Saturday, September 1, 2012


Chris and I had to make one of the hardest grown up/parent decisions and it's been a very sad day at our house. Raider was put to sleep this morning and we sure are going to miss him. He was such a good buddy - not always a great dog (I called him "our Marley"), but we loved him.

Let's back up and start at the beginning. In college Chris decided that he wanted a dog and it would live in his little bitty apartment in Canyon, TX where he was going to school. I was excited for HIM, but I did not want a dog at my house in Lubbock. We went to couple's house one night and met this medium sized dog that was so calm and sweet. After the lady told us his story - their dog had puppies, this one had gotten Parvo, he survived, and now it was time to sell him Chris fell in love and we left that night with this dog in my arms. As soon as we shut the car door and I had this sweet dog in my arms all shyness and calmness was gone. He was CRAZY WILD - jumping all over the place. We got him to the apartment and he made a huge mess all over the floor. I reminded Chris that I said this was a bad idea and he was pretty much in agreement. That was NOT Raider. That would become Copenhagen (I said we were in college). About 3 months after getting Copenhagen, Chris got deployed to Iraq and I inherited this dog. Long story short when Chris returned after 7 months Copenhagen had become Cope (Copey), he had polished nails, and he was MY dog.

About 2 years later and after another deployment I decided to surprise Chris with a dog of his own for Christmas after seeing this sweet dog at an adoption event at the pet store. I was so excited. I got a huge box and wrapped it up and put the dog in it.  Before Chris could get to the box out jumped the dog - right into Chris' heart (though he didn't always remain there). We named him Raider. Raider and Cope became best friends and loved each other. They got in trouble together often. From digging in the trash can to digging in the yard he was always into something. He drove us nuts at times. He even got to go live with Chris's mom, stepdad, and sisters for awhile in Alabama while we lived in an apartment because it was not a good place for him to be. But as soon as we got a house, he came back home although shortly after his return we tried to get them to take him back. Even with all of that said, we both really loved him. If I was ready to get rid of him, Chris would rally for him. If Chris was done, I would be Team Raider.

When I was pregnant with Wyatt, we had someone drop something off at our house. Chris was home, but in the shower and when the guy came in Raider bit him. This was a huge red flag for us, especially about to have a baby in the house, and we had MANY conversations about what we needed to do. We understood why he bit, but we were very uneasy about it. For this reason we did not let Raider by Wyatt very much for a whole year. He spent more time in his kennel and outside. He never gave us any other reasons to worry, but we weren't willing to take any chances.

Recently, he's been more aggressive by growling, showing teeth, and getting snappy around kids. Chris and I knew that we could not have a dog that would even think about doing this around children and began thinking of solutions. We tried very hard to find Raider a home, but were very honest with everyone. The retreats wouldn't take him with his behavior, he wasn't adoptable, and we were not okay with him going anywhere that he'd live in a little kennel for the rest of his life. We talked to several vets and each said that we were making the right decision for our family by having him put to sleep. We struggled very hard with that because although we knew 100% it was the right decision for our kids, we couldn't be confident it was best for Raider.

One day we will tell Wyatt the whole story, but for now he thinks Raider went to live somewhere else. It was hard to explain that he'd be in Heaven, because he wasn't sick. We didn't want to confuse him, because he knew Raider had been being "bad" and we didn't want that associated with the situation. Our focus has been on having him give Cope lots of hugs and playing with him because we don't want him to be sad. I caught Wyatt talking to Cope, who was in his kennel, when we got home tonight. He was telling Cope that he hoped he was happy and he didn't want him to be sad because his friend wasn't there. Wyatt sure does have a very kind heart and it warmed mine to see this on such a sad day.

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