It’s been a while. I have been on and off with my diet, we had a bit of an upheavel in my RL and I am being a bit of a debbie downer about it.
We had our pug, Mr Tom a few years ago, we rescued him at 8/9 years old and he was a slow, quiet, docile old thing who mostly just slept. Adorable! Wasn’t a jumper so couldn’t get up the stairs or on the sofas, and we loved him. Sadly he passed away a few months ago and I always said NO MORE DOGS – this is my 3rd dog heartbreak and I didn’t feel I could take it. Also we have two cats. One is more dominant and the other is seemingly quiet, shy and retiring who is scared of her own shadow. They weren’t in love with the dog, but they also weren’t really bothered by him, although the more docile cat – Molly – took her fair share of swipes at him, but he bowed his head and she let it go.
2 weeks ago we were selected to adopt 2 pugs. Mother and Daughter – Millie and Tilly – I didn’t even think twice about this, I was prepared for double costs, poops, walking etc… but what I did not count on – was the cats hating every second of it.
I bought them home and while they would all eat treats together in a ring, as soon as food was out the way all bets were off. I thought I’d have trouble with the more dominant cat, but she just took a swipe when the smallest dog went for her and got out of harms way – not perfect solution – but workable. The other cat? Molly? That timid shy thing that runs from her own shadow? turned into a vicious beast. She drew blood – several times – she hissed at their every movement, she swatted and battled and unlike Mr Tom, they battled back. Not Millie (5 yr old mother of 3 yr old Tilly) so much, but Tilly may not have aggressively fought back, but she defended herself, and who could blame her?
I thought this would pass, people kept saying give it time, give it time. I booked trainer appointments, I got plug ins, eventually the cat was put on anti anxiety medication but it didn’t help, it just kept pilling on, they couldn’t walk thru the living room door without the cat attacking them, I couldn’t leave the room without ensuring either that cat or the dogs were with me, twice I had to run down the stairs straight from the toilet almost killing myself with my trousers round my ankles cos I could hear them kicking off – and with their flat faces, pugs eyes are SO vulnerable, a claw in the wrong area could set them back for life. People suggested sectioning off areas of the house, there is nothing I could do to stop the cats getting into any of the rooms except the bedrooms, its an open plan house, but we did start shutting the dogs into the kitchen if we were going out. I feel like everyone is pointing and judging with the ” you didn’t try hard enough” – people haven’t as far as I know, they’ve all agreed it was the best thing for all involved, and no shame in that.
I was a bag of nerves, I couldn’t eat, I wasn’t sleeping. While these two lovable dogs just wanted to be on my lap constantly, which was fine, as soon as they moved it was a pet war zone, I am not even exaggerating. I hadn’t counted on this and it threw me.
Less than two weeks after we picked them up so excited I broke everyones heart and after a discussion with my vet and my girls dad, and the foster mum of the dogs, I decided they had to go back and I haven’t stopped crying since. I feel like a failure. I feel like I offered these dogs their forever home and didn’t try hard enough to make it work. They were not ever left alone with the cats if I was out, but I stopped going anywhere because I didn’t want them to be shut in the kitchen while I galavanted, they aren’t senior dogs that just wanted to sleep and they weren’t allowed to roam, because I feared the cat would maim them, I felt like a prisoner in my own home, even when I was in my own home and I literally sat crying all the time, about the fighting, about everything.
Reality is the longer it went on, the more aggressive and in their face the cat got unless held back. It wasn’t constant, but it was unpredictable. I didn’t want them to get damaged eyes and I also had to think about the welfare of my cats too. A lot of people said “get rid of the cat?” I couldn’t do that – what kind of person would that make me? Out with the old and in with the new? Not my style. Shes not an aggressive cat, pugs are not an aggressive breed – but these two together just wasn’t working.
I feel awful, I have broken my own heart, I am pretty sure I have broken my girls hearts. The foster mum is a lovely LOVELY lady and I drove 200 round miles with my own mum to drop them back, I didn’t want to keep them for Christmas as that felt wrong, and I also wanted them to be out of harms way. As soon as they were back in her home Tillys tail shot up, I hadn’t seen it up around the cats at all, only when Molly was out of the way, they ran around with the ladies dogs and they looked at home. I don’t think i’ve ever felt so much of a failure in my life.
I know deep down they are better off, we have kept in touch and she said they are fine, settled and its like they’ve never been away. The cats, however, are still fighting amongst themselves – but I hope that will get better – they’ve only ever done that once before. I just feel so low.
I was prepared to pay the earth – I told the charity to keep the adoption fees, I didn’t want a refund, it wasn’t about the money – I bought vaccinations for life that will carry over and all their new crates and bedding and toys went with them. The foster mum tells me this goes to show how huge my heart is – I don’t feel like it is.
I should take it as a learning curve, I know. Not all dogs can get on with all cats, but I’ve sat this morning looking at friends photos of their dog/cat combos and I can’t help feeling like that could have happened – but as everyone keeps pointing out, it may not have too, and with damage being done to one of the four animals that I would never forgive myself for.
I keep trying to convince myself I did the right thing for all, I am probably the one suffering the most – they are loved and happy and out of the cats claws reach, the cats are slowly coming back to normality, the kids will bounce back no doubt – but I feel like this dwelling is never ending.
It’s not as easy as just “moving on” when you feel you’ve done something wrong. I just wish I could feel better.
Sorry just waffling here as it’s the only place I can waffle.
I didn’t give them away cos I couldn’t be arsed, or that I just got bored, they were rescue dogs, with rescue cats – where no backgrounds are really known – and I did it for the wellbeing of all the fur babies, some ppl say it was selfless, but I don’t see that.
Yeah, I haven’t convinced myself yet. I doubt I ever will.
I feel like utter shit on a stick.