A very hard decision


In the few minutes left in the battery life of this pc, (charger chewed by the subject of this post and will need to be replaced…) I will tell you briefly of one of the worst decisions I have ever had to make.

My beloved Max

looking naughty but sweet here, is leaving us. Of late my neighbours have been complaining about his barking when I am out. I cannot verify this, as he is quiet when I am here. He does have a collar to deter the barking, but it has been getting worse… the complaints that is.

Neighbour relations are tricky things and we cannot chose who we live next door to, just like we cannot chose family. The main complainer is a very, very, large, unkempt woman with a pile of rubbish in her front garden, including a door! Her other half dotes on Juno…odd. What has been difficult is her tactic. She claims that another neighbour, Dorrie, or Florrie or someone will have the police on me as she is ‘in with’ the community police and is very high up in the church..not sure what that means, but obviously was supposed to add to the weight of the complaints. I spoke to said Dorrie/Florrie who claims she has never heard the dog but had a few messages for the first complainer, through me, which indicated quite bad blood between the two. First neighbour then claimed that other people were complaining to her and I asked her to let them know I was happy to hear the complaints directly. She could not provide names…

I walked the dogs as often as I can, for hours sometimes. Leave them toys and snacks and make sure Max has his collar on, but to no avail. She has taken to lying in wait for me as I approach the house.

The final straw was last Friday when I went to an open day at the hospital I hope to work at, in London. I was given a job. I am still in shock, it seems so unreal, but  all present were guaranteed a job and all we have to do is pass the degree and indicate our training preferences. (I have been with this Trust for 3 years and the open day was invitation only, so they obviously new what they were getting!!)

As I walked up the path, she darted out with more moaning and my heart sank. I have shed many tears this week. I hate leaving the dogs alone for so long as it is, but this was too much. My new job will keep me out of the house for more than 15 hours a day on shift days. I still have uni, I was bereft.

But, I am blessed with the most amazing friends. All I spoke to set about trying to sort out a solution, I spoke to dog trainers and really worked at it. At the weekend the window cleaner popped in. He is absolutely the voice of reason, never ruffled, always thoughtful, and he talked me through all the options and listened to me cry.

We found a solution for Juno with friends who are a bit like her grandparents who take her for me on holidays etc. But Max was different. Most people wanted him but worried that in fact he may be a barker. One family offered to dog share him.

However, the fact is that Max is an extremely sociable little dog. He loves company, canine and human alike. He is bright and very active. He is fabulous with children and totally lovable. So I thought the best and fairest thing for Maxi is to find a forever home where he is not coming and going between families, where he gets time and attention and the chance to shine.

I feel guilty that I took him on, foolish for not recognising the challenges ahead when I have to hold down a job and support myself. I feel selfish because I though it would make my life easier having two dogs, company for each other. It works but is not tenable for 15 or more hours a day.

So, I have spoken to a well known charity a number of times over the last few days and they are looking into whether they can rehome him for me.

I imagine there are those who will condemn me for my poor choice. Believe me, I am doing that myself.







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