Our labor day weekend was a busy one. I made a really klutzy mistake while trying to pick up a car jack and wound up splitting open my chin and getting 3 stitches. The next morning we woke up to our neighbors knocking on the door. They explained that they decided to rehome their 3-month-old pug puppy. They wanted to know if we were interested in having her because we had gushed over their puppy the day they brought it home.
Before we brought home our two pugs Frank and Beans three years ago, we had planned to get a pug puppy. It was just by chance that we saw Frank & Beans posted online. At 8 and 9 years old, they were far from puppies but it just felt right. I’m not one to usually act in impulse like that, but I’m so glad that we did because I love Frank & Beans more than I thought I could ever love dogs. Since then, I’ve always thought that when we did eventually get another dog, it would be another pug and this time, it would be a puppy like our original plan. I can’t pass by a pug puppy picture online without saying ‘aww’. I take pictures of my pugs on an almost daily basis. I thought I was a crazy pug lady. If you would have asked me a week ago if I could ever say ‘no thanks’ to a pug puppy my answer would have been ‘of course not!’
The morning that they showed up to offer us the puppy, it wasn’t a complete surprise. The neighbors had told us a couple days prior that they were beginning to consider re-homing the pup. So, we knew it was a possibility and had decided that if they went through with attempting to re-home the puppy, we would do a ‘trial run’. We live in a rural area where we don’t have dog parks. We don’t know anyone who takes their dog along to social events. It’s pretty much the norm to just leave your dogs at home when you go out. So, our dogs have only met a handful of other dogs since we got them. They’ve never had a negative experience with any dogs that they’ve met but we had never had a dog come into our house (their space) before so we knew there was some risk involved and thought a “test run” made sense. The neighbors agreed to give us a day with the puppy to see how things went.
At first the puppy was a bit nervous about our dogs. Beans was really curious right away, and Frank held back observing from afar. It took just a couple of minutes from the puppy to go from shy to excited by Beans’ curiosity and they were chasing each other around and playing. It was adorable to see Beans so playful with the puppy! Frank and Beans occasionally play with each other, but only for a couple minutes at a time. Beans and the puppy played for over half an hour straight. Frank remained at a distance, though. The puppy tried playing with him and he just walked away. As Beans & the puppy got playing harder, the puppy began to playfully bark at Beans. Beans understood it as play and kept going unphased. Frank started crying.
Eventually Beans got exhausted from playing and tried to lay down but the puppy kept wanting to play. We occupied the puppy by playing with it with toys to give Beans a break. It worked great and then Beans recharged and was ready to keep playing. Frank continued to seem hesitant but we didn’t want to push him so we let it go.
Eventually we wore the puppy out and it took a quick nap in Ryan’s lap. Frank spends most of his days sitting on Ryan’s lap, so Ryan tried inviting him up as it was unusual that Frank was wanting to lay by himself in a far corner of the room. He refused to sit with Ryan. Basically, that’s how the rest of the day went. Beans tolerated playing with the puppy really well, but Frank was not interested and seemed jealous and sad. Occasionally the puppy would try to interact with Frank and Frank would just move away from the puppy.
For a while Ryan & I both felt really torn. The puppy was adorable. Beans seemed to really enjoy it, and I thought it could be good for her to have a playmate. On the other hand, Frank seemed hurt. Plus, we never really intended to have 3 dogs at once. Frank & Beans are both clingy lap dogs. It works out so perfectly that one can sit with each of us all the time. I noticed that Beans kept automatically giving up “her spot” by my side whenever the puppy tried to get near me. It was sweet that she was willing to make room for the puppy, but I would be sad to see a distance between her and I created as a result of a puppy taking her spot, physically or emotionally.
At some point, Ryan said “You know, if we decide to keep the puppy Frank will get over it. He won’t stay mad or sad forever.” I knew he was right, but I still felt hesitant for some reason. He went on “But is it fair for us to make him get over it? Should he have to sacrifice for a new puppy?”
I immediately knew my answer. Of course not. Frank & Beans have my whole entire heart. They were 8 and 9 when we got them, and we knew we might not have too many years with them. I am so thankful they are still happy and healthy 3 years later, but there are no guarantees about what their futures hold. What if we gave in and got this puppy, and then lost Frank or Beans in a few months? How guilty would I feel for making them spend their last few weeks adapting to getting less attention from us and putting up with a pesky puppy? I couldn’t risk that. So we made the joint decision to pass on the puppy.
Even though we were both confident in our decision, we felt strange and sad. It’s a really weird thing to say no to an adorable puppy that is your breed of choice. I never thought I could spend a day with a pug puppy and not fall head over heels. She was SO cute. I loved watching Beans light up in response to her. It occurred to me that even what I did like about the puppy had SO much to do with Beans. I felt a little bonded to this puppy because of the way that she reacted to Beans and I think that speaks volumes about how important my two dogs are to me.
I’m still feeling a little strange about the decision. My mom and Ryan’s mom are both major lovers of animals. Neither of us ever had our moms bring a pet home and then not keep it. Some part of me feels a little guilty for not loving the puppy right away. Logically, I don’t think I really should though. I know this puppy will find a great home and it will be okay. Some day, hopefully years from now, I’ll get a pug puppy. For now, it’s okay to love my two dogs so much that I can’t force them to sacrifice time and attention for a new dog. In an odd way, it was heartwarming to realize that I’m not a crazy pug lady like I thought. I’m crazy about MY two pugs. My goal right now is to give them the happiest life I can for as long as I can. Puppies can wait.