This past week I have received a number of emails on Rosy. It seems that a lot of you are or were in the same position. And some of you asked to hear more about our decision, in an effort to come to one of your own. It was actually really good to hear that we weren’t alone in this decision and that while it is a hard one, we know we did the right thing.
I first got Rosy 7 years ago, in my freshman year of university. My family had always had dogs, but always big retrievers and collies. I had begged my parents for years and years to let me get my own dog, with no success. Then I got it into my head that I wanted a domesticated pot bellied pig, and it didn’t take long for my parents to say ok to the dog idea~
From the get-go I loved having her. And once Sean moved with us we took to pet-parenting really well. We would go to the dog park pretty much daily, walk her every night, take her everywhere with us. In fact I think Rosy has probably travelled more than most adult humans, flying with me (in the cabin) every couple of months.
We were such dog lovers that we eventually adopted Mung Kee. He was the exact same age as Rosy and they immediately became the best of friends. If we had a bigger house at the time, I am sure we would have had many more dogs!
Once we had Mung Kee for a while we started not going on as many walks, since Mung Kee can really only go a block or two before he tires out and starts wheezing (totally normal for his breed). But they would play regularly and we still took the both of them everywhere we could.
But right from the start, Rosy had to be in charge of everyone and everything! Whether it was food or toys, she bossed my mom and dad’s dog Dede around which caused the occasional fight, but Mung Kee was so docile that he just fell in line. Once Wren was born, Rosy really believed that she was another puppy in her pack. It was great at first, and she constantly stood at attention by Wren but once Wren became mobile it really irritated Rosy that wren couldn’t be herded into position.
So it began to be a love/hate relationship between Rosy and Wren. Wren actually loved Rosy the most and was always hugging and petting her, but slowly Rosy became more and more impatient. Since Rosy is very agile she is always up on beds and couches, and started to be territorial if Wren came near her while she was relaxing. Mung Kee had hardly ever taken any notice of Wren and continued on as if nothing has changed… but Rosy started to growl. Soon she became more and more jumpy, began barking constantly at small things like a bird flying past the window or neighbors. She just started to become a different dog.
While we were away on holidays all the dogs stayed with my sister, and during that time Rosy actually became her old self again. So we hoped things would improve here at home. But it seems that she just didn’t take to life with a baby. When we came home she actually had an incident where she bit Wren while they were playing ball and Wren thought it was hilarious, but we realized that it was time we made a decision.
I think that we would have had a MUCH harder time with this decision, and perhaps would have even waited longer to see if things improved if we didn’t already have a family member willing to take her. We NEVER thought we would be those people who had children and lost interest in their dogs, but we could never forgive ourselves if any harm came either Wren or Rosy in the current situation. If you are in this same position, but would have to place your dog in a shelter PLEASE exhaust all other options first. We would have been happy to try re-training, dog therapy, whatever it took if Rosy would have had an uncertain future.
Thankfully we see Rosy every few days and can see that she is happy and adjusting well, and back here at home things seem to be much better as well. I don’t feel like I am constantly reprimanding Rosy, seperating Wren and the dogs and living in a zoo. I realize now how tense it had become over constantly worrying about the growling and barking. Not surprisingly, Rosy hardly barks at all now. Mung Kee seems to have taken it the hardest as he was formerly from a family with 4 dogs, and now that Rosy is gone he is alone for the first time ever. Wren and I take him in the car with us to do our errands (Rosy used to jump on me while I was driving so they couldn’t come anymore), and he is slowly adjusting now.
So good luck to any and all of you dealing with a similar situation. Follow your heart, and definitely put the safety of everyone first but don’t beat yourself up over the outcome. Because if Wren would have been bitten badly by Rosy unfortunately we would have had to probably put her down, so in the end it is best for everyone to consider the dangers!