Oh, little 'Sheppie,' what are we going to do? It will break my heart to give you up, and it's not even your fault, but I don't know if I can always protect you. I spent a lot of time thinking of the right thing to do, ......what to do, .....what to do!!!! As my son Brad would say, "This is a family pickle" and this is a big family pickle. Let me explain.
We purchased Meg because we wanted to have a red Border Collie and red pups, of course, so we need a red male to have red pups, so we searched and found a pup that was beautiful and available, so off on the road trip we went, to get our red pup. We were so excited and just knew that everything would be just wonderful. Well, it wasn't.
This is part of an email I sent to my dog owners...
It is with great sadness that I write this email..... Beyond our control, we need to find "Shepard James" or "Shepp" (to most of you), a forever home. After much thought and trying every way to make this work, it just won't. Let me explain. Several years ago, we wanted to expand into Red dogs. After we picked up Meg, we needed a suitable mate for her. After much Internet searching and phone calls, we found our perfect dog, which was Shepp. Since that time, we have been trying to have Red pups with no success. He would do the deed, but it never took. Last week he went to a fertility specialist in Kentucky, and the results were heartbreaking, he was sterile. That is not the problem, we would gladly keep him if that were the only issue. Because he has no testosterone, he is at the bottom of the pack and is getting picked on. It has started a little, and it will get worse as time goes on. Even the girls will dominate him. The only solution is to find him a home where there are not so many hormones running around all the time. He can be with other dogs just not so many, and my wish would be that he would be with another one of our dogs, so that is why I am only letting all my dog owners know.
I am not looking for just a home to take him, I am looking for a forever home to love him. If you know me, you also know I am passionate about my dogs, and I am even more passionate about my personal dogs.
There has been a lot of thought and discussion at home about this, and it is not an easy decision. The hard decisions never are...I love him too much not to let him live his life in peace.
My heart broke as I hit the "send" button, for I knew there was no turning back now, It was done. I might as well say my goodbyes now and gather his favorite toys and take his name off the kennel door. I teared up a little and just sat in my chair looking at the computer screen. "Your Message Has Been Sent" I cursed under my breath, What have I done, I might as well of signed his death sentence. My little boy was leaving, and I did it.
That night I tried to go to sleep, It was a bad night. I might as well-of-been Ebenezer Scrooge. I saw all three ghost, and they weren't very friendly, especially to me. The only thing, there wasn't a future, no redemption for me.
I got many emails back, everybody wanted My Little Sheppie. My heart was breaking inside, and every response was tearing me apart, but I knew it was the right thing to do.
I got a phone call from California. It was a very nice lady who was looking for a Border Collie for her dad. He had one that had passed away, and it was going to be a surprise for him. It sounded perfect, could not be better, better for everyone, except me, I was dying inside. I tried to be cheerful and happy and knew this was the best or was it?
Just then, I said NO, you're not going!!! We can work this out, you're part of this family. I will protect you, you can stay by my side, I will watch over you. I picked up the phone and called the lady back from California. She sounded so cheerful and nice. I just blurted out and interrupted her conversation, "I'm sorry, I can't give him up, I just can't. I'm sorry". Through my tears and sniffles, in a very nice way, she said. "I understand, I've been there one time too" I thanked her again, and hung up. I gave little Sheppie a big hug and said: "let's go to bed."
That night I slept much better. I dreamed of the things we would do and how much he loved me and how he was always near me, just wanting me to love him back. Just like Ebenezer Scrooge, there was a future for Tiny Tim, and so there will be for "Shepp," or so I thought...
We tried everything to make it better for him. We would keep him separated from the other dogs, but the dominance instinct was just too strong. It came to a head on Sunday. I cannot let this go until he is injured or worse. I had an inquiry from a family that was just perfect, He would be King of the hill. He has lots of land, lots of water and older children to play with him. He even has neighbors that have two of our dogs to keep him company but at the end of the day, he would be King.
They always say that if you love something, you'll let it go. Sheppie, as much as it hurts, and as much as I try to put you out of my mind, I can't. I want you to be everything you deserve, and I know you will. You'll always have part of my heart. Run Free little fellow, Run Free...
Note: This was the hardest thing I have ever done.......