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What to do???

in Pets & pet care
35 replies 1.9K views
I'm finding myself in a very odd place at the moment... thinking thoughts I never thought I'd ever entertain... Should I rehome my beloved dog? :cry:

I love her to bits and I would have never thought of "getting rid" of her - but today a friend of mine (a VERY good friend) came by for emotional support - the dog they rescued a week ago has turned out not to be suitable for health reasons (which would cause safety issues... he has one eye and was rehomed as having perfect sight on the other... turns out after a vet visit he has less than 20% vision... because he can't see he gets scared by children and cats and other dogs and snaps... this is a huge problem for them as they have a cat and most of their friends have small children and/or dogs) - also he'd be going out to work with her other half every day and it wouldn't be safe for a dog to go out like that if he can't see where he's going...)
So... they are handing him back to the foster home who are willing to take him and probably will keep him. But they are understandably gutted...

Anyway I said I'd put out feelers for a dog for them and asked what they were looking for: GSD or collie type dog, about 3-4 years old but very flexible on that, house trained and good with kids and cats... "If you find a clone of your dog...." uhmmmm ok...

Anyway I know it was said in jest but this evening I've been thinking... alot...

Right now I'm at home with the dog as on maternity leave, but I know she gets told off more than she should, she doesn't get as many walks as she should, she doesn't get as much quality time with me as she used to - all energy seems to focus on the baby (obviously) and I know she's not thriving mentally as she used to... And frankly I've been feeling guilty about that for a while...

However until tonight then rehoming her had never entered my head! And IF I was to rehome her it would ONLY be to my friend... if she said no or decided for whatever reason they couldn't keep such a nutter she'd stay/come back here!

Now I've been looking at the pro's for her - in my mind the most important ones!
No baby to compete with, only 1 cat to share a house with instead of 2, very loving owners, she'd go to work every day with my friends partner, the days she didn't she'd go with my friend or she'd come home at lunch to walk her, when they go on holiday she could come here, they are very outdoorsy people and very responcible... I know they would love her to bits and she knows them and they know her...

The purely selfish part of me wants to keep her - as I said - till today I never even thought of rehoming her - I love her to bits and I'm trying to work out if I'm being selfish in keeping her or letting her go? :confused:

The positives for ME which I am trying to keep slightly seperate - they'd never be a reason to rehome her, but I know I'd need them to justify it to myself if I decided to let her go, are: It would save me between £1500 and £2000 a year (dog walker £30 a week, food, insurance, kennel, jabs, 100 balls on a rope that she keeps dropping in rabbit holes :) so I have to replace), I do worry that she's very bouncy and the baby will at some point be more mobile... Less stress for me especially as I have to return to work in the new year and that will mean even less time for my family let alone my dog...
And ultimately I will get to see her whenever I want as they only live 15 mins away and she'd come here for holidays...

I expect some will say that I'm being terribly selfish and maybe I am... but I'm not really sure if it's for wanting to keep her, or thinking of rehoming her? :confused:

Just to be perfectly clear though - I won't rehome her to just any home - it's my mate or nothing - if she doesn't think she's perfect then she's staying here! It's only being considered because it's truely a perfect match and I know they'd love her to bits and she'd be really happy with them... (and I'd still get to see her!)

Been sat crying for the last 2 hours just running it all through my mind... going to go sleep on it now and think some more tomorrow before I make a decision...
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Replies

  • edited 27 October 2009 at 11:16PM
    foreign_correspondentforeign_correspondent Forumite
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    edited 27 October 2009 at 11:16PM
    oh gosh - I dont know....

    Firstly, is your friend likely to have kids anytime soon? - if she did, then that would alter the equation somewhat...

    Secondly, she will find the perfect dog if she keeps looking, and that will be another dog out of rescue and into a good home, so don't worry to much on her behalf - not being harsh about your friend there, but she may well find the perfect dog next week.

    Thirdly, do not rush this - it is a big decision, give yourself enough time - weeks rather than days.

    Finally, I know you have done a lot of work on your dog's behaviour - do not underestimate how much specialised knowledge you have of her, which your friend does not, yet - I know she will learn, but it will take a while before she knows all that you do, and in the interim, the dogs behaviour could be set back...

    ETA - my dad has just decided the time is right for him to get another little dog, but will struggle with many rescues as he lives on a smallholding without a fenced garden - though he has had dogs in the past whih have been fine, so long as they are happy to follow him about and good off lead - my dog does this reliably, and goes there if I go away, so the thought of Badger going to him, and me looking for another crossed my mind (momentarily!) - then I got over it, and started thinking about looking for a dog for him!
  • AlikayAlikay Forumite
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    If you've ever let a friend have an item of your furniture or a loved but outgrown dress you'll know it's sometimes hard to "let go". The friend maybe lets her kids eat junk on your old sofa....she flings on the dress with an old cardi and spills kebab down it. Not nice. Even if she gets loads of complements it kind of grates..."no-one raved about it when I had it!". Just imagine how you'd feel if it were your much-loved pet:

    She'll treat your dog differently, but not necessarily worse or better than you and you'll have to stand by and watch. Unless you want to rehome your dog anyway I think it's a bad idea, not for the dog but the future of your friendship.:D
  • elsienelsien Forumite
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    MrsTine wrote: »

    Right now I'm at home with the dog as on maternity leave, but I know she gets told off more than she should, she doesn't get as many walks as she should, she doesn't get as much quality time with me as she used to - all energy seems to focus on the baby (obviously) and I know she's not thriving mentally as she used to... And frankly I've been feeling guilty about that for a while...

    I don't have kids, so I have no idea how you're feeling. But my best friend felt exactly the same as you've written above when she had her first child. And two children down the line, she still feels horribly guilty sometimes that the dog is getting left out. But the kids love the dog, the dog didn't get jealous of the baby ( which was a major surprise), and generally speaking, it's worked out ok for them all.
    I'd say maybe it was a bit early to be making that sort of decision. She loves being with you, and having less time spent on her for a while is what happens in most families when babies arrive. And how many of us hand on heart can say our pets are always looked after 100% in the best possible way? We just do the best we can at the time. And unless the dog is clearly unhappy, I don't think that's selfish, it's just life. It's like me leaving mine for 7 hours while I'm at work. It's certainly not ideal, but it's a heck of a sight better than the kennels I got her from, and she's ok. I'm sure some wonder owner somewhere could do better, but I'm what she's got, and that's how it's staying.

    So no I don't think you're selfish for wanting to keep her. Or if you are, that makes most of the rest of us selfish as well.
    Could your friends help out for a bit with walks and things while they're missing having a dog around?
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • edited 27 October 2009 at 11:21PM
    lowislowis Forumite
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    edited 27 October 2009 at 11:21PM
    if you are already feeling some guilt and honestly feel your dog in not as happy as she was, then letting your friends have her might be the most unselfish thing you do for her. i would imagine that once Baby arrives, things will be even more difficult...

    you can always stipulate to your friends that should they change their mind, that she has to come back to you, they must never hand her on to anyone else. also, if your dog appears unhappy in the new home, then again, stipulate that you must have her back.

    it's a tough thing you are addressing...don't rush it, assess everything...maybe your guilt is unfounded if your dog seems happy!

    i wish you all the best and give you lots of hugs xxx
  • edited 27 October 2009 at 11:56PM
    MinnieMoo_2MinnieMoo_2 Forumite
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    edited 27 October 2009 at 11:56PM
    I had three not one dog when I had my daughter. Not little un's either, 2 Shepherds and 1 Afghan...

    Sure your dog has less attention but why not consider:
    1) Shorter walks on weekdays when you are on your own with the baby and longer walks at weekends with the whole family. I work FT (shoot me now) and this is what we do. The fresh air and bonding with dog/baby time will make you all feel better. You'll meet other parents and reconnect with dog owners who will have other time management strategies
    1a) Give Dad/someone (anyone) else the baby to mind while you take your dog out for quality time with Mum
    1b) The dog was there first.. if life is hard, why not consider rehoming the baby? (JOKE)
    1c) if you are spending £30 on a dog walker, why not get a babysitter in and go to dog training class instead??? Much cheaper and more fun for your dog. Brain work tires them out much quicker than endless walking.

    2) The bouncy dog and a toddler??? Mine is 21 now, got bumped a few times, landed on her bum, survived and is at Uni.... You have baby gates to protect the baby from toddling up the stairs, why not secure one area to protect your dog from your baby? Mine live in the kitchen, behind a baby gate unless I'm there. They are quite happy and are habituated to this routine.

    3) Jabs/vax.. the latest guidance from the BASV (or something similar) is inital puppy vax, then a booster at 12 months and then another booster about 3 yrs later. You don't need to vax every year, its not healthy for the dog.
    3a) Re kennels.. you might find it more prudent to holiday in this country where you can take your dog with you; or get your friends who love her to dog sit while you are away.
    3b) Maybe one of them could take your dog to work for a break for you and/or join you or take her out seperately at weekends.

    4) Don't know what you are feeding but I feed my three lumps, 2 GSD's & a Great Dane for about £70-90 PCM. They are fed raw and its delievered to my door monthly. Try Landywoods.co.uk.

    5) Eric is also a ball dropper... solution, don't let him have any... I carry a rope tug with me and that is my toy that we play with when we are out.

    Your problem is not insurmountable and many people successfully manage dogs and babies. Join a forum specific to your breed (I'm assuming she's pure bred) if not; join a general forum and ask how people manage.

    Your friends migh be appalled if they knew what you are thinking and not have meant it literally. Ask them for some assistance and gauge their reaction. Point them in the direction of a specialist rescue and get your dog a friend to play with; have days out with and on and on.....

    Stop beating yourself up for being a bad owner, we are only ever good enough owners/parents.

    This is purely personal and is entirely MHO.. Apologies if it causes offence but.... I would never give my dogs away. They are my family and what I get from them, the unconditional love, livin life in the moment, appreciating every day, every smell on the wind, is exactly what I need at the end of the day. My daughter jokes that she comes second to them.... but she is almost right LOL
  • WolfSong2000WolfSong2000 Forumite
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    If you're worried about the dog becoming jealous of the baby, don't be...most dogs cope fine with, and indeed often learn to enjoy the new addition to the family. Our male golden retriever for example simply *adores* baby things - anything baby, be it animal or human, he loves it. If you're nervous when the dog's around the baby, this will rub off on the dog, but if you're calm and relaxed about it, the dog wont think it has anything to worry about.

    As for less walks, there have to be ways around this...maybe when your friend gets a new dog they could take your dog out at the same time sometimes for some socialisation.

    Where there's a will there's a way :)
  • GraciePGracieP Forumite
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    Maybe look at it a slightly different way. I'm a firstborn and for 3 years I was the centre of my parents' world. I had their attention whenever I wanted it. I was their baby. Then my brother was born and my world turned on it's head. I was not getting all the attention I wanted, my parents were having to spend a huge amount of time attending him. Time I wanted them to spend on me. I was not very happy a lot of the time and I wanted my old life back. But I'm still glad my parents decided to keep me rather than give me to a couple with no children who would have loved a little girl just like me.

    And it only took a few years for my brother to reach an age where he could play with me. And as much I didn't feel like he was my best friend when I was a child, he must have been because we spent a huge amount of time together. Especially when my next brother was born. So in a few years your child and dog will love each other too. They'll be best friends, even a type of sibling.
  • MrsTinksMrsTinks Forumite
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    I'm not nervous of her being jealous - to my horror the baby even managed to grab the poor dogs fur the other day and in true baby manager pulled for all she was worth... cue yelp and desperate scamble to get away... soon as she'd got away from the baby she was right back in there with her nose to check the baby was ok... daft mutt! :)

    The dog walker can't be replaced with baby sitting - I kept her on whilst on maternity leave as I wanted a constant for the dog no matter what else may be happening in her lift with the baby (who's now 5 months) - she's had a dog walker for the past 2 years after I changed jobs and was unable to come home at lunch to walk her. Whilst a lot of money it isn't and never would be a reason to rehome her - it would merely be a reason to help me feel better IF I decided to do so...
    The cost aspect of the dog isn't a problem - I mention them because I need something non-emotional to cling onto... :) (and she'll continue getting jabs because they're a requirement for her passport :) and kennels... most of the time she goes to friends but sometimes she needs to go to kennels - and holidaying in the UK would be fine but all of my family live abroad so not really feasible...)

    I know what you're saying about dogs being part of the family - and this is exactly why I've bever even thought about it until now. She IS one of my babies and that is why I'm still awake at this hour unable to sleep mulling this over and over in my head :)

    My friend isn't planning on children - if ever then certainly not for a while yet! Multiple reasons I shan't get into but I'm sure that IF they ever thought about it then we're talking many years from now...

    I know that my friends would have her at the drop of a hat for a week here and there - that's always been on offer... and at one point when it looked like we might have been seconded abroad we briefly discussed with them if she'd be better off staying with them in the UK but it was all very theoretical and nothing ever came off the secondment so was soon forgotten...
    I know that all the training I have done over the years has probably turned pretty specialised, but I'm struggling with deciding if all those points are enough? The more I think about it the more I am thinking she'd have a better home with them, hard though it would be for me... I know she's loved here, but there she'd be just as loved, she'd get nearly 24/7 company... and I know they'd make great owners...

    My DH isn't being much help... he says he can see the benefits for everyone, especially the dog, but like me he'd miss her - BUT knowing where she'd gone and that we could still see her would make him happier... Ultimately she's my dog so it's my descision and he won't take sides but will support me no matter what I finally decide...

    Sorry my reply is a little muddled and not quoting anyone :) But I'm just answering as I remember and it's all got a little fuddled I think...

    whatever I DO decide it won't be rushed or a spur of the moment thing... It won't be a "hand over the dog and wave goodbye" either and the agreement WILL be that if they can't keep her for whatever reason they MUST return her...
    I'm going to speak to my mate tomorrow and talk to her... after all they may not want my nutter and thus this could be a bunch of soul twisting for nothing :) Because she's not going anywhere else but here if that's the case! :)
    DFW Nerd #025
    DFW no more! Officially debt free 2017 - now joining the MFW's! :)

    My DFW Diary - blah- mildly funny stuff about my journey
  • BuffythedebtslayerBuffythedebtslayer Forumite
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    Its a horrible position to be in Mrs Tine and having neither dog nor baby I am not sure what I can say. I am a pet owner tho and that whole is this right thing rings some bells.

    Up until year ago I rescued a few small pets - rats mainly and hamsters later on. I really enjoyed it but once the hours at work crept up I begun to question the fairness of having (in my case) too many pets(plus various fish tanks). They had medical problems vet bills were huge. Its not remotely the commitment needed for a dog but I did feel horribly mean being tired pre-oocupied and generally not in the mood (work was grim) for the gang. I made a decision to take in any more and I felt mean again for all the homeless pets that came up but I knew I couldn't manage anymore.

    In the end I didn't have a furry pet for almost a year, three weeks ago I collected two unwanted guinea pigs. Work is still pants but I manage better now and to be honest I missed having the animals in my life. Watching them or Playing with them for ten minutes means I forget about the debt the job and anything else. they are hilarious!

    I think if you give your dog to your friends short term you might be ok, in fact my intial thoughts were yes give her away it will be easier. But would it? I miss my dog 11 years after he died. Could you really let someone close have her? Who would greet you in the mornings? Who could you have that quiet time with when you don't have to speak?

    I can really understand something of how you feel, guilt over a bad day or few months can make you feel dreadful really torn and rubbish, remember tho the baby will grow up and this period in the dog's life won't last and actually she might find being removed from her pack very difficult? swopping one change for another? I don't know tbh.

    Hang in there and think about it a bit more. hard thing to think about xxxxxxx
    Nevertheless she persisted.
  • mrcol1000mrcol1000 Forumite
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    Its quite obvious that you don't want to get rid of the dog so why are you even entertaining the idea? I am sure there are plenty of other ways to save money if you needed to and if you don't need to save money then why bother worrying?
    Also if your going to give the dog up then you have to give it up? Would you be able to avoid interferring and telling your friend how to look after the dog? If you turned up to take the dog for a walk and your friend had already taken the dog for a walk would you feel offended? Would your friend be hurt if their dog got all exicted when you turned up? Would you be offended if your dog took no interest in you when you were there and was more interested in their new owner?
    With all the dogs in rescue I am sure your friend can find one that will match them. Only you know if its right so I would ignore what other people on here say (inculding me). But as well as thinking about the now. Just imagine yourself in 6 months time with your dog living with someone else and how you would feel?
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