Last Sheba Post :)

I took my posts down about Sheba’s new home because I thought they smacked of hypocrisy — like they were presenting me as the saint/martyr who painfully gave up her dog solely for the dog’s own good.

I hate hypocrisy in anyone, and especially hate it in myself.

The fact is, Ron and I tried for 3 years to be good dog parents to Sheba.  We do very well with small lap dogs.  But we always knew we weren’t providing Sheba with the exercise and stimulation she needs.  And it was wearing us out in the process.

We finally reached the end of our ability to keep giving.  We kept her for 3 years because we truly do love her and want the best for her.  But the overriding consideration in our giving her up was our own well-being.

Ron is in his 70’s, I am in my late 60’s, and caring for Sheba was exhausting us.

Since she is in her new home, Ron and I are almost giddy with the freedom.  We are so much more relaxed.  The Casita feels huge.  And little Sunny is happier than we have seen him in a long time.  We have time to spend with him now, and he is petted and indulged and made to feel like a little king.  He’s our baby boy again.  🙂

And Sheba — she is truly in doggie paradise.

I got a text today from the new owner and Sheba is sleeping with her daughter in bed now!

And I’ll repost the email I got from her the day after they adopted her:

Sheba was understandably confused when she got here and other than some hand treats, did not want to eat last night. We introduced her around and walked her all over the farm as well. She spent the night in the house although settled in an out of the way spot to sleep.

Today was much better for her and she played, ran, jumped, ate, drank, and was petted all day. She has barked at strange happenings appropriately and stopped as soon as she saw that we were there to investigate.

She loves the goats! But we have not allowed them free time in the same pen as yet. She longs to be at the stable with all the animals and activity with us and begs to go back when we get back to the house…lol.

I believe that she will settle in our little farm with no problems and that she will be happy here with us. I know she made each of us happy and we are very grateful to you for trusting us with her.

One more little tidbit…the puppy loves her and wants to play but she is not so sure about him as yet. To be safe with all of the animals (cats and chicken in particular) when she is with us in that part of the farm, we put a long line on her to be able to stop a chase if necessary, the pup has figured out that Sheba is attached to the line and he (about 9 weeks old) leads her around. In time, I believe those two will be the best of friends!

Have no concern for your sweet girl, she will be loved and well cared for.

I have experienced a couple of nights of deep depression at giving Sheba up.  But the overriding sense of freedom and knowing that Sheba is in doggie heaven is my overriding emotion.

And that’s the whole truth — no hypocrisy!  And I will be able to enjoy our new freedom even more since my sense of deception is off my chest!  I thought about it and realized I had originally posted fact, but I had not presented truth.  🙂

 

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47 Comments

  1. Well Sharon, whatever your original motivation, the bottom line is, now everybody is happy! Can’t complain about that!!

  2. Oh, Sharon – don’t beat yourself up! Maybe it is because I have gone through this same process with an unsuitable dog, but I saw your posts as completely honest tales of the process. I apparently got in late to the show, and thought that Sheba was a recent rescue. I was really surprised to read today that you had had her for three years. You have nothing to apologize for, Girl! Sheba, like Brenda (my St. Bernard), is in a place where everyone is happy with each other!!! Rejoice in that!!!!!

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie

    • Judie, my heart is smiling at your comment. I don’t recall having that specific sensation before! Thank you so very much! 🙂

  3. No charge! ;->

  4. Stick with me, Kid! ;->

  5. Blush!!!

    • Still no like button. I don’t know what I did to make it disappear!

  6. I have never seen one on a Blogger post, and, yes, often wish one was available. If I figure it out, I’ll let you know.

    • Good! I think if I read the post in the pop-up notification that there is one there. But not on the blog itself or on email notification of comments.

      • You’re right! I looked at your last comment on my iPad, and there is a LIKE button, but not on my computer, where I am looking at your blog post. I clicked the LIKE button, so we can see if that shows up on your regular blog post page.

  7. Looks like the answer is : “You’re out of luck”! 😦

  8. I’m off for a walk in the bright Arizona sunshine! ;-> CU later!

  9. May your brain override your emotions the next time you pass the “free” box of puppies at the Walmart entrance. 🙂

    • I told Ron if I ever fall in love with a cute little working dog puppy again and want to adopt it to just shoot me on the spot! 😀

  10. You shouldn’t have taken it down. I think everyone knew how much you loved her. It’s much harder to let something go that you love…even when you know how much better it will be and I’ve no doubt she will love the farm with all the animals and places to roam.

  11. Sharon,

    Please feel better about everything; know in your heart that this was the best of scenarios to do for Sheba.

    Years ago, when I lived on a little piece of land on the outskirts of Stockton, CA…we thought we were in heaven. But, the real-world showed up, anyway. One of things we learned was how out in the country people think differently about their animals. and in that place people would drive out and just dump them out of their cars and leave.

    Many made it to my house….they just knew 🙂

    So, I took care of them. But we ended up with too many. Some didn’t seem happy…they maybe would fight with each other. So, I had to take a hard look at the situation. I started to assess them as individuals and note what made them happy or not.

    Eventually, I came up with a plan. For the animals who could only stay with us temporarily I would find homes, but only IF the home was better than the one I offered. And to make sure…I did home visits before they were allowed to take the animal. I learned about that the hard way, when I let a dog go to someone who “said” they had a fenced yard. Since I also offered a probationary period, for them to be brought back if they didn’t work out, I got a call after a couple weeks from this same person; they were having trouble “containing” the dog. Totally confused I went there and saw the fenced “yard” was actually a plot of dirt surrounded by a water canal. I glared at the people; picked up the dog and drove away. He ended up going to another couple who part-time RV’d in their 40′ moho 6 months out of every year. That dog was in heaven…he LOVED it.

    It’s the same philosophy I’ve used ever since; if the animal is not happy with me…find the better place where it will be happy.

    And that’s what you’ve done with Sheba, Sharon…the best possible thing. You should be proud.

    And BTW, that dog with the canal? It was not one that was a stray…it was one that I bought…thinking like you that he was perfect for us. Trouble was…he didn’t like living with other animals; he wanted to be the only one.

    • Cindy, again, thank you. I was really struggling with feeling like I was a bad dog mom and that I was a failure. I kept trying to do better –or more. And it just wasn’t working. Nothing could have really fixed that except seeing how happy Sheba is after I gave her up. I do believe that she will have the happiest life possible with her new family. And it’s not failure introducing her to that life.

      And I did have three years of being loved, exercised. frustrated and entertained by her. That was a gift. 🙂

      I also appreciate your sharing your insights and experience. It helps a lot to show me that just because you don’t succeed with one dog, it does not mean that you are a necessarily a bad doggie mom!

      • That is absolutely correct, Sharon. I used to agonize terribly, over that situation I was in back then. Now, I’m truly grateful for having had that experience. You know I rescued about 25 animals on that property…we were there for 16 years. I ended up bringing 10 of them here to AZ when we moved here in 2000. If I hadn’t gone through all that…I wouldn’t have learned very much. It helps me greatly today. And you will look back on this experience and feel the same one day.

        • I’m aleady beginning to feel that way thanks to the heartfelt comments from everyone. And I can feel the depression beginning to lift!

  12. Maggie Higday

     /  March 6, 2015

    Sometimes we have to look beyond ourselves and face the facts that are in the best interest of your family and Sheba’s happiness. I think you did the best thing possible. It’s hard to give up the ones we love. I never thought any less of you. I enjoy your posts, especially since we still have snow on the ground in Iowa. Happy trails. Maggie

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    • Maggie, thank you for those magic words — that you did not think less of me. That was the whole reason I tried to soft peddle the fact that I was the one who was miserable and desperately needed relief.

      Wishing you sunshine, crocuses and daffodils! 🙂

  13. Good for you… We take in critters because they need homes, our intentions are always right and yet sometimes things just aren’t right for all involved. We shouldn’t have to feel guilty about finding a dog that doesn’t fit a home that does.

    • Yes, and it’s kind of like people, I guess. Some relationships work long-term and some don’t.

      Since I’m giving out cyberhugs today, here’s a big one for you! Thanks for commenting!

  14. Pat

     /  March 6, 2015

    I have adopted dogs in an effort to help with dog rescue and more than once I have had to find a better home for them. I was heartbroken and felt I let them down. A lady I worked with (and a huge animal lover) said to me: Animals come into our life to enhance it and when that doesn’t happen then we need to find a better home for them. That’s when I realized that I had to stop thinking mine was the best home for every dog I helped rescue. You did the unselfish thing for Sheba and I am happy to hear everyone is happy now!

    • Thanks so much, Pat. I had thought that if I were a good person, I could have been Sheba’s forever Mom. I am so glad to be proven wrong!

  15. Marcia GB in MA

     /  March 6, 2015

    Sharon, I totally understand. You really did the best thing for all involved. Our 16 year old Tanya was originally a rescue at the age of seven. She is part Norwegian Elkhound, part Aussie Cattle Dog and we think part Schipperke. Needless to say, she has always been a handful. Over the years, she resisted most of our efforts to train her. We have loved her anyway, but at her advanced age with diminished hearing and eyesight, as well as arthritis and some dementia, it has become very difficult to travel with her. I think we are facing a hard decision when we return home from Florida this spring. We hate to think about it and indeed feel guilty when we do. My hope is that she’ll decide to take matters into her own paws when she’s ready.

    • Oh, Marcia! What a difficult situation. There isn’t an easy answer. I am also facing the diminished eyesight, hearing, arthritis, dementia and chronic eye disease with Sunny. But because he is a small dog, it is easier to manage. I also hope Sunny will take the matter into his own paws.

      My heart goes out to you. Just know that you have given her years of love and care that she otherwise wouldn’t have had. 🙂

      And thank you, too, for commenting.

  16. Marcia GB in MA

     /  March 6, 2015

    Sharon, thank you for your compassionate comment. That’s really the most important thing – the love and care we provide to our furry family members. And also what they have given us over the years.

  17. I never thought you meant anything but your feelings in your first post. When you first got Sheba I don’t think you ever realized how big she would get. And yes working dogs are full of energy, they need young people and large lands to run and get out all that energy. We learn lessons every day of out lives. Like I said before it was the best thing for all concerned. LOL the Casita Must feel huge now. I bet it does. Enjoy your new freedom as Sheba is hers.

    • No, Jo, I had no idea. The woman (in the Walmart parking lot) told me she would get about knee high. So she told me a story.

      But I still should have done my research before bringing home that cute little six week old six pound ball of fur! 🙂

  18. Glad I found this post…kept trying to go back to the two other posts…about ready to write you and let you know they had disappeared!
    Sharon, I have known you for awhile now and believe me I saw NO hypocrisy in the post. I know how you have struggled with her and and know how much you love her. It must have been your sadness influencing your thinking.

    We are in a similar situation with our cats and I hesitate to write about my true feelings for fear we will be beat up…verbally.
    But, after 36 years of owning one to four cats, all rescues, I am ready to become cat less. Today was the turning point. Sylvester has wailed all day and between the stress of driving through Houston and his constant wailing, he is real lucky to be alive!
    Yesterday he cried for the first 100 miles on the road. We put him in the trailer today for an hour after he cried for 60 miles. We could get some tranquilizers. But that is not all of the problem…he shoots out the trailer door almost every time we open it.
    And there are two more cats at home..ages 10 and 12…that also need to find other homes.
    I feel guilty for wanting them gone…I also know we have a limited time on this planet and if they are making us unhappy, another solution must be found.
    Hope you are getting over any negatives around her leaving and you continue to rejoice in your freedom.

    • Lynne, I am finally happy and (mostly) guilt-free after reading all these wonderful comments about other people’s experiences dealing with the same thing.

      I also was afraid to say that life with Sheba wasn’t working because I expected to be considered heartless, too.

      But I thought of Ron and I at our age, growing older and still trying to deal with walking her on a leash — and she still has a lot of very active years left. We would certainly have eventually been injured, although Sheba would never do it deliberately. But it was almost as bad feeling that our golden years were being spent in a way that was stressing us and keeping us from doing things we would love to do while we can.

      As far as your cats, I have marveled at your dedication to cats (other than Sylvester) who were not very affectionate toward you. If I always stayed at home and could feed them I would probably do the same thing. But when you want to spend your remaining years traveling and exploring, having cats doesn’t work — except for the rare cat like a Siamese I had back in the 70’s who loved to travel. She simply slept while the car was in motion, then felt as comfortable as she did at home anywhere we visited. And she always came when called. I have not had a cat like that since then.

      And even though Sylvester is a loving cat, it is obvious that he isn’t fitting into your life now. As someone else wrote above, if pets are not enhancing your life, then you need to find another home for them.

      You aren’t doing them any good when you are out West and they are at home anyway. Does that thought help? 🙂

      Take care of you and David first.

      Isn’t it hilarious how fast I am acting as a pet problem counselor? 😀

      But I do think my newly learned advice is sound. Good luck in deciding what to do. (((Hugs)))

  19. Thanks, Sharon. I have been worrying about these cats for almost a year. Thanks for writing honestly about your problem…maybe we will also find some great solutions for the fur babies.

  20. Emily

     /  March 7, 2015

    Hooray for everyone. Jim and I are in our 70’s and we’d both like to have a dog around; BUT. . . . as you so very lovingly and caringly (don’t think there is such a word, but just made that one) wrote, we’d be in the same boat. So we have “grand-doggies”. What you wrote is so beautiful and truthful. Thank you.

    • Emily, I am still amazed at how beautifully it worked for everyone. Like a happy movie ending. 🙂

      We will still always probably have a small dog. And when Sunny goes, we’ll probably get a toy size dog. I can’t see us without a dog at all.

      But it will be a breed that is recommended for older people, where just running around the house is all the exercise they need.

      And we’ll have to plan for where the doggie goes in the likely event we die first.

      If we had grand doggies close by, that would probably be enough for us, too. 🙂

      Thanks for your comment. It made me smile in gratitude for all the beautiful souls who make my blog such a delight to me.

  21. I can only echo everyone else’s thoughts that you are being awfully hard on yourself. Many people adopt dogs, find out they’ve made the wrong choice for their family, and bail out. You took Sheba camping, to obedience school, and gave her a terrific start. Now she’s in a home with kids AND goats – can it get any better for a dog?

    Relax and enjoy your new freedom, guilt free. You did a fine job.

    • Judy, I was hoping you would comment because I know how perfect Jezzie is for you, and I really doubted that you would understand a beautiful, sweet dog like Sheba not working out for us.

      I honestly can’t imagine a happier dog life than Sheba was gifted with. I love picturing her joy and surprise at all the new discoveries she’s making. I also try to picture her sprawled out sleeping on the daughter’s bed. That’s a real stretch because we didn’t allow her on furniture at all!

      Doggie heaven for sure!

  22. Jane

     /  March 8, 2015

    I never felt for a moment that you were a martyr or a hypocrite! The fact was that you obtained a dog that wasn’t a good fit for you, but you never the less gave the dog a safe and loving home until you were able to find an even better forever home. It’s the same thing Rescue Dog
    Fosters do all the time and in my book that makes you awesome! Now stretch out in your casita and enjoy!

    • Super hugs to you, Jane.

      As a matter of fact we just got back from Camping World with a bag full of goodies, and I just finished a fried chicken lunch.

      Ron did laundry, the sun is shining, and it’s a glorious 74 degrees. The weather doesn’t get any better than this.

      And now I’m sprawled out in the Casita with the door and windows wide open debating whether I want to take a nap or just lie here luxuriating in the sounds and scents of this perfect day!

  23. You are genuine and your true feelings came across in the original post. Those of us who have followed your blog all this time ‘got it’. XOXOOXOX

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