This content uses referral links. Read our Disclosure Statement for more info.

Saying Good-Bye To Our First Dog

     Giving up a family pet is one of the hardest times that a family may have to go through.  I am writing my experience with our first dog to maybe help those who are having to go through the same thing.  It is not an easy choice, and their will be backlash among family and friends.

     When my husband, Jason, and I moved to San Antonio, we were very much newly weds.  Knowing we wanted to start a family, we decided on getting a family dog first.  I mean, if you can't take care of a dog then you probably shouldn't bring children into this world, right?

     In San Antonio, there are hundreds and hundreds of stray dogs.  It is said that they euthanize around 400/week.  I'm not sure if that is still an accurate statistic, but even so, it is very upsetting.   We knew for sure we wanted to save a dog from this horrible fate.  I honestly believe that you can find a better dog at the pound than from paying hundreds, to even thousands, on a pure bred.

     On the day we went to the pound one of the kennels had a litter of four dogs, about eight months old.  We took each of them out, one at a time.  We wanted to see how they would interact with us.  The first three only seemed to care about everything going on around us.  Being outside, playing with the other dogs, and all the other people were all more interesting than us.  The last dog we took out stayed right by our feet, and then when we sat, he couldn't wait to get in our lap and cuddle.  This was the dog.

     We named our new addition after the park where our favorite MLB team played; Fenway.  Fenway was a very lovable dog.  About a year, or so, after he came home with us, we had our first daughter,
Ashley.  Fenway was fantastic with her as a baby.  We really thought we had lucked out with him.  Besides the fact that he wasn't the brightest dog, he would run right into a wall (LOL), and he didn't walk well on a leash, he was the perfect dog for our family.

     We moved around with Fenway quite a bit.  He would be nervous and have anxiety with each move, but then he would relax and be his normal self.  We moved into our house when Ashley was around three years old and Fenway was five. One day, the three of us were all in the kitchen.  I was facing the stove cooking dinner, and Ashley was playing behind me.

Then I heard it...

     The growl...AND...THAT...SCREAM... I turned and saw blood going down Ashley's cheek and Fenway cowering in the corner.  He knew he had messed up.  There was a light scratch on her cheek, and a 1/4" gash only about half an inch from her eye.

     HALF AN INCH AWAY...."What would have happened if it was ON her eye?"  I've had to get
that awful thought out of my mind many times.  We immediately brought her in to the doctor and she put some liquid glue on the spot.  To this day, (over two years later) she still has that faint mark on her face as a permanent reminder.

     At first, understandably, we wanted to throw the dog outside and be done with him.  We wanted to drive him to the pound and just leave him.  But we couldn't.  We let a few days pass before and we decided we'd give him another shot.  He was our first baby and we wanted to give him a second chance.  We loved that dog and were just hoping for the best.  Also, Ashley was known to antagonize him, which caused him to defend himself at times.  This was more her age of understanding the situation.

     Through out the next year, he would always get a little snippy with Ashley, but nothing to really worry about.  We were very aware where they both were at all times.  Ashley loved Fenway just as much as we did, and loved to hang on him and play with him.  He wasn't such a fan.  About a year after the first incident I heard the same noise.  The growl and the scream.  Luckily no blood was shed, just a scared little girl.

     That was the last straw.  We had to do something.  With a heavy heart I posted it on Facebook and informed everyone that we were looking for a home for him.  We still loved Fenway, but he just could not live with us anymore.  Our child had been hurt and if something worse happened, it would've been our fault for keeping him.

     We had people who were very against what we were doing, and made it clear to us.  We heard, "You're just going to throw him out?  He's one of your children!"  Yes, we treated him like a true family member, but we stepped back and put it into perspective.  There were fights over it, and long (heated) conversations.

     We did not budge.  Ashley had been hurt by this dog and it was apparent that the situation was not going to change.  We TRIED.  We did.  He did not change, so we were adamant about finding a new home for him. USA, LLC

     I was so very thankful when one of Ashley's old teachers, who had also babysat for us at our house, wrote that she wanted Fenway.  She said she had loved him since she met him.  Who can blame her, he really was a great dog! We were so elated to find a good home for him.  We gave her everything we had for him.  Hopefully, having his stuff with him, at his new home, was a slight comfort to him.

     The house was very quiet afterwards.  We no longer heard the clicking of his nails on the floor.  We no longer had his fur all over everything (okay so this might be a plus).  We no longer had someone to perk up at night whenever he heard a suspicious noise.  We no longer had our first baby.  It was a very sad time, but slowly it got easier.

     About a year and a half later, we did get another dog again.  Her name is Daisy.  More on her in another post!

     Have you ever had to give up one of you pets?  If so, feel free to comment and tell your story.