Nancy from Washington is grieving over the recent passing of her husband. Sophia, her 8-year-old border collie mix, is grieving, too. Nancy now faces a difficult decision – to relocate to a smaller home with Sophia, or place her with friends.
Sophia has spent her life on a 5-acre ranch. Moving to a smaller home means restricted space for exercise and a less stimulating environment. If Nancy places Sophia with her longtime friends, she will continue to live the ranch life with another dog and two young boys. Nancy is trying to decide what will be best for her beloved dog.
Situations like these are so difficult because, for many of us, we need our dogs as much as they need us. Setting emotion aside for a moment, Sophia’s needs include adequate exercise and daily mental stimulation – critical for bright and active border collies. She probably has four to six years of life left. Nancy needs to be realistic about her own life for the next four years. Will she be able to provide Sophia with the daily activity she needs?
Fortunately, Nancy and Sophia both know the family that’s willing to take in Sophia. The best solution might be to have Sophia spend a few weeks with the new family on a trial basis. If she enjoys the company of their dog, blends in with the family well and continues to take advantage of the stimulation that ranch life provides her, leaving her there permanently might be the ultimate act of kindness and love that Nancy can provide.