Tag Archives: failure

tequila and heartbreak

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I have written several posts in the past few months and then not published them or deleted them all together.  Because…shame.  It’s been present off and on in heavy doses because I’m making some major life changes and I have extra stress right now.  I’m also fighting feelings of failure. 

Maybe I’ll publish some of the posts that I kept, or maybe I’ll just keep them for myself.  But this one I am writing today because I don’t like keeping this secret inside that reduces me to feelings of shame and failure.  And I really do believe that speaking my experiences has been an enormous help to me in getting through the negative and feeling free to heal. 

I have been called a crazy dog lady many times.  I have an enormous, deep, and unconditional love for all the dogs I have ever had in my life.  I have an immediate love for most dogs I meet.  I would do anything to ensure my dogs feel safe and loved.  And I spare no expense on their health. 

I have been uncharacteristically quiet for the last several months about my dogs.  And that is because I was feeling like a complete failure.  Unworthy of having them.  Full of shame that I was going to have to face a decision I have judged people for many times. 

I am heartbroken still as I write this because I had to return my Tequila to her foster home last week.  

I’m taking a very deep breath as I feel the weight of what some of you will think as you read that.  And because I still cry every single time I think of her and what had to happen.  I don’t have any idea how to stop hurting over the loss I’m feeling not having Tequila in my home where I felt she belonged. 

My dogs were together 4 months before they fought for the first time.  It was terrifying and I didn’t know what to do or if it was an immediate reason they couldn’t be together.  But thankfully, I have great dog-loving people in my life and many great connections from volunteering for the rescue both Fiesta and Tequila came from when I adopted each of them.

I was quickly connected with a great trainer who worked with us in my home in order to bring harmony back to all of us.  And I had my dogs examined by their fabulous vet to ensure there were no medical issues going on that could be causing the aggression.  Their vet is someone I have relied on for many years now and I am so thankful for his expertise, advice, and support. 

I was so relieved that my home quickly became a house of beagle love again.  For awhile. 

Unfortunately, the fighting kept coming back and in the last few months it escalated to the point where I had to face the fact that they may not be able to both be safe in my home.

Then, one day a few weeks ago I put both dogs in the car to go to the park.  And just as I parked the car, a fight broke out in the backseat.  Before I could even understand what was happening, there was blood and I no longer remained calm as I yelled and tried other things that in the past had worked to prevent or stop fights.  In a split second of panicking and not thinking, I reached to grab a collar and got in the middle of them fighting in the way a person never should. 

With my hand.  

I felt the pain immediately and froze in hopes that my dog would let go, which she did.  And then they went right back to fighting with each other as my wrist started bleeding everywhere and I continued to struggle to stop them. 

Eventually, I was able to stop the fight and keep them separate in the car to get home.  They went into their crates and I headed to urgent care.  I was confused and hurt, both emotionally and physically. 

I still have pain and bruising, and it’s been a few weeks. But I was lucky I wasn’t bitten in a way that caused permanent damage.  

The damage to my heart is not healing as quickly. 

I tried to reunite them several times with no luck before I admitted to myself that this recent fight was the moment I knew that I couldn’t keep them together.  Everything I tried to make a safe home for them both has failed. 

I failed.  At least that’s how I felt at that time. 

I know I made the right decision to separate them, but it has been really awful. 

I will say again, I have great dog-loving people in my life.  I reached out to a few and received so much understanding, support, and love.  And I am so, SO thankful to each of you who were there for me in the last few weeks.  You know who you are and I just can’t thank you enough. 

Facing the fact that I couldn’t give both of my dogs the home they deserve is one of the worst things I have ever had to face.  

I know in my heart and my gut I did what was best for both of them.  Tequila is doing great in a place where she feels safe and loved.  She will be cared for by a rescue I respect that will protect her best interests and make sure she finds a great new home.  And Fiesta is relaxed, playful, and happy in a way she hasn’t been in a very long time.  That is good.  That is what they both deserve.

I helped my Tequila girl get through illness and reach her healthy weight.  And that’s success, not failure.  

I’ll have to hold onto that since I can no longer hold her little paws or rub her soft ears.  She won’t be with me, but she will always be in my heart as my dog. 

Miss you, Teq.  Soooooooo much. 

KK  
 

Quitting is not the same as failing

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I saw a post today on Facebook that said “You can’t fail unless you quit.”

At first, I thought I kind of liked it, but I quickly changed my mind and decided I think that is a statement that is unfair and untrue.  Quitting something is not the same as failing it.  Not at all.  I mean, maybe you will disagree and say that you think I failed, but I am going to tell you two situations where I think that isn’t true.

The first is that I quit being married and got a divorce.  And I don’t believe for a minute that being divorced means I failed at that marriage.  Sure, it sometimes felt like I was failing as I was going through the years where I tried my hardest to save it and remain married, but thankfully I have wonderful people in my life who made sure I understand that it was not a failure.  I was not a failure.  Either was he.  I married a great guy when I was just a young girl, and he was young too.  We had great times together and raised two awesome kids together.  We did a lot of things right.  We went through good times and bad times and tried our best to support each other.  But at some point as the kids got older, I realized that we never really had much to say to each other.  Everything was wrong.  I relied solely on my friends and other family for support when I was happy, sad, unsure, proud, scared, or whatever else I was feeling.  We didn’t believe the same things and we no longer had the same goals for our lives.  I’m not sure we ever did share the same goals because we got married so young that we didn’t talk about those things.  I know we did not have the same beliefs where it really matters to me.  We both got older and I realized that I didn’t have what I needed to feel secure or loving in my most important relationship.  I wasn’t sure that when I felt weak he would have my back.  I didn’t have a best friend.  I never thought I needed that in my husband.  And now I believe that I was wrong.  I want that person I wake up to every single day to be the person I tell everything about myself.  Without shame or any need to hold anything inside when it needs to come out for me to feel whole.

We quit being married, but our marriage wasn’t a failure.  One definition of failure is “a lack of success.”  Our marriage had many successful moments.  Many cherished moments.  Moments I would never want to erase or take back.

The second thing I feel the need to discuss is that I quit my most recent therapy group.  And that does not mean I failed.  Trying things is how we gain experience and knowledge as people.  And I was learning helpful things in the group.  However, I was also going through some things that meant when I was at group, I was preoccupied, anxious, and even angry.  And during a recent individual therapy session, I realized something that threw me off course.  WAY off course.  So I had to quit the group.  Maybe I’ll do that group again someday and maybe I won’t.  And that’s ok.  Leaving that group felt right the second I was done telling the facilitator that I had to quit.  And leaving it also gave me the strength to admit in my individual therapy that I have a big hurdle I’m ready to take on and move past.

And that is a success.  Not at all a failure.

So, I’m not saying quit everything you start or don’t try.  But I am saying that if you start something and can’t do it, or have a setback, or learn that you really wish you were doing something else, that is totally ok.  Start again.  Try something else.  And learn from what you quit because anytime you learn something, I believe that is a success.

NOT a failure.

KK