After much discussion, Gregg relented and gave me additional time to find another home for Sparky. We made colored flyers to advertise Sparky's wonderful qualities and endearing expression and posted them on Big Navy, the mini-mart, and at the hospital. If I couldn't find someone to take him by the end of the week, I was looking at crating him and sending him to my mom back in the mainland---an expensive proposition, but one much more palatable than GAIN.
We got two calls just four days later. One of the callers worked with me and came by my workspace to find out more details. I drew him a map to our house and hoped for the best. He had a dog back home who weighed 84 lbs and it was too expensive to ship him here. He said he just accepted the fact it would be two years before he saw his dog again. Sparky would help him while he was missing his dog back home.
When I got home that evening, the doggie gates were down. My heart sank just a little. Part of me was so relieved---no more getting up early, no more spending time with the dog instead of my family, and no more conflicted feelings. Except there were still conflicted feelings: part of me was incredibly sad that I failed at loving dogs.
When I walked in the door, my observations were confirmed. Sparky had a new home.
It's a bittersweet feeling. Dogs force you to live in the moment with them. Cats live parallel lives with you. Something can be learned from living with both.