I've been reluctant to post this for a while. Not because I'm afraid of the slack we'll get but because then I have to really come to terms with the decision we made or even get through writing this without crying my eyes out.
Lily (the dog) now lives with another family.
Like I said, it wasn't the easiest choice and after she left I felt like a part of our family was gone. It has been about a month and I still miss her. I could not say it more bluntly: it sucks and it sucks some more.
We really think that the added anxiety of the cat and Brady was too much for her. Looking back, her feet biting really increased when we brought home Piper (the cat.) It seemed to continue when Brady was born and grew older. We tried working with her and we even resorted to medication. Medication made her really not even want to get out of bed and made her more aggressive. Something wasn't right and she wasn't happy. Our vet had thought it was allergies but when allergy meds, switching food and other tactics didn't work, it was clear it was more than that. Words like separation anxiety, OCD and anxiety were thrown out.
Then, something happened that made the decision a tad easier, if that was ever even remotely possible. Actually, it was TWO incidents--if I hadn't been right there and grabbed Brady out of the way, she would have bit a chunk out of his face. Yes, his face. He wasn't doing anything but sitting there playing and unknowingly got too close. Clearly, it bothered her.
It was then that we knew what we had to do.
We were upfront and clear about Lily's issues when looking for a new home for her. We full disclosed everything and you know what? It was what she needed. The woman in the family works with Blake so we get a lot of reports and guess what?
She is doing fantastic! She doesn't bite her feet. She runs around with her children (she has 5 who are ages 7-18) This was a dog who didn't even want to go outside to play or do much but chew on her feet! She is like a new woman!
I do have some solace, actually a lot of comfort knowing how well she is doing. The family has wanted a dog for a while and when they brought her home the 7-year old cried his eyes out. They are best buds and she sleeps at the foot of his bed. The best thing about her new home is that someone is home all the time. Lily needs a lot of attention and being home alone all day was really hard for her. Add in the baby, the cat and our busy lives and I think it was all just too much for her. They have a large family that can give her all the attention she needs.
In the end, the decision we made wasn't just for Brady but it was for Lily too. She wasn't happy. She was probably depressed and it showed. She had gained over 5 pounds in the past year. She didn't want to play. The aggression was just a small part but knowing that the short time she has been in her new home has made a world of difference in not only her quality of life but for her own happiness. It does made me incredibly sad to know she couldn't be that happy with us and I think that might be the hardest pill to swallow. She wasn't happy with us. We had to go with the fact that we knew that in the end this was the right thing to do. Even though we know it was the 'right thing to do' it doesn't make any of this easier. Not.one.tiny.bit!
We will get another dog one day. We (I) am not ready and may not be for a long time. Lily was part of the family to me and has been for the past 5 1/2 years. Brady loved her and seeing him look at her with pure excitement in his eyes made it that much harder. He loved her just as much as we did. . It's hard to accept that she doesn't live with us anymore but she'll always be part of our family.