Sometimes love just isn’t enough, is it? Last week found us teary-eyed and bereft as we drove clear across the state and broke up with our dog. Oh, Olive. It was alarming and then heartbreaking to realize the relationship between her and the family was not a healthy one, but when the realization hit, it rang with such truth that there was little doubt in what we must do. We needed to give her up. Olive needed to be placed with a person, not a family, especially not one with young children. She needed to be able to exercise her magic power freely – lavishing intense devotion on her chosen person. Why that person was, for her brief stay, me…I’ll never know. If anyone deserved the caliber of loyalty that she bestowed, it was Andrew. It surely wasn’t me. Andrew drove clear across the state to pick her up last October, brought her to deer camp to be his companion for the weekend in November, tried desperately to get her to understand that she was to be his dog. But it was a classic love triangle. He loved her, she loved me, I was running all over crazy tending to the house, livestock, children, (not in that order) not pausing to sit down for a dog snuggle till bedtime. All of my daytime embracing goes to the kids, in order of shortest to tallest. She became mad with jealousy. All of my evening embracing goes to the Mister. She became mad with jealousy. Of course I loved her, and tried much harder to give her what she needed – we all tried so hard to accommodate her – but it wasn’t enough.
It reached a boiling point last week and the sub-current of mounting anxiety burst through to the forefront. Per the terms of our adoption contract, she was to be returned to the rescue organization that liberated her from her breeding kennel. We were relieved to hear they had a waiting list of folks hoping to be matched with a French Bulldog like her, and the news of a potential match with an older single woman who had just lost her longtime bulldog companion bolstered our conviction that holding on to her in our mediocre setting was keeping her from someone else who was waiting for her. Someone who needed her.
It was a long, long drive to return her. She rode beside me as I bawled intermittently for nearly three hours. Then, when it was time to hand her over, she went willingly and without any signs of stress. As we drove away, the front seat now empty, we sailed back across the state on that wave of relief borne from doing the right thing, no matter how hard.