But he isn't welcome at my parents house so I have to leave him here while we go back to the states. I have a problem leaving Redgie behind because I'm embedded with the fear that something is going to happen to him, someone will hurt him or he'll die.
I feel like this because of what happened to my last dog, Jumper. I got him when I was just seven years old. We lived in rural Kansas at the time and my parents drove me to a house with a lot of dogs and a lot of puppies. I picked one out and named him Jumper because he jumped a lot and I was seven. Jumper was a big dog. He was some kind of Rottweiler/retriever mix. This wasn't a problem when we lived in Kansas because he had a lot of land to run around on. Later we moved to a suburb of Denver, Colorado and having a big dog in a small yard wasn't very nice for my parents. Jumper took the move pretty hard, he didn't like being in the small yard either and he lost his glossy, healthy look.
When I was 14 years old my parents poisoned my dog. I know this because my sister told me and much later, they finally admitted to doing it. One morning Jumper wasn't in the yard. I discovered him in the green belt behind out fence having seizures and foaming at the mouth. He was dead within 15 minutes of my discovering him. I have no idea how long he had been suffering before he finally died. My parents told me the poisoning was my fault because I didn't take care of Jumper well enough.
I love big dogs but I will never again have one. Big dogs have hard lives. They need space and exercise and much more care than small dogs. If a person moves they can't always take a big dog with them. Big dogs are also a lot more likely to live their lives alone outside in a yard or garage, ignored and neglected.
I take owning a dog very seriously. It's a big responsibility and it should never be laid on the shoulders of a child. We will never move somewhere we can't take Redgie. He's a part of our family and leaving him behind or giving him away is not even considerable. We don't hit him. We don't leave him locked up or outside. H and I make sure he has the best life we can give him. This is important to me. I can't go back and change what happened to Jumper but I can make sure no animal I'm responsible for ever suffers the same fate.
There are times when I have to trust someone else with his care and I have a big, huge problem with that. There isn't anyone besides H who I really trust 100% with Sophie and Redgie. They're both so small and defenseless. I feel like I have to take care of them and protect them.
On Monday I'm leaving Redgie in the care of my mother in law for three weeks. That's the longest I'm willing to leave him. In the past when we left Redgie with family members he refused to eat and lost significant amounts of weight. If I were able to take him with us, we'd stay much longer in the states. I'm not happy that he can't go with us and I hope he'll be ok.