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We clearly could not handle having him.

Issue Date: Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2007

Hello babies. I hope your weekends (and President’s Day) were wonderful and that you had singing unicorns, bright rainbows and multiple orgasms to keep you company. I hope that you were entertained by a loved one, a good book or a movie of your choosing. I hope that you were able to browse the local Z Gallerie for snarky cards and Restoration Hardware for that ceramic spoon rest that you have always wanted.

What I don’t hope for you is that you spent the better part (and by better I mean most, not better better) part of the weekend sobbing over pictures, small pieces of fuzz, a teeny coat (hung on a teeny hanger in the coat closet) or sleeping for hours at a time because you just couldn’t bring yourself to get out of bed.

Friday night Mister and I were watching one of our Netflix movies (Manhunter, thanks anne.) and I shot to my feet and yelled behind me, “He’s chewing on the baseboards!” as I ran towards the front of the house. My bat-like hearing alerted me to the dangers of destruction that Galen was reaping upon the baseboards of our home. You all know of the holes in the carpet, the shag bathroom mat plucked bald and the shoes that have been demolished. You know of the corners of my desk and the bottom of a bureau that have been sacrificed to Galen’s tiny little teeth.

What you may also know is that Mister has been campaigning to find Galen a new home for… oh, the last four months or so.

We have had him for eight months.

Mister admits his massive mistake in wanting a puppy. He had no idea what kind of time, costs, energy and tolls it would take on us. Feedings every four hours and potty breaks every two for the first several months of his time with us? Destruction of property? Staying home all day on a Saturday because the puppy ingested the upper sole of your shoe and you need to watch for poop to make sure there was no blockage in his digestive tract?

Mister was really caught off guard.

The hundreds of dollars spent in the first months alone for his well puppy checks to make sure he had all of his shots? The hundreds of dollars spent on kennels, collars, chew toys, antihistamines, fish oil capsules, special “smart puppy” dog food and treats? Hundreds and hundreds of dollars spent on grooming (cutting his toenails) and boarding him when we would travel? I think it really threw Mister for a loop.

And then there was the fact that regardless of the one or the many chew toys littered around Galen’s little 12 pound body, he would chew on the rugs, the carpet and the cat.

The nail in the coffin for me was Galen chasing Max so hard on Friday night that he pushed the cat head first into the wall. The resounding thud was heard all the way at the back of the house. Mister was all, “What was that!!?” I said, “Max’s head hitting the wall.” Mister, “Well, is he ok?” I replied, “Not sure, he’s old and he hit the wall pretty hard.” He asked, “Why did he hit the wall?” I told him, “Galen was chasing him and pushed him into it.” Mister said, “That is IT! We are going to find a new home for Galen this weekend.”

And for once, I didn’t argue.

He was a perfectly trained little boy. He was kennel trained and he would go to the bedroom door and sit there at 9:30 every night because he was ready to go to bed. He only had one (or two maybe) accidents in the house, and those were because he had bad poo or something. He knows the commands for, “No.”, “Sit.”, “Stop.”, his name, “Potty.”, “Outside.”, “Inside.” And would not get on the furniture unless you invited him with an “Up” and two taps to your chest. He also knows, “Down” and “Load Up” for getting in his kennel.

Mister and I both read up on the subject of training puppies. We used positive reinforcement and he was a very happy little guy. Our problem… and I know it is our problem, not his… is that we didn’t spend enough time with him. He was kenneled from 8:15 a.m. until we got home around 6:00 p.m.

I left the door to the bedroom open so the cat could come visit him during the day and I left the TV on animal planet while we were away at work. It could never be enough. He craved attention and he wanted to please so badly. He would wiggle all over when praised him and his little tail would just thump, thump, thump while he looked at you waiting for you to invite him into your lap. He loves the ladies and responds to the lower registers of men’s voices.

We could not give him what he needed. Max is so good. Max is the consummate gentleman with polite manners and it even sounds like “Please” and “Thank you” when you feed him. He can be left alone for hours, days even without doing one thing that would be considered destructive. Galen? We couldn’t turn our backs on him for five minutes or he would come running out of Mister’s office with a clear push pin that he pulled off of the corkboard. What if he would have swallowed one of those? When we went to shutting the doors he would just tear up the carpet or chew on a chair or a baseboard.

We clearly could not handle having him.

Saturday morning Mister and I put an ad in Craig’s List for the DFW area. We extolled what a good boy Galen is and that all of his accessories came with him… that his shots are up to date and that he needs a home with supervision. We posted four pictures. We had phone calls starting at ten minutes after the ad was posted. I left Mister to handle them and I fled for the relative safety of my boss’s house to watch him cut and color a co-worker’s hair.

Mister decided on a couple that is engaged. They wanted to drive up from Grand Prairie and visit Galen. When I got home from the boss’s house Mister told me, “They are coming at two, two-fifteen at the latest.”

He had pulled Galen’s kennel out of the bedroom and Galen was playfully hopping in and back out of the kennel as if he were excited, “See this bitches? This is MY house. Are we going on a trip? I like trips.”

(By the way, SO losing it right now.)

Galen and I went outside to play for a few minutes and he ran around me in the sun like he was a teeny greyhound. He really likes to lean into his turns and actually grins when you say, “Oh my! You are just so very fast!”

The couple showed up.

The reason Mister picked them to come see Galen was because the girl lived with her mother and her mother wanted a companion for when the girl and her fiancé are off at work. She wanted someone to be there all the time for her… just like Galen wanted someone to be there for him all day. I know he loves his kennel, it is his secure place. But I am sure he will love being the in the lap of a lady all day long as well.

When they knocked on the door, Galen barked. He only barks when someone knocks on the door or when the doorbell is rung. He didn’t even bark back at the four big dogs that live in the surrounding yards of our property. I scooped him up and Mister invited the couple in. We showed them his commands and the things that he is so cute for. He jumped into my lap when I invited him, and immediately jumped down when I said down. The lady asked him over and he almost caught on fire he ran to her so quickly. He plopped down at her feet and turned over so she could scratch his belly… his little body wiggling as his tail thumped back and forth below him.

The man said that he had just recently adopted a 3 year old beagle, named Milo, and that they were so excited to find Galen that morning. They explained that the mother in law (or soon to be mother in law) was so excited about Galen and the daughter, basically being mauled with love by Galen said, “I really think Mother will love him.” Her fiancé asked her if she thought Galen was the one and she said, “Oh, of course, yes.” So Mister went to show the man how to fold up Galen’s kennel. I showed them Galen’s bag of stuff: his retractable leash, chicken tenders, toenail clippers, rawhide chews, his blue nylabone that he has had since he was a baby, his “baby” (a natural fiber “bear” that has a squeaky in it, his towels, a new bag of food, his water and food bowl, his special shampoo and his conditioning mist.

We walked them outside, they put all of his stuff in the trunk and the girl held Galen. I leaned down and he gave me a kiss on the lips.

(Totally crying like a bitch right now.)

Mister patted him and turned back towards the house before the couple could see his face crumble in a mess of big man tears and sobs.

We went inside and well, the rest of the day was a blur.

I woke up on Sunday and felt like I had been hit with a bat. We had planned on going to church but I was a mess, so Mister let me sleep. At like 10:30 or so, I got out of bed and tried walking to the bathroom. I collapsed in a mess of tears, snot and sobbing uncontrollably when I came across this.

While I went and tried not to throw up, Mister vacuumed the carpet so the vestiges of Galen’s crate marks could be removed. But what about the chewed furniture, the baseboards, the desk? What about the little puppy whisker I found on the floor while I was laying there naked like a pathetic asshole? What about the tee tiny puppy hairs on mister’s beloved woolen coat?

I couldn’t even talk to my mother when she called. I was a wreck. I kept going back to the millions of Animal Precinct shows that I had seen on Animal Planet… and The Dog Whisperer… “There are no bad pets, just bad owners.” I kept wailing on and on to Mister, “We made a covenant with Galen when we rescued him…” Mister, “What covenant? We didn’t rescue him. We BOUGHT him.” And my watery hitching reply, “So, that makes him what!?!?! A SLAVE?!”

Gah. The drama.

The tears.

I know, I know in my heart of hearts that he is better off being with someone who will spend all the time in the world with him and give him treats and teach him how to balance a ball on his nose like a seal. I KNOW. But it still doesn’t make it any easier knowing that we failed. Failed miserably. We gave him the best care in the world, the Greenies© and the love… but it was not enough.

Mister downloaded this for me to be able to show y’all how much fun it was to share our life with the little badger. If only for a little while.

Galen playing with a balloon from Mister’s birthday. Please click to see video at YouTube.com.

And for those of you who are just itching to write me a nasty email for “rehoming” or “abandoning” the puppy. Go ahead. Write it. But just do me a favor and don’t send it for a week or two. I called in sick to work yesterday because the tears would not stop. And today? Still with the crying. So just go ahead, write your little nasty email. But save it as a draft and send it when I am a little more stable and am able to fire back with a “Fuck Off you Judgmental Whore!” Deal?

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