Chill Out! Nothing Is Written in Stone, but Our Own Death

I rediscovered the other day that some people tend to jump to conclusions, judge, and get angry about things that they don’t really understand.

In my last post, Rehoming (or Fostering Out) Our Good Ol’ Dog, Shep?the response over at my Facebook Page was mixed. The majority of my followers were understanding. But about 40%, somehow either misunderstood my intentions, or were just plain judgmental.

If you were in the second group, I have something to say to you:

Chill Out! It’s Not Your Life!

A few commenters said they were going to unfollow me. Go for it! Do you really think I care? The whole blogging, public-figure thing grows old anyway. I could care less about how many people follow my work. After all, it’s my life. I’m just kind enough to share my journey with others in hopes that something I’ve learned might help someone else.

That said, I think some readers misunderstood the entire post. The goal is not to re-home Shep. The goal is actually to keep him. I was simply excited that some longstanding neighbors that I’ve known personally for eight years showed an interest in helping if needed. And I think it could be a solution for me and a comfort to them as they just lost their own dog of 15 years.

How inhumane of me!

Think Before You Speak

I hate to sound like I’m your dad, your teacher, or some other authority figure, but geez, it really is best to think before you speak. Maybe ask a few questions instead of immediately making worst-scenario assumptions.

The fact is, I’m still in the process of listing my house and working out possible living solutions. Nothing is written in stone. I’m currently making an offer, contingent on the sale of my house, on a condo that ALLOWS dogs. Do you really think that letting go of Shep is my first choice? Hell no! But I need to be prepared for that possibility.

After all, for all we know, I could die tomorrow. Then who’d take care of Shep? And that’s the thing. A dog is a living being. And yes, he is part of the family. However, nobody can control the future. You can’t control getting diagnosed with cancer. And you can’t control the economy and the housing market.

However, you can make plans for the ones you love. Although I’m still in pretty good health, I’m 55 years old and I was recently diagnosed with a blood cancer. Last summer, I put everything in order so that my daughter will be my beneficiary through a living will. I’m trying to do what’s best. It’s the same for Shep. All I’m doing is working out what happens to him if I can no longer take care of him for one reason or another.

The Uncertainty of Real Estate

It’s never been about wanting to get rid of Shep. It’s always been about the uncertainty of real estate. First, once I list my house, chances are fair that it will sell fast, within a few weeks. That means I may have to find somewhere else to live… fast. And when the majority of rentals in my town do not allow dogs, it could put me in a tight spot. Heck, I could even wind up homeless. Seriously. Not permanently of course, but temporarily.

I’ve watched, waited, and even made offers on other properties. Most sellers are not willing to wait for my house to sell. The market is too hot with cash buyers. That leaves me with few choices:

  1. Don’t sell and live beyond my means instead of paying off debt.
  2. Rent a house that allows pets. That’s about 1 in 10 around here, and they go quick.
  3. Move 30 miles away to a college town that has more apartment options for renters with pets.

If you don’t understand my dilemma by now, I’m afraid you never will. Selling a home isn’t easy. It’s not certain. And my intention is only to make sure Shep will have a home… even if I don’t.

All of Our Days Are Numbered

As the title of this post says, nothing is written in stone but our own death. So I have to wonder about all those who immediately made assumptions and tried to shame me for even considering rehoming my pet? Where would your beloved dog wind up if you were to die tomorrow? What would you do if you were in a situation in which you found yourself homeless, or having to move to another country?

Sometimes life is out of our control.

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James Ewen
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