I have taken a week off blogging while I struggled to make a very difficult decision: I have rehomed Finn. To do so was not easy, but I saw him today in a follow-up visit, and am now quite sure it was for the best.
This decision may seem sudden, especially considering how much I like this puppy, and how excited I was about our future prospects together. But the driving forces behind my decision have been around since day one. Finn was not a planned puppy in my life – I took him and his sister in last September when I had no intention of taking on another dog. I instantly fell madly in love with Finn and thought I needed to give him a chance, despite knowing four dogs were too many, and that bringing another male into my household was dicey.
I work more than full-time, live on a student budget and have no yard. At first I managed, but as my work-load got heavier, and as Finn got bigger and needed more attention and exercise, managing the dogs became increasingly challenging. Giving them what I felt they needed was becoming a chore, rather than a pleasure, and this past month I have been feeling like a failure on a daily basis. More importantly, I felt that none of the dogs was getting what he or she needed in terms of training and individual attention. This was particularly important for Finn who is at a crucial developmental stage. I was putting most of my efforts into him as a result, at the expense of quality time with the others.
I also have been worried about Finn’s self-confidence in my pack. Ross is a very bossy boy, and until Finn came along, absolutely refused to let any male dog in my house. He was accepting of Finn, probably because Finn is a very soft puppy. But even though Ross was pretty good with him, Finn nevertheless remained terrified of his older housemate. They were fine outside, but in the house, Finn spent most of his time off on his own while the other three would play and hang out together.
Finn has been here since he was 7 weeks old, and I had expected him to integrate by now. When that hadn’t happened by 5 months of age, my concerns heightened that living in the shadow of a very dominant dog was not right for him. My pack is very intense, and there is a lot of pressure here for a new comer. Only a particular personality type is going to fit in. Until Finn came along, I never even considered bringing in a male. The only reason I decided to give him a try in the first place was because I both liked him so much, and he clearly would never challenge Ross’s authority.
Last week I had to take a trip for four days and stay in hotels the whole time. It was still during that cold snap and I don’t think that putting dogs in the unheated back of a truck for long hours when it is -25 out is right. At the same time I could only put the three who get along in the cab with me and drive safely.
When a wonderful family I know through the breed & agility offered to take him while I was away, I was delighted. They took him a couple of days ahead of time to make sure it would work before I left. Well, Finn was in his glory. Not only did he have four humans to give him all the attention he could ever want, and a huge fenced property to play on, but he just LOVED the other dog in the household. They called me with stories of what an outgoing little character Finn is and how much they love him. It was at that point that I knew what the right thing to do was.
Seeing Finn with his new family today has made this decision very easy to finalize. Finn showed zero interest in me, and didn’t even stop to say hello as he rushed past to greet Mira, the one dog in my pack he had bonded to. He is very happy and quite in love with his new mom, family & canine playmate, who are equally smitten with him. He is much more outgoing and confident than I have seen him be in my home. At the same time, while I miss his cuddles and sweetness, I have not missed the work for one second and have found life with three dogs to be much more manageable and relaxing.