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the eric update - day 299: goodbye cadence. or then there was one (dog).

no matter how many times we reassure ourselves that it was the right thing to do. that it's selfish to keep her given our imminent move from this sold house. that we know we can't manage the logistics of travelling with over two hundred pounds of canine companions and a wee one in tow; it's still an impossibly difficult decision to make. if your a "dog person", giving up a dog is tantamount to losing a member of the family. and today we lost a truly beloved member of ours. but in the end, no matter how heart breaking it was to do, it was the right decision.

sometimes i think animals teach us more about loss than loving.

she can't possibly be going to a better home, which was what finally helped us make the decision. her new owner "delivered" her when she was born and quite likely loves berners as much as we do. indeed, she also happens to care for cadence's mom and half-sister. so, in a sense, she's returning to her family.

i'm sure that after a few lazy afternoons playing with her sibling and mamma in her new spacious yard, she might even forget the special moments that she shared with us and odin.

i know we won't.

goodbye cadence.

as much as we'll miss cadence, mauja will miss her more.

alaskan malamutes are pack dogs. even moreso than other breeds, malamutes are very sensitive to sudden disruptions in the pack hierarchy. after we had to put his previous buddy "to sleep" due to severe epilepsy, mauja was so distraught that he'd howl and moan so loudly that neighbors a half a block away would complain that he was frightening their children. a vet told us that he was simply doing the the only thing he could do - call out very loudly in the hope that his lost friend would hear him and return to the pack.

now that she's gone, he's pacing and nervous and certainly knows that it's odd that miss cadence isn't nearby. we'll work hard to help him make the transition to a life without her; hopefully it works, because there's nothing quite so sorrowful as a very vocal, sad malamute.

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4/29/2005 11:52:00 PM 9 comments


ohhh this made me tear up. and just today we were talking about what would happen if it turns out our little snuffly baby is allergic to our beloved cat? sniffle.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:45 AM  

I am truly devasted. I cannot believe that you would make such a decision unless it was for someone in the family's health (allergies etc.) When we take on the responsibilities of animals it is for life - thier life. They count on us and entrust us with thier emotional and physical well being giving of their hearts totally.
They are not disposible when life takes on changes. That is the commitment one makes to an animal when they bring it into the family.

I am sure Cadence will adjust..and Mauja...they just shouldn't have to.

I am just so very disappointed.

Heather in Halifax

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:35 AM  

Well, since you have other "family" in GR, perhaps you can occasionally take Mauja to see his old friend for a visit once in a while. I am more of a cat person, but I do know that animals get lonely just like people. Give Mauja extra attention and cuddle time if you can, and in the future, once you find out where you're going to settle in, you can possibly bring another dog to the "pack". It sounds like Cadence has gone to a happy home. I think you made the right decision, not selfish at all. Unfortunately, there are too many pet owners who just abandon their pets when they move, you definitely didn't "dispose" of Cadence as a previous poster has said. She is with her family! She's certainly a beautiful dog (this coming from a cat person, so it's a big compliment!)

By Blogger Candy, at 10:03 AM  

As a cat and a dog person, I agree that when we adopt an animal into our lives it is for life. But I also think that there are times when life throws us one too many things to deal with, and as painful as it is, we do what's right for our pets and our own mental/physical health. In your case, you've had some really huge challenges, and your lives are continuing to evolve in ways you never could have imagined. It could very well be that Cadence would be unhappy with the changes to come--we don't know. You had to make a difficult decision, and for what it's worth, I don't believe the decision was made selfishly or rashly. Cadence is returning to her original pack, your family is heading on new adventures, and I appreciate getting to hear about all of it, the happy and the sad and all stops in-between.
J in Austin

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:52 PM  

I just wanted to add that I don't know why I put family in quotes above. That was an odd thing to do. You have real family in GR, not "family" LOL

Also wanted to add: I know you'll be staying with family and traveling for several months, and I can't imagine doing that with two big dogs, let alone one. I think your decision to keep Mauja, who needs a bit more medical attention, and take him with you wherever you may go, shows great commitment, much more than I could do with my two cats if I had similar travel plans - though I think dogs travel much better than cats. ;-) But if you chose to leave Mauja behind with responsible people too, I certainly wouldn't think that was a bad choice either.

By Blogger Candy, at 1:06 PM  

I too was surprised they'd take Cadence back, but I'm sure that the Snowdeals have had a great number of surprises in their life -- Odin being so early, Eric losing his job, the whole house thing not working out for whatever reason, othes we haven't been told about. Something had to give. Two big dogs are a major limiting factor in a life that may be downsizing radically and moving frequently. I left my cat in the states with my sister when I moved to England rather than subject a rather neurotic animal to six months in quarentine. He got to stay in the apartment he'd lived in for a year (we shared while my husband was off in flight school) with people he knew, and yeah it was hard on all of us but not as hard as the kennel would have likely been for him.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:01 PM  

heather: "When we take on the responsibilities of animals it is for life - thier life. They count on us and entrust us with thier emotional and physical well being giving of their hearts totally.

They are not disposible when life takes on changes."

a passionate comment from an obvious dog lover! heather, we couldn't agree with you more! cadence did entrust us with her emotional and physical well being, which is precisely why we decided that it was best to give her to the home that we did after literally months of wrestling with the decision.

we know cadence better than you ( i mean no disrespect and that will inevitably sound more defensive than i intend ) and we know what changes will be coming up in our life ( despite euphamistically referring to "travelling" in the near future, it's not like we decided to get rid of her because she got in the way of going on an extended stint at disneyland ), changes that we could not have anticipated when we chose her; and we are one hundred percent positive that she will live a happier life with her new owner, mamma and sibling. and we're one hundred percent positive that it would have been selfish to keep her, given the home that we knew she could go to.

it's important to keep things in perspective and, frankly, i think the insinuation that we would treat her as if she were disposable is unfair and unwarranted. she didn't go to "berner rescue". she didn't go to a family she didn't know with no yard and no companion dogs. and she most certainly did not go to the dog pound.

she went to a family she knows that will love her even more than we do. and while we're sad that have had to make the decision and we'll obviously miss her, we feel very fortunate to have had the choices available to us that we did.

so, maybe you'll come and have lunch with us when we visit halifax ( we'll be closer than you might think ! ) and see that we're not such aweful people :-) just like anyone, we make the best decisions we can given the cards that fate has dealt us.

By Blogger e3, at 9:01 PM  

I don't particularly think you are awful people at all. Yes, YOU did what you thought was most responsible considering your circumstances. I just can't imagine making that choice. I have had dogs and animals all my life and it is a scenario that wouldn't even occupy my mind unless there was a health or safety issue involved that was dramatic enough.

Yes, you did as close to best for Cadence as you could returning her to her mother and siblings.

I have fostered dogs and taken in rescues for many years. Yes, I have VERY empassioned opinions on this subject as I have seen first hand many times the anxiety an animal can carry through life from this type of separation. I have a particular warm spot for Berners and thier sensitivity.

It's a difference of opinion. I responded with my heart because that's where animals always find a place with me.

You may find the term "disposible" harsh and yes, you probably did the "best" you could by her in your opinion but I am still very disappointed that you would actually make this decision.

Yes, I do not know your situation totally. I just read your blog of information you provide to us here. I have formed an opinion of you and your family from your own writings. So, I did find this all a bit surprizing. That is how I was all a bit shocking.

We aren't all going to agree on everything in life. It is what makes the world go around. By speaking our minds and discussing openly these opinions we offer food for thought for those who listen, read or see these opinions. Clearly hoping we can affect positive change as we see it.

I would love to meet all of you when you are near


HeatherM - in Halifax

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:55 AM  

Yes, I do not know your situation totally. I just read your blog of information you provide to us here. I have formed an opinion of you and your family from your own writings. So, I did find this all a bit surprizing. That is how I was all a bit shocking.

I thought this was a little bit of a back-handed compliment, as if to say "I know you're good people, which is why I can't believe you did this horrible thing to this poor animal." As an observer of this blog, I'd like to insert a possible third perspective.

I'm sure dogs have a great connection with their owners because, well, who else will feed them and take care of them and return their love? But I think it makes more sense that a dog would have more of a instinctual connection with it's mother than with it's human owner. The real shocker is that people breed dogs on purpose, and then seperate a pup from it's mother and siblings, (often for money, if the breed is valuable) so that other people can adopt the dogs, and treat them like either a) status symbols to define who they are or b) little slaves[1] or c) human babies, which, quite often, is what they really want deep down.

I love animals (14 year vegetarian here) I especially love cats, but I would never assume that my cats love me, a human, more than they loved their own mother. Of course the reality is that pets that humans "adopt" usually never see their mother again, unless they are extremely lucky, like Cadence. The seperation was probably harder on Eric and Kris than it was for Cadence. I still think it was a very kind, responsible, and unselfish thing to do. I can't imagine a more happy place for that dog.

([1] rescue dogs and guide dogs are possibly the only reason I can think of that breeders should breed on purpose and charge a fee IMO, I am not sure about how I feel about people breeding guard dogs and huntin' dawgs)

By Blogger Candy, at 12:51 PM  

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