I had a rather amusing little Maggie tale to recount this morning, but then I got these two emails and changed my tack:

“Our dog recently was surprised by our toddler, and bit him on the head (no blood drawn)(don’t know about you, but if a kid climbed on me when I was sleeping, I would probably wake up swinging). I know our dog well, and I am positive that this was simply a natural reaction to being surprised from a deep sleep, and was in no way mean-spirited. That said, a toddler is a toddler, and I can’t help but conclude that this may very well happen again. We are not interested in testing this. So. We are looking to find our dog a new home.

Hank is a 2 year old pure bred Chesapeake bay retriever (papers available). He is an awesome dog and we love him a lot. We are very upset and disappointed to come to this conclusion, but aside from our own baby, we have a lot of friends with little kids and simply can’t risk having this happen again.

Hank needs an owner who can give him the time, respect, and guidance he needs to continue to be a great dog. He needs a lot of exercise- we have a dog walker for him everyday during the week so that he gets at least one good hike per day. As Micki will attest, Hank is a large, dominant dog and he needs an owner who tells him who’s boss. He also needs a lot of love and attention. If Hank gets these 2 things, with steady exercise, he will be the happy galoot that we know and love.”

and this one:

“I know of a miniature Schnauzer that needs a home by the end of May. Her name is Sophie, she was 2 on Christmas Eve, she is spayed, went to puppy training, and is an all around great little dog. The problem is she apparently barks when the owner’s kids are playing etc…, I mentioned to the owner a possible solution (pennies in a can) which she said started to work, but she said the family had already made up their minds to give up the dog. She also did bite at the owner once when the owner attempted to “discipline” her when the owner was on the phone and Sophie was getting into something. The owner said that Sophie was very remorseful and that nothing like that had ever happened before or since. She gets along well with other dogs and is good with children.”

This kind of stupidity makes me very, very angry (using my Marvin the Martian voice as I type this). Pets are not disposable. Period. Full stop. Bringing a pet of any kind, bird, fish, cat, dog, snake, is a huge responsibility and FOR LIFE.

Hank has stayed at my house. He is a lovely, lovely dog, just HUGE!!!! I don’t know Sophie, but if the worst things she does is bark when the kids are playing, then I am sure she is great too. She’s a terrier for God’s sake!!!! They bark. Most dogs do (Maggie excepted).

Pets are family and as much as we would like to give away members of our family at times, we don’t. Getting a pet is a major life decision not to be entered into lightly.

This is how Maggie came to be in my life — her first family had researched her and wanted a puppy from two specific parents, Canadian Champion Super Dogs (I do not recommend this). They got her at 8 weeks and brought her home. 2 weeks later the dad left. Mum now had a 16 month old, a 6 year old and a 12 year old and a 10 week old, very active (she’s from circus stock) golden retriever. The two older children hated the dog and blamed her for their dad leaving. The mum had too much on her plate and needed to find a new home for the dog. The kids wanted the dog gone. I saw her for 2 minutes and knew that I had to have her. The mum was very clear with her children when they told her to get rid of the dog and she told them that they would not be allowed to have any other kind of pet, ever. When I went to pick her up, the kids were, like, “bye Breezy (her old name). Mum, where’s my bike?” If that had been me and my mum was giving away my dog, I would have been apoplectic. The bastard husband was pissed that they were getting rid of the dog and insisted that I pay him $500 for her. I did, and gladly. That was almost 6 years ago and I honestly can’t imagine life without her.

As far as I am concerned, these people should be put on a list a people who are never, ever, ever allowed to have another pet for as long as they live.

Thanks, better now.

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