I think someone writing about a situation like this would say that they were writing it with a heavy heart, but I write this with a happy heart. I say that because I know without a doubt that we made the best decision possible for Trigger, because we love him so much, because he deserves the best. I’ve had several people ask “where’s Trigger?”, so I thought I should write this post informing everyone. But first, here’s a little stroll down memory lane.
We got Trigger in Hawaii when he was just a puppy. Logan trained him and then six months later was deployed to Japan, leaving me to follow through with his training and endure the dreaded “puppy” phase alone. We definitely bonded over those seven months and Trigger had a blast digging holes in the yard, pooping in the house, chewing drywall, and eating a hole in my brand new Pottery Barn rug. Oh, the good ol days! Needless to say, we survived. Plus, having someone to come home to after work made those seven months go by a little faster.
Trigger always made us laugh. This was his first dog bed we purchased for him. A size XL with his name embroidered on it. I woke up and found him like this one morning and wondered why we hadn’t just purchased the much cheaper, XS size.
Logan loved playing/teasing Trigger every chance he got. Trigger couldn’t get enough.
We went through two 7 month deployments in Hawaii, but even after spending all that time together, Logan was always the alpha when he returned home.
We lived within walking distance to the beach in Hawaii, which was great because his favorite thing to do was play fetch in the ocean. We would toss his toy out and he would jump into the waves after it. People always stopped and watched. Getting him to leave and not drink the saltwater was the hard part.
We also took Trigger out on our boat several times to the sandbar. He just loved going anywhere we were.
Trigger and Semper were friends from the start. We had Semper for a year before getting Trigger and he was mute up until then. I think having a bigger brother gave him that little extra boost of confidence he needed. They loved wrestling together and fighting over treats. Trigger had the sweetest temperament and would let Semper think he called the shots.
Hawaii and so many hiking opportunities and the boys were always coming along with us.
Trigger somehow always managed to find the biggest stick during our hikes. Or I guess I should say, limb.
When not enjoying the ocean or hiking, Trigger and Logan could usually be found playing outside. Boys and their toys.
Our family of four in Tennessee.
Two years after moving to Tennessee, we had our first child, Easton. The boys did great with him. Trigger was very protective and sweet with him.
With both of us working and wanting to spend every free moment with Easton, Trigger and Semper began to take a backseat. Trying to take care of a family, work, and clean up dog hair, lots and lots of dog hair, was beginning to wear on us. After our three years were up in Tennessee, we packed up and moved to California.
It continued being difficult giving Trigger the attention and exercise that he needed. Big dogs need A LOT of exercise. We would come home and Trigger had gone through the trash or done something naughty that we would get upset at him for. But we both knew he was just being a dog that wasn’t getting the proper attention. We talked about how he needed to live on a farm and just be able to run around all day with someone. But selfishly we knew that we would never get rid of him and that no family would ever be good enough.
We lived in California for a year and a half before finding out that we were expecting our daughter. I already knew that this would make things more difficult for Trigger. He deserved so much more than what we were currently giving him. It simply wasn’t fair. It wasn’t until Logan received orders for MSG duty (Marine Security Guard) that we began talking about what we would do with him since we couldn’t bring pets overseas. My mom was going to take Semper, but she just couldn’t handle a big dog like Trigger. Insert Elizabeth, the interim CEO at my job.
I knew I liked Elizabeth from the moment I met her. I had come across our former CEO a few times and he had never once said hi or introduced himself. Elizabeth was brought out of retirement to take over until they found a new CEO. I was working one evening and she came in the scan room to introduce herself. I was shocked, in a good way! Everyone in the company loved her. She would bring in fresh flowers and food from her garden for us and even made going to meetings fun. I could go on and on about her but this post is about Trigger, not Elizabeth, so I’ll try to stay on track.
When I found out that Elizabeth lived on a farm, I instantly knew that I wanted her to take Trigger. She would be retired again soon and Trigger would be able to hang with her on the farm all day. I gathered up some nerve and told her all about our sweet Trigger and asked her if she knew of “anyone” that would want him. She said she’d send an email out to her neighbors and ask. I’m not going to lie, I was sad.
The very next day however she found me at work and told me she had the perfect family for Trigger. She told me how amazing they were and that they wanted to meet Trigger. I received an email that day from John and thought he sounded great. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to at least meet them, but I knew I had to get Logan on board. When I told him that night, he told me absolutely not and looked at me like I was crazy. I can’t say I blame him. Trigger was our child and had been a very well loved member of our family for eight years. You don’t just give your child away to anyone.
After several days, Logan reluctantly agreed to meet them with the strict rules that if he didn’t like them, this was a no go.
I don’t think I can say enough about this family. To say that they are sweet and kind isn’t doing them justice. They were perfect. The dad, John, used to have a German Shepherd and so he knew a lot about the breed. He was retired and was looking for an older German Shepherd that he wouldn’t have to deal with through the puppy stage (smart man). Logan chatted with him for most of the visit and I could tell that Logan really liked him. His wife, Lynn, was just as sweet and they have two young daughters, Noelle and Anna. Trigger had a blast at their house playing and when we got in the car, we both looked at each other and knew it was the best decision. We even joked and wondered if they’d adopt us as well. 🙂
About a month before Amelia was born, Logan dropped Trigger off at their house. It was a very emotional day for all of us. Sad because we couldn’t believe we were actually giving Trigger away, but happy because we knew it was the best decision for him. If only we could just explain to him how much we loved him and that we were doing this because we loved him so much and we knew he deserved better. Easton kept asking for several days where Trigger was and it was so heart breaking.
John keeps in touch with me and sends me emails from time to time on how much fun Trigger is having. He said the first few weeks were hard for him, but now Trigger was doing amazing. Again, amazing is probably an understatement – he is spoiled there! He goes with the family everywhere; hiking, to dinner, family trips, and picks the girls up from school or watches them during their riding lessons. He even spends time with Elizabeth hiking while she rides her horse!
Anna and Noelle are the perfect age for Trigger and love playing with him. They even threw him a birthday party!
Trigger is probably thinking that he has died and gone to Heaven! I love getting John’s emails and showing Logan how much fun he is having. Lynn writes a blog and wrote a post about Trigger saying, “it’s like he’s been with us our whole lives.” It really puts us at peace knowing that we made the best decision. I have no idea how we got so lucky to find such an amazing family! I am so grateful to God.
A few months after Amelia was born, we learned that Logan’s orders for MSG duty were being canceled. We never really talked about it, but I know it crossed everyone’s mind about the fact that we could have kept Trigger after all. I don’t think it was a topic of discussion because we both knew that regardless of Logan’s orders, Trigger was much happier.
Having dogs while you have young children is just hard. Simple as that. They were our children before we had children, but now our priorities have changed, and that’s ok. As hard as it was, everyone has benefited so much from this. Seeing how happy Trigger has made this family brings us such joy.
Since receiving our orders to Virgina, we were able to stop by one last time and say goodbye to Trigger. Every time we leave their house, we can’t stop talking about how sweet this family is and how lucky we were to have found them. Elizabeth said what I was already thinking, that maybe it was her sole purpose to come out of retirement just to serve this one purpose. I don’t think anyone involved could be happier.
Easton loves playing with the girls when we visit. They are so sweet!
Our last family picture with Trigger. This may be goodbye, but I know we will stay in touch with this wonderful family and hear all about Trigger’s great adventures in this new tale of his life. We couldn’t be happier for him. We laugh and say that Semper got the short end of the stick on this deal.