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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Second Guessing...

I have a long history of second guessing some of the decisions I make. One of the ones on my mind lately has been not to keep Sterling. I didn't because I could not have another dog and still raise, but at the same time I so wish there had been a way to keep him in my life. At the time the placement seemed just about perfect, but after many months I wonder if it would not have been better to have GDB place him so that I would not feel so responsible for his continued care. Now that is not to say he is not cared for and loved: of course he is. But my level of ownership seems to differ from others. I want my dog to have a job, some structure, eat great food, and be an integral part of my life. I want a partner, a friend, a confident companion. I understand many people just do not view dogs in that respect, but it is something I am having a hard time accepting. Maybe it is just the holidays....the last two holidays I spent with Sterling: first as a baby puppy, last as a wonderful adult. I know that not every situation is perfect. I am so happy that he is loved and thankful that I get to see him still.
Sterling a black lab with a blocky head and amber eyes looks slightly off in the distance while standing on a bright field of snow the only color other than black is his bright amber eyes and green ID tag holder.

7 comments:

Heather and Ellie said...

Sterling's eyes are so striking! He's a beautiful dog.

I can completely understand being unsure of making that decision.
It's a big one to make.

Ro said...

I don't have experience with second guessing the decision to keep an animal, but I have a lot of experience with the second guessing. I second guess myself all the time. I think about past boyfriends, past jobs, past whatevers, and I second guess. I second guess blog posts I write, or emails, or things I said to friends. Most of these things turned out just ehw ay they were supposed to, and I feel blessed that I have that trust, trust in myself, trust in the bigger picture.

I remember once when I was second guessing something pretty major. A friend told me about the time when she lived in DC and she was struggling with that same feeling, wondering, regret, etc. Her friend took her to a museum and had her stand as close to a huge painting as she could without her nose touching the painting. She asked what my friend saw. My friend saw brush strokes. Raised parts of the paint. A few colors. Then her friend said, now back slowly away, and tell me what you see with every step. Slowly the painting came into view. Her friend told her, right now, today, this minute, all we see is the brush stroke. It might take years to back away and see the entire picture.

I live by that story in my life today. When I think about a year ago, and can't even believe what all has happened, how much has changed. A year ago if you had told me I would love my life like I do, I would have laughed in your face. Because I was focused on the brush stroke.

You probably won't stop second guessing yourself. But those times will be more and more fleeting as the bigger picture develops.

Deborah said...

I hate it when I second guess. Everyone does it. I hope you can find some kind of peace that he is in a nice home.

Cabana's Puppy Raiser said...

Thank you for your honesty. I can totally understand where you are coming from. My fear regarding Cabana is that I will feel like you do about Sterling--look back and wonder if I made the right decision. I have been wishing that we had some friends that we could place Cabana with, or that GDB will place her with someone who lives in our area so we can still see her sometimes. But my husband was just saying today that he thinks a clean break is better. I see his point, but a clean break is painful!

But it IS soooo nice that you can still see Sterling sometimes, instead of that finality of saying goodbye and never seeing him again. I guess there's no perfect scenario. We make the choice and have to keep moving forward, rather than looking back. Because looking back and second guessing doesn't do much good!

Elizabeth and Peyton said...

I totally understand where you're coming from, Sarah. Try not to fret too much, though. What will be will be. And Sterling sure has striking eyes!

Emily and the Labradors said...

I'm sorry you are missing your boy, but I know he is loved in his new home! I guess I sometimes second guess my decision to place my first puppy with friends... but she is loved. She may not have gotten any more training or gone many places, but she is a part of their family and interestingly because of her I am closer to my friends. So maybe it isn't the exact life I would want a dog to have, but she is still in a great place and I do get updates on her from time to time. I'm not sure if it is going to work to see her in 2 weeks while I am in CA since her parents have moved from the Bay Area, but I think my friends will at least be attending graduation. In the 10+ years since we have graduated from college we could have easily lost touch, but because of this one dog, we are still good friends. So my point here is that it may not be exactly what you pictured, but there may still be some hidden benefits to come!

lindsey said...

I have these feelings too about 2 of my past pups in particular...First, Ontario...did I do the right thing giving him to the person he is with now? I know he is loved and well cared for, but I miss him a lot.

And then there is Brogan... He was probably my biggest heartbreak dog. I was not in a position where I could keep him when he was career changed, and I found out his first raisers wanted him back...so I let them have him. After they had him for 1 year, I got an email saying that maybe they didn't want to keep him anymore. 1 year after that email, I got another one, saying they were sure they didn't want him anymore and wanting to know if I wanted him or wanted to place him, cause otherwise they were going to give him back to GDB to place. By this time I had a close friend who wanted a cc and I had always told her that she would have been perfect for Brogan...so I offered him to her--(with the thought that if she didn't want him, I would keep him myself)...of course she jumped at the chance to take him, and it's been amazing for her family and Brogan...but lately I've been babysitting him when she has been out of town...and especially when he is at our house, I just kick myself that I didn't keep him the second time...

Just know that even though it's hard and you gave your heart to Sterling, he is loved. There will be others that come along that you will have that same connection or even stronger connection with. Plus, You can't keep all the dogs you raise if you plan to continue to raise.