Tuesday 27 August 2013

Knowing when it's right to say goodbye

When it comes to my dogs there's no doubt about it.  They're family.

That's why when Dennis attacked Howard over food, and we were forced to make the decision to rehome him, I'm sure you can imagine the turmoil it caused us.

Dennis is an incredible dog.  Really incredible.  There was just one issue, although to begin with it wasn't really an issue.

Dennis liked his food.  I've talked about that many times before.  Unfortunately, Howard wasn't the type of dog to back off and let Dennis be the "top boy" around it.  They had a few grumbles about food, but nothing more serious.  It could have escalated once, but it didn't.  They adored each other still and were always together….It wasn't an issue, we told ourselves.  We fed them separately when possible and tried to keep them away from the children when they were eating.

Which is why when Dennis attacked Howard…really locked onto his mouth and wouldn't let go, it was a shock.  Howard was screaming in fear and pain.  Tom was holding Howard and I had grabbed Dennis, desperately trying to get my fingers to prize open the iron grip.  In that moment I knew that he didn't care who we were……he was completely out of it.  He pierced Howard's lip and there was a lot of blood, but just two inches lower and that would have been his throat.  Thankfully there was no lasting damage and he's bounced back like nothing happened.

We had to rehome him.  We couldn't risk that happening near/to the children.  What if they had a fight and Hugo got into the middle?  What if he snatched a biscuit from Oliver and got his lip?  How could we, as parents, risk that?  I was ready to be judged by people who know us/sort of know us/don't know us at all, but the support we've had has been incredible.

It was hard…god it was hard….!  We found him the best home we could have hoped for.  A lovely older lady who has always had spaniels; who lives in the countryside with a big garden; no grandchildren to worry about; no other dog to have a problem with.  She understood that he's NOT a bad dog, but was just needed a different home life.  You could see just how much he'd be loved.

So teary eyed and with a heavy heart we packed up his food, lead, bed and toys and took him to his new home.  Fast forward a couple of weeks and he has settled in like he's always lived there (I'm sure you can remember me saying the same when we adopted him.)

We couldn't give him the home he needed and I hope he has a lifetime of happiness with his new mummy. 



  1. Oh Ali, I am so glad you found Dennis another home!
    Sad for all of you of course, safer for all concerned and yes, a very difficult decision.
    Poor Howard, give him plenty of hugs and watch for nightmares. Dogs have good memories and this is going to take some time!
    A warm hello from the Pacific NW coast! You did the right thing!!

    1. Thank you Noelle. It was very hard, but was 100% the right thing to do.

      Howard is fine, in himself. Unfortunately now, because he's alone again, he's suffering from his OCD and is chewing/scratching himself to destruction. Tom and have had long conversations about whether to get him a more suitable friend.
      Poor Dennis just wanted to be alone. He's so happy with Hilary. Bittersweetly it's a great comfort to hear…I want him to still be MINE but know he's better of not being mine.

  2. Sorry to hear you had to re-home Dennis but I think you have made the right decision. Don't fret - it sounds like he has gone to a good home x

    1. He really has. I wouldn't have rehomed him to anyone I wasn't sure was right for him. It was luck on both of our sides…that I put the ad up that day, and that Hilary saw the advert (He was the first ad that she saw, and knew he'd be perfect.) She was also the first person to contact me about him. Odds were definitely in our favour.


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  4. Oh Ali I am so sorry for you but I think you absolutely made the right decision. It would have been terrible if something serious had happened. I know how heart wrenching these things are so I really feel your pain but I am so glad Dennis has settled into his new home xxx

    1. Thank you Hazel. He's a gorgeous boy, and such a soppy sod. I'm pleased he'll be able to find a relaxing home that is perfect for him.

      When he's settled in we're going to all go on a walk together. Howard and Dennis really did love each other most of the time. They just weren't right as live in partners.



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