Saying Goodbye

I’m a liar. One month and four days ago I wrote a blogpost called “She’s Here to Stay.” I reassured my son that Holly would not have to leave us, ever.

Well, she wasn’t here to stay I guess. Not for now anyways. A week and a half ago, she bit Javan on the stomach. She didn’t draw blood, but it was a big enough scratch and left a bruise. He’d been running past her and bumping in to her playing “crash ball.” That’s a game where Daddy sits on the couch holding an exercise ball in front of him and Javan runs from across the room and crashes full-body into it as hard as he can. It’s sensory stimulation he loves.  Well, I guess that one particular time he’d run past Holly was one time too many and she snapped.

Then I found out that she bit a boy on the arm at church Sunday. It was not more than a nip. The boy’s teachers didn’t even know that it happened. But it shouldn’t have happened at all. We took her back to the trainer today. For at least a year.

Not only was she not ready yet, but I also wasn’t able to keep up her training as well as I should have. And Javan isn’t ready yet. I guess there’s a reason why most service dog agencies won’t allow a child this young to have a dog. And they won’t allow a child of any age who has aggressive tendencies to have a dog. Because it messes up their bond. I saw that to be true. His bond with Holly changed when he stopped allowing her to comfort him and when he started being aggressive towards her. Do I think he’ll be less aggressive in a year? Honestly, no. That’s been a part of his personality since birth, and I don’t see it going away anytime soon. Well, not ever really.

Do I know what that means for our future with Holly. Not a clue. We will try to maintain team training in Dallas at least once every 2-3 weeks. And if nothing else, Holly will be our friend. And it will give us opportunities to spend with our family there.

Right now, Javan is sad. He didn’t cry when we told him she would leave, or any day since then. He didn’t cry when he said goodbye. And he didn’t cry when we came home without her. What he did was get his butterfly book with all the drawings of the caterpillars/butterflies from our kindergarten science experiment (about a year and a half ago), curled up face down in a fetal position under the pool table with his forehead resting on the butterfly book and say how much he missed the butterflies. He stayed there for a long time. He knows the butterflies are never coming back.

For those of you who know Javan and who will see him, please if you read this don’t ask him where Holly is. Just act natural.


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