Several weeks back, we placed a difficult post on social media about our rescue dog Cleveland, who we had adopted four months earlier:
“Sadly, we’re dealing with an unfortunate situation with Cleveland. She’s a beautiful animal — gentle as can be, intelligent, and obedient, but we cannot keep her. While Cleveland is thriving and happy, she has chronic diarrhea and cannot control herself. She needs to be an outdoor dog. In terms of treatment, we have tried everything and spent a small fortune.”
We didn’t want to go public with this, but we were learning about and facing some harsh realities. Because of Cleveland’s issues, re-homing her was not going to be easy. We weren’t not going to tell someone about them. That would be cruel to the animal and the family.
But the other options really weren’t options. A shelter? Finding one that would take her in was next to impossible, and even if we had found one, since she was a pitbull mix and looked very pitbull, placing her in one was tantamount to sentencing her to a life in a cage. An ad on Craigslist? Out of the question. Too many people looked for pitbulls there in order to use them as fight bait.
We were starting to having stomach-wrenching conversations with our vet about the ethics of euthanizing a semi-healthy dog.
When we reached out to our virtual world, we weren’t optimistic. While most people were incredibly supportive, some were pretty harsh. Some friends still aren’t speaking to us because of our decision to relinquish our pet, a pet we loved. But we knew we were doing the right thing. Those who were passing judgment didn’t have all the details (nor did they need to). Those individuals chose to see the situation with absolute eyes, and life is never about absolutes. Life is messy.
But sometimes life surprises you in the best possible way, and the wonderful happens. A member of the kidlit community — our community — had a relative who fostered pitbulls with an amazing re-homing success rate, and just by chance, she happened to have an opening because she had re-homed a dog only days before. She fully understood all of Cleveland’s special needs, and she would not give Cleveland to a forever home that couldn’t cater to them.
Cleveland’s foster family grew attached to her instantly. We knew they would. But less than two weeks later, Cleveland had her forever family. Cleveland is now Canadian. She has a porch, backyard and even a pool.
She has a new brother, a French bulldog, and from what we hear, they’re almost inseparable.
We say almost because we also hear Cleveland has a bit of a crush on the neighbor’s dog… who looks rather large!
We still look for Cleveland from time to time. We do miss her wonderful spirit and gentle soul. But this wasn’t about us. This couldn’t be about us. This had to be about what was best for Cleveland. She has the best, a forever home and family where she’ll live doggily ever after.