This is something I wrote last night (Thursday, June 27th) and posted somewhere private for a few people to read. The thing is I know someone is eventually going to ask the question I’ve been dreading so I figure I may as well just get it out now. Here’s the cut and paste.
I have had a really hard time figuring out how to talk about this so I just haven’t. Here it is though, what I’ve known since signing the lease back in May but haven’t said until now:
We’re not allowed to have dogs in our rental. Winnie can’t come with us.
I spent six months searching obsessively, looking on Kijiji and on various property management places at least 5 times per day. I’m not even kidding. I’m surprised I ever got anything else done because all my spare time was spent looking for a dog-friendly rental.
Halifax is an amazing place, a beautiful place, and I’m eager to start a new life there, but it is one of the least dog-friendly places I have ever seen.
The only places I could find that would take a dog were:
a) out of our budget
b) out in buttfuck nowhere and impossible for me to commute to work (I’m sure Eastern Passage is lovely but if I get an off-peak hours shift I’ll be unable to get to work and back)
c) would allow dogs if they were under 10 or 20 pounds. I could lie and pass my 55-pound (or more) dog off as 35 maybe, but I can’t convince anyone that she’s 10-20 pounds.
There was also one place but it was in the ONE area of Halifax that absolutely everyone said “oh hell no, don’t ever live there, EVER” (note to those who know the city, it was Spryfield) and the house was a 4-bedroom 3-level house for such a low rent you know there was something wrong. It wouldn’t have been a safe place to live and I spent time being terrified of my neighborhood when I first moved out of my parents’ place (Elmhurst & St-Jacques in NDG for locals), I can’t live like that with two young kids.
I don’t even know how to do this. My heart is broken. I don’t want to leave my dog, I love her like I haven’t loved any dog since my very first puppy. She’s so good, so smart, so full of love. A couple of weeks ago I had to leave Breanna upstairs so I could run down to get something George was dropping off (she was in her underwear so I couldn’t bring her). She hates to be alone so I said, “Winnie’s snoozing in her cage, you’re not alone!” When I came back up, Winnie had come out and was sitting, straight as a statue, fully alert, right next to her. She was guarding Breanna to make sure she was okay, sitting in front of her so that she would be between her and anyone coming in our door. Breanna said she didn’t call her, she just came out and sat there on her own. How am I supposed to say goodbye to that?
I have never once been nervous with her around the kids like I was with Pearl. I’ve heard her growl like she would rip someone’s head off, but her tail would wag the whole time so I knew she was playing. I’ve seen the kids take food out of her dish right in front of her so they could feed her by hand and she never so much as blinked about it. She’s never destroyed ANYTHING in our home other than her own stuffed animals and her stuffed bed. Twice I forgot to lock her cage at bedtime and she never came out.
She is the best dog I have ever known and it’s unfair that she can’t come with us. I had pictured her playing at Lawrencetown Beach or taking walks along the wooded paths in Point Pleasant Park. We have a fenced yard which is perfect for a dog and no rights to have a dog enjoy it. George is not a pet person, he tolerates them for us, and even he’s disappointed.
We told the kids today. It’s going to be so hard. She leaves us tomorrow. The one thing that has me at peace is that she’s going back to the girl who gave her to me. Her life situation has changed and she can have a dog now (she was pressured to give her up by the mother because she lived at home and was in school full time, working part time so it was the mother who took care of her all the time. She’s now graduated, is only working, and lives on her own.). She told me giving her up was one of her biggest regrets in life and that she would take her back in a heartbeat if we couldn’t keep her.
As I was mulling over how to handle all of this, I got an email from her out of the blue asking how she was doing and if I could send her any pictures. I took that as a sign that this is how it’s supposed to be. I didn’t hear back from her after I explained the story and was worried. I sent a second “URGENT!” message and she got back to me within an hour. The poor girl is currently over in Jordan visiting family and won’t be back until next Friday (we leave Tuesday) BUT her sister and father will come pick her up on Friday afternoon and keep her until she gets back.
I’m happy she’s going back to her. I know this girl loves my dog – her dog – like there’s no tomorrow. I know she’ll take good care of her. If I couldn’t keep her, this is the next best thing.
But I’m going to have a breakdown of epic proportions tomorrow afternoon. I’m glad the kids are going to play with their friend all day long so they won’t be here. It’s hard enough for them as it is.
It’s hard enough for me. I don’t know how to do this.
Just please know that I didn’t blow this all off. We lost out on countless houses that would have been great for us but I ignored them because they all said NO PETS. I tried for as long as I could try but I start work in the middle of July and we needed a place to live. All I wanted was a dog-friendly house in an accessible, affordable, safe area and there was just nothing. I should not even look anymore but once in awhile I go on the sites to see and there is still nothing at all that would let me keep her in the areas we need to live right now.
I’m so happy to be going but I wish it didn’t have to be like this.
I’m going to go curl up with my puppy now.
Like I said, that was last night. The girl’s sister came to pick her up today at 4 pm. It’s so strangely quiet and empty without Winnie.
I’ll write about it later but right now I just can’t. I’m happy for her, I know she’s just fine. It’s the rest of us who have to adjust.