Last Monday was pretty hard on my son Colt.
Over the weekend, we found a dog roaming around town, and she followed us home. She was hungry, so we fed her. And she stayed for two nights while we tracked down her collars.
Just a quick PSA for all dog owners out there, have your dogs either microchipped or have a collar securely fastened with current contact information. This particular dog, who seemed clean and well-cared-for-, was missing all of that.
“Molly” won my son’s heart. She bonded with him over fetch and tennis balls, kisses, snuggling, the works.
So on Monday night, when a Facebook post finally showed up on a community forum, and I was able to identity the owners so I could take her home, Colt was in tears.
Beyond tears. Emotionally wrecked.
He loved that dog.
I took Molly home to some grateful owners. Afterwards, I had to have the talk with Colt about how important it is to return things that don’t belong to us – no matter what it is – because there is a grateful owner waiting to be reunited with it. Even a dog that we’ve come to love.
I felt like I had wrecked him. Like a sad core memory had replaced the happy ones of her being around. In doing the right thing, my son was hurting profusely beyond what I had ever seen before.
The next day, I took him to the library and we looked at books of dog breeds. He clearly wanted an Australian Shepherd just like “Molly” because she played with him. After introducing each breed, he would ask, “will he play ball with me?”
Our Ruby girl, a boxer lab mix who was a rescue after some pretty serious maltreatment issues, does NOT play with the kids or toys. So I knew he really wanted a dog to play with to be his buddy.
So now we’re on the search for the perfect dog for him. One that will play and be a good addition to our home.
I still can’t help but feel like I damaged my kid somehow, but I knew some other pet parents would be equally affected if Molly wasn’t returned safe and sound. We did the right thing, even though it hurt immensely.