Well, Noah doesn't live with me anymore. I'm tearing just typing that. It all started on Saturday morning. I was off to the vet with Noah because of his strange and unpredictable behavior. The result? The vet examined him, and besides a hotspot on his thigh, (which he gave me cream for) he sat me down and told me what he expected it might be. He suggested Noah's issue was he was just too dominant for me. I could work with him, but it would have to be leash corrections every hour. Every. Hour. I thought that I just couldn't do that, and was beginning to wonder what to do. He said there would never be a cure for his issues. He suggested Noah be rehomeed to someone with more dog experience (like a trainer) to give him the help he needs. I was silent in the car.
At night, we hung out comfortably (he wasn't getting up and playing), until it was time for us to head to bed. I tried to take him out one last time. I clipped his leash to his collar and with no warning what so ever, he lunged up and bit my hand hard. I put him into his crate, shut the door and cried. And there is where my family found me, sitting on the floor in tears. I think it was my stepsister who gave me a hug and said, "We know you love him, but he needs more than that." I knew then what I had to do.
All week I called rescues. No one would take Noah, because he bit people. Last night, my stepmother came home and said that she found a home for Noah. Just like that. She loved dogs, worked with dominant dogs and had been to our house before (my stepmom has a social group) and loved Noah. They had a giant yard, two teenage sons, and she could devote her time and attention to him, because she worked with dogs all the time. I asked her a million questions like what her family was like. Their dog had just died, and they were ready to open their hearts to a new one. I met her, and she was just so kind. They were ready to take him soon. "How soon?" I asked. "Tonight," my stepmom replied. "She wants to help him right away."
Noah was laying in my lap, with his giant brown eyes looking at me. I knew he wasn't a happy dog. Still....tonight? I thought. I won't have a chance to say goodbye. But I knew that if I kept him one more day, I would keep him forever. I nodded, tears flowing. I talked to the woman who was going to take him and cried. I packed up his things, (everything from leashes, to a new bag of food, to doggie mouthwash...yes really!) and cried. I wrote his new forever family a letter of instructions and cried. Everything from his hypoglycemia and his strict eating schedule, to his food allergies, to the park he loves to go to. I packed his favorite blanket given to him by Nannie and a T-shirt with my scent on it, in case he got scared.
Then we went on one last walk. I let him sniff and mark everything to his hearts content, from phone poles to stop signs, to his favorite tree. Half of me wanted to stay in the 20 degree temps and never take him home, but eventually we rounded the corner to my house.
"You be good okay?" I said. "I still love you. Always will." I scooped him up. I kissed the top of his head. He gave me a quick lick on the nose, as if to say "Thank you." And my stepsister gentlely put him in his crate to take him to his new home.When Noah met his new family, they were smiling from ear to ear. He ran right to his "mom" as if he always belonged. She picked him up. "Tell Katie he will always be loved. She doesn't have to worry." She called me later that night and said she'd love to send me e-mails and pictures and even visits as he grows up. I told her I would love that.
Last night, I couldn't sleep. The space next to next to my bed where Noah's crate should be was empty. I heard no puppy dreaming sounds or light snoring. Eventually, I turned on my TV and fell asleep to Conan O'Brien bouncing around like an idiot.
I hope I did the right thing for my little guy. Be well Noah. Thank you for being such a wonderful part of my life. I'll never forget you.