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Feeling stressed about my dog's behavior (LONG) - Page 2

post #21 of 29
Thread Starter 

I think we are at the point of considering returning him to the rescue.  I know pets aren't disposable, but there are just too many issues to work on and too many other things going on right now.  And you're right, we aren't enjoying Bob.  It's become all about "managing" him.  I wasn't ready to consider this 6 or 7 weeks ago, but I'm just worn down.  My grandma is moving here tomorrow (to a retirement community and will be on hospice for lung cancer), and I will be her coordinator of care.  And we have to close early on selling our current home to avoid losing our buyer.  Which means in addition to getting my grandma settled in, I have to pack up and move in the next two weeks.  I'm looking for rental now.  Short term leases have big deposits and we'll have to pay at least $600 in pet deposits for a 2 month lease, only half of which is refundable.  And that's only if the dogs don't ruin the carpet and doors---not likely with Bob. 

 

I think it's the right thing to do for our family, but I'm still sad about it.  He's been ours for 6 months now.  I can't imagine not knowing how he's doing or how people are treating him. 

post #22 of 29

I am sorry that you are likely going to return Bob to rescue.  If you get another small dog in the future, you might consider a doggie playpen.  I have a mini schnauzer (she is 1yo and new to our family last month) and she spends the night in her crate next to my bed.  And during the day when I can't fully supervise her or if I feel she and my toddler DD need a break from each other, she goes into a playpen in the living room.  I got one that is 3ft tall JIC my dog was athletic enough to jump out of a 2ft tall enclosure.  It's a 4ftx4ft but in our home it is more like 5ft long and 3ft at the widest point.  We live in a small apartment and space is at a premium here.  But it is so valuable.  The dog can see the majority of the activity in the home so there isn't separation anxiety involved and because it is "her space" she won't potty in there.  She also can't get her nose between the wires so that she can't chew on the wall.  Her water, toys and small bed are in there for her, but when she is in there she usually sleeps.  She does spend the night in her crate or if we leave the house without her.   

 

This is what I have: http://www.midwesthomes4pets.com/category/default.aspx?maincatid=32&subcat=6&submenu=0&catid=147

post #23 of 29
Thread Starter 

bawling.gif  I miss Bob.  I saw a picture of him on my computer and just started bawling.

 

We are living in a hotel right now.  We had to pack and load all of our furniture and belongings into PODS and move in the span of 4 days.  I don't think it could have worked with him here at the hotel because of the pooping inside and crate anxiety (when crated to avoid the pooping inside.)  The past two weeks have been stressful and overwhelming.  I feel at the edge, really.  I'm sure things were easier for us with Bob back at his foster mom's, but I just miss him so much.  The trainer we took him to said Bob would probably do better with us than with other potential adopters because we tolerated multiple issues that usually result in immediate returns to the rescue group.  That makes me feel even worse about it.  No one we know would take him in while we're living in a hotel because of the pooping inside. 

 

I'm just sad. 

post #24 of 29

Aww, how soon until you get settled and he comes back home?  If that's Bob in your avatar, he's very cute!

post #25 of 29
Thread Starter 

Well, we returned him to his foster mom.  I got an email from her this morning.  She says Bob's doing fine.  That he was happy to see her and does fine in his crate and is potty trained at her house (as she insists he was before we adopted him).  I'm relieved he's doing so well, but her assertion of his potty success and crate happiness reinforced my feelings of failure.  Why would he do so well at her house and not at ours?  She did say she takes all her dogs (6 of them) on leashes to potty.  No free ranging.  She doesn't have a fenced in yard.  Maybe it's the combination of Bob running with a pack to potty and him being on a leash?  OR perhaps she has more than one poop-eater in the house, and the evidence is disposed of before she can find it!  (Bob only eats part of his poop.)  As far as the crate anxiety, maybe it helps at her house that all her dogs are crated.  Our 9yo lab mix doesn't use a crate.  Maybe her roaming around while Bob was crated made him anxious. 

 

I don't know.  My husband just thinks we aren't as scheduled and disciplined a family as Bob needs.  Our lab mix blends in just fine with our family.  Could it be a big dog/little dog issue? 

 

I'd like to write more, but I've got to go visit my grandma.  :)

 

Edited to add that the profile picture IS Bob! 

post #26 of 29

Well, it sounds like you have been the best person that you can be for Bob... even though it breaks your heart to be without him.  If he's doing better with a pack and being non-free range.  It really sounds like he needed that structure and comfort of being in a pack with all 5 of her other dogs doing the same as he is - all of them being crated, walked on leash to poo together, etc.

 

I tell you, I had a Black Labrador (she passed on 2 years ago) who was totally off leash 99% of the time, even on streetside walks, she never had accidents in the house, had loads of confidence, etc.  And then I was working one day and found a homeless Border Collie mix dog living in a construction site and took him home.  He had high anxiety for months, was quirky and insecure in ways like carrying my socks and shoes (not chewing on them at all) to his little bed at night... I think he felt more secure with my scent or something, he still has food issues like not eating from certain bowls, etc.   and try as I have to teach him to walk off-lead, to come when called, etc and to learn some of the same things that helped my other pup to have a lot of freedom, this guy just doesn't connect with much of it.  I think some dogs/breeds/breed mixes may be just more sensitive personalities and are therefore much more traumatized by whatever happened in their little lives until we find them and give them a home.  And then its much harder for them to relearn how to be free and secure.  My street dog seems to have been highly traumatized by whatever he went thru.  The look on his face when I would try to pet him on the back or get too close to him, for a very long time, was pure fear.  :(   

 

Anyway, it sounds like Bob's situation now, with a lot of structure and restraint and a pack to follow around, helps him feel secure.  I'm so sorry that you have to be without him, could the foster mom send updates or photos or anything?  Or would that be even tougher on your heart?  It really does sound like you are doing the best for Bob now.

 

post #27 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by number572 View Post

Well, it sounds like you have been the best person that you can be for Bob... even though it breaks your heart to be without him.  If he's doing better with a pack and being non-free range.  It really sounds like he needed that structure and comfort of being in a pack with all 5 of her other dogs doing the same as he is - all of them being crated, walked on leash to poo together, etc.

 

I tell you, I had a Black Labrador (she passed on 2 years ago) who was totally off leash 99% of the time, even on streetside walks, she never had accidents in the house, had loads of confidence, etc.  And then I was working one day and found a homeless Border Collie mix dog living in a construction site and took him home.  He had high anxiety for months, was quirky and insecure in ways like carrying my socks and shoes (not chewing on them at all) to his little bed at night... I think he felt more secure with my scent or something, he still has food issues like not eating from certain bowls, etc.   and try as I have to teach him to walk off-lead, to come when called, etc and to learn some of the same things that helped my other pup to have a lot of freedom, this guy just doesn't connect with much of it.  I think some dogs/breeds/breed mixes may be just more sensitive personalities and are therefore much more traumatized by whatever happened in their little lives until we find them and give them a home.  And then its much harder for them to relearn how to be free and secure.  My street dog seems to have been highly traumatized by whatever he went thru.  The look on his face when I would try to pet him on the back or get too close to him, for a very long time, was pure fear.  :(   

 

Anyway, it sounds like Bob's situation now, with a lot of structure and restraint and a pack to follow around, helps him feel secure.  I'm so sorry that you have to be without him, could the foster mom send updates or photos or anything?  Or would that be even tougher on your heart?  It really does sound like you are doing the best for Bob now.

 



Thank you so much for your entire post.  luxlove.gif   I've been feeling so down and worried about Bob.  To hear that he's doing even better with his foster mom than when he was with us is a relief (when I'm not feeling insecure and guilty, anyway...)  What you said in bold was particularly helpful.  You're helping me to reframe my thoughts on why things didn't work out.  I thought my giving him freedom was the kind thing to do.  I didn't consider that that could actually be contributing to the anxiety.  But it makes sense now that I hear how he's doing now that he's back at his foster mom's house.  I kinda hope she keeps him!  I'm not letting myself off the hook, but I can see now that at least now the rescue knows more about how Bob is in a family environment with kids.  (His foster mom is a single woman without kids in the house.)  Plus, we took him to a behaviorist and got her advice and training plan that I passed onto the rescue group.

 

Of course, I'm still going to miss him and wish it worked out with us.  happytears.gif

post #28 of 29

Yeah, he sure is cute.  What a face, he's totally smiling in that picture!  :)

 

And you said you're still feeling on "the hook" about returning him... don't feel bad at all, you should feel great about your role in Bob's life.  Like you said, you allowed him to get his true personality a bit more defined and now the rescue knows more about his nature for whoever becomes his permanent home, if not the rescue woman and her pack of dogs.  You did not abuse him while he was in your care, you cared about him very much, you even took him to a behaviorist to help him get over his anxieties.  You never betrayed him for any of his weaknesses or anxieties.  You showed him love and much patience while he was with you.  A reason, a season or a lifetime, yk?  Maybe you were in Bob's life for the reason of meeting each other and loving him and teaching the rescue more about where/how to home him permanently, eventually.  Aww, I hope Bob lives a long happy life too :)  I'm sure he loves you very much.

post #29 of 29

I didn't get to read all the replys and I realize this is a old post and hopefully by now things are much better for you and Bob but I wanted to throw out there that my dog (a Bishon/Shitzu mix) just sits and looks at you when he needs to potty (or anything for that matter). It took me a bit to "get" that he was giving me a sign but once I realized he was great about not having accidents. 

 

Hope all is well.

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