Sadly, about a month ago, we had to come to the very difficult decision to find a new home for our beloved bloodhound, Griswold. He was having a difficult time adjusting to the babies as they became more mobile. We read how some dogs have difficulty comprehending that babies are small humans and consider them another type of “creature.” I guess this is true, but what we believe is very true is that Gris spent the first seven months of the girls’ lives knowing them as immobile “creatures.” As they got more mobile, it seemed that he got scared.
This decision, albeit a very sad one, was in the best interest of Griswold and the girls. It put both parties in a safer environment. As we came to this conclusion, we then had to face the fact that Griswold would be leaving our home, one that included him for over six amazing years. We talked with our veterinarian and asked if there was even an adoption market that would find a six year old bloodhound who might not do well with infants and toddlers desirable? She said absolutely. In fact, after a subsequent visit to the vet with our other dog, Blake, she said she contemplated taking Gris herself. It was very heartwarming to hear that.
We ended up tapping into our social media networks to share the news and ask for help finding Gris a new home. There was a sense of urgency as Mary and I had anxiety making sure that neither the girls nor Gris were in an unsafe environment. We got a few leads for new homes, but received an offer from my parents to take Griswold into their home. It was an offer that brought tears to my eyes, as Gris is very familiar with their house and my parents are very familiar with his routine and mannerisms. It was a silver lining for sure.
We quickly bought him a plane ticket to Newark, NJ, where my parents met him and brought him to upstate NY. In the past month, he’s been adjusting well and getting into a new routine that involves less noise, longer walks with Dad, chewing sticks in the yard, and a safer environment overall.
Mary and I look back at the entire situation and know we did nothing wrong or are to blame. That’s not to say we aren’t sad, but we worked hard before the babies arrived to make sure the dogs were aware and comfortable, knowing they were still part of the family. Initially, Gris and Blake showed TONS of love toward the girls. The reason we know Griswold genuinely loved the girls is that he gave them more kisses in their 8 months together than Mary and I received in the last 6 years. Even when he was afraid of their mobility, he still showed them affection in our arms or in their high-chairs.
Gris is our first “child” and it was very hard to say goodbye to him. The photo above is right before we went to airport cargo center in downtown San Diego. Usually in pictures, his eyes are often glassy or hazy, but they look crystal clear in the picture. He is a remarkable dog, a genuine character, and thankfully still in the family (just in a slightly different way).