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Knowing when to say, "No."

I really need to get back to my Monday, or at the latest, Tuesday posts. Waiting until Thursday makes it seem so late and in the past. But I guess, it's better than never. That's what I keep telling myself anyway. And that's why most years my Christmas cards don't go out until late January and sometimes February.

In my brain I am this super over-achiever, multitasker, highly organized, efficient person. Then the mail comes and there is a letter from the bank stating I have an over draft. Oops. And that's why I relinquish all the important financial stuff to hubby, except for my petty cash account. And I seemed to have messed that up. Isn't there a biblical principle that if one can't handle the little things they can't handle the big stuff either. Guess I need to keep working on the small stuff.

But, that's not what this post is about. It's about Zoey and last week's adventure with her. Last fall we lost our beloved Barney. After almost 13 wonderful years, he took his walk over the rainbow bridge. He was the best dog ever. With his passing, we said we would not get any other pets so we could take advantage of the freedoms being pet-free offered. That didn't last long. While we enjoyed being fur free, being able to put out our "nice" stuff, and not being bound by the needs of owning an animal, we missed the cuddles, doggie kisses, and companionship a fur-baby offers.

March 15th was Bruce's birthday and while we were out and about in Bangor, I glanced at the Bangor Humane Society's adoption page and there she was, Zoey, this beautiful husky. We had dinner plans with Bruce's folks, but we managed to squeeze in a stop at the shelter first. Papers were filled out and a pre-screening was done, then we had our visit. She was so cute, gave doggy kisses, cuddled, and was full of excitement. We put a non-refundable deposit down and scheduled an at home visit for her two days later. I was so excited. I have always loved huskys, even knowing they can be a handful.

I couldn't sleep that night. All I wanted to do was go see Zoey. So I did. I went back to Bangor for another visitation. She was so beautiful. I felt my anxiety ease as I pet her, and she was so beautiful. But in the room, she didn't really want me. She was more interested in what was going on on the other side of the windows.

I went home a tad less excited than the day before. But Wednesday came and off I went to pick up Zoey for our at home visit. I was excited once again. She was so beautiful, fluffy, and she loved her belly rubbed. That excitement dropped again though aboubt five miles up the interstate. She would not settle down or stop talking. Her paperwork said she was vocal, most husky can be. I just chalked it up to she was nervous. After all, she had been in and out of the shelter a couple times in the last 6 months.

What I thought was sweet in the visitation room soon became annoying. If I didn't keep rubbing her belly or some part of her, she whined, barked, and even nipped at me. I was not sure why her info said she liked riding. I still was willing to give her a try, she was so beautiful, I so wanted to make it work.

The shelter assistant warned me of Zoey's escape artist skills, so, when I arrived home, I drove inside the garage and shut the door even though it was a gorgeous day out. We let her out of the car - mistake #1. She took off into the house like a crazed animal. We had all we could do to catch her but not before she emptied her bladder twice. Once we managed to wrangle her in, I set right back outside with her for a nice long walk. I am sure she was enjoying the freedom from her shelter kennel and I thought a walk would do her good to use up that pent up energy.

Zoey loved it outside and she was excellent on the leash as long as we kept moving. But when we stopped to sit safely - which she did not like to do - while the occassional vehicle passed - she would cry, bark, and nip. As long as she was moving she was happy. Not once did she pull.

Two miles out we stopped for me to take a short break. We had just climbed a good sized hill. As I was catching my breathe, Zoey had a fit. She raced back and forth several times the short length of her lead then flopped to the ground and seemed to have a seizure. I am not sure it was one, but it seemed like one. Why she was squirming on the ground her lead became tangled and she nipped me, breaking the skin as I tried to free her leash from her legs.

My excitement about owning a dog was fading fast. But she was so beautiful and cuddly, when she wanted to be. After her episode we headed for home. She still remained great on leash as long as we didn't stop. Then came the other canines.

Besides being an escape artist, being vocal, and being anxious, Zoey does not like other dogs. We were okay with that since we don't have any other pets. But she went buzzerk when some other walkers approached from the opposite direction. I had to walk over the snowbank with her while holding on tight. She squirmed, barked, howled, growled and tried with all her might to get free. I had to ask the others to pass quickly so this ordeal could end.

About a quarter of a mile to home, Bruce met us. He asked how it was going. All I said was, "I am ready to take her back."

We finished the walk and once in the driveway she seemed to settle down for a brief moment to enjoy the sun.

We didn't have to return her until 5pm, it was only noon. But even I knew when it was time to say, "No."

As much as I wanted to adopt Zoey, I knew I would not be able to handle all her special needs and requirements. I had fallen in love with her beauty but I knew I was not strong enough to work past what she needed to have a good life.

It seems I have made several posts since I started writing about knowing when to say enough is enough. Just last week I wrote about being okay if I didn't summit. A small part of me still thinks that is quitting. I have never been a quitter. But is it really quitting? We condition ourselves at a young age that we must succeed no matter what we do at all costs. Is that setting us up to fail though? Who wants to try new things with the pressure of must succeeding? I am all for doing whatever it takes to succeed, as long as the goal is something that you truly value and it is okay to change one's mind if part way through one discovers this really isn't for me. So, is it really quitting? Nah, it's a good choice, so you can spend your energy figuring out your next big adventure.

So, we said, "No." to adopting Zoey. We were not her forever home. I checked the BHS adoption page and she was not there. Good for her. I am sure someone will give her what she needs, but as for us, we had to say no.

Happy Hiking,



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