Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Scooby Chronicles... errr... chronicle?

I had never owned a dog. Neither had Brian. We knew a dog would be work, but we also believed that having a dog would be good for our kids. The boys, one a little high strung, one complaining of anxiety type symptoms. The girl... well... maybe.

So, I casually started doing research, here and there. For over a year we mulled over the idea. Should we? Shouldn't we? A girlfriend with an autistic daughter has a Havanese dog. I love that dog. She's been a real comfort to my friend and is really good with the children. So, I thought some more.

We knew a puppy would not work. That was for sure. There was no way I was going to take on housebreaking a puppy when I still had a child who was liberal with where her own pee went. 

So, when a lovely little Havanese 18 month old came on Kijiji due to a divorce in his family and an inability for either of them to care for him on their own, we thought it might be perfect.

Meet Scooby. 

And here, I feel like I'm at a loss for what to say...

We brought him home and we began to realize that he'd been a little more neglected than we'd thought. His fur was matted. He peed sometimes in the house. He chewed on whatever he could find. We'd been told his shots were up to date, which in fact they weren't.

But despite these things, we loved him. He was so much fun. He loved to snuggle. He loved to bark (okay, so I didn't love that quite so much). He loved to go for walks. He loved to play. 

We got him cleaned up and took him to the vet. We tried to help Finleigh keep her toys picked up and out of Scooby's way. We got him peeing (mostly) outside.

There was a week there, though, when Finleigh had forgotten what a toilet was and I started to find yellow liquid everywhere. I would walk into the kitchen and not know if the fluid was Finleigh pee, Scooby pee or apple juice. 

Sometimes it was pee. Sometimes it was apple juice.

One time I walked into Finleigh's room and there was a puddle of yellow on her bed. I resisted the urge to yell as I bent down to discover it was shampoo. I wasn't sure if I should be relieved or irritated that it was shampoo rather than pee on her bed. Either way, I would have to wash the sheets... and pee was cheaper but so much less gross.

These were growing pains, I told myself. And in the evening, Scooby would jump up into my lap and we'd snuggle and things would be fine.

Until one day, about six weeks later when he bit my son and drew blood. He'd been playing a little rough, so we told him that he couldn't play with him like that. We thought that would be that.

Scooby, really, seemed to be a dog that preferred adults. He didn't want much to do with the kids. He would go outside with them and play a little but if Brian or I were around, he pretty much ignored them. Except during meal times. You can bet that he quickly discovered that it payed to sit underneath our kids' seats at meal times. I was disappointed at that because we wanted a dog for the kids. As much as I enjoyed my little shadow, it was for the kids that we had even considered getting Scooby. 

Perhaps, as time went on they would have bonded more. Every once in a while we would see a glimmer of a relationship there. 

And then, one day he was chewing on one of Finleigh's toys. She grabbed at it and he bit her. Hard and deep. The blood flowed. 

Things changed that day. We knew we couldn't trust the two together and that's when we started talking about rehoming him. She started showing aggression toward him too and while he never bit her again, there was always that possibility that he might. 

So, we found him a new home with another dog from the same breeder and no children. 

Perhaps if we had taken more time. Maybe if we'd waited a little longer it all would have worked out. I still wonder if we should have handled things differently. I still question everything we did from the second he came into our home. But it's too late now. Poor little Scooby was shuffled to a different home. Hopefully this one will be permanent. 

I miss him dearly. And Finleigh still talks about how she misses Scooby and that her finger is all better. Every time she says she misses him, my heart drops. 

No sweetie, Scooby is not coming back. He has a new home. Yes, he was so cute. Yes, I miss him too. Yes, we loved him, didn't we?

It's hard not to blame SMS for this whole episode, but its much more complicated that that. After all, lots of SMS families have dogs. We got a slightly damaged dog. We were inexperienced. And ya... we couldn't control what our six year old daughter did around him.

I wonder about him every once in awhile. I wonder how he's doing. I hope he's happy. 


  1. Well, I had a similar situation. I had 2 dogs and until Vaughn came along, Rupert was my baby and the love of my life. Rupert had severe jealousy issues with Vaughn and was continually peeing on his things - not a good combo when you have a baby that sticks everything in his mouth. So... when the time came to move into my condo and I could only keep one dog, it was gut-wrenching, but I decided that Rupert had to be the one to go. Larry has blossomed as an "only dog" and I know I made the right decision.

    You made the right decision and I think if you can find a well-loved and well-trained dog it will be a welcome addition to your family. Scooby is young enough and since he's gone to a place where there are other little Scoobies, I bet he's going to be happy as happy can be.

    I'm sorry you had to go through all that though, it's hard to give up a friend. I cried for 3 days after Rupert left and still miss him terribly, but I know I did what was best for my family and for him.

    Love and hugs to you!


    1. Thank you for sharing your story. That really does make me fell better.

      Love and hugs right back, dear cousin.

  2. I'm sorry to hear about this. We've been in this situation too, and it is very hard and heart breaking. We actually did this with two dogs, and then we swore off dogs forever. My son didn't want to have anything to do with dogs after this.

    Then a few year later, on his birthday, my mother in law offered to get us a shih tzu puppy. At first, he and I were both not interested. As the day wore on, we started to think about it and eventually agreed. I was so scared that things wouldn't work out and we would lose another pet. I never wanted to see my son's heart broken like it had been before. I also didn't want a puppy because of the whole potty training thing, and the fact that just that morning I had scrubbed for an hour on Gracie's bedroom floor because of her poop accident.

    Things have worked out beautifully. I think that having a puppy made all the difference! She was so cute, and loving, and she stole our hearts right away, which made it worth putting up with the hard stuff. It was rough at first, with her not sleeping, needing to go outside, and messing on the floor, but it did get better. She's been able to grow up with the kids and she is used to them. She is now a true member of our family and we take her almost everywhere with us.

    P.S. I haven't been blogging much, but I'm so happy to see you back! I need to get caught up with you and your family!

    1. I'm glad your dog is working out this time for you Deb. Maybe one day when I'm feeling stronger we'll try again...