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Thread: Dilemma

  1. #1
    Senior Member Rebe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Default Dilemma

    Hi guys.

    I have a problem.

    I have to give up my dog. I wasn't even thinking about it until my mom told me about this lady who wants her. When I adopted my dog a year ago from the hell-hole that was the animal shelter, I promised her that I'd take care of her and make sure she will always be okay from here on out. Yes, I am extremely emotional about this.

    If I look at it optimistically, the fact is that I saved her life because they were going to put her down (these animal shelters put dogs down all the time, it is horrendous) and I can see myself as her foster mother and if given the opportunity to give her a better home, then of course I would.

    I have always hated how other people just give up and give away their dogs. Now I am one of those people. No one does it with their children, adoption at birth aside. And I just...she is a part of my family but my parents don't have time or energy to spend with her as much as she needs. And I am only home for a tiny amount of time each year because I am still at school and I plan on leaving the country as soon as I am done with school.

    I got her during a period when I believe I was a little manic, I worked this whole plan out, that I'd work myself to death and live in my own apartment, with my dog and build a life for myself. Fact is, and I wish I had realized, I am extremely young and my plans change every other week.

    I don't want to talk about this with my friends because they'd be silently 'I told you so', which they did, but I am stubborn as hell. I cried for the better part of my night just thinking about it. I am unnaturally attached to my dog, but I can't center my life for the next 5 years around her. And she is extremely stubborn and needs a good, stable parent, like a child does.

    I don't see animals as less than humans (which a lot of people find weird), I will only let someone adopt her after I have screened her properly and made her promise to email me and visit and keep track of her. But just the thought makes me feel ill on the inside. I thought I'd never be one of those people. A dog is not yesterday's trash or hobby. I made a promise. (This probably stems from my past guardians abandoning me and my emotional residue. Every now and then, when this blows up, I have an enormous meltdown.)

    So maybe this is silly, but I feel a lot of pain at this decision. On one hand, it is completely logical and I am not a bad person, I am actually a selfless person, and ... instead of holding onto her, I want her to have a better life than my parents can provide with their 12 hour job. And she was badly abused when she was younger so ... I just want her to be taken care of. On the other hand, I feel like a terrible, terrible person. On the other other hand, I saved her life, bottom line. I plan on being a foster mom for orphaned dogs in the future, so maybe this will be a lesson.

    This is one of the times when I wish I was one of those people who just don't give a shit. I have provided her with a good life so far, it is far better than that cage she was in, and the beatings that she got, and I have taken care of her with all that I have, but I just don't have barely anything.

  2. #2
    Post-Humorously stalemate's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010


    I know the feeling.

    Several years ago we took in a kitten. When we found him he was sitting on top of a newspaper stand almost dead. Ribs were showing, he was starving.

    We were on vacation and smuggled him into the hotel and kept him in a box in the bathroom until time to drive back home. When we got him home I took him to the vet and he had all kinds of problems but we got him fixed up and he was extremely healthy and beautiful.

    But as he got bigger it became more and more obvious that I was extremely allergic to him. I could feel the toxicity in the air when he came around me. I had sinus infections constantly and eventually got tested and I was off the charts for cat allergies.

    We eventually found someone who wanted to take him in and we gave him away. It was awful. I knew I could not keep him but I felt like a failure and that I was letting him down. I kept telling myself that I was just a stepping stone on his path and that if not for me he would be dead and never had a chance to find this new family. But I felt so awful about it the whole time.

    Even now when I think about him I feel like crap about it. I am getting a little emotional typing this up.

    I've been through it with dogs before too. We were stupid enough to take in a couple of border collies living in the city with no real chance for them to exercise. And eventually we moved across the country to a townhouse and had no room at all. The dogs now live on a farm and get to herd cattle all day but I still feel like I let them down in some way.

  3. #3
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    I agree Rebe that adopting an animal is a big deal and it's true, most people do not properly account for the commitment (life of the animal, which for dogs is 12+ years), the time, effort, care, and attention needed. I feel really guilty about a dog we had as a child that we gave away 2 years later when we moved.

    So Rebe, I understand the guilt you are feeling. I think part of the guilt is justifiable, just learn from this experience and you'll probably avoid committing to thing you know you can't follow through on in the future. I know that I will not adopt a dog probably until I am married and settled (srsly).

    If you have a 'pure breed' dog or even a mix that looks mostly like a certain breed, you might be able to call a breed specific rescue org to take your dog. They are very committed and will take care to match the dog to the right home.

    Otherwise, I guess this process will be like a job interview. I understand your concerns, after you let the dog out of your hands you will wonder if you did the right thing etc.

    Perhaps a friend of a friend or someone else attached to your social circle? That way in the future if they no longer want the dog you can at least take the dog back or try to find it another home.

    And maybe if you can make a time commitment now you can keep her for the long term? Some training now might make her less stubborn and more comfortable being alone. Maybe you know of other people with dogs who stay at home and you can leave your dog with them for a small fee (or you can offer to pay for their dog supplies like food, treats, and toys).

    My brother has a similar dilemma now with his dogs.
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

    "I'm outtie 5000" ― Romulux


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