Time to be a Grown-Up

I am allergic to my own dogs.  I thought I could ride this out- dogs don’t live forever, right?

The truth is, now that I am on my own, I’m not capable of taking care of the these dogs.  They deserve to be snuggled with more and scratched often, which I cannot do.  Nobody likes picking up waste, but it’s something I’m not supposed to do.  Thanks to Raynaud’s and frequent past infections, infections are a big risk no matter how careful I am.  Sure I could have my 7 year old do it, but there is much more to this than just waste and i just can’t leave it there while he’s at his dad’s.  There’s accidents on the carpet, dander and frequent carpet cleaning.  I am learning how to really handle a Rug Doctor and i’m practically on expert on dog urine stains.  I have a hard enough time just doing the dishes- my priorities were not in order here.

How do I tell a seven year old his dogs need a new home because his mommy can’t take care of them?  Oh, wait- I just did.  And yes, it does suck.  I’m a little disappointed in myself for not doing it sooner.  I AM the parent in this relationship.  I was so worried about disappointing my son, I shirked my responsibilty as a parent to BE the grown-up.  Now it’s done and I feel better.  It will be hard to find those dogs a good home together and I have accepted they may not get to be together.

The thing is it doesn’t matter if I have Scleroderma and Sarcoidosis.  This is something normal.  Yes, normal.  Something happens in our lives and a change needs to be made.  Being a grown-up means I have to make these changes no matter how heartbreaking they may be, that’s just life.  So I told my son and made it my goal to find a home for my dogs before the end of next week.  My son is heartbroken, but this is a good teaching moment and the reasons just keep popping into my head.  You see, my son has seen me in a relationship where my health was not as important as my own dogs.  That is no example to set for my son.  He needs to understand that if he share’s his life with someone, making changes for their health is important and if there is a problem it will not just go away.  Changes need to be made, no mater how devastating.  I think the greatest lesson will be that heartbreak happens and when it does it’s not the end of the world. We go on and make the best choices for our health and family.  Once my son sees my strength increase because of my “lighter load” of life without the dogs, he might understand that difficult changes are worth the effort.  There’s always a chance he may not see the value of change right away, but at least I will have planted a seed.  Most of all, I will have made the choice that’s best for my heath and family.  Parenting is leading by example.  My examples are not without fault, but every now and then I get one right.