Well, after threatening for the last two years, I finally did it.
I put the dogs on craigslist.
Ike and Mamie, sweet little cute toy poodles.
Ike has been with us since our first Christmas as man and wife. Mamie followed the next spring as a playmate and future mate for Ike. We've had good times. These dogs moved with us 7 times, had two litters of puppies --BOTH while I was pregnant with Jack.
Now, three boys and four deployments later, numerous TDYs (air force term for business trips), and even the minivan getting a little cozy... it's time.
I've decided it is best for me (and in turn, my family) if I send the dogs on to their next home. Mike, being the understanding husband that he is, see's how much responsibility I have and has looked away as I kick out the dogs. I think he's a little sad. Yesterday while we were tidying up the kitchen he started singing "Cruela DeVil." I told him to hush.
Ike and Mamie are now living in "Country Club Estates" across the street from the Clyde golf course. Their new mama was so excited to get them. She assured me that they would be spoiled rotten. Their new daddy asked if Ike was housebroken. He also asked if they were accustomed to sleeping in their kennel. The couple, Ann and Gary, are in their early 60s, perfect! Young enough to keep up with Mamie and old enough to sit and hold Ike. Grand kids frequent their home. They have a swing set and kids toys in the HUGE manicured backyard. Gary put Jack and Ty on a power wheel and let them drive around the backyard. Their back patio is as big as the Snyder's house, and their home has lots of tile floors. Easy cleanup as Ike will probably go around marking everything.
And how does giving my dogs away make me feel?
Well, a little bit like a failure but mostly: confident.
I'm confident that Ann will be a better "mom" to the dogs than I was able to be.
I'm confident that Ike will try to mark everything.
I'm confident that the boys will not see me model impatience with animals.
I'm confident Ike and Mamie's eventual cause of death will not be from lack of food and water.
I'm confident that barking will not prematurely wake up my children from their naps.
I'm confident that the trash can will not be knocked over while are gone.
I'm confident there will not be a massive flea infestation in our house.
I'm confident I will not be up for another dog till I'm in my early 60s.
One last thing... How are the boys handling the dogs departure?
I sat them down and gave them a serious talk... maybe the most serious one of their lives from me as it will be Mike who handles the sex talk. I told them that the five of them were running me ragged and somebody had to go... "Better the dogs than you," I told Ty. Actually, I explained how the dogs new home had a grandma and grandpa in it who didn't have any babies to hold and that they needed the little dogs to hold. I told them that Ike and Mamie needed to be petted more and that Mama was too busy holding little boys and didn't have enough time for the dogs.
Ty acted like it didn't matter to him a bit what happened to the dogs. Jack frowned a little and said, "But, Ike and Mamie are our dogs." I again went over how the dogs would be happier at the new house. Jack didn't say anything else about it.
Last night, driving home from dinner, Jack said, "I want to go back out to the country to the grandma and grandpa's house." I replied, "Oh [sad pause while thinking of how to respond to this], do you want to go visit Ike and Mamie?" Jack: "No, I want to go play in their backyard with all the toys."
--I think the boys will be fine.
Emily, my older, wiser sister, told me to make sure the boys know that I'm not going to give them away too. I told her either that OR I could use it as leverage: "One more word out of you and I'll put you on craigslist too!"