out. They won't. The leashes are still on them, by the way. I put down the mug, the paper bag, and my purse. Tugged on Jeffrey's leash a little bit to encourage him to come out, and come with me, little puppy darling. He starts screaming again instead. Muttin then LEAPS from the passenger seat into my arms, and I fall down on the ice again. Jeffrey gets dragged out because the leashes are tangled and when she leaped - he dragged. Oh, and the seat belt got involved somehow, too. He almost hung himself when the seat belt mechanism slid back and Muttin added to his discomfort by pulling further away from us.
After much cussing and consoling of the puppies, we finally untangled ourselves and unloaded from the car. Picked up the mug, the paper bag, and my purse, took two steps away from the car. I couldn't got any further because the dogs had run in circles around me and I was wrapped up tight in the leashes. Put everything down on the AGAIN. Untangled pups from my legs, picked up my stuff AGAIN, and took some steps. Lather, rinse, repeat. One more time. Untangled again, and Jeffrey pulls back, and Muttin pulls forward - again, I'm caught in the middle. He screams like an axe murderer is after his sister. (He's more bonded to her, he could care less about me). I tried to pick one or the other up, but I've got too many things in my hands. And they are toooo hyper. So I SIT down on the icy ground in order to calm them. They're delighted I'm down on their level, and Muttin crawls in my lap to take a nap. Jeffrey glares at the leashes. I rest.
Finally, I get up and take a few more steps. We're almost a quarter of the way to the front door! Alas, the situation repeats itself. I decided they had enough leash training, don't want to over-do it, doncha know! cause that's what the training books say. Course... they also say to make it an enjoyable experience... oh well. Took off their leashes. Picked up my mug, my paper bag, and purse, and walked to the front door... with them HEELING perfectly. They've never heeled before in their life! They are acting perfectly. I am hot and sweaty and my butt is froze.
Blast from the Past is over.
No pun intended!
Caught between Rock and a Hard Spot to be continued.