Dear Mr. Darcy,
I made the decision to take your breed into my life the summer of 2012, after binge-watching Jenna Marbles and her skinny companions on YouTube. I have always had an affinity for “weird” animals– the ones with too-long necks, quirky habits, and beady eyes. Moving from apartment to apartment growing up made it impossible to have a dog, but I always longed for an animal to care for. I finally owned a ferret for ten beautiful years, and she was the best first pet anyone could ask for.
When she finally passed on to pet heaven, she left a long, skinny, hunched-over hole in my heart. I was not quick to find another pet, for this loss had taken its toll on me. But time passed, and I discovered Jenna, and I quickly fell in love with Italian Greyhounds like you.
The decision to add you to my life was not taken lightly. I hope anyone else who is hoping to add an adorable Iggy like yourself to their home takes this decision just as seriously. I added you to my life because you sound like my soul mate: we are both timid and sensitive, we both despise the cold, we both want constant attention and a loyal partner always at our sides. After I did my research, I knew you would be my other half.
Dad was not an easy sell to your breed, it’s true. You have always felt this, I’m sure of it. Dad wanted a German Shepard– something brave, and fierce, and obedient. But not me, Mr. Darcy. I wanted a little friend who would run errands with me, who would keep my feet warm at night, and who might like doggy sweaters.
I knew you would be difficult to house train, Mr. Darcy, but I didn’t know how much of a strain it would put on the relationships I had with the other humans in our home. We did everything we were supposed to. We tried crate training, and every day, we would find you covered in your own poop, shivering. We tried different sized crates, three of them and over $100 later, to adjust to your bedding needs. We tried doggy daycare every day for six months, so that you would be under constant surveillance. You are nearing your second birthday, my little nugget, and you still poop in the house. The upstairs offices stink of pee and we carpet clean those rooms every other month.
I am so grateful you have yet to break any bones. This constant fear is present every time you sneak into our bed because you are so flat; you hardly make a lump under the sheets! With one careless sit down, your little legs would be splinters. I am also grateful I have caught you both times you have escaped from your leash. I know it is not in your DNA to come back when you are called, but the danger of our busy front street is always a worry.
Mr. Darcy, here’s the thing. You were the best choice of dog for me. I spent two years researching and committing to your breed before I took you in. You were the best choice for me, but you were not the best choice for my family. All the negative traits iggies are known for (please refer to this honest guide MyPetNannyBlog’s recent post, “Why You DON’T Want an Italian Greyhound”), I was prepared to work through, because I already loved you before you were mine. But I didn’t know my family would not feel the same way.
After a year of struggles, compromises, MOVING, and lots of love, you have finally have the dog parents you deserve. I promise that we will always keep you safe and healthy and warm. I promise to always wipe the pee off of your leg after potty time. I promise Dad will always let you be the little spoon. I promise we will never exclude you from our pack. And I promise, although I love you more than your little doggy heart can know, I will make sure future iggy owners are truly prepared for this kind of dog parenthood. You are one-in-a-million, flacuchento.
For more on Mr. Darcy’s life, follow him on Instagram @mrdarcy_theiggy.