In his 16th week of life, Mr. Darcy’s life changed irrevocably and, with the intuition of Dog, he knows it.
Tomorrow Deborah leaves for Portland to see her best friend Bonnie through death from ovarian cancer (she’s been fighting it for almost five years), and to help her family afterwards. We don’t know how long Deborah will be gone; that depends both on the progress of Bonnie’s disease and, because she lives in Oregon, her decision on when to let go. We are planning for two months.
I cannot raise Mr. Darcy alone. Even with both of us on him we were losing ground, and Deborah was growing uneasy in her own house after some serious bites. (Serious in puppy terms, and he’s getting bigger rapidly.) The news from Portland was the last straw.
On Tuesday, I’m taking Darcy back to his breeder/trainer, who assures us he can find a good, working home for him. Plus, Darcy will be reunited with his sister for a time.
We’re not asking for any money back, as Darcy is not at fault. In fact, he is my dream dog: a fantastic example of over a century of closely-controlled selective breeding. We both want him to have the chance to reach his full potential, and he can’t with us. I’m afraid we’d end up with a dangerous animal.
Of course, Darcy knows that something is up. Deborah is terribly distracted, and I’m emotionally withdrawing a bit. So he’s a bit clingy and even more demanding. We give him as much attention and training as possible.
That’s all I want to say right now. The Darcy Chronicles won’t stop here. I’ll be talking about the process of grieving for a dog. Right now I’m in the “but…but…but” stage with Darcy; it wasn’t that way with Oka, my previous GSD, who died of cancer in April. But some of the feelings are very similar.