Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sometimes You Have to Make the Hard Call

After confirming our conclusion that we needed to find a better home for Leo over the weekend, Hallie put a call out on Facebook to find resources and information. Her friends from the GP Mom’s Club pulled through with some great suggestions, including the name of a lady whose boyfriend was looking for a dog.
Some parting photos. As Mike was preparing the blog, Landon saw them. He wishes we could still have Leo or that maybe someday we can get his brother. We hope so too!

This is Eliza's favorite thing to do with/to Leo. We considered getting her a saddle. Leo would just put up with her, hopeful that one of the grown-ups would intervene.

Parting with Leo was an issue of timing and fit. We had to place him in a better situation after recognizing that the situation he was in with us was not working out. Our decision was for him as much as anyone else. Leo is an amazing puppy. So smart and well-behaved, and he has a great disposition. However, he was one of three “puppies” in the home, and Mom and Dad have our hands full with our other two at this point. Now was just not the right time, and it was better to give Leo a good home than have everyone keep struggling. We would never have done this if we didn’t feel we had to, and it breaks our hearts.

The experience gave Mike a (very small) look into the world of adoption placement from the point of view of the person making the placement. We knew it was not right for us to keep Leo, and we didn’t just want to get rid of him. We tried to do right by him and us both. We still have a lot of conflicting feelings about how this situation came up and what the best way to resolve it was. We can only imagine how much harder it must have been for Natalie and Zoraida and how they must have felt before choosing to place their children with us. But sometimes you have to make the hard call and be willing to bear whatever criticism or consequences follow.

His new owners renamed him Huck (a la Huckleberry Hound). He looks like a good Huck.

Placing Leo with another family was a hard call to make, but we knew it was the right one pretty quickly. Neither of the kids really seems to have been affected by Leo’s departure. Landon asked about him a couple of times, and Eliza came downstairs Wednesday morning looking for him, but that was the end of it. It’s debatable how well either one will remember that we even had a dog a few months or years down the road. A week after Leo’s placement is too soon to tell anything. In the meantime, our routines have reverted back to their pre-puppy level of insanity.

We finally let our creaky lumpy futon give up the ghost, replacing it with a relatively more comfy couch that imposes itself on our family room like a gigantic hibernating mocha-colored bear (good thing we had switched family and dining rooms!). The kids have a hard time clambering up as the seats are fairly high off the floor.

On Wednesday Mike and Hallie went with Sean and Jen to Shogun Bistro and had teppanyaki-style steak and chicken served up hot and steaming right before our eyes. Our chef was a real cut-up.

Mike attended an orientation meeting for the Wayne State Freshmen Quests canoe trip down the Au Sable River he will participate in from Monday through Wednesday next week while Hallie holds down the nest with our active brood. Should be challenging and fun, for both of us!

We have battled a pretty nasty cold this week, complete with a whole set of symptoms passed from one family member to another. Each of the parents tried to give the other a chance to sneak a nap in, and we let the kids sleep as much as possible. Sleep, cold medicine, and pain killers kept us functioning through it all.

Friday was a fun filled day with our neighbors Dan, Doreen, Elliott, and Owen. In the morning everyone played outside. By 10:30 their family and ours headed to Barnes and Noble for story time. Landon, Owen, and Hallie ended up at Buddy’s pizza for lunch. In the afternoon the kids got back together and the adults pulled their resources and we had our GP Hillbilly BBQ on the front porch. We all had so much fun and the kids really liked their yummy Drumsticks for dessert.

By Saturday, we all felt well and desperate enough to get outside and see the wide world. We drove up to Armada where we had free corn on the cob at Blake Farms and then consumed corn dogs, cheese fries, and elephant ears while inspecting the animals and enjoying the carnival rides at the Armada Fair, “A True Country Fair.” Landon especially enjoyed going in circles on the motorcycle and riding with Dad on a burlap sack down the super long slide. A kid challenged us to a race, and we pulled out a win right at the finish line!
Fresh corn on the cob. So sweet!

The kids saw a bunny!

Of course they had to get a closer look.

"Yeah, right," said Bugs.

"We won't let no stinkin' fence stop us!"

Today the hare won.

It's surprising how much noise all the animals make.

Feeding time! We'd make some noise too.

At the Miracle of Life tent, . . .

Eliza looked at the baby animals . . .

while Landon played with trucks.

"Let's go on the Ferris Wheel!"

"Hi, Mom and Eliza!"

The mild weather continued through Sunday, and after church the kids played in the backyard while Mike gathered some veggies for dinner.  

Our cucumbers are especially smart. They grow into ready-made letters for spelling:
They spell a real word. Just "pull" real hard on your left ear and tilt your head (darn photo editing software). 

As you can see, we used real manure to grow these babies. 

Anyway, you get the idea. 

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