After a few months of unsuccessful training, we have decided to take Mia back to the shelter. This was the first time we had ever purchased a dog from a shelter, and she was much harder than we thought. There were some things we just did not anticipate, and were unable to train out of her.
For one, we had to start completely over with potty-training, even though we had been told she was house-broken. We learned that she had been trained with a puppy-pad with her previous owner. Yuck! I don't know why people use those. It's like a litter box for dogs. The only place I can think of using them would be for a person stuck in a studio apartment in Manhattan.
Along with the re-potty-training, we also have had to try out several different sleeping arrangements over the past few months just to get a decent night's rest. She cried liked a baby every night when placed in her kennel. We tried doggie beds, kennels, the garage, outside, inside, all to no avail. Insanity was nearing the point of no return.
In addition to the above agonies, other reasons for giving her up include: barks incessantly when left alone, nips at both children, bolts when taken off leash, bolts when front door is open, refuses to play, lies around all day, refuses to go outside unless we go with her, and has extreme separation anxiety. (You can Google animal separation anxiety. It is a true form of mental illness for dogs and cats, especially those who have come from a shelter.)
We tried several methods of training with her, none of which corrected these bad behaviors. We have owned dogs before and have conquered these problems, but I guess she is just a special-needs dog that needs a diffrent family - one that will baby her, which I won't. I'd rather baby my babies!
At the end of it all, we just felt we were putting a lot more in than we were getting out.
I feel a little guilty putting her back into a shelter again, but at least the one we chose is a good one. It is called Lost Paws Inc., and they are a private, no-kill, 501-C shelter with a good reputation. It is the same one we got her from and I know she will be in good hands.
I am also sad that Owen and Dallin will lose their little doggie-friend. However, they are little enough that they won't remember this. Not to mention, Mia won't be wailed on every other day by two toddlers who don't know any better. That's another story.
The good news is that we will be returning a fully-potty-trained dog, and also a dog who is has put on some healthy weight. She was a scarecrow when we got her and we worked really hard to get her normal weight back up.
So today, I will say my last goodbye to her. I will miss my cuppy-cake, but it is for the best.
I think we will be fish-people for the next few years, or at least until the kids are older. Maybe then, I will finally be ready to let Jesse get his Golden Retriever or Yellow Lab that he's always wanted.