The Broken Heart of a Puppy Dad

If you follow my blog or photography at all you know our dog Juneau had puppies recently. The puppies have been so much work and it’s been a wild ride raising these puppies the last two months. I’ve spent many late nights with the puppies, playing with them, feeding them, cleaning up after them and just loving them. The experience of raising these little beautiful dogs has been a highlight of my life.

I remember one night sitting in the puppy pen we had made out of our dinning room. I was sitting there on the floor with 3 of my favourite puppies sleeping in my lap and I was surround by 6 more puppies. I was in heaven and I knew it. I was so happy in that moment and I wanted it to last forever. It was probably around 1am at the time so of course it didn’t last all that long, but those feelings would come over me over and over again at different times while I was with the puppies.

Of course raising 9 puppies is a crazy amount of work and I didn’t do it by myself. Raising the puppies was a family thing and everyone in the house fell in love with the puppies. Sometimes when I was on my own at 1:30 in the morning and 9 puppies were pooping everywhere, stepping in it, jumping on me and getting it allover the place I would get pretty frustrated to say the least haha. But every morning when I walked out to see them and 9 puppies came flying at me like I was their hero every crazy and annoying little thing they ever did just disappeared and I was ok with that.

The puppies gave me something I didn’t know I needed. They loved me and I loved them and it was unconditional. I would hold them on their back and look into their eyes and they would stare back at me and those moments I will hold onto forever. Each puppy had their own special relationship with me and I felt like everyone of them could be my best friend for life and it honestly felt like that’s the way it was going to be. Sadly in the back of my mind I knew it wasn’t to be.

When 8 weeks came around and it was time for the puppies to start heading to their new homes I knew it was going to be difficult, but I didn’t fully realize how much I had let myself fall in love with each of those sweet little babies. The first two that left just happened to be my #1 and #3 favourites! So as you could image that felt like a loss I haven’t felt in a long time. I cried and I haven’t cried in a long time. I had a physical pain in my chest that was excruciating. I felt like I had just gone through a long term relationship break up, it was that type of pain. The sadness was agonizing and I couldn’t imagine it would continue to be that bad.

The next puppy I handed over was also one of my favourites, they all were my favourites I guess haha. Her name was Gemma and she was the sweetest little dog in the world. She would lick you to death and I never worried about her hurting me with her sharp little teeth and paws. Anyhow, this was the first time I was handing a dog over to someone by myself. I figured I’d be ok because as much as loved Gemma I never thought I there was a chance I was going to keep her, the first two dogs we let go were two of the dogs were were considering keeping.

Everything was going just fine when the lady came to take Gemma home. Gemma didn’t really want to get into her carrying case the lady brought with her so I said I’d just carry her out to the car. When I picked her up she was shaking a little bit, but just a bit, no big deal. The moment I walked out the front door Gemma really started shaking. The lady was walking in front of me and I was just whispering to Gemma how I was going to miss her and I was sorry I couldn’t keep her. By the time I got to the ladies car I was crying. It’s actually painful for me to even write this because that was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Just thinking about putting her in that car kills me. But I got her in, said goodbye and closed the door.

More puppies have left since that day and it’s been nothing but heart break every time. I’ve spent the last week trying to think of other things, but inside I know I could burst into tears at any moment. Those puppies were so special to me, they were almost like children of mine. I spent so much time with those little dogs and there was no way not to fall in love with every single one of them. The experience was amazing and I absolutely loved it, but the pain of letting them go has been so bad that I don’t think I could ever do it again.

As I write this there are 3 puppies left in the puppy pen beside me. Two will be going to their new homes and one will be staying with us. I’ve been trying to think of any scenario where I will be able to keep at least two of them, but sadly I don’t think there is a way. There is more heart break ahead and I know in time I will be ok, but for now it will be a Christmas of tears.

The following pictures are just a bunch of pictures I took with my phone over the last couple months.

Thanks for stopping by, Rob

Oh and Merry Christmas! 😉

8 thoughts

  1. Oh, Rob–I am a mess. This is why I could never foster dogs or cats–I’d want to keep them all. Juneau gave birth to an adorable litter. Enjoy the little one you keep. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    • Ya it’s a wild thing to do. I’d definitely never put my self in this position again, it’s brutal. But yes, we will enjoy the one we are keeping. We were keeping Dora, but have since decided to keep a boy since we started hearing it would be a bad idea to keep a mother and a daughter together. Merry Christmas to you and your family too! 🙂

  2. Giving up the little beasts is so hard. We don’t foster kitties, we just take them in and keep them. We get too attached. Beautiful puppy pictures.

    • So hard! And yes I would imagine I’d end up doing the exact same thing haha. Thanks about the puppy pictures! Looking back I should have took more, ah well. I guess I’ll start taking more now while I got these last 3 hanging around. 🙂

  3. While I given thought about joining a rescue group and be a foster, I know I wouldn’t be a good fit. I would be too close with them. I must say you did an extraordinary job by getting them ready. I am surprised you did let go of Gemma. I would have kept her since she was shaking.

    • Yeah, letting Gemma go was extremely difficult, but there was no getting around it. We are handing over the last two puppies tomorrow on Vancouver Island. I know it’s going to be so hard and I am dreading it. I’ve just been spending this last night with the puppies and trying to take it all in. They are fast asleep now and I should probably do the same. Hopefully tomorrow goes better than I think it will.

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