All of us love puppies. At some point in our lives we probably had a puppy or two and we likely showed him or her off to our friends and family, who always said things like, “Oh, what a cute puppy!” and “How adorable!” But as time went on we could no longer say we had a cute little puppy. He or she grew into a cute dog and we loved that furry companion for the rest of his or her life, right?
While that’s true for most of us, it’s not true for Shona Sibary, who admitted in a Daily Mail article she wrote that she gives up her dogs as soon as they grow out of the puppy stage, even when her children are in tears and her husband is threatening divorce.
“The minute [the dogs] become too much trouble – which they always do – I fall out of love and start advertising them in the classifieds section of our local newspaper,” Sibary wrote. “You’d think after doing this four times in four years — and spending over [$1,500] — I might have learned my lesson. But I’ve just gone and got another dog. This time she’s a 7-month-old Whippet cross Cocker Spaniel [named Clover]… And if she continues to leap onto the kitchen counters to steal food I’ll probably get rid of her, too.”
Sibary admits there must be something wrong with her, and wonders if her behavior stems from never being allowed to have a puppy as a child or perhaps not knowing her own limitations when it comes to raising a dog. She says in her article that when she gets a new puppy she is in it wholeheartedly, attending classes and picking up after it. It is when complications arise that she starts thinking there might be “a more suitable dog out there. Maybe one that is less bouncy, less barky, less inclined to molt everywhere. And so the new search begins and I cannot rest until I have found a replacement puppy to lie adoringly at my feet.”
But Sibary may not have always been this way. She had a Labrador named Oscar since puppyhood until his death from a tumor 10 years later. The dog she had after Oscar was the first one she gave away. Juno was given up because of her digging (she was a Husky). Juno also liked to jump the fence and dig in the neighbors’ gardens. Sibary decided getting a second dog to keep Juno company might help. Albus, however, grew to be aggressive with other dogs (even attacking one) and Juno continued digging and jumping fences. She gave up Juno first, then Albus. Sibary was not dog-less, though, as she’d already gotten another puppy named Pippa. This puppy went with the Sibary family to their new home on a farm in Devon, England. Unfortunately, Pippa killed several farm animals, prompting Sibary to once again get another dog to keep her company. Cookie and Pippa wound up killing a breeding ram, Sibary wrote, so they couldn’t be kept. Pippa was given up first. Once again, another dog was brought in to keep Cookie company, but Cookie still attacked farm animals. Sibary decided that she, too, had to go.
One dog remains: Clover. Sibary says that her husband threatened divorce is she so much as mentions the word ‘puppy.’
“I keep telling myself this one’s for keeps,” Sibary wrote. “I have loved, for a while at least, each and every one of my dogs. But there is no doubt that I have clearly failed on every occasion to wholly embrace a long-term relationship with them and all that this entails — tolerance, patience, time and effort. What’s worse is that I dread to think of the kind of message all this has sent out to my long- suffering children.”
Sibary’s daughter asked her, “If I’m naughty, Mummy, will you rehome me, too?”