Doing the right thing.

When people talk about doing the right thing, it's usually regarding something other than the relationship had with a dog. In the last week, I made a heart-wrenching decision based on a a culminating event. Bailey has struggled to live in the city with me. She is stressed daily, she's conflicted daily, and she's unhappy... daily.

Bailey has been taking vacations to visit my mom for weeks at a time since early summer. This was to help give her time to relax so that she could live with me in the city again. And for a while it worked really well! She'd go away for a week or two, I'd pick her up and life would be okay for a couple more weeks in the city. And then it stopped working. She started getting anxious when I'd leave my bedroom to take a shower, she'd be so scared of being out of my bedroom that she'd just glue herself to my leg, and then she was so over threshold that she was getting upset with Buzz almost daily. We tried a lot of management techniques with very little, to no, improvement. I tried giving her Clonidine more regularly but it wasn't even helping on the evenings I had to work.

Last Sunday,she was dropped off at my house after her most recent vacation with my mom.

The scenario went something like this:
Brother calls--he's here!
I go outside to get her and she's so happy and wiggly!
We get her stuff out of the car and head toward the house.
She steps inside the house. Her tail drops, her ears go back, and I stared in disbelief... I didn't know what to do.

She was terrified of being in this house. It has so many negative associations that I just can't undo, that she just can't overcome. I know she's a sensitive soul and she was trying so damn hard, just so I could have her with me.

Last week I made the decision to let Bailey live with my mom indefinitely. I did not make this decision lightly, in fact I stressed about it for days. In the end, all of the friends I discussed it with agreed: she's so unhappy living here with me. It's such an unnecessary unhappiness as well. When she's at the farm with my mom, she's a completely different dog. She woo-woos in the morning because she's just so damn happy. She goes for multiple walks each day, in the middle of nowhere. She can relax in any area of the house she chooses because there are no other dogs.

I'll still see her, and I'm sure I'll visit more often now, but she won't have to come back to the city with me. My mom says she looks for me to come home from work every day for the first week or so, but then it gets better.

I'm not doing the right thing for me, because I tried that already, and it didn't work out. I'm doing the right thing for Bailey, because she deserves it.

I still hope that I will be able to change my living, and work, situation to accommodate her better in the future. For now though, I won't feel guilty for putting her through so much every single day.

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