It's taken me nearly three months to be able to post this.
Back in November 2005, my wife and I moved from the UK to Canada. We made the move to settle down together, and planned a long-term future there. The following February we bought a little lab puppy, something we had always desperately wanted (and had done plenty of research before taking the plunge...).
We brought her up to be the model pup, we loved her and she couldn't keep away from us. You know the story, they just love you so much and it makes coming home from work even better every day!
We went on trips together, we went for hundreds of walks and life was just perfect.
Unfortunately, one day my wife was told there was no more work for her in Canada - and the only way she would keep her job was if she moved back to the UK office.
Now comes the bit that some of you will disaprove of.
When the day neared for us to leave Canada, my wife made brought up the potential quality of life Rocksy would enjoy back in England. I had been doing shift work in Canada, so I had been home with Rox all day and my wife had been with her at night. Both of us had been with her every weekend.
It was a fair point my wife made, we were both due to take jobs which would keep us out of the house from 6.30am until 6.30pm every day of the week. After many arguments, I finally accepted my wife's opinion, and so it was that we made arrangements for 16-month-old Rocksy to go and live with someone else... to stay in Canada while we moved back here to the UK.
Typing out a few words simply does not do justice to how painful that decision was for both of us. My wife didn't want to give Rocksy up, she just knew that the quality of life she would have in England, cooped up in a house all day, would not compare to the life she could have with a new family (who happened to have a massive yard and three kids).
I was persuaded to leave Rox behind despite my heart constantly protesting against the decision.
The days after we gave her up were the worst of my life. Even now, three months on, I think about her all day long. I had a dream last night. It was a re-run of me clapping my hands together and Rocksy running into my arms... over and over again. I woke up crying my eyes out.
I appreciate some people will read this and think: "Why the hell did you get a dog if there was a chance you would have to move back overseas?" I accept this charge, and wish I could have done differently.
But we thought we were going to be in Canada for years and years, and that if we ever moved back home we would be able to offer Rocksy the same quality of life.
I still remember the night we picked her up. She was shivering when I took her to the car, and when we got home I slept next to her crate. I woke up the next morning and she had curled up next to me. I just thought - "this is the most amazing thing ever."
Anyway, I will post this now because it is already too long. I just desperately needed to get these thoughts out before they cause me to have a breakdown. I miss her every second of every day, and right now am staring at a picture of the two of us - me with my arms around her.
Hold tight to your labs. There is someone out there who stares into the vacant space of their home every night wishing their beautiful dog would come bouncing into the void. Instead she is making somebody else happy, and that tears me apart...
I can finally say it now: Goodbye Rocksy, I will love you forever...
What a tough decision to make. You obviously love Rocksy very much, and put her quality of life above your own pain. As much as you love her, at least you know that she's being treated well and is happy. But I imagine the pain of losing her is awful. I'm sorry you had to give her up, but under the circumstances, it sounds like you did the right thing.
Laura, mom of Sundance, CGC