The verdict is in. My decision made in haste was not a good decision. On Sunday afternoon, just hours after writing my post about our new dog we had an incident that shook us all, involved a trip to the emergency vet for our small dog (who is ok) and a realisation that a 40kg dog with a strong prey drive going into hunting mode is not good.
Not all hasty decisions are good decisions. And not all quick decisions are easy ones. The decision that he had to go was a quick decision, not an easy decision, but the right decision.
It is hard to focus on the good, so I am very glad I wrote my post on Sunday so I can remember all the things I was enjoying before the events of Sunday afternoon. More lessons to learn.
I have been making other hard decisions this week, and assessing and reassessing my motives. I think that one of the worst things about getting older is that you know so many more implications for your actions, so there is so much to think about and consider. I second guess myself and go round in circles! I keep thinking that I wish a wise adult would come along and tell me what the right thing to do is. Then I remember that I am an adult, and that no one can give me the answers I need except me. Drats.
I am trying to be kind to myself and hope you are able to do the same.
I am guilty of making many hastyfast well-considered-rapid decisions. Some turn out spectacularly well. (Like buying this property). Others take a bit more time before their success or otherwise can be determined. Last week I made a decision that we needed a second dog (for reasons that seemed sensible upon examination). And within 48 hours was driving 2 hours to collect a rescue dog who was described as ‘medium’ in size and had all the attributes I was looking for. The idea was that he would ‘belong’ to my son, supported by me.
The ‘medium’ dog turned out to be more ‘extra-large’ sized but just delightful so we brought him home.
All the way home I explained to the children, and my parents (via phone) how we would introduce our dog Dottie to the newcomer. Hmmmm….. A slight waste of good air. An excited child let Dottie out of the house just as I was getting Gunner (that is his name) from the car. She went into psycho-attack-terrier mode and flew at him and much screaming, hysteria and a bit of blood later two traumatised dogs were separated.
Much advice and strict rules being laid down by me means that one week on we are still keeping them separate- walking him multiple times a day while she is locked out of the way, etc. His size means that my son can’t walk him on his own, and isn’t really interested in training him. It is an extra job for me on top of all my other obligations. He can’t be let loose to roam because he is still learning not to chase kangaroos,the neighbours sheep, horses, cows. He can’t be left in the dog run because he just wants to be with us, so he jumps, all 4 legs off the ground, as high as the 1.8m high fence. And yet, despite all this, one week on, after many discussions between my parents and myself, we are still persisting in attempting to socialise the two dogs and to train Gunner (who is so food motivated that it is easy!)
At first I thought it was my fear of failure that kept me from chucking it in and returning him, but now I realise that it is bigger than that. Even if we do have to re home him eventually he deserves a chance to be trained, loved, and cuddled. I enjoy my multiple long walks around the property with him each day. It is time to explore my land in more detail, to have time to clear my head, to think and plan. I had forgotten the joy of owning big dogs. (I used to have two.)They have to be walked. You can’t skip a walk because you don’t feel like it, or it is raining, or it is cold. And they can’t just be walked around the block. They have to be walked a long way. It is good for me to be out there going up and down hills again! Whether the two dogs ever become best friends or not, I am going to persist a little longer.
In deciding to devote more time to him I had to assess my time and commitments. After a brilliant few weeks at school my boy has struggled this week, and been home early each day. I haven’t been seeing much, or spending time online sorting out ‘things’ I need to stay on top of. At first I was stressing about this. Then I remembered. Giving my children time is what life is all about. Breathing out and stepping through each day with that as my focus is okay.
Finally, what would a rural update be without photos of the chickens?!