Knowing When To Surrender

The tree that I mentioned last week which was so concerning me – is gone. The arborist found root rot and no sap running through it. The property has a natural slope away from the barn which helps to keep the dogs drier in the winter, but it flows to the garden when we get big rains. With our clay soil, the water collects and stands in low spots – sometimes for a week at a time.

The center of the garden lawn is the worst – where the large Mulberry was. It was apparently, finally, too much.

To do rescue, you have to believe in miracles. And they do happen. But you also have to be able to recognize when to surrender. Sometimes, it is the kindest choice. The tree was not going to get better. Saying farewell to it now was for the best; another transformation will occur where it once stood.

Little Leroy’s human called it quits after just five days.

A purchased puppy – his human thought he was getting a Golden Retriever. The tell-tale double dew claw and spotted tummy and nose clearly indicate a Great Pyrenees mix.

The man said that Leroy was a little terror, costing him a week of sleep because he peed and poo’d everywhere. He must have had him loose overnight in the house, because this puppy sleeps almost through the night in a crate by the bed and lets out a tiny whimper indicating when it’s time to go potty. During the day and early evening, he plays hard with the big dogs;

in between – he naps – allowing plenty of time to get things done.

A simple joy to have around. But this man was not destined for puppy-fatherhood. Thankfully, he recognized it early on and asked us to find little Leroy a better home. Mission accomplished.

Emma was not so lucky.

At three and a half, she was largely left in the backyard. When she was inside, she was crated with little or no interaction with the family. She arrived with no vet records, no leash skills, and no training. Both Emma and her people would have been better off to recognize that things were not going to get better and to have surrendered her sooner. Emma’s most impressionable years were not well spent. It’s up to us, now, to ensure her transformation to a happier life – which we will gladly do.

The arborist recommended a Tupelo tree for the spot where the Mulberry was. It can withstand the water in winter and drought in summer. It will grow large and shady – and be stunning in fall. It was hard to give up on such an established member of the garden – but life would not have gotten better for our stately Mulberry. Sometimes, you just need to know when to surrender.

Thank you, big Mulberry…for the joy and shade you brought us as long as you could.