This is a really hard one for me to write.
I found myself screaming at my dog recently.
Actually, let me elaborate. That in itself is not all that unusual – I yell at Lamborghini almost daily. I don’t want to, but she’s the puppy from hell at times.
No, I’m talking about soul-rending, sobbing, mental breakdown screams. In the middle of the street. While neighbors were passing by, likely wondering what on earth was going on with me.
Why was I that angry at Lambo? It’s a long story. Pull up a chair. Hope you have a minute.
You see, from the start, Lamborghini hasn’t been the dog I wanted her to be.
It’s not fair to her, I know, but I wanted our sweet, perfect Autumn back.
And although Lamborghini is from the same breeder and bloodlines, she is not Autumn and never could be. Lambo is her own dog – and right now, she’s a wild, unruly, under-socialized, gigantic pandemic puppy.
It was unrealistic and unfair of me to get Lamborghini under these circumstances. It was all my doing – both E and X were against it from the start.
The truth: had I known how stressed out I would get over a large, rambunctious and unbelievably destructive puppy, we never would have made the decision to bring Lambo home.
A year ago, when I made the decision to put a deposit down on a future Goldendoodle puppy, there was a lot we didn’t know. We had no way to foresee that our lives were headed down a very stressful path. All I was knew was that we had a huge hole in our hearts from the sudden, tragic loss of our beloved Autumn. I wanted to ease that grief and stop that pain in any way that I could.
There was no way I could know that Xage would end up in the hospital not once but three times in 2021. I couldn’t possibly have imagined that the pandemic would go on and on despite the vaccines. I never expected how hard it would be on me to run a business, manage our family’s daily lives, bear the stress of a chronically ill child AND raise and attempt to train a puppy from hell.
I didn’t envision the stress a puppy could create for our whole household – not just the humans. I didn’t realize that bringing an enormous Goldendoodle puppy home would drive our sweet cat Galaxy into permanent hiding and also make life tougher for our poor tiny dog, Dani.
If I’m being completely honest, by bringing Lamborghini into our lives, I have wrecked any semblance of peace in our home.
When I cried and screamed in the street recently, it was me finally realizing and acknowledging what I have done. That I have made a difficult season in our family’s lives worse. That I selfishly wanted Autumn back so badly I was willing to do anything – and that I made a terrible mistake.
Lamborghini is not a bad dog – I honestly don’t believe there are bad dogs. She is beautiful, sweet and loves us all so very much. She does very well in training classes as she is smart and extremely food motivated. She loves to play and be crazy, but she is also very good about lying quietly in her crate for a few hours each day so I can get some work done. She also sleeps like an angel all through the night in her crate.
But anytime she’s not in her crate, Lambo has to be watched constantly. If she is bored, she will destroy and eat things around the house. She is determined to devour every sock and pair of underwear we own. Daily, she throws up or poops out items of clothing, cloth masks and anything else she has been able to scavenge in the moments when I had to run to the bathroom or quickly change a load of laundry over to the dryer.
Autumn was peaceful and serene. She was the center of peace in our family.
Lambo is exhausting and exasperating. She is the center of chaos in our home.
None of this is Lamborghini’s fault. She’s only 8 months old – she is still a baby in so many ways! But she is huge. And strong. She has hurt me several times on walks by yanking her leash so hard that she wrenches my shoulder, wrist or thumb in the process. I could never ask anyone else to walk her – especially not someone younger or smaller than me.
We’re working on leash manners in training class, but she is very excitable and still takes off after every squirrel, leaf or dog she sees.
Walking Autumn and Dani together was a breeze. We had a yoke for their leashes so I held one leash and the dogs walked together in harmony. Plus, Autumn knew the boundaries of our yard so I could let them out off-leash on rainy or cold days. For the most part, they stayed close and came back when called.
Walking Dani and Lamborghini is a stressful nightmare that I must endure multiple times a day, every day. We don’t have a fenced in yard so there’s no other option – I have to go with them even in the coldest and nastiest weather. I can’t let the dogs out off-leash; Lambo is an insane hooligan and I wouldn’t blame Dani if she ran away to get away from her troublesome sister.
My beloved family will help me with taking the dogs out if I’m on the verge of tears or a nervous breakdown, but otherwise they see Lambo as my responsibility and problem. They are right; I did this. I insisted on getting the puppy. I was blind to how bad it could be.
I now understand why good people return dogs to shelters; I finally get it. The day that I broke down in the street outside our house, I came back in and told E in tears that I want to re-home Lamborghini. He was shocked and very kind to me – he knows how much I love Lambo and that I must have been pushed to my breaking point to say this.
We are trying one last resort: I dropped Lamborghini off today for a board and train program with Pawsitively Blessed dog training. The training will include learning to wear an e-collar. I apologize to everyone I’ve judged in the past for putting e-collars on their dogs. It has always seemed barbaric and mean to me, but I now see it as a necessary evil.
If Lambo can learn to behave with professional training and an e-collar, we’ll be able to remain her forever family. If she remains as willfully disobedient and wild as she is today, I don’t think we’re going to be able to keep her.
Lambo has two and a half weeks of training before she comes home. Then, there will be multiple training classes for us with Lambo to be sure we’re keeping up all her training and doing everything the way she learned it.
She’s a smart girl. I have high hopes. But we NEED some peace back in this house. We NEED a break from the canine-caused insanity.
I’m hoping that over these 2.5 weeks, we will all miss Lambo and realize that we’re better off with her! I’m a little afraid that it will be so peaceful and lovely for the next 2.5 weeks that we will decide she’s just not a good fit for our family.
I never thought I would put an e-collar on a dog. I never thought I would re-home a dog we love. I truly hope the former will make the latter unnecessary.
And I do miss sweet, crazy Lamborghini already – I really do. But gosh, the house is peaceful and quiet tonight.