Last year I wrote a blog suggesting that keeping a pet forever no matter what may not always be best for the pet: sometimes we need to swallow our egos and recognize that a particular animal might be better off in some situation other than living with us.
London’s breeder, Scott, called and asked if I would consider sending London back to live with him. London’s father Tundra had recently died, and Scott really wanted to continue that line that had produced such excellent offspring. He had a female named Sierra that needed a companion and mate, and he believed London would be a really strong complement to her genetics.
For several weeks I agonized over what is best for London:
London is a remarkable animal – sweet beyond words, extremely smart and willing, possessing some of the best dog skills and language I have ever observed. He loves to train and play, he is good in the house, loves riding in cars, has no resource issues. He has liked every person he has met. London is simply beautiful, perfect in almost every way. The only flaw I ever saw in him is that he sometimes finds new situations overwhelming, and it takes him a while to get past his initial cautiousness. Large movie sets are almost always challenging, with lots of strange sights and noises. While he might have done well on some sets, I felt the odds were too great that London would eventually encounter situations too intense for him to enjoy.
There is no compelling necessity for London to go anywhere: he absolutely can stay here forever. He has abundant space, lots of animal playmates, a comfortable climate, a pond he loves to splash in, people he adores, and lots of tranquility. He need not ever again go to set, and can simply stay happy at home and be a much-loved pet.
Alternatively, he can go to Scott’s place where he will have a mate and the opportunity to sire splendid pups and will perpetuate a lineage that has produced excellent animals. He will still enjoy adventures if he wants, and he will not likely ever encounter the types of super-intense situations that make him uncomfortable. I can go visit him whenever…
There is no wrong answer here. Both of London’s paths forward are wonderful. But nonetheless, I had to decide…
A few days ago, London went to Scott’s. I love him so very much, and will miss him dearly, but I believe there is a real chance that London will be happier with a mate than without, and if he is ever not happy, we can always bring London back to our place.
He has been at Scott’s for a few days now, and is doing great! Eating well, adoring Sierra, going to the mall, and generally having a great time. He seems to have quickly accepted Scott, and has exhibited no issues at all: Scott is doing a great job of making London feel comfortable and welcome. Is he happier? I cannot know. But so far he seems very happy, and Scott and I will reevaluate frequently and make sure we both believe London continues to know a great life. If in a week, a year, or 10 years we feel that London would be happier back with me, he will always be welcome and cherished. I remain grateful to Scott for trusting us to care for London as we did, and I look forward to meeting the superior pups I hope a thriving London sires!