"I'm sorry, sorry ohhhh" - Femi Kuti, Sorry Sorry *Francois K Dub Mix* (Shoki Shoki)
It's time for me to let him go. We can't do it any more. I get home later than expected and he looks at me with sullen eyes. I look around the apartment and see new damage that he's caused to spite me. Our relationship is strained beyond anything it's ever been. I don't let him sleep in the bed with me anymore. He doesn't seek me out to rub his belly or his forehead. We walk around each pretending like the other doesn't exist. He's got an ear problem I can't afford to get fixed. A skin condition that is deteriorating. I know his wailing when I'm not home (and often while I'm there) disturbs my neighbors. It's time for Bailey to find a new home.
I'm searching for the right humane society or rescue home to take him to next week (March 8th will be his send-off date, enough time for him to finish the little champions casserole dinners I bought for him and get his shots and a good bath and some extra walks from me) and I'm sad about it but I'm not heartbroken. He's been in my life since October of 1998. Him and that apartment are the only physical links to a completely different life for me. Having him is a constant reminder of an old relationship, an old friendship, and old pain. Part of the reason that I hate my apartment is because of the connection it has to the toughest emotional time in my life. I wonder if the neglect that Bailey has been receiving from me has to do a little bit with that as well. It's not the majority of it. Mostly it's because I no longer have the time to spend quality moments with him. We used to walk 4 times a day, go on hikes on the weekends, spend time at the dog park. I used to get him groomed once a month. I used to take him everywhere with me. My car has some remnants of his hair in it but there was a time when I would need to put down towels for people lest they want a back covered in strands of dog fur. I just don't have the time nor, to be as honest as possible, the desire to alter my schedule to maintain his quality of life.
Apartment dogs need a lot of damn care. He can't run free during the day so I really need to be there every 6 hours or so to walk him and make sure he's okay. I can't do it. I want my time at work, I want my time with my friends, I want my time out experiencing life.
What I've realized is that it's unfair of me to deny him the same things.
So, a week from tomorrow, he'll have to find a new home.
I hope it's better than the one he's leaving.