My husband use to travel a lot. This meant I was often the solo adult in charge of keeping the children alive. My safety never crossed my mind whenever he was home. I’m not sure what I thought he’d do if anyone tried to break in, but I’m certain he would have taken care of it. By ‘taken care of it’ I mean that I know he would kill someone with his bare hands, if necessary. However, in his absence I realized I needed backup.
This is why we got a security system and surveillance cameras installed at the house. I took some self-defense classes and read up on gun safety. The No Trespassing signs were discreetly placed on the front and back doors in effort to detour any prospective intruder or Jehovah Witness. We also decided we would get a big black dog. That should do it. Any more than that and the neighbors may have thought I was paranoid. (Not all of this statement is true. I can’t tell you which part is and which part isn’t. It shouldn’t concern you. PS The security alarm part is true. And the part about the dog. )
It needed to be a big dog, scary bark, but also one that didn’t shed, poop too often or bother me in any way.
Enter Margaux. She was the calmest, most chill would-be killer dog of the litter. This adorable wavy haired pup quickly turned into a balls crazy, ADHD, spawn of Satan dog within a matter of weeks.
I had a vision of my big fury protector walking calmly beside me, watching side to side like a secret service agent, always ready to spring into action if needed. What I got was a dog that required more patience of me than either of my kids had ever required. We had Margaux for all of 8 months before we rehomed her.
(Rehome is a new word which is a nice way of saying that we couldn’t deal anymore so we gave her away.)
During the short time we had her we: replaced the garage door (twice), replaced the garage door opener mechanism (twice), replaced multiple bushes from the landscaping, backfilled many holes in the back yard, apologized to neighbors who she chased while they were on a neighborhood stroll, too many chewed up shoes to count, etc. During that 8 months, separate from vet costs and food expense, we spent more than $3,000 in home repairs.
Matthew 18:21-22 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven times.”
Folks, I didn’t say it. That came out of Jesus’ mouth. That totals up to the fact that we are on the hook to forgive someone at least 490 times before we can say to hell with them.
Statistically, Margaux would have hit 490 around a year or so, but I’m not Jesus and decided to move on a little sooner than that.
There are times when I have to prayerfully consider what is worth fighting for and what needs to be moved on from. Margaux needed to be moved on from, for both our sakes.
We were toxic for each other. I didn’t appreciate her skill sets of digging, chewing or making me chase her down the street. She couldn’t peacefully live with the fact that I demanded she only gnaw on her chew toys and not the couch legs.
We tried, we really wanted it to work. We got her private obedience lessons and everything. It just wasn’t happening. We weren’t meant to be, her and me.
There are approximately 7.13 billion people in this world. I only know a few of them. Every once in a while life seems to allow a person, or in this case, dog, to be in my life for a season of time then pass on by. Every once in a while that pass on part comes with heartache and disappointment, but occasionally the pass on part comes with relief. Either way, there are certainly times when pass on is necessary. In their absence I can usually see how they made a beautiful mark on my life, but mostly the mark is better appreciated after they’re gone.
I always learn something from the ones I had to rehome. Thankfully rehoming doesn’t happen too often. After quite a few years on this planet I finally have come to grips with the fact that I can’t be friends with everyone, whether human or canine. There are some who are flat out toxic and need to be, not given up on, but moved on from.
Dogs are a lot like our human relationships in that they are flawed and imperfect creatures. They fall short. I fall short. We both require a lot of love and forgiveness and require patience.
However, sometimes even after trying everything I know to try it still just doesn’t work. The boundaries I have to set which allows me to be a sane and content individual get crossed. Some relationships steal joy and at some point become necessary to be rehomed.
There comes a time in certain relationships when I have to walk away.
Before you deem me a complete loser for rehoming our dog I do want to mention that we also have an 11 year old, tiny, white dog named Piper. He’s the kind of dog you see Paris Hilton carry in her purse. He’s part of the family. My kids don’t remember life without him. He’s a great dog now. As a puppy he peed on everything. It doesn’t seem as bad now because years have passed and we were younger then, but at the time we were house training him I remember wanting to throw him away on certain days.
We didn’t rehome Piper because despite his challenges we still were able to maintain a sense of joy and peace while co-existing with him.
Margaux presented challenges that were relentless and never ending. She was worthy of love, but made us chronically miserable. She’s happier now with someone better suited for her personality. And so are we.
Her 490 ticker can start new with them. Maybe that’s what she needed, what we all at times need, a fresh slate.
It turns out that Piper, despite his size is a great guard dog. He will bark when the wind blows. Nothing is happening in this house without him to alert us of it. Margaux left her mark in our hearts as well as on several walls and baseboards. She will never be forgotten, but we all concur that life is more pleasurable without her.
It’s important to note that it’s still not wise to attempt to break into my house as our tiny little Piper dog can hold his own. He’s never met an ankle he was scared of yet.