Engaging Each Day with Action Words

Surrender. — We tried. We really, really tried.

on September 14, 2013

This one is hard.

And I have almost published it a few times…and then stopped. Because the admitting defeat and giving up is hard. I worry about disappointing others. I wish it could have had a different outcome. But…

This week, we waved the white flag. We surrendered.

I really don’t care for that verb, but that is what they call it, so I guess that is what happened.

Webster says that “To surrender” means:

  • to agree to stop fighting, resisting, … because you know that you will not win or succeed
  • to give the control of  something to someone else
  • to cease resistance to an enemy

Check. Check. Well, kind of…Check. I guess we did surrender in a way. After over a year, of really, really trying…

We admitted that it wasn’t going to work. No matter how hard we tried, no matter how many tactics we attempted, no matter how long we waited.

We surrendered.  No matter…It just wasn’t going to work.

And even though this is hard, I feel like I need to share the ending to this story.

Which I’m hopeful might just be a new beginning for everyone.

I’ve shared many times about … the dog.  And I’m really hoping you can be gracious and understand and not judge me too harshly.

You know I’ve spent a lot of time and energy trying to figure this out.

Maybe it was because our relationship began out of desperation. Maybe it was because I had expectations that were too high. Maybe it was because my life is just too hectic and busy. Maybe it was because our personalities just didn’t match.

Whatever it was, all I know is that this entire journey has just been hard.

And as hard as the past year has been, it is absolutely true that I have cried more about this dog than I have about the other hard things.  I have prayed just as much about this dog as I have about the other hard things.

So, what made this so hard and difficult, you ask? Well, the list is long, but short. He never trusted me. I never trusted him. On the major side–He showed signs of aggression that made me nervous. He charged at all of us at one time or another. He tore clothes and knocked little people down. He dug up my yard with huge, really huge holes.

He grabbed anything that was on the floor and not for him and ran around my living room like a crazy dog, finally ending up behind the couch with the contraband. On the minor side–he chewed up my couch pillows and coffee table.

Ultimately, there was no joy; there was no comfort and love. On the rare moment, that I could get him to lay beside me on the couch, so I could pet him, there would be a few lovely seconds.  Literally, I could pet him sweetly for about 2-3 minutes before he would start to gnaw at my arm as if it were a chew toy. When I looked at him, really trying to understand him and his personality, there was really just…nothing. It is sad, I know. There was no connection. He didn’t really like us.

I would describe him as a really bad roommate. He ate my food. He lived at my house. He messed up my yard and left a mess for me to clean up. He slept on my couch and made a lot of noise. And he contributed … nothing in return.

And you have to know that I tried. I really, really tried. You name it, I probably did it. I probably tried it. I’m not new to this game, I’ve had dogs before. I know about alpha training. I read a couple of books. In a very weak moment in the middle of the night, I even ordered the program from the infomercial. I tried using essential oils to calm him and help him relax.

When I signed up for this, I was hoping for something so different. It was late one night, last summer. I was up late by myself, feeling a little lonely in the living room. When I realized, I was really missing having a dog in the house. I was missing Cayman and the comfort that Cayman always used to bring me. The very next day, I got a message about a litter of puppies, 14 of them, just taken to a Humane Society. Literally, buckets of puppies. I thought it was a sign. So I picked one out from a bunch of pictures—I’ll take the one sitting still, there in the middle, with the little white heart on his chest. I thought he was sitting still because he was the calm one.

From Day one, there was always something missing. He was always a little too much, a little off for us. There was never a bonding, never a connection. Maybe it was circumstantial. Maybe it was timing. Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be and I tried to force the situation. Maybe the dog is just a little…not right. I honestly don’t know for sure. I’ve unofficially diagnosed him with Attachment Disorders with a side of bipolar.  I’ve since learned that dogs from really big litters like that tend to be a little more aggressive, since they have probably had to fight for food and for attention. I’ve learned that the weaning process is important and can make or break trusting relationships.

But, it has been a year. And it was not getting better. It was getting worse. X and Y couldn’t play with him. They would get on their bikes and ride to the walking path to get to the pool to avoid getting jumped on by him. I had to stop bringing him inside at night, because he started whining and crying and barking and waking everyone up. He was becoming an outside dog; an outside dog that we couldn’t have fun with, couldn’t throw a ball with; couldn’t take out to play or go for a long walk. He was just there, co-living in our yard. And every time I thought of him and his days, it just made me sad.

So, over a year later, I had to make this decision. I did not do this lightly. But I had to let him go. I had to decide to surrender and let us all have a start at a new beginning. So, this week, I told him goodbye. I petted him and kissed him on the nose.

And let Felix drive him back five hours one way to the Humane Society where he originally started, who promised us that they will take good care of him and find him a new home. And I hope that they do soon. I hope they find him a home with a fenced in yard to run in, with other dogs and someone with lot a lot of time and patience.

I hope they find him a new beginning.

And tonight, through even more tears, I will say it again,

“Good night H. I want to love you. I hope you find your forever home and new family very soon.”

surrender H


9 responses to “Surrender. — We tried. We really, really tried.

  1. Melissa says:

    Awww. No judgment. Poor Mommyverb fam and poor puppy. He will find a forever home, I’m sure. I thought it was a little quiet last night….8-)

    • MommyVerbs says:

      We talked about it before you arrived…and then I forgot to fill you in. I thought of it a few times by the campfire…how he would have been barking every time Tucker started singing her song….Thanks for the support and love, always.

  2. Gretchen says:

    It just wasn’t meant to be. He WILL find his forever family, and (when you are ready), you will find your perfect animal companion. You are so wonderful to adopt from a shelter, and he was lucky to share time with you. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    • MommyVerbs says:

      Thank you for your kindness…always. You have the biggest and the bestest heart. I just adore you and am thankful you are in my world! ❤ (All the pups you work with are so lucky, too!)

  3. Sandi H. says:

    What a difficult road…I’m proud of you for trying for a year….that’s a LONG time to invest in a pet that has destructive tendencies and one that you cannot really trust. I know it’s heartbreaking and it might feel like a failure … but I count it as a success that you gave it your heart, you soul, your time and you knew when it was time to let someone else try. That’s very unselfish in the end…you chose what’s best for the dog and for your family although it wasn’t easy at all!

  4. Oh I’m so sorry it’s been so hard, and I can still feel the heaviness in your heart. It sounds like the heaviness is grief and mourning of a future and relationship you had envisioned, and it’s not out of regret–you know you all did the best you could. I’m so sorry. 😦

  5. Kathleen says:

    Thank you for trying to love a dog who didn’t want your love. Thank you for being kind and considerate enough to return him to the HS with the hope for a new beginning. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Angel says:

    I just wanted to say that I really enjoy your blog! You write beautifully! I found it through one of your guest posts and I would really love to have you guest post on my blog listed in my details on the contact form. If you are interested please email me to let me know! Thanks- Angel

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