I kept my mouth shut and stayed silent as we pulled up to the house. Wade and his dad immediately began loading Tucker's things into the back of the car as his mom kept an eye on Davis and I snuck inside, where the tears instantly began to fall. I looked Tucker right in the eyes, and I just knew what I had to do.
I quietly asked Wade to come inside, and I began begging and pleading with him to let Tucker stay. Earlier in the week, it had seemed I was more convinced that Tucker needed to go and Wade was convinced that with a little effort, we could make the situation work. But once our decision had been made, I told him I needed him to be strong for me and to reassure me as often as needed that we were doing the "right" thing (which he did). So you can imagine the dilemma I was putting him in when he found me sobbing inside, asking him to reconsider.
Because he is a good man, he walked back outside and explained to his parents that we wouldn't need them to take Tucker off our hands after all. They were gracious and understanding and didn't make us feel the least bit guilty for changing our minds. And they also assured us that they would still be willing to take him in should we decide later down the road that we really can't make this work. But we are very hopeful it won't come to that.
I am worried some of you will think we are putting our love and concern for our dog before our love and concern for our child; let me assure you that is not the case. While Tucker is uneasy around Davis, he is not at all a vicious dog, and we are certain the only time he acts aggressively is out of self-defense (which is healthy and normal for a dog). We will be the first to admit that Davis is the instigator with Tucker, and though we can't fault him for being a 20 month old who mostly doesn't know better, we are confident that with a little work, we can teach him the right way to treat a dog. And we can also do a better job of keeping them separated when needed and supervising when they are together. Of course we will need to do some training with Tucker as well, and should we get to the point where he might need professional help, we will certainly consider it. It will take some work, but we really feel that it will be worth the effort.
Tucker can be a pain in the butt, and at times his anxiety is frustrating and hard to handle... but when it comes down to it, Tucker is a part of our family, and we don't want to imagine life without him unless we have absolutely no other choice. We feel at peace with our decision, and while I am so, so appreciative of all the support you all showed on Friday when we thought our minds were made up to let him go, I hope you will understand why we just couldn't do it.