I never thought this day would come. When I worked at the shelter, I always hated seeing dogs come in because of a change in family situation. But a little over three weeks ago, Swayze bit my baby.
I didn’t see it, and assumed that the mark on her hand and crying was from something else until he bit her again a week later. After two weeks of observing them, it was clear that it was time for them to be separated. Swayze was nervous around her she is obsessed with him.
A million questions have run through my mind. Is it possible this would end soon? Could we keep them separated until she get a bit older? How will my other kids feel? How will my older dog react?
I kept trying to rationalize and make excuses. Swayze has been my boys’ best buddy and has never hurt them. He is so attached to me! He will learn to love Emma Marie.
But then I started to see the obvious. Over the past two years he has nipped several kids. It started when a sweet cousin was one. We were in shock. This was the dog that let our boys wrestle him. Then he bit two or three girls when we moved last Spring. I started to rationalize that he doesn’t like when strange kids try to pick him up. He would never harm MY kids.
We joked that he doesn’t like girls. We warned everyone that visited with children (he would scratch and bark at the kennel until his paws bled if we locked him up with company over). Everything seemed fine.
Then he bit two of our kids in the same weekend.
Do I blame the dog? No. He was simply protecting himself and what he thinks are his belongings. He never chose to live with three children.
Do I blame the kids? No, they are just being kids and trying to explore. A 10 month old has no idea that a dog’s face is off limits.
Do I blame myself? A little bit, but I really cannot watch three kids and two dogs every second.
So I did the unthinkable…
I started asking close family members if they knew of a suitable home.
Almost immediately, a perfect fit came up. A father and his grown son had been looking for a Shih Tzu. They have had the breed in the past, someone is at home most of the day, and they have two kittens for him to play with. I immediately began to see all the upsides.
My kids won’t run the risk of a dog bite. Swayze will have less stress and someone that will treat him like he is more than a dog. My older dog will have less stress. And our finances will be freed up a bit.
I am sad and will miss my cuddle bug, but I have full confidence that this was the best decision for everyone.