Before I begin, let me pause a moment to refresh your memory with these posts…

fatj giveaway, tft: giving away your dog, the beast; she remains

I just searched my blog and noticed I hadn’t mentioned Leila since I wrote this post on April 5, the day before Sam was born. I didn’t mention her much either, in the months leading up to Sam’s birth, even though things with Leila were beginning to ‘go down’ if you will. You see, back in February I was starting to get really anxious about the lifestyle change that bringing a new baby into our home was going to cause. I worried how I was going to do it all- parent two kids, run a household, maintain a relationship with my spouse, and give what little attention was left over to Leila the dog. By February she was way beyond stir-crazy, and with me being pregnant all winter, I was able to provide her with even less exercise than I would during a regular winter. So in February I sent out a mass email in the hopes that someone would know someone who’d know someone who’d want to adopt Leila the Golden Retriever.

We had a handful of bites, but none of them panned out. Until a friend of ours said that her parents- lifetime golden retriever lovers who live in a rural, lakeside setting- were possibly interested. It took awhile for things to come together- the possible adoptive family was on vacation for much of February/March, and then a few dates that we had set up for a meeting between them and Leila fell through. Then we scheduled a Leila meet and greet for April 7th, and since I had just delivered a baby the day before, that meeting didn’t work out either. Finally when Sam was about 2.5 weeks old, Jan (possible adoptive mother) came over to meet Leila. My memories of that day are pretty hazy, as I was suffering from extreme sleep deprivation and was only on day #2 of being home alone with the two kids, and Ryan was spastic and I’m pretty sure I couldn’t even put a coherent sentence together. But I remember Jan entering our house and showering Leila with immediate love and attention and sweetness that I hadn’t been able to muster toward her in who knows how long. I know Jan wasn’t at our house very long- 30 minutes, tops, and there she was offering to take Leila home with her. I had envisioned that any possible dog adopters would take Leila for a trial run, to see how she did in their environment, and to see if they still liked her after having enjoyed her idiosyncrasies for a few days. So off Leila went with Jan, with the understanding that we’d touch base in a day or two to see how things were going.

Flash forward almost a week. I hadn’t heard from Jan. And call me delinquent, but the days just flew by (it was Ryan’s birthday weekend) and I didn’t call her either. Sunday rolled around and I finally had a chance to call her, and here is the general idea of the report I received: We love Leila! She’s a great dog! She hasn’t been without a tennis ball the entire time she’s been here! She goes swimming in the lake right away every morning! Our other dog gets along great with her! She’s super duper and we’d like to rename her Denard!!!**

So basically, long story short, Leila has a new home and she hasn’t been back at our house since that day in mid-April. And I can’t begin to express how grateful I am that we found such a wonderful family for Leila to live with. She is living in her own personal doggy heaven on earth. There is woods, a huge yard and house, and a lake. And an ample supply of tennis balls and caretakers willing to throw them.

The day Leila left, Ryan asked why is that lady taking Leila with her? He’s talked about her and asked about her a lot. I imagine it’s difficult for a 3 year old to figure out why his pet no longer lives at his house. We keep reiterating that Leila gets all the exercise she needs in her new home, and that at our house we weren’t able to let her run around as much as she needed to. We really wanted Ryan to be able to see Leila again and to see where she lives, so a few weeks ago her new owners were gracious enough to invite us out to their house for a Sunday afternoon. During that visit we were absolutely 100% convinced that we made the right decision for Leila. She is so happy, frolicking on the beach and fetching her tennis balls and being showered with constant attention. {{We also had a blast relaxing on the beach with Leila’s new parents, siblings, and nieces/nephews- haha! Ryan had so much fun playing at the beach with the other kids that we didn’t hear a word from him for two hours! He woke up the next morning asking when we could go back again, and has been talking about the visit ever since!}}

Of course I forgot my camera when we visited Leila, but FatJ snapped a couple iphone shots of the old girl.

She still flings tennis balls at anyone and everyone, incessant in her need to retrieve…

There’s Ry having a blast at the beach. He brought Leila a brand new tennis ball as a present. She snatched it right away.

There she is as we were leaving. I was curious what she’d do when we left- if she’d come out to the car expecting to go with us, or if she’d run the other way. I swear as we were leaving the house she bowed down in her little sheepish manner that she has when she doesn’t want to do something, and I took that to mean “please, PLEASE let me stay here where it’s fun!” She didn’t come near the back of our car as we left…she was so very happy to remain.

Overall, we’re really glad we made this change. I know Leila’s a great dog, and I will always think of her as our dog, but I don’t miss the barking and hyperactivity and destroyed backyard (and the poop!) and the dog hair and the whining and the muddy paws… We know she’s in a good place, and our household is much calmer because of it. We miss you keeping our floors cleaned up, Leila! But overall, we sure are happy that YOU’RE so happy in your new home!

{{{{Thanks so much to Weezie for making this happen!!}}}}

**Leila’s new family has owned two golden retrievers in the past. The first one was named Kirby Puckett. The next one was named Torii Hunter. It was only fitting that Leila be renamed Denard Span. I laughed out loud every time I heard someone refer to her as Denard.