She’s Gone

baby stella                                               stella and bone


I gave our dog away today. I have been sitting here crying ever since, even though I know it was the right thing to do.  I gave her to relatives of a good friend. These people are dog people.  The wife even has two crates, so that she can take her dog to work. They have a lake house and a beach house.  They take their dogs to both.

Stella Blue Danger knew what was happening the minute the people walked into our house.  She got nervous and rowdy and started barking!  She never barks!  I felt instantly guilty, as though I was giving one of the children away.

We made a hasty decision to get another dog 2 months after our 8 year old Labradoodle passed away from stomach cancer a year ago this past New Year’s.  We went as a family and picked out our Goldendoodle puppy.  We expected her to turn out all golden and curly.  That did not happen.  I compared her to our children, none of whose hair turned out like their father’s….he has extremely curly hair-basically an afro. I had so wanted them to all have his hair!  Instead, they got mine-straight as a stick.  I did not want to send them back, though.  And, so, I had to feel the same about Stella Blue Danger.

She was named Stella Blue after the Grateful Dead song, and the “Danger” was added after my brother’s dog, my nephdog, Danger, The Desert Poodle, passed, at age 15.  She was beautiful, even if she wasn’t curly.  I called her “Mullet”: she was “all business in the front and all party in the back”.   She was a good dog.  The only problem was that she was not hypoallergenic.

Is any dog truly hypoallergenic ? I am sure they are not.  The issue with Stella was that she had a shedding problem.  She shed so badly that it was like a cancer patient on chemo.  She shed so much hair, each day, that she could make at least 3 wigs per day.  Her hair was everywhere-all over the floor, the furniture, and traveling through the air vents.  And the main problem was that I am allergic to dogs and cats.  The more they shed, the more I am allergic to them.  My allergist said that I would need to start getting allergy shots because of my asthma.

There was so much dog hair in our kitchen, that I felt it was unsanitary.  Forget my allergies–I did not want to cook in there.  I did not want to serve food that was cooked in that room!  I bought a Roomba, and not the bottom of the line Roomba!  My husband bought a Dyson! I was having to clean out the Roomba’s trash bin at least 3 times per cleaning session.

We gave it much thought and deliberation.  We decided that the very best thing would be to give Stella to a loving home-a home where the people did not mind the shedding; a home where the people had time to walk her and deal with her, and wanted to.  We were not on a search for said people–they came to us.

I had to talk to Mini Me.  He wanted to take Stella to school with him next year.  I knew he would be upset.  I also knew he did not need a dog.  He needed a dog as much as he needed a baby!  At first, he balked.  His girlfriend helped talk him down, and eventually, he came to the understanding that giving Stella a new home was for the best.  The Middle Child is my bleeding heart.  She knows that things might be better elsewhere, but the thought of giving up our family pet is simply too heartbreaking to imagine. She’d rather cut off her right arm (she’s left-handed;) The Baby simply said, “okay”.

I knew the people were going to contact me and come today, yet, when they actually did contact me, I was unprepared.  I was on my way to meet Mini Me-to swap cars.  I knew I had to tell him.  I also wanted to make sure that there would be no ill-will betwixt us.  He assured me that he was at a place of acceptance, and knew that it was for the best.  I cried and we hugged and I knew it was okay.

Lucky for me, I was alone when the family arrived.  I had already packed Stella’s things–knowing they would love her.  Apparently, Stella was sensitive to this.  She barked at the family when they came through the door, which was extremely unlike her.  It took a bit to calm her.  They assured me that they would take good care of her. They even have two large crates so that the mother can take Stella to work with her! They have a beach house and a lake house.  We have a beach place, but we cannot take Stella there.  They have a fenced in back yard…the shedding does not bother them…they were going home to give her a bath…I apologized for not having the time to do it for them. I cried. God, did I cry.  I cried the ugly cry. 

I helped them load Stella and all of her stuff, tears streaming down my face.  The mother hugged me and said we could visit anytime.  These are good people.  Stella is better off.  She will have a better life. Sometimes that is hard to admit. When it comes to a dog, it’s a very important thing to be able to admit.  A dog deserves a happy, healthy life with people who can and will give it the attention that it needs.  I believe that Stella Blue Danger will have that now.  Even though I am still crying, I am happy.  I know that we did the right thing.

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