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JoDa

Should I Re-Home My Dog?

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I have been depressed for a number of years. Job, life, yadda yadda yadda. I spent the first 25 years of my life doing everything right (good grades, lots of activities, on to college, then a Master's degree) only to be stuck in a job I hate where I can't get a moment's peace. It pays well and I can live high on the hog for the few hours a week I'm home and awake and not working from home (I own a nice home in an expensive area and can afford pretty much so whatever material thing I could desire, short of yachts and jets, of course...but if I really wanted a thousand dollar handbag or whatnot...meh, no problem). I accepted a few years ago that I was never taking another vacation and didn't have enough time for even friendships, much less a relationship. But just about a year ago, I decided I could manage a dog. I LOVE dogs, and have wanted one in my life for a long time. But now that I have one, I feel like I'm cheating him.

I split my work (about 100 hours a week) between the office and home, so I'm home plenty. But I don't have a lot of energy. While I'm working at home, I'm happy to toss a toy around or take a quick potty break, but I just don't have the energy or time for long walks or dedicated play sessions. As such, my dog, who is only 3, has taken to sleeping on the arm of the couch that I lean against when I'm working most of the time.

He's a sweet-as-pie rescue pup who doesn't like to be separated from me. Whenever I'm home, he HAS to be in physical contact with me. Whether camped out with his nose on my knee, cuddled up to me in bed (sharing the pillow and all), or figuring out a way to smush as much of his body against me as possible from his perch on the couch arm, he almost never breaks physical contact with me when I'm home. On nights like tonight, when it's really hard, he tries to push in and lick my tears.

But I just don't think this life is fair to him. Being a rescue from a bad situation, he's already had a lot to adapt to and I don't want to put him through another adjustment without feeling confident that the adjustment would ultimately lead to a better life. Just to be clear, I would NEVER dump him at a shelter to meet whatever fate he happened into. If I decided to re-home him, I would either go through a reputable no-**** rescue or find a home for him myself through my network. I love him dearly and the thought of giving him up breaks my heart, but the thought that I am not giving him his best life hurts even more.

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Just IMHO. He loves you. You are not cheating him. All he wants is to be with you, and it would be tramatic for him to be seperated from you. It would be like a rejection, because he's just a dog and has no idea you're doing this "for his own good." All he knows is that, once again, he has been given up by someone who doesn't want him. It could change his personality, he could develop behavioral problems that his next owners (if he had any) would not tolerate. As long as you don't physically abuse him, he will do fine with you -- where he wants to be. Just watch his diet, since he doesn't get much exercise.

Especially when we're depressed, we also can benefit greatly having a loving companion who loves us just as we are, unconditionally. I don't think it would be good for you to isolate yourself even more by removing a pet from your life. You are NOT cheating him. You love him, and you're doing the best you can. You would be cheating both of you if you got rid of him. I hope you will let him stay and allow him to love you. That's what he wants and needs.

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Hi JoDa,

I agree with memyselfi10, keep your dog, you are doing him no harm and to give him up would confuse him and he obviously loves you.

Keeping him will benefit both of you, especially you.

:) keep us updated

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I'd steer away from re-homing your dog for many of the reasons the others have expressed.

I've had similar thoughts about my dog. Mis-givings that I am not giving her the best live, especially since I am still too scared to walk her. (she's a staffie and can freak out at mundane things like a leaf blowing in the wind and my back isn't a 100% right to cope with a sudden jerk from her). At the end of the day she's happy with me and in her dog head loves me. There's days where she is all over me and every time I return home she will sook until I go out to her. At first I thought this was due to lack of attention but if I get home with someone else and have them go out to her and she will sook until I go out to her. If I am not going well or struggling she seems to make a point of nudging into me when I am outside to get patted. Or like tonight, laying in her bed just looking at me while wagging her tail.

IMHO I am guessing like my dog, that yours can pick up on when you aren't feeling the best and give you some extra attention. I'm looking at getting a someone to walk her even though she doesn't seem fussed if she goes for a walk or not. From what you have written it sounds like you are giving him the best that he truely deserves and that it's the depression making you think of re-homing. Like it is with me. Hell, my father can be feeding it steak off the BBQ and the moment I walk in the door my food loving dog forgets about it's food and wants me. I'm giving my dog the best home possible and you are giving yours the best home too.

I have the same issue with my dog sleeping in a chair that I use for the outdoor setting, the moment I am gone she will hop in it. It's only an issue as she can't get off the chair gracefully, think "OMG OMG YOU ARE HOME!!!!" loud THUD onto ground, "OMG OMG YOU ARE HOME!!!", she just can't jump off the chair and onto her feet the moment she realises I am home, haha.

Keep him as it sounds like it's WIN WIN for you and your dog in your home. If you were treating him badly he wouldn't be showing you affection or love.

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Everything you guys said makes sense, but I guess I didn't give the details I really meant to. Today is a great example of why I feel like I'm cheating him. I was home all day, but working for most of it. We took a couple of walks, but he's spent the rest of the day sleeping. He hasn't touched his breakfast, which I gave him at 10 AM (it's now after Midnight), except to hide a few pieces around the house. He hasn't touched his toys. When I first got him, after he adjusted and while I was still gung-ho, he'd be all up in my face wanting to play and cuddle and walk and NEVER refused a meal. I've taken him to the vet numerous times over ignoring food and being lethargic, and they assure me that he's perfectly healthy. Plus, he perks up when he's around other people. He's not even 3...he should be hyper as all get-out. And, while I say that he's glued to me, he glues himself to others when possible. When I took him to my brother's for Thanksgiving, he spent the whole weekend following my brother around (even sleeping with him) and ignoring me.

I do have a dog walker who comes once a day and walks him for 45 minutes. We also have a yard and I let him run there. He gets a decent amount of exercise, but otherwise he seems as depressed as I am. I feel like I'm hurting him with my issues, and that's a stress I don't need on top of everything else. He should be happy and energetic, not lazing about and ignoring meals like his stupid mommy.

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Not all dogs are hypo. My mother had a German Shepard that from 8 months old acted like an old dog, same as a foxy that I once owned. My mothers current German Shepard is 9 years old and still acts like a puppy.

Even my dog that will eat food without chewing has days where it will hardly eat or what I alluded to last night, Will just sleep in its bed all day and the most it will do is wag its tail at me. Today it's been a mix of attention from her and sitting down in the back corner of the yard just staring at me like I'm the devil, but then I do have my son this weekend.

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Now that you have provided more information, I'm not sure I would still offer the same advice. I was assuming he was totally bonded with you and didn't realize that he is acting depressed as well. I would suggest though, that you make every effort to find him a home yourself rather than taking him to a shelter. Can your brother take him? (since they seem to get on well). I understand your feelings now. Or, you could consider getting another dog for a playmate for him. Maybe a cat or an older dog would be more suited to you, one that's over the playful stage and slowing down. Cats don't require as much attention, although they can get lonely too depending on the personality. Good luck, whatever you choose. And if you do find him another home, don't feel guilty over it. You are doing it for him and now from the further details you've provided I think he might be happier.

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KEEP your DOG. HE IS YOUR FRIEND. Friends don't do that to each other. You said you have a good amount of money, so maybe buying another dog he could play with would be nice or finding a dog sitter or daycare..but throwing him out in the wind doesn't seem right. I'm a 100% positive you or the dog will not feel better if you give him away...if he had a voice he would yell no.

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