Pour forth thy power, O Lord, and come: Assist us by that mighty power, so that by thy grace and merciful kindness we may swiftly receive the salvation that our sins impede: Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Here we are! 4th Sunday of Advent already! I am amazed by how quickly Advent is passing. Christmas is upon us and I’m not sure I feel ready or prepared. The “other” preparations have taken so much time and energy that I feel that I’m only minimally prepared spiritually. I am sure that having my husband gone and welcoming my son home has made things more “difficult.” (Having my son here isn’t difficult, but of course I want to spend time with him, etc., which distracts me from other things… it’s not a bad thing, it’s just a reality!)
This past week I had to do something very difficult. I feel a little guilty about it, but I had no choice, really. Our 100lb female lab mix has been a problem for me in so many ways throughout the year. She was a gift from my dear husband. (NOTE TO YOU, DEAR READERS: Do NOT give a gift the breathes without express permission from the recipient!!!)
He was very sweet to bring her to me, but really? I didn’t want another dog. At all. I certainly didn’t want a puppy I had to house train. I MOST CERTAINLY would not have gotten a female dog if I did want one. But she was mine. I did my best to care for her. I tried to love her. I tried to train her. She was the most willful dog I’ve ever met. She simply refused to comply with the house rules (except for using the yard for the bathroom, she did catch on to that.) She would get into everything. Dump the trash cans out back. Eat food from the counter.
And she was getting aggressive. Here is the problem. It started with her growling at the cats. Then her hackles would get up when they got too near to her. Then she started growling at our toddler. At first when I witnessed it, it scared me a bit, but he was being rough with her, so i thought of it as a warning to him, from her… and as a warning to me to watch her closely when he was around. I certainly got on her about it (with the cats and the boy.) Then one night earlier this week she was lying in the living room and “the boy” went over to her and laid on her. He wasn’t poking, prodding or pulling. No biting or scratching or any other abusive behavior on his part. He just laid on her (remember, she’s 100 lbs… he’s about 28) and was petting her, hugging her, loving her and she growled and snarled the scariest thing I’ve ever seen. I saw bared teeth. She snapped (but didn’t get him.)
That was it. She crossed a line. I could not afford to wait to see if she would go any further the next time she felt annoyed with him. He is a toddler and SHE has to tolerate him. Period. So the next day I turned her into the pound for aggressive behavior. The woman at the pound was nice and understanding, but she made it clear to me that this dog had no chance. She told me she didn’t need her rabies tags or numbers.
I feel badly about that. She really wasn’t all bad, but those behaviors were not acceptable. I put up with the mess, the food stealing, the wild, goofiness, but once she was a threat to my son, that was it.
The kids were a bit upset, but they did understand. Our number 2 son was most upset, I think. He blamed himself (he thought if he gave her more attention or something it would have been different… I don’t think so. She never gave up trying to get her place in the pecking order of the pack just a little bit higher.) He left for work and she was gone when he came home. He didn’t “say good bye.” We’re all adjusting. She was such a part of our everyday lives. And now she is not. It was right, but it was not easy.
I am pleased to report that I did finish shopping before the 4th Sunday of Advent, but I have yet to wrap everything. I got a good bit done the other night, but there is still much to do. Six kids X mom, dad, grandparents and Santa (yes, we do believe in Santa) = TONS of gifts to wrap. *sigh* I’ll have to get it done TODAY. Maybe I can get the boys out with the younger ones later today so I can pull it all out and git ‘er done!
I wish you all a very merry and blessed Christmas. May the Christ Child fill your hearts with his love, grace and peace.