So, some things have been going on in the background here that I may have failed to mention. Like... our new dog keeps trying to kill our cat.
That's been a bit rough & stressful and has meant that I'm pretty much on guard all my waking hours and trying to manage a rotation of pets which leaves everyone getting less than what they deserve. It has been incredibly stressful trying to make sure the kids don't accidentally let the cat into the room with the dog (which they do... every single day). Then manage the dog's destructive chewing when she has to be shut in the living room while the cat gets a few minutes out with the family.
I have tried EVERYTHING I can to slowly introduce them, having on leash meet & greet times everyday... but still... it can go from good to terrifying in a blink of an eye. This situation is just, obviously, not what we wanted. And I'm left spending all my time trying to avert disaster and am left stressed and resentful every evening.
After putting in a good 60+ days I think it's time that we just admit that this isn't working and try and find her a good cat free home to call her own. It has been very sad. She wants nothing more than to be a good companion, and that is what we all wanted, but due to our circumstances she can't be free (or even off leash) in the house most of the time. So I find myself sacrificing my own freedom and spend all my time with her in the shut off living room. A prisoner to the dog's needs. While the cat then goes ignored all day.
So, yesterday I finally had the little pep talk with myself that went something like... "When can I put my needs over anything else's?" "Do I really have to live my life like this for the next 10+ years because I don't want to disappoint the Humane Society?!" And let me be clear that our Humane Society is very nice and not a high kill shelter and that she will most CERTAINLY be adopted immediately because of her size and her good with kids status. She had only been there 4 days before we adopted her.
But, really, am I not allowed to put myself before the animals?
If we don't take her back and she accidentally (or accidentally on purpose) kills our cat... isn't that horrific negligence on our part? Is our cat's actual life worth less than being good adoptive dog parents and committing to her no matter what?
So, now I'm thinking of it in terms of fostering her. We gave her a great loving foster home for 2 months. We can now vouch that she is great with kids and bad with cats so that she can move forward into the right placement for her. She can now sit, lay down, and fetch. And the Humane Society has gotten hundreds of dollars in adoption & relinquishing fees to boot.
P.S. I should note that the Humane Society said they were 100% confident she was good with cats...
So, there's that.
And I've gone off coffee & wheat.
It's day 3.
Kid said to me yesterday... "Mom, please make yourself a cup of coffee!"