As a member of the LDS church I’ve grown familiar with the idea of good, better and best. In 2007 Elder Dallin H. Oaks, an apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latte-day Saints gave a talk on forgoing “…some good things in order to choose others that are better or best.” I like to think that this concept supports the idea that life is not black and white, good and bad, easy and hard. There are times where decisions need to be made that aren’t necessarily needed to correct a bad situation, but rather to affect your life for the best rather than for the good.
I’ve grown up with dogs my entire life (Bodi, Allie, Dakota, Tiffy, Sadie, Oliver, Freya and Carmen) and can’t imagine not having at least one. When David and I married I already had Oliver as a best friend. The good news was that Ollie adored David which in my mind made him a keeper.
After we lived in our apartment for a while we decided that Ollie needed a friend as he was used to being with another dog (my family has a dog, crazy Sadie, who is also Ollie’s buddy). We entertained the idea for a while until one day I found a post on Facebook for a family who was selling their puppies. I thought it would be a fun idea for date night to go and play with some puppies and messaged the owner. I let her know that we weren’t looking to buy a dog, but that I was dying to come see her darling puppies. She was fine with the idea and we set up a time to come see them.
It’s no suprise to anyone that really knows me that even though I told everyone, including myself, that we WERE NOT buying another dog that I was comletely and totally lying. After 10 minutes of playing with the puppies David and I started whispering to eachother about how much we liked these dogs. The mom was a beautiful black and white border collie/Mini Aussie mix who was easily entertained by catching a pinecone and had little interest in her puppies once she knew we weren’t there to steal them. The dad, a blue heeler, was the town player who was impregnating all of the neighborhood dogs.
We told Kim that we were considering buying one of the female puppies, but that we had another dog and weren’t sure how he would do with her. They told us to bring him on over, but that they did have a family that was driving 4 hours to come get a female and they couldn’t promise that they wouldn’t choose her.
We drove home, packed up Ollie, and headed back. Ollie had no interest in the puppies, but he was having a great time playing with the mamma dog. We figured that was enough of a sign for us and we bought our little Freya. Her name, I know, it’s a little different. David grew up naming his dogs after kings and queens and I was not about to let him name her Aphrodite. So, the Norse version of the goddess of beauty was a great compromise. Frey added so much love to our little apartment, that is until she got older and would not potty train for the life of us, ran away if she wasn’t on a leash and ate every single crotch out of my garment bottoms.
I wasn’t ready to call it quits on my fuzzy little girl so we worked extra hard to play catch with her (sometimes for hours), walk her a lot, let her out regularly, have several tests done on her bladder, then doggy training classes and getting her spayed. We even bought a house with a huge yard with the hopes that if she had enough room to run on her own that our crazy work schedules which kept her secluded to her crate for hours would combat her destructive behavior.
She sounds horrible. She wasn’t. She was just difficult. She was so loving and fun and entertaining. She was a great snuggler and my buddy. She was also a huge source of contention between David and I. During a therapy session I was talking to Alice about the arguments and frustrations that were happening because of Freya. Her response “I’m confused as to how you could get rid of a husband, but you can’t get rid of a dog.Why would you let a dog harm your marriage?” My response? Tears. Lots of tears and the words “I don’t know. I love her. She loves me. I can’t give up on her. I don’t want David to be right that we can’t handle her. I don’t know how to fix this.” Alice advised me to list her for adoption. I said I would and then I felt relief. A huge amount of relief.
This is when the idea of good, better and best comes in. Keeping Freya wasn’t terrible, but the best option for her, me and David was to find her a home that could provide for her needs. Living with us wasn’t bad for her, but it definitely wasn’t best. We found a company called Rescue Rovers who fostered Freya with a family. The night we dropped Freya off it was like leaving my baby for the first time with a babysitter. I rambled off everything I could think of that would be of use. “She doesn’t like windshield wipers, if you want her to go to sleep in her kennel you need to put a sheet over it, she chases her tail when she’s stressed, she’ll do anything for a treat.” Also…if you don’t let her out when she needs to go she jumps around in her crate like a crazy person and moves it across the kitchen floor then poops and pees in it which makes everything splatter on the kitchen walls, her crate and all over her. Oh, and she usually does it at 3 in the morning while David sleeps through it and you clean it up with a million paper towels and try not to throw up or get any in your hair”. I may have left that last part out… It was so hard to leave her though. Especially when David started crying because he felt like he failed her. He was supposed to provide a safe home for her and now he was pawning her off to another family.
Fast forward to now where we’ve received a text from the foster family telling us that she goes hiking daily and plays at the dog park where she chases a tennis ball and is loving all the other dogs in their house. The husband doesn’t like to foster dogs, but apparently he is sad that she will be leaving. They had 5 applications to adopt Freya in the first day. We just hope they’ve cured her obsession with jumping on the kitchen counter and table and eating everything in sight before she went with her new family that consists of a man and woman who are home daily and have children and grandchildren. Freya goes on daily walks and hikes and is even in agility training.
I have moments where I miss her, but our home feels so much more peaceful. Oliver is so much more happy and David and I have found other things to disagree on 😉 Making the decision to give up something good for something better is never easy, but the journey makes a difference and life is full of difficult decisions. I’m grateful for the wonderful organizations that exist to help my family be more peaceful and my kitchen walls more clean.