The Lineman has been whining. A lot.  He knows when the babies are in our bedroom, he cannot come in.  He sits by the door and cries these huge dog tears that leave his face all wet.  He’s accustomed to sleeping in the bed with us, curling up next to me, wherever he can find a spot.  I wouldn’t have that now, though, with the babies in and out of our bed.  We tried locking him in his little “home” in our bedroom, but the poor thing was miserable.  So Linus and his home were moved out of our room into the downstairs office, where he’s with people all day.  At first we ignored the barking.  This didn’t work for any of us.  Eventually Linus settled down, basically moped a lot, and agreed to sleep downstairs, curled into himself, the original sweet bean.

I sleep with a mitt on my face.  And lately, when I sleep, I sleep deeply because my body is limp exhausted.  I sleep through the babies cries until somehow they wake me up, eventually.  The other night, Phil and I finally got to sleep, and when I awoke, I was cuddling with Linus!  The sneaky sneaky dog escaped from the downstairs office, crept his way upstairs, and even though he should know better, he entered our room and hopped onto the bed!  Into my arms!  And I loved every minute of it!  God, I love that little moo shoo pork dog.  I startled Phil awake.
“How did he do that?” he asked.
“He’s one sneaky sneaky dog.  I think we underestimated his sneakiness,” I say in a Spanish accent.  Then I make Linus leave, even though I want him to stay.

He leaves for Montana in two weeks, where he will be loved and live in the bed with my sister, where he’ll get far too much attention for any dog, where his sneaky muscle and springs body will be missed by his mama.



  1. You're a good mama, Stephanie, and you're doing what's best for him. I had to find a new home for my first love Donut. It was the hardest thing Ive ever had to do and I swore I would never, ever do it again.
    But he went to live with a family with kids, on a farm. And his new owners sent reports back to me of how Donut was LOVING the open land, the hunting with father of the family, even riding in the back of the truck up to the hunting lodge and running around with the other dogs. He became this man's new best friend.

    Hearing those reports settled me and though I missed him and had dreams of him after he moved to his new home, those reports on his happiness kept the sadness and grief at bay.

    You can do this. Give that little bug a kiss for me. I feel your pain here. And tell Lea to take TONS of pics of him :)
    He will be happy, Stephanie.

  2. Before you start getting lots of ridiculous comments from the "but your dog is equal to a child" people, I'd like to say that I wish you could have found a compromise that made you feel comfortable, but the most important thing is to make sure your kids are safe. The decision must be heart-breaking, but with Linus having somewhere wonderful to go, you're being a good mom to consider the safety of your kids before your own emotions about your dog.

  3. Oh gosh, Stephanie. I hurt for you at the thought of sending him away, even though it is for the best. I'm in my late twenties and going through a divorce. My little bitch of a dog is my baby and I don't know what I would do without her. Even though having your family is wonderful and I sure hope to have that one day for myself, I can't imagine parting with her. Ugh.

  4. I don't understand why you're giving him to your sister? Did I miss that post? My sister has a miniature greyhound that is small and fragile and weird, but they trained him to be good with the baby, and the whole family is very happy with the arrangement.

    Sorry, Linus.

  5. I would say be prepared to be replaced as the object of his affection, but good dogs never forget their first:-\. My parents adopted my brother's dog in what was supposed to be a temporary arrangement after an injury. The dog was so freaking happy, and my parents were so attached that my brother very kindly and sweetly left him where he was – but there is really and truly a relationship that is still there. That dog still adores my brother!

  6. Keep your chin up, it will hit you when you least expect it…the absence of that warm snuggly presence you have loved all these years. We would love an update and of course pictures.

  7. It's ridiculous how sad I am about your having to give up Linus. When I read the first post about sending him to your sister, I almost cried for you. Maybe it's because I can't imagine life w/o my cat Karma…my very own version of the "fur-kid".

  8. I bet he saw you exhausted at the end of the long day and came up to be with you, as much to comfort you as to comfort himself.

  9. When I was born my parents had two other children, four dogs and two cats and everything worked out fine. Did Linus do something to the twins that you didn't post?

    I don't understand why people get rid of their pets when they have children. Are the pets just around to get you ready for parenthood? In a few years you'll want to get another dog because your children will want a pet, let's hope you don't further confuse Linus when that happens.

  10. "I don't understand why people get rid of their pets when they have children."

    Scroll back through some of her posts. Linus has bitten a fair amount of people.

  11. Why do people pass judgment without even knowing the whole story? Is it just to see yourself post on someone else's blog?
    Linus has been known to bite without warrant. She's talked about this in her past blogs and even her more recent ones.
    Give the girl a break. Fuckin a.

  12. Whenever you make a decision like this it is tough. The kety to being a good parent is making these decisions in the best interest of the children. You're doing a fine job. Everyone here at our firm love reading your website.

  13. I'm chiming in on the side of Stephanie being a responsible parent and good dog owner both – if the dog bit one of the babies – well – it's just too awful to contemplate.

    Stephanie – the pup is lucky to have your sister and Montana…and the babies are lucky to have such a protective and nurturing mama.

    Good job – you're doing fabulously.

  14. Dogs don't realize when they are the only "one" in your life especially when he was around for the good and the bad, that things change down the road and that life doesn't just go on the same for their "humans" as it does for them. They must sense on some level something is way different than before..probably why Linus snuck up to the bedroom. It is very bittersweet. thank God for Lea, right?

  15. I know it must be terribly hard to say goodbye to your pup. I really admire what you are doing for your family, and I will be thinking of you!

  16. I'm not a dog person. And this post still had me misting up and sad. Change is part of life; and I know you'll be missing your original bean. But it is a comfort I'm sure, that he is going to your sister who will love him like you have all these years. And you'll be able to receive progress reports and photos.
    Sometimes doing the right thing hurts. But you are doing the very best for all concerned, which only shows your superior maternal instincts.


  17. Sometimes we have to make stinky choices. This is one of those times. bummer. we'll all miss Linus for you too!

  18. oh, I'm sorry you had to find another home for your Linus, but it sounds like you have made the right, albeit tough, decision. and he is going to a home where you will be sure to receive updates and photos – he'll be happy!

    {deep breath} we'll all be thinking of you guys.

  19. I'm incredibly hormonal (7 months pregnant) so this, of course made me cry. My husband and I have two dog children who I absolutely adore. I think they will be great with our baby and learn to love her (and vice versa). If there was any doubt in our minds that our daughter's safety was going to be compromised, both of the munchkins would be shipped off to San Diego to live with their "grandparents". Such a tough decision, and I know how hard it must be for you. Best wishes.

  20. Jesus Christ…what a bunch of assholes. The dog, sadly, bites people. She has already stated that she can't risk this with the new babies, and if you think that she's wrong, then you would be a shitty parent. I'm sorry to be so harsh, but I have a little dog who I love more than life itself and I can tell you without doubt that I would give her up if it was for the safety of my babies. Besides, Linus is going to her sister, not the streets. Stephanie is making a very tough, but responsible decision…give her a break.

  21. Hi Stephanie
    I have been away for a couple of months. Missed you in Chicago too, cause I had to work. I am glad you are doing well, and being the lovable mom. I remember how badly you wanted it, and couldn't get it, what you had to go through, and how tough it was. Now you have it!!!
    Congratulations, life is wonderful. Will read all your blogs and catch up. Type to you late Tex


  22. While it would very difficult I would always choose the happiest life possible for my dog. If it wasn't with me, I would find a better home for him. I'm sure if you asked Linus he rather be the center of attention with Lea than pretty far down the totem pole with the babies, etc.

    I applaud your decision.

  23. He'll be fine.

    And you know it's the right thing to do.

    I gave up our two kitties when my second child came along. There are sacrifices that are made.

    People will KILL me for saying this, but you can eventually get a family dog when the babies are older, right?

    [Shit, I'm afraid to hit send on this one.]

  24. I love that picture. And- hopefully you have many many more hanging on the walls of your house to help keep him a part of your life in a "safe for Lucas and Abigail" way. Goodluck with the transition!

  25. I doubt this comment will actually be read by Stephanie, but I can only imagine the heartbreak of saying goodbye (even if it's just for a little while) you your bean baby. I have a jack russell, and seeing the pictures of Linus strattling you on the boat and licking your face is almost a mirror image of my baby. It sounds absolutely disgusting, but I love it when Audrey (the baby) wakes me up in the mornings. Her little tongue licks all over my face, up my nose, in my ears and mouth. They're one of a kind, aren't they?

  26. Steph,
    I know this must be an awful thing to have to do but you know the nature of the dog, not anyone else. Lea will take great care of the dog. Incidentally, my daughter at 3 was attacked by a neighbor's Jack Russell for walking into their house holding the owner's hand (who in her other hand was carrying her carseat with her new infant)! Hang in there

  27. it's all in training and being the pack leader. you just have to be assertive. he's a dog, not a human.

    people want to know why their dogs act out… it's because they don't know how to dominate them.

    best of luck to you and linus.

  28. Have to admit… this made me tear a little. I can imagine how hard this must be for you. But you have to do what you have to do, for your babies.

  29. "He's one sneaky sneaky dog. I think we underestimated his sneakiness," I say in a Spanish accent.

    I like this with a Russian or other E. European accent. Go ahead, try it. Everyone together now. . .

    Lea and Linus in Big Sky Country seems a very happy ending to me.

  30. i use the "sneakiness" line a l l t h e t i m e !!!!

    you will appreciate the free time you will find with Linus gone…sad but true.

  31. Bozeman is a dog-lovin town. I know because I live nearby. Walk down the main street any day in the summertime and you'll find shop owners who put out bowls of water for the doggie shoppers. So many wonderful hiking trails along pristine rivers with rugged mountain landscapes–within minutes of Bozeman. Linus has a wonderful adventure ahead of him and the great thing about dogs is they never forget how a person has treated them. Linus will always love you and always, always remain loyal to you. You'll see.

  32. JoeyB and others, you need to lighten up. Giada has just as much right to HER opinion as you do yours.

    You all act as though the fact that he bites makes him completely disposable. I do understand not wanting to take such a risk with your children…but does anyone think about how completely confusing it is to this dog, who has been inseparable and the center of Stephanie's life for his entire existence, and slept with her every night, to suddenly be excluded completely from this? Can't any of you empathize with this poor little creature, whose entire life has been thrown into upheaval virtually overnight? He has NO idea what he did wrong to suddenly have everything he loved taken away. How would you feel? How would anyone feel?

    Stop taking vicious shots at people who disagree with Stephanie. It is her decision to make, true. She is taking the cautious route which is her perogative. But truthfully, she must take some responsibility here, she is the one who opted to not train Linus in the past, and to look at his bad habits as cute quirks. Now he is suddenly cut out of the life he has always known…and he is understandably heartbroken.

    Linus is lucky in that he will have a home with Stephanie's sister who adores him, but don't anyone be fooled into thinking that she will ever be interchangeable for his first and most important "pack" member, Stephanie. I hope he adjusts and lives a pampered life with his new mom.

  33. Good for you. I have a relative who was badly bitten by the family dog, and no amount of loving the dog is worth that risk (they've since gotten non-biting dogs; it was only a problem with the biter I mentioned).

  34. "JoeyB and others, you need to lighten up."

    Glada didn't raise the question; Wendy did. I merely posted what was previously posted in Steph's earlier blog entries. And no one needs to lighten up. I think virtually all of the posts simply agreed with her decision to let Linus live with her sister.

  35. JoeyB, sorry! You are so right, I am looking at the name above the posting rather than below…it wasn't you that was over-the-top in your response, it was Julie who needs to lighten up. And you are right, it was Wendy who was entitled to her opinion (which is completely valid!) not Giada.

  36. I'm with you, Laurie. I totally support Stephanie's right to make whatever decision she feels is best, and my heart aches for both her and Linus. There are some who post here who can't seem to disagree with someone else's point without insulting them. Those are the folks *I* wish would lighten up.

  37. it makes me cry that you have to lose linus even though i know he is going to a good home!

  38. "Now he is suddenly cut out of the life he has always known…and he is understandably heartbroken."

    Laurie, how do you know Linus is heartbroken? Did he tell you?

  39. When my dad got cancer we had to make some really hard decisions about his cat – preventative decisions. She ended up moving twice and becoming really depressed and miserable. If I could do it over again I would have found her a loving, permanent home from the start to prevent heartache for all of us. I am crying reading your post and the comments because I know how hard it is to make decisions about your loved ones. I don't think you could be handling it any better than you are.

  40. Laurie, you can eat me.
    Sure, I am passionate about people posting and trying to imply Stephanie is a bad person b/c she is doing what is best for her babies.

    And how the hell do you know how Linus feels? You should have signed your post The Dog Whisperer.

    Just as you can state your opinion on here and I can state mine, I can also state that I think your opinion is shitty and shitty to post on someone else's blog who is already having a hard time with this.

    So, yeah, eat me.

  41. I'm a huge animal lover (and opted not to have children)–but you have made the responsible decision, Stephanie. It would be wonderful if all pets could be this loving toward kids but sadly, some can't be trusted. I know Linus will have a blessed life with your sister, and will know he is loved.

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