Family - The Four Legged Edition
This year, one of my goals was to get a dog. I grew up with dogs and now that Andy and I have a home of our own, I really wanted a dog. I thought this would be an easy, happy process, but life always throws a few curves. We have two cats, so their safety and happiness was my first priority. We adopted them as kittens and we owe it to them to give them the best life we can. They lived with a dog before so I knew it was possible for everyone to be safe and happy.
Through a Facebook group, I found a Neapolitan Mastiff that needed a home. We knew she was sweet but had been attacked by another dog and needed a home without other dogs. No one knew how she would do with cats, but no one was worried either. We got her off the ferry and for me, it was love at first sight. I had mastiffs growing up and I was so happy to be adopting one of my own. I had done all sorts of research on how to introduce the dog and cats, but it was immediately clear that we had a problem. The dog just lunged and growled at the cats and it was clear their safety was going to be a concern. We made the incredibly difficult decision that we couldn't keep her. I shed a lot of tears but I knew in my gut it wasn't the right fit and I could never forgive myself if something happened to the cats. The guilt I felt was overwhelming and it didn't help that some people made us feel bad about our decision. However, I am so thankful to the rescue we worked with and the incredible woman who helped coordinate everything. I was worried she would be angry with us, but what she said stuck with me. She told us that it takes a lot to open your home to a rescue and that it has to be the right fit. It's so true and it's not something we did lightly.
Fast forward a week. I was devastated but Andy and I decided we would wait a while before thinking about getting another dog. However, I was sitting at work when a link to a fluffy white dog named Ben popped up from Andy. I was definitely surprised since he was the one leading the "no dog for a while" talks. We decided just to reach out and see if Ben was still available since it stated in his profile that he was good with cats and we researched his breed and found out that they were known to be great with cats. We brought Ben home the day we got back from Orlando, exactly two weeks ago. The cats were immediately comfortable with him, mostly because he showed absolutely no interest in them. He is exactly the right addition to our family and we feel so lucky to have him.
The lesson I learned through this process is that you have to trust your gut. You are the only one who knows what is right for you and your family. There are always going to be people who tell you you made the wrong decision or who do not understand your choices. That's okay, they don't have to live with your decisions, you do. Never do something you aren't comfortable with. If you make decisions that feel right, you will not have any regrets.
*I did follow up to make sure the dog we couldn't keep found a loving home, because she deserves the happiest life