But this isn’t about me. This is about my wonderful lab mix Demyx. He’s been my bud since he was 10 weeks old. He was with me when my RA began to get worse. He was with me when I had my daughter and nearly all of my attention went to her. He’s been with me through several moves and has handled each one pretty darn well. He was with me when I started my training business (and was actually pretty cool with me constantly coming home smelling like other dogs).
There came a time though, when I had so much going on that I was too tired to do anything with Demyx. That’s when our relationship began to fall apart. I first noticed the little changes. He didn’t always greet me at the door. He wouldn’t check on me when he came back in from outside (something he’s always done since he was a pup). He spent most of his time sleeping in the bedroom. He preferred to sleep on the floor instead of in the bed with me after my husband left for work in the morning.
It got worse. He was depressed. Normally a very patient guy with my daughter, he began to growl if she even touched him. He started becoming more stressed and reactive. With all of the things I was already dealing with, I became frustrated with him. The changes happened so gradually that at first I didn’t realize what was happening. All I knew was that my dog wasn’t acting like my dog anymore and his behaviors were creating more issues for me to deal with when I was already feeling overwhelmed.
We went to visit family for a week and we boarded Demyx. I didn’t miss him. Not once. That was when I knew I was in trouble and something needed to change. I seriously considered re-homing him. I didn’t have the physically ability to give him the exercise and mental stimulation he needed each day. He had no patience at all for my daughter at this point and I had to keep them almost constantly separated. I thought maybe he’d do better with someone else who could meet his needs.