To my dearest Foo, my hairy son
When this weekend started, I could never have imagined the ending we were met with on Tuesday. Maybe if I had been able to foresee it, I could have done something to prevent it. It breaks my heart that it can never be undone.
Third June 2014, you came into our lives. A friend of mine was unable to take you to their new residence and was urgently seeking a new home for you. I always said that if I was to get another dog, it’d have to be a small one. As I had been thinking about getting another dog only a few weeks beforehand, one look at you and I knew you were meant to be with my boys and me.
Arrangements were made for me to pick you up. Your previous owner told me that you loved walks and had an exuberant amount of energy. So much so that a three hour walk didn’t wear you out! They gave me all your things – blankets, bowls and food, and dropped your kennel into us a little time later.
The minute my boys met you, it was love at first sight!
One of the things I was told about you was that you were territorial. I understood that to be possessive about objects or people. We quickly discovered your blankets were one of the things you were territorial about. No-one could touch them without you snapping and growling at them. When any of us would pick up one of your blankets, you would jump up trying to get it. As soon as you grabbed it, you would tug on it. So, the kids and I used to play tug-o-war with you with your blankets.
Another thing we came to learn was you were territorial about your bed. I bought you a cushion bed for you to sit in when you were inside. If anyone tried to touch you or the bed while you were in it, you would snap at them. Slowly, we got you used to us touching you and your bed by standing on it when you sat in it and patting you at the same time.
I’ve never known a dog as energetic as you. Even my old dog, Boy, would have had trouble keeping up with you I think! Every time we’d let you inside, you were as excited to see us as if it was the first time you’d seen us in days, even if it was only ten minutes ago. You’d run around at a hundred miles an hour, jump up on me and run around some more and jump back up on me again. Then you’d run down the hall way, slide and come back and then do it all over again. You made us all laugh.
Everyone who met you loved you. You were the cutest little dog ever in my opinion. People would always comment on how cute and adorable you were. Even on Tuesday, one lady walked past us twice and both times stopped and commented on your cuteness. I fought hard to hold back my tears because it’s true.
You loved your cuddles. How I loved the way you would put your little head between my legs or under my arm and we’d cuddle. And just like a little toddler, you would drag your blanket around the house following me wherever I went. If I said “get your blanky” you would run to where it was, grab it and run back with it, tail wagging.
No ball was safe with you around. You would roll it around all day trying to grab a hold of it. If you found a ball flat enough, you would chew it until it was just a strip of leather.
When we moved into the place we live now, you found a multitude of things under the house – a football, a blue plastic thing, milk bottles, some plant pots, a spider-man boxing glove and a stuffed toy duck. The stuffed toy duck is the only thing to have survived the Foo-meister. If you weren’t dragging your blanky around, you were carrying around your duck.
We used to watch movies together, you and I. I’d get your bed, put it in my room next to my bed, grab a glass of wine, a DVD and some munchies and we’d hang. Many nights you would fall asleep while I was watching something blow up on screen.
On one of these nights, when the movie ended, I leant down to tell you it was time for bed, and you spun around and bit me on my knuckle and then my finger on my other hand! I was in shock. My boys came running to see what the matter was. There was blood. You had punctured my skin. I knew what that meant but I couldn’t bring myself to think about it because you had been asleep and so it must have been my fault you bit me. Right?
My parents warned me. I chose to give you another chance.
Circumstances saw us move to my parent’s place for a while. You lived in the backyard with their bigger and older dog. My dad, Poppy, stapled your bed to the inside of your kennel to stop you from pulling it out all the time. Every time he tried to put it back into your kennel, you would snap and growl at him, so the stapling put a stop to that. However, while Poppy was doing this, you tried to attack him three times.
Again, I was warned. Again, I chose to give you another chance.
Eventually, I moved from my parent’s place to my own place and of course you came with me. That was twelfth November 2016. You had a wonderful time under the house finding things and bringing them out to play with. You barked mostly at night, rarely during the day and you hated motorcycles.
During the last 8 months, we stopped playing tug-o-war with you with your blanket. If you growled or snapped, you were sent straight outside and curtains drawn so you couldn’t see in. It seemed to be working. Anyone could pick up your blanky and you wouldn’t growl or snap, they could pat you while you were in your bed, or while you were eating. It appeared we were getting somewhere – progress.
Over the last couple of weeks, you had been snappy at me. One time, I opened the laundry door to let you into the rest of the house and you attacked my foot as I walked in. Luckily, I had shoes on.
Thursday night, I threw away your tattered red blanket and intended to buy another one, a smaller one, one we wouldn’t trip over while it trailed a mile behind you.
Saturday, I took my youngest boy, your brother, to soccer. When we got back, I did some cleaning and tidying. We let you in. The laundry door and the kitchen screen door were left open so you could come in and out as you liked. For the most part, you sat in the laundry on the cushions and sleeping bag which were your bed when you slept inside on freezing cold nights. Your brother sat next to you and patted you while you were in your bed. You just sat there and let him do it.
After all the cleaning and tidying had been done, I thought we’d go to the shops to buy you that new blanket. Before we were going to do that, my boyfriend and I were going to have a cuppa. As you had been sitting in the laundry on the sleeping bag all day, I thought I’d put it in the lounge room so you would sit out there with us. As I bent down to pick it up, you attacked me! You were standing next to it, not even on it. It was totally unexpected. You bit my wrist, my finger and attacked my feet. Fortunately, I had shoes on. We kicked you out of the house but you came back in through the kitchen door which we had forgotten was open. You were still growling and being aggressive. My boyfriend kicked you outside again and then helped attend to my wounds. Your brother was scared. We were all in shock.
This time I knew I couldn’t excuse it. You drew blood – again. I couldn’t stop crying because I knew what had to be done. Every cell in my body screamed NO! I spoke with my parents, my GP who gave me a tetanus shot, the RSPCA and my vet. All had the same advice and information….. you’re dangerous and what if you attack a child next?…..There were no other options. There were no more chances I could give you.
Tuesday morning, we said our goodbyes to you. You were all happy and wagging your tail and eating your biscuits. Your brother and I prayed our last prayer with you – Our Father’s Prayer – the one we would say every night together when your brother would go to bed. We told you that you were going to see Gypsy soon (she went before you on Monday), to give her a big lick up the cheeks from all of us and that we love you so so so so so very much!
Walking into the RSPCA to surrender you, my Fooey boy, will never leave my memory. You were wagging your tail and all happy while I entered the building with tears. You were getting nervous as we stood at the counter, I could tell.
Then came that final moment, I had to hand you over to the lady at the counter. Never again in my life, do I ever want to have to do such a thing. I had no way of preparing you. I wish you had been old and sick like Gypsy. She knew it was the end.
Foo, I wish you had never attacked me. I’ll forever ask why you did.
I miss you and I love you, Foo, my hairy son, my Foo Foo Fooey boy. We’ll see each other again one day.
Love you forever, Mummy xxxxx ❤