Saturday was the day I had been dreading since we made the decision to go travelling. It was the day we had organised to take Five, our dog, to her new home.
We were given Five as a wedding gift just over four years ago and since then she has been an integral member of our family. I wasn’t ready to get a dog when our friend asked us to look after one of the pups for ‘just one weekend’. We were living in a small one-bedroom apartment with an even smaller balcony. We both had full time jobs and lead busy lives, but who can resist a little pup!
So Five came and joined us. Luckily for me (and her), I worked in a dog friendly office and Five quickly found a place under my desk. She just slotted into our lives and followed us everywhere we went.
When Jack came along, I was worried Five would feel bumped down the list as my attention now went to a new born baby. But we adapted and Five soon came to love Jack and accept that he was sticking around for the long haul.
As Jack got older, they formed a bond and it was clear Five became very protective of him and also very tolerant. Jack followed Five everywhere and Five followed Jack, particularly if he had food. She tolerated him riding her like a pony, kissing her continuously and shoving toys in her face to play. The word ‘Fivey’ was one of Jack’s first and it became one of the first things he would say whenever we came home.
When we discussed the idea of going travelling, Five was one of the first things I thought of. Where could she stay, who could we trust to look after her, can we make this decision to leave her behind? Feelings of selfishness, abandonment and sickness set in. Could I really give my ‘baby’ away and go on this adventure?
The hardest decision was made and the emotions set in. The hunt was on for a good home for her where she would be loved and become part of someone’s family. Thankfully for us, a friend of mine was looking for a dog to adopt at the same time. And so on Sunday March 2, I took Five to their home to introduce her to the family of six. Instantly I knew it was right. Four beautiful children all excited to have a dog to play with, a big back yard for her to run around in and a home where she will be loved. If she wasn’t going to be with us, I couldn’t think of a better place for her to be.
On Saturday the four of us drove down to the Peninsula to take Five to her new home. The day seemed to come around so quickly…too quickly. I had been crying all morning and the evening before. We took Five to one her favourite parks and then for a wash after she jumped into the biggest, muddiest puddle she could find. When we arrived, the family were waiting, eager to me their new dog. Five was happy to be there and immediately started running around exploring her new space.
And then it was time for us to leave her and say our goodbyes. The tears started to flow again and feelings of abandonment came to the surface. Not only were we giving away our baby, but we were also taking away Jack’s friend. But when Five didn’t even want a bar of our goodbyes as she was too busy running off with little Henry, I realised that we have found the perfect home for her. That doesn’t make it any easier, but I do know she will be loved to bits there.
To come home to an empty house without her greeting us, to not routinely get her dinner ready and to not have her snuggling at our feet before bed time creates this empty feeling. And when Jack asks for Fivey, it breaks our heart.
We had four beautiful years with Five and now she is going to bring a lot of love and fun to another family. And I could not be happier that it is with Helen, Bradley and their four kids.