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  1. #1
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Default A moral delimma...

    I need some advice as my Te and Fi are in conflict....

    I have a cute little dog. His name is puppy. He is about 3.

    In general he is a good dog and serves as a pet for the pet...the first pet being the most awesome dog in the world named Ivy.

    Puppy is a little red heeler. He is kinda neurotic sometimes.
    This last week I left for a business trip and had a pet sitter stop by every other day to feed and water the pets. They have a doggie door to get in and out.

    When I returned Puppy had decided my bedroom was the proper location for all of his sanitary needs. It was horrific.

    I recently recarpeted the upstairs area at a cost of $1500. Puppy effectively destroyed half of that. I am steam cleaning the carpet, but it will never quite be the same.

    Puppy has other issues like submissive peeing a bit and eating copious amounts of fabric. He eats all the blankets and towels and even the toddlers clothes. He also got up in my bed and peed awhile back. He also barks a lot, especially at the neighbors or to get attention.

    But nothing on this scale before. Effectively he just cost me about $900.

    I posted an ad on craig's list but I dont think anyone really wants a dog that is older and neurotic-everyone wants puppies... I thought about an animal shelter, but I am pretty certain he would be put to sleep.

    Thus I am left at the last step...just putting him to sleep myself. I understand this seems horrible. I feel horrible. But I have tried many many things and lots of money to work around Puppy's issues....and I feel more responsibility to him, than just to dump him at a shelter. It's almost like I feel I should be willing to first hand witness and follow through on my choice to give up on Puppy, and fully understand exactly what that really means.

    I am not seeking affirmation, but just kinda venting, kinda not understanding what else to do. It's my fault on many levels as I choose to have a dog, knowing I travel, and I chose to live in a small condo knowing the backyard was really too small to give him adequate excercise.

    But now my own choices seem to be condemning another creature to die. He would have died anyway as he came from a pound...but now it is my fault as I failed in my responsibilities towards puppy...any thoughts? (its okay to call me evil. I feel evil.)

  2. #2
    Senor Membrane
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    Dogs from the pound can be like that. I've seen how easily dogs get traumas. I guess you'll just have to consider if you have given it enough time, should it already be "normal", and if you have been patient and see no alternative, then... what else can you do?

  3. #3
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    I have cats, and I know many of their behavioural problems can be treated. I imagine you're a good pet owner, but perhaps your dog is having problems with the environment for whatever reason. Maybe finding a home where there are no kids and he is the only pet would work better for him.

    Consider talking to your vet about the situation. My vet houses animals at her clinic and constantly places pets in suitable homes. They might be able to place him somewhere better suited to his needs after assessing his health and ensuring there's nothing wrong with him otherwise, and the problem truly is behavioural.

  4. #4
    Seriously Delirious Udog's Avatar
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    How will the older dog react? Are the two close?

    Have you tried looking for an expert on dogs to help train him and understand him better? Dogs aren't people, and don't learn the way people do. As an example, sometimes the issue with disobient dogs is that they think they are the "alpha", and may not actually want to be the alpha.

    I don't know enough about dogs to say that is or isn't the case with you, but perhaps finding someone who does would offer alternatives to putting him to sleep.

    I don't think you are a horrible person by any means, but I do think that you owe it to the dog to exhaust potential options first. Jules suggestion of trying someplace besides Craigslist is a good idea as well.

  5. #5
    Symbolic Herald Vasilisa's Avatar
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    Oh, Orobas

    Your post reminds me of the documentary film Shelter Dogs and the complicated problem of rehoming dogs who have neuroses, many of which are exacerbated in the shelter environment. But that doesn't mean it isn't worth trying. Could you talk to the people at the shelter frankly about your problem and get some advice from them? They see people dump animals with much less concern than you have, so please don't be ashamed. It takes a deep caring and compassion to do that work, they aren't just euthanizing animals because it is easy. And if it does come down to him being unsuitable for a new home, at least you would know they would put him to sleep properly. I know you are humane, Orobas. I'm sorry for what you are going through. Stay strong.



    "Shelter Dogs" is a very moving documentary. I think its worth it for animal lovers to watch it. Here is the intro.

  6. #6
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Udog View Post
    How will the older dog react? Are the two close?

    Have you tried looking for an expert on dogs to help train him and understand him better? Dogs aren't people, and don't learn the way people do. As an example, sometimes the issue with disobient dogs is that they think they are the "alpha", and may not actually want to be the alpha.
    These are really great suggestions Udog. He is very much a beta submissive dog, but has anxiety and neurotic tendencies. My other dog is exceptionally alpha, so we had to be very strict when we first got her and I spent a lot of time establishing hierchy. She was still VERY bad for awhile-Australian cattle dogs are notoriously clever and naughty. If bored they find puzzles to solve...like how to take apart a picket fence, board by board. Not to get out, just for the fun of it. Funny enough, the older alpha dog likes Puppy, but my cat utterly adores him. They cuddle together and he cleans her ears.

    I think I am going to try crate training him. My older dog was terrified of the crate as she is blind in one eye and the shadows scared her. However crate training is actually supposed to be really good for anxiety/nervous issues as once they adapt, it gives them a quiet calm place to relax in and they are much better while left home alone.

    I think I will also need to start boarding him while I am out of town as it seems that he isnt suited to long periods of time alone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vasilisa View Post
    Oh, Orobas

    Your post reminds me of the documentary film Shelter Dogs and the complicated problem of rehoming dogs who have neuroses, many of which are exacerbated in the shelter environment. But that doesn't mean it isn't worth trying. Could you talk to the people at the shelter frankly about your problem and get some advice from them? They see people dump animals with much less concern than you have, so please don't be ashamed. It takes a deep caring and compassion to do that work, they aren't just euthanizing animals because it is easy. And if it does come down to him being unsuitable for a new home, at least you would know they would put him to sleep properly. I know you are humane, Orobas. I'm sorry for what you are going through. Stay strong.
    Oh, Vasilisa, that is so sad, but very true. I have some more things to try and am doing some online research.

    I have heard people say that shelter workers are evil, but in reality they are amazingly caring and have to deal with very irresponsible people all the time. The shelter workers end up having to euthanize animals due to the laziness and irresponsibility of others. I have known people who change pets like others change underwear. It is so heartbreaking as everyone wants cute little puppies and kitties, but puppies always grow up. I got both my dogs at about five months as they ended up in shelters after the cute puppiness wore off. The puppy teenage years can be quite bad.



    Thank you all for your suggestions and thoughts. They mean a great deal to me.

  7. #7
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    FWIW, our 'normal' dog has to be crated each night or she will wizz on the dining room carpet without fail and sometimes ransacks the garbage. She loves her crate and more importantly, loves the treat she gets every time she is put in her crate. All we have to say is 'Crate up!' and she runs right in there.

    Our neurotic dog lives under one of the living room futons and tears the carpet up crawling out from under it, but we have cheap, crappy carpet anyway, so it's not a big deal to us. She extremely shy (possibly fear biter shy, though she's never been pushed that far) around unfamiliar people but isn't destructive other than the carpet thing, but if it came to having to re-home her, like you, I would seriously consider euthanizing her rather than putting her through the trauma.

    If crating and boarding don't work, you could ask around for people that foster troubled dogs. My mom works at an animal shelter and many of the staff and volunteers are extremely dedicated to saving the lives of animals at almost any cost. It would be worth a try.
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  8. #8
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Consult a behavioral therapist. He'll know more than your vet, though I agree that going to your vet first is a good idea, to check he's physically ok (any behaviorist will tell you to do this standard anyways as it needs to be ruled out). It's a profession that's relatively new but originated in America so it should be doable to find one, especially when it comes to dogs.

    Be prepared to put time, some money (though far less than his distruction is costing you now!) and effort in it, if you want to be able to keep the dog. There is a possibility that the behaviorial therapist will tell you to rehome the dog, but chances are he can work with you to get the dog to adjust to your absense. From the limited info here and the basic knowledge I have on this, I'd say this is a severe case of seperation anxiety, though I imagine it's probably multiple problems at once.

    Good luck..this is never an easy thing to work through and can be quite exhausting to deal with.
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  9. #9
    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    Yes, definitely try crating when you are not home. My dog is 3 years old and we were only just recently able to stop crating him all together. At first, we crated him anytime we were gone at all and at night. First we stopped crating at night, and that went fine. Then we started leaving him out when we were only going to be gone for a short time, like a half hour. We gradually increased the amount of time he could stay out while we were gone, and now he is able to stay out all the time. Your dog is still young; he still has a lot of energy. As he gets older, this may improve and maybe you'll eventually be able to leave him out while you're gone, but some dogs will always need to be crated.

    Another thing we learned is that the best way to keep your dog from chewing/destroying things is to put anything he could get into out of the way. That's not always completely possible, but we close off every room except the main living area while we are gone. Then we make sure that the main living area contains as few temptations as possibe.

    You should definitely board him while you're out of town, or get a pet sitter who can stay at your house.

    If none of this works, there are no-kill shelters. I would urge you to find one of these and take him there, if you exhaust all other options. Shelter workers are generally very caring and genuinely care about animals, as they are typically volunteers. No-kill shelters require applications, including references and sometimes home evaluations, before allowing someone to adopt the dog. They will try their best to match the dog with an owner who can and will deal with his problems.
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