Thursday, October 21, 2010


My kids and I have been wanting to get a dog for a long time. It seems like everyone we know has at least one, and the girls love them. There has even been a few times when I've been at the grocery store only to find Lindsay has written "dog" on the shopping list. Erik wasn't as excited to get one, he's always been the one to bring up all the cons when listing pros/cons to getting one. Part of the problem was that he grew up with a great dog that lived outside 24/7, even in the Wyoming winters. I, on the other hand, grew up with mostly small to middle sized dogs that live inside, sit on your lap and sleep with you. Coming from two totally different view points on dogs has made it difficult for us to decide what to do for our family. We've hemmed and hawed about building a fence here, where we live now, so that we could get a dog that lived mostly outside, but then when you throw in the "should we move to the sticks" question, it gets all complicated and we just don't make a decision. We would tell the girls that we would get a dog, someday.

Well, that someday came on Monday night. Erik had taken Kera to the mall for a Daddy-Daughter date, and they'd ended up at the pet store. He's been doing these dates for a couple weeks, taking turns with the girls, and they usually end up at the mall for ice cream, so they've been in the pet store quite a bit. Each time he'd make faces at this little puppy and it would play at him through the glass. He became quite smitten. So, on Tuesday they had the worker get the puppy out so they could hold him. He texted me a picture of the puppy with the question, "What do you think?". We texted back and forth about price, etc and I finally left it up to him. I held my breath, wondering if he'd really, truly buy a dog. Moments later, I get his text, "We're getting him, I"ll be a few minutes late."

When I first told Lindsay, who'd stayed home with me, she didn't react. She thought for sure it was another one of Daddy's jokes. There's no way he'd really be bringing home a dog. I explained to her that it was real, and I wasn't joking and she could hardly contain herself. Erik says that when he told Kera at the pet store that they were getting it, that her eyes got bigger than he'd ever seen. Several times after arriving home with the puppy, Kera said that we were the luckiest people to have gotten this dog.

Part of the reason that this little chihuahua worked his way into Erik's heart at the pet store is his demeanor.You see its pretty wild that Erik brought home a little dog when he's always leaned towards retrievers and labs, big dogs you can take hunting and camping. But, he is the sweetest, calmest (well, as calm as a puppy can be) loving puppy. We all immediately fell in love. He loves attention and being held and kissing our cheeks and hands.
That night Erik and I talked names and decided we'd call him Pedro. It seemed perfect for the little guy.

He did great the first night in his kennel--only whined a few minutes and was quiet the rest of the night. I was amazed to find the kennel dry in the morning as well. So, for the potty training aspect, he was not doing too bad. We had to watch him like a hawk, but I think after a while he would've caught on.

I got to spend quite a bit of time with him on Tuesday. We played outside, he followed me around the kitchen and house and cuddled on the couch for several hours. It was pretty obvious he took a liking to me, even when Erik and the girls were home that evening, he followed me around.

Tuesday night, after the girls were in bed and Pedro was kenneled, Erik brought up the subject of returning Pedro and I was only partially surprised. Maybe part of me wondered if this was really real, I don't know, but I wasn't totally shocked to hear him present the idea. But I was truly and completely saddened.
Turns out Erik's allergies were really bothering him. We knew he had a cat allergy, thus no cats. But dogs? No clue. Not until we had a little guy living and cuddling with us for a whole day. I can't ask my husband to take drugs just so he can breath everyday just so we can have a dog. Then we talked more about how we could take him camping or hiking and how he really was too small for our lifestyle. Part of me was relieved to think I'd be relieved of "puppy duty" but I cried and cried because I already loved the little guy and couldn't bear to see him go. I felt so bad for crying about it, because I knew it made Erik feel badly, but it just was a tough situation that no one had foreseen. We finally made the decision that Erik would take him back on Wednesday while we still had the 48 hour return possibility.

I had a hard time falling asleep, I just couldn't stop thinking about how hard the next day would be. Saying goodbye to Pedro and breaking the news to the girls. I kind of wished that we could've just returned him the moment we made the decision. I felt like it was torture to have to care for him any longer knowing that he wasn't going to be a part of our family.

We didn't tell the girls in the morning, thinking it would ruin their whole day. I made sure they both got some good time with him before they left for school. Then, since we had til 10, I played with him and let him cuddle for several hours before Erik came home to take him. I felt ridiculous crying over a dog that I'd only known a little over 24 hours, but I could not stop the tears. They fell and fell. It was extremely sad. (I'm even crying now, thinking about it. I'm such a wuss). Bless his heart, Erik kept asking me if I wanted to keep him and try and make it work, but I said no. I couldn't ask my husband to be miserable for years and years like that. I know it was extremely hard for Erik to do what he did next.

Erik loaded him up and drove off. I guess Pedro knew something was up as soon as he was in the van and he did his cute little whine most of the way to the mall. Erik parked and called his folks, wondering if there was any alternative allergy help besides drugs. He wanted desperately to be able to turn around and drive Pedro back to where he belonged. At one point he left Pedro in the car, intent to go into the pet store and ask if they knew of any alternative. But he didn't make it very far and turned back, knowing that he had no choice. I guess Pedro was happy to see the pet store, he's so social I'm sure he'll love being around the other puppies again, and he'll make some family very happy when he's finally adopted for good. I know he probably won't even remember the short period of time he spent in our family.

I know it was hard for me because I did fall in love with Pedro, having spent the most time with him. But  knowing that we were possibly going to break our children's hearts when we broke the news to them yesterday was most definitely what hurt the most. As parents we want to protect them, so knowing what we had to tell them was going to extremely disappoint them was really hard. I did not look forward to it. Erik made sure he was home when they came back from school so that he could tell them, which I truly respect.

It was heartbreaking to watch their little faces fall as Erik explained the dog was gone. Lindsay burst into tears and ran to her room while Kera sat there kind of frozen. We loved on them and cried with them most of the afternoon, even brainstorming how we could get a dog for keeps someday in the future--giving them hope that this was something we all really wanted. They were angry and sad, which is understandable and I tried to remind them that we all loved Pedro and no one wanted to get rid of him, but that sometimes we have to do things in life that are hard. Lindsay has shown the most emotion, which makes me hope she gets over it quickly. Kera has held things in, which will probably mean she'll take longer to come to terms with everything. In the mean time, I will print the pictures we have of him for them. And we will have fun as a family--we rented a movie last night and talked of going to the theater tonight. I hope that helps a little.

Even though Pedro probably won't remember our family, we probably won't ever forget the sweet, loving little guy. He made a big impact on our family.


  1. Is it the fur? I know that curly haired dogs tend to be more "hypo-allergenic) than straight haired dogs...

    I'm sorry you all went through that - that's hard.

  2. He's just the cutest thing ever! We have the same issues here. David always says I can get a dog "when he's dead". Oh, he thinks that's so funny. The boys are dying for a dog. Me too. We'll see :)

  3. oh my goodness....I'm crying! So sorry...I can only imagine what a difficult decision that would be. There are some dogs out there that are hypo-allergenic. I have a mini schnauzer and they are suppose to be great for people with allergies, my dog LOVES being outside and tries to be quite a hunter. I would do some research and hopefully you guys will be able to find a puppy that is a good fit.

  4. Oh my goodness... heart breaking!! I saw this on your side bar... my blogging habits are horrible lately... I am So sorry to hear this!! As the comment above says... I have a friend with allergies ... they bought a schnauzer/poodle mix... schnoodle... SO cute... (lots of hair... but allergy free!!) Research the allergy free dogs... maybe you will find one for the holidays?? =) I had to put a puppy down after only having him 5 LONG months... (he had medical issues ... it took 3 vet opinions before I finally consented to "do the right thing" ... ugh) anyway... I still cry a year and a new puppy later!! amazing how they fill your heart fast! I hope one day you find one that works!


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