I don't know if it was more a reflection of how we were selfish enough to hold onto taking care of something that we knew we could not, but it felt more like we originally took on the responsibility of caring for something that we were now abandoning; therefore concluding us as having failed, and in turn, having scarred another being.
It was a difficult decision to make and it took a lot of time. We had given it a lot of thought for some time now. We understood that we were not good parents. We felt that Beejing would be better taken care of if under someone else's guidance.
We had done a little work and identified a family that wanted to adopt him; wanted to welcome and care for him. This family was the sister's of a High School friend of Elizabeth's in New Orleans. They had a house and two kids. The mom comes from a family who is used to rearing canines and wanted to find a small dog that would be playful with her and her children.
The phone call came while I was at work. As open as Elizabeth was being, I kept my conversation discrete as possible. "My parents," she said, "they said I can't keep Beejing here."
"What did you do?" I asked.
"I'm keeping him out back," she paused, "for now."
"Yes. For now. It's warm enough. I've been keeping him company playing with him all day so far."
From the hesitation in her voice, I could tell that she was hinting around to something, but could not brave herself enough to voice it, "What about kennel services?" I asked.
"Yeah, I could call about kennels. We could keep him in one until you come."
"Come...," I paused and then the words came out like molasses out of a tipped jar, "and then we can go give him away." There was silence in the line. She was speechless as I was. Possibly, this was the first time she had actually heard the words so realistically planned. But we both knew that keeping Beejing in a kennel for a few days was pointless, if he could be adjusting to his new home. "We could," I continued, "we could... we should... we should just give him away now. Just ask, if you can. Please, just ask, if maybe we could just come see him briefly this coming weekend."
"And tell him... Tell Beejing.. tell him that..."
"I know," she said calmly, "He knows too."
"Okay. I have to get back to work now. Love you hun."
Most of the week had passed and after arriving in New Orleans and we went to visit him in his new home. We approached the house and a teenage boy and girl happily greeted us. The mom came out, shook my hand, and took us in. Opening the backdoor, she called for Beejing. He poked his head out from around the corner, spotted Elizabeth and me, and happily charged inward. He instantly placed his head brushingly against us until we picked him up and held him. The visit lasted for about a half-hour.
During that time, I had pulled him aside and told him a few things. I told him how I was so lucky to be his friend for so long and to watch him grow. I told him how we'd always have some of Rochester and a bit of Brooklyn in us together. And how now it was time for him to be the man and journey onward. This was to be his next step and that I will always love him. When it came time for us to leave, Beejing approached the doorway in hopes of us placing his leash on him to take him with us. But we couldn't.
Things we noticed: The owner cherished him. There was a new dog bed and new toys. Beejing had felt natural and uninhibited in his new environment. He had gained a couple of pounds.
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