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This is Fred, my male Yorkshire Terrier.   He’s named after Fred Astaire because when he’s happy, he dances on his hind legs…spinning in circles and waving his paws in a double high five of pure doggie joy.  I rescued him from a puppy mill in Kansas and, with love, have nurtured him into the happy little guy he is today.  He still has a few residual hangups from his early life–afraid of the hose (I think he was probably hosed down along with his cage)  and any quick movement that he interprets as a threat (he is terrified of the fly-swatter).

I am reluctantly looking for a new home for him.  My new apartment complex really wants residents to have only one pet, and the apartment is much smaller than the one here in Happy Hollow.  Since he follows me around and is usually underfoot, anyway, I must accept the fact that I’d be tripping over him even more often than I do here.  I suffer from vertigo and lose my balance much too easily.  I can’t afford to fall.

The decision to let him go has been one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in a long life full of difficult decisions. It’s the right thing for both of us.  Fred deserves a home where he can run and play, not be cooped up in a tiny apartment.  He deserves to have a family, preferably with kids, who will love him and give him lots of attention.  Living with me, he has to surrender to the whims of Emily who snarls him into submission more often than not.  He deserves to have a home where he is the alpha dog.

My female Yorkie, Emily (mis-named when she was just a puppy–before her imperial personality raised its royal head*), is quite happy to snooze on a pillow all day and will quickly adjust to a smaller space.  As long as she has her royal cushion she’ll be content.

With all this going on, I’m ambivalent about moving at all.  However, I feel it’s necessary.  I need all the accommodations for disabilities that the new apartment has…that aren’t here in my unit in Happy Hollow.  I’ll need them even more as I get older.  Now is the right time for me to make this move voluntarily.  I know it on a practical level, but I’m fighting it on an emotional level.  Moving on, for me, has become bittersweet.

So….. I’m looking for a good home for Fred.

IMHO, our pets are such a part of our day-to-day lives, that losing one, even to a good home, is similar to losing a treasured family member.**  To someone who loves his/her pet, it is one of the biggest life-changes that a person can experience…right up there with losing a job and divorce.

What would you do?  What would you decide?  What do you  think?  Let me know in the comments.

*If I’d known she would become the Oh-So-Royal Empress she is today, I’d have named her Eugenie!  I call her my Yorkshire Terrier-ist.

**I don’t say losing a “child” because I lost my son to suicide and there is simply no comparison.