Just finished penning my hokey invite for our pirate themed going-away party. I’m not sure how much more official it can get.
We are moving.
In ten days.
I’ve been avoiding writing about it, but the most stressful part of the move preparation has not been packing, or reserving a truck, or forwarding the mail. The worst part was coming to the realization that Gabe could not come with us.
My ownership of Gabe was on the doomed side from the start. I am in no way, shape or form in a place in my life to own ANY dog, let alone THIS dog. But I wanted to help him so badly when we found him, I wanted to save him from potential putting down at the Humane Society. I thought I could find a way to make it work, at least until I could find him the perfect home. Two years later, he was still burrowing under my covers at night and terrorizing the other dogs in my neighborhood.
Gabe is… special.
He’s in no way a bad, or even aggressive pup. But, he’s got serious anxiety issues and often feels threatened by certain people and most dogs. In the two years I’ve had him, he’s learned to take the back seat to his owner – to sit for his food or before going in and out of doors and cars, to walk next to or behind me, to sleep in his own bed unless invited up to the big bed, to let go of the rope when I say so and to leave the cat alone (although, to be fair, she taught him that one). But the anxiety occasionally strikes and cannot be quelled regardless of what I do or don’t do, leading to shakes, whining or uncontrollable barking.
Gabe needs more help than I can give him. He needs more space to run his long legs. He needs heartworm meds, flee and tick repellant, annual vaccinations. He needs attention from someone who will be home more than a few hours a day. I’m struggling with all of these, and the move will only make it worse.
So, in one week, we’re taking Gabe to a new home.
Two years with Gabe only heightened my fear of the Humane Society. We’ve had time to bond. I’ve had time to see him as more than just a stray – as a little guy with a big personality and love to give if he can just chillax. So, as the move approached, I shifted into high gear in the search for a better place for him. E-mail after e-mail came back to me, either flatly rejecting us because our case was not dire enough or referring us to another resource that had already rejected us. A Facebook campaign turned up lots of desire to help, but no one able to take in a dog.
Finally, an e-mail popped into my inbox as I was about to leave work one afternoon. “Does he get along with other dogs? Is he house trained”
To which I replied, “Well, sort of, yes. And definitely yes.”
Roxanne, one of the board members of an organization called HART Animal Rescue, was willing to meet me in Jeffersonville (about 45 minutes south of Columbus) to pick up Gabe and take him to an animal care shelter in Cincinnati. From there, he’ll be placed with a foster family until a permanent home can be found for him. “No chance of euthanization,” she said. “We’re no-kill…. unless they kill us!”
And with that, Gabe was saved. My chest still aches a little when I think of Gabe’s fear and confusion as he takes this journey. But if, in the end, it saves his life and finds him a better home, then this is what must be done.
In the meantime, I’ve got a long weekend of QT with the Gabe monster, and we’re going to do it up right.
Even if it means marathon tug-o-war and naps on the bed.