I realize that this post isn’t going to make me very popular with the animal lovers among us. So, I am going to start with how I got to where I am today with regard to my dogs. I’d also like to point out that no, we are not rich. Any money that we have put into our dogs has been either added to a credit card- or made possible by sacrificing something else.
To begin, I grew up with animals. I had a horse, dog, birds and fish. Our family dog was Shadow- who lived 16 years. We got her as a puppy lived a long and happy life even with epilipsy.
In college- I stupidly brought a puppy home to my apartment. I named her Obie.
I had Obie through some very rough parts of my life- and her devotion was so intense that I worried what it would be like if I met someone and wanted him to share my life. Hesitatingly, Obie accepted my husband and we lived all moved here to SC together. I knew I could not have children while Obie was alive- she was too aggressive and jealous of others, but we were only newlyweds so that didn’t matter. Sadly- I was devestated to lose Obie to cancer in January of 2007 when she was 9 1/2 years old. It was by far and away a loss I have still never gotten over. I miss her every day.
In May of 2007 we brought home our yellow lab Napa.
The first major sign should have been when I took Napa to get fixed. It was discovered that one of her kidneys was adhered to an ovary. We had to see a specialist and paid hundreds of dollars to have it fixed. (OPERATION #1).
Napa destroyed whatever she could. We took her to puppy school, hired an in home trainer, and read books. I know now that we we weren’t consistant enough with our training, so anything that happened was our fault.
Not sure why, but I thought Napa needed a friend. We went to the humane society to ‘look’ and ended up adopting Henry- a sweet little red lab mix.
With two seriously active dogs we paid hundreds and hundreds of dollars for them to attend doggie day care and have a personal dog walker while we were at work. We loved our dogs and didn’t want them sitting around home, bored all day.
Soon, we were going to become a family. In Feburary of 2009 I had Brody and the focus was taken off of the labs. Both were big dogs and we still cared for them very much. Henry had recently been to see an orthepedic vet for a limp that wouldn’t go away (ahem) but for the most part no major crisis. Until we saw some blood that spring.
Long story short, Henry was diagnosed with anal cancer. We had many tests run, saw specialists and looked at chemo options (OPERATION #2 removal of some cysts). I ended up finding a holistic vet two hours away that put him on an all natural vitamin regimine which costed around $300 a month. Take away the dog walker and day care and that’s what he got instead. I didn’t mind. I drove there with my newborn to pick up the meds and it helped with long afternoons.
A year later I was pregnant again. Then I was on bedrest with the twins. So Henry was taken off of the meds and we were just going to have to see how it went. Well, now it was Napa’s turn for a crisis. She had some x rays the previous summer when she overate a bag of dog food at my sister’s (another expensive vet trip) and it turned out she had a problem with her kidneys. She needed an emergency surgery for hydronephrosis and to have one of her kidneys removed (OPERATION #3).
For the sake of going on and on and ON here, I have skipped out on many details. Take my word for it- they are things you would shake your head at and say OMG, I cannot believe they did all that. Or spent all that. What.The.Hell. is wrong with these people? I know.
There are now three kids in this house. They sleep. They will even sleep in until 7am. But Henry has decided that he likes to occasionally stroll the yard at 4am, or get up to eat at 6am. So he cries. And he cries until he wakes everyone up. It’s not uncommon for one of us to go down there, let him out, and because he refuses to come in- sleep on the couch until he’s ready. And NO- this has nothing to do with his ‘anal cancer’. That has mysteriously disappeared for now.
I’m at the end of my rope. I seriously feel so drained by these animals that I don’t know what to do anymore. My husband walks them and we play with them- but all they do is continue to destroy our yard on the rare occasion they will stay outside. They are now 5 and 4 and I feel like they will never grow up.
I do not think that they love us. I feel like they use us. I know this is an incredibly unfair situation for them as they once used to be our children…but oh wow. Some days I just feel like a schmuck and their servant. Bah.
Before you judge me and say ‘Sorry, this is all a part of pet ownership’- I just have to say that no. This is not. I have had animals. I have never lived in a situation where we feel trapped and used by our animals. I have never begrudged them anything.
In case you’re wondering, there are absolutely NO plans to ‘get rid’ of our dogs. I just wanted to vent how I feel about them in the current sense..because in all honesty I have no idea what else to do.
Anyone else experience this? Am I selfish for feeling this way?