Monday, September 13, 2010

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Sophie's Choice

Last week I dreamed I met Bingo's lifetime partner. He was in his 30s and in the military. I woke with a very happy feeling.

Jan had a dream that he was paired with a young boy with special needs. She also woke with happy feeling.

But the last report card didn't tell the whole story. It left out some key facts. Bingo was possessive of the water dish and wouldn't let others drink when he was drinking. He didn't want to share his toys. He growled. He would sit by himself in the yard and when the other dogs came to visit he would warn them off by growling. They called it possessiveness of personal space.

Growling isn't allowed. Nor is not sharing. Bingo had reached a point of no return and he walked right on by it. On Saturday we got the news:

"Bingo has been dropped from the program."

I don't think I really understood what he was saying to me. How could that be? I had a photograph. I had a dream. Then he started talking about possessiveness and not sharing and I wanted to scream at him that he had the wrong dog because my Bingo would never do that, but my throat was all full of tears and I couldn't see and there was a ringing in my ears. So I nodded and I walked away with Fred and Berkeley.

"What do we do?"

Then we had to decide what to do. I had been totally at peace with giving Bingo away to someone as a guide dog. That was his purpose. But what I hadn't envisioned was a situation where we would be faced with giving him away to someone as a family dog. I loved him. I wanted him. I didn't want anyone else to have him. I couldn't imagine giving him away, but we felt that we couldn't give him the attention that he deserved and continue to puppy raise at the same time. Three dogs is just too many. Bingo deserves to be the only dog.

So we made the very hard decision to let him go. He will be put up for adoption.

I thought you all should know. SEGD said the adoption lady would find him a good home and would ask them to stay in contact with us and let us know how he is doing. This, for us, was a real Sophie's choice. I really wanted him to be a guide dog. But I know he will succeed as a lovable dog. He was always first rate at that.

Now if I could just stop crying.


  1. OMW that is soooo tough, I myself have been in this situation and its heartbreaking! Yes we prepare them to leave and "WORK" and then have to give him away tough!

    Pompei sends kisses!

  2. Bingo is going to make a family so happy! He really is!

  3. I Am Feelin Ya!
    I just went through a dog being dropped for health concerns and I had to let her go as well. This is the first dog of mine that I had to have placed as a pet. We went over everything. I wanted her back and I still wake up a bit sad. But then yesterday I got a wonderful surprise a email and simply that but it was worth all the painful days of trying to make the best choice possible. I now know I made the right choice and she is with a wonderful family. It will turn out great just as it did for my dog. Someone is out there waiting for Bingo, they just don't know it yet.

  4. Aw, so sorry Cheryl and Fred! You know in your heart that he will be a better family dog than guide dog. A family would be so lucky to have him as part of their family!

  5. I'm so sorry! I know how hard you worked with him and if you want any of them to make it, it's your first! I know it's a tough choice but remember you did your best with him and you have his best interests at heart in having SEGDI place him, even if it hurts horribly at this point! I think most of us have an idea of what you're feeling, even if we've never been in the exact same situation. Remember Bingo chose to be a family pet, you helped him be the very best dog he could be and that was your goal! Good job on your first success! :-D

  6. Oh gosh, that's tough!
    My second dog got adopted out because of allergies. Due to space we couldn't take her back. I hated letting her go, (and the fact that her new owners won't have anything to do with me doesn't help)
    But I know Bingo will find a great home, and make some family really happy!

    Rudy's Raiser

  7. I am so sorry to hear about Bingo! Southeastern is great about finding them the perfect person, rather if it as a guide or as a pet. I know several people who have adopted puppies from SEGDI and they spoil them rotten! I bet Bingo will love being a spoiled pet! Hopefully he will get placed with a family who lives close to you guys.