I'm the worst mother ever!!! - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-24-2009, 07:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So DH and DS1 both want a dog.

I did some reading, read up on training puppies, what they need etc and found a lovely little 11 week old puppy. He was adorable, very calm and gentle and really quite obedient.

Anyway, after *two days* I realised that I just wouldn't be able to give a puppy the time and attention it needed and so I rang the breeder and she said she would take him back.

We took him back tonight and DS1 was crushed. I feel so horrible! I nearly decided to keep him, but I just didn't think it would be fair to the puppy - he really deserves to be with a family that can give him everything he needs.

I feel sick to my stomach every time I think about how upset DS1 was, and how I broke his heart! Please someone tell me he'll be OK and get over it!

I really miss the puppy too! He was such a sweet little thing and I miss him following me around all the time!

It's complicated.
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Old 05-24-2009, 09:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh man! I want to get him back! We all miss him! Do you think the breeder would be willing to give him back?

It's complicated.
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Old 05-24-2009, 09:36 AM
 
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I would ask.

Hugs to you, I had to give up a dog last year becaus e of the same issue, I hated the crate, and used to put her in doggy day care, which was $$$. I found a great home for her, but DD STILL draws pictures of Daisy She is fine now though, but I understand the guilt, it DOESN'T make you a bad mom though , just a realistic one.

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Old 05-24-2009, 09:51 AM
 
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Maybe before you call the breeder back you might re-evaluate why you want a dog and/or what sort of dog would best fit your family?

It sound like you got lucky with a mellow, obedient pup, but that still probably leaves the potty training issue, and the chewing (shoes, toys, chair legs!) stage, which is unavoidable.

You might consider a "used" rescued dog; many of these are kept in foster homes awaiting adoption and the foster "mom" can advise on their activity level, and if they are good with kids. Plus, they will almost always be housetrained already. And an older dog (maybe 3 or greater?) might not have as much of that exhausting puppy energy.

I have two rescue dogs now, both acquired as adults. I would not have the time or energy to deal with the work it takes to train a puppy.

Also, if you opt not to get the pup back, I think that yes, your son will get over it. It really is probably harder on you than him right now as he is sad but you are feeling both sad and guilty.

Whatever you choose, good luck!
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Old 05-24-2009, 12:19 PM
 
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If you really feel like you can't handle it, don't go back. We got our dog on a whim (ahem, my dh's whim) and we never really trained her or spent the time with her we should have. The kids adored her and played with her all the time, but the adult interaction that she needed wasn't there. It wasn't fair to her at all. She died a lot younger than she should have and I'm sure some of it was because she didn't get the exercise she needed. Dogs need a lot of care, if you don't think you can do it, don't.
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Old 05-24-2009, 12:27 PM
 
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You are not the worst mother ever, you are human!

I WISH some of the people where I live (outdoorsy dog land) would have the ability to see their limitations and the world would be a better place. Dogs are a huge responsibility in addition to being fun.

I think you are a responsible person who knows her limitations. You could always try another pet. Like, say a hamster They stay in their cages and their poop is very very tiny. Kiddin. Kind of.
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Old 05-24-2009, 12:29 PM
 
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I don't think that a *good* breeder would give you the puppy back.
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Old 05-24-2009, 12:35 PM
 
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I dont think i would go try go get the pup back. We spent a good 6 months researching dogs when we finally got ours, and to make sure he was trained right we had to limit some of the kids interactions with him. It took a lot of time and if DF and I hadn't had the schedules we did we would have gotten an adult dog. I think that going with an adult dog is a great idea for your situation, especially a rescue dog they need lots of love too! and most of them are somewhat trained.

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Old 05-24-2009, 12:37 PM
 
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when my dd was 2 i got a quiet adult dog. and within a month had to give him back because my landlord changed her mind. its been over 4 years but my dd still talks about benji.

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Old 05-24-2009, 12:46 PM
 
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Why don't you adopt an adult rescue dog with a mild disposition?

We got our 9 y/o german shepard/husky cross for this very reason. We were looking for a dog to adopt and I posted on our local internet bulletin board, a women I know saw that it was us and phoned. My DH went to see the pup while I was working, he took our older dog with to make sure they would get along. They did and the rest is history. She just didn't have the time with 3 small children, I wouldn't ask for the puppy back because it sounds too overwhelming. I would however look into getting a mellow breed rescue dog, like a golden retriever or a mellow lab(although I find that statement rather hilarious all the labs I know are total spazzes).

I just think it wouldn't be in the dog's best interest to go back into your home if you know you just can't handle the care of a puppy.

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Old 05-24-2009, 01:13 PM
 
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Mama....love for your DS and DH and wanting them to have the puppy they longed for, is what got you the puppy. Common sense and the stark truth that you wouldn't be able to care for the puppy properly, caused you to give the puppy back.....

Guilt and heartache are what make you want to get the puppy BACK from the breeder to bring it home again....but your feeling guilty doesn't erase the cold truth that this is simply too big a committment for you right now.

I wouldn't trust a breeder who would let you bring the puppy home again...you asked her to take the puppy back the first time, for very good reason and it shows that she is a good breeder that she took the puppy back in...the reasons you couldn't keep the dog to begin with haven't changed and I don't think she would (or should!) give the pup back to you.

I agree with what everyone else said about a rescue. I have been heavily involved with rescue and have one rescue dog in my home....let me tell you, a lot of these "foster homes" which keep the doggies while a home is found...are REALLY truly excellent and these people work so hard with the animals to give them a head start on being a part of a normal, healthy family...so by the time you get he pup, it's well on it's way to being housetrained, etc...if not already housetrained! I took in a rescue who needed a lot of work and a lot of emergency health care just because she was going to die if I didn't....but there are MANY many doggies out there who are trusy, faithful companions, who don't have severe issues, who just need a home, for whatever reason..

THIS is the kid of dog for you....a ready playmate for your son and DH...without all the hard work and frustration of a puppy. I would highly recommend rescue. I swear...my purebred, gorgeous, perfectly trained, 8 pound shih tzu is a love...we are over the moon happy with her....but my floppsy, mutt/mix, goofy, sweet Molly....gosh she's the sweetst, most loyal and loving little pooch you could ever hope to know. She is my baby girls BEST friend and follows her everywhere..Avery can play with her for EVER...molly will sit there and practically pur as Avery climbs on her, rubs her face in MOlly's ears, etc. When Molly looks at you sometimes, it's with the deepest affection...almost like she remembers that day, when I scooped her up and said "I'll save you doggie"...even though she had wonky legs, from being tied down so long, horribly matted hair, bugs/parasites that you could actually SEE crawling around on her...was SO sick...cost SO much money we didn't have...it was so hard...but she knows, in her little doggy heart, that we took her when no one else would and she gives us so much love because of it.

SO. Puppies are nice. But if people only knew, the heartbreaking number of grown dogs, who are SO nice and SO deserving of a home...who no one cares about...it is my greatest hope that more people would stop buying puppies and invest a litle love and time into these older dogs who aren't yet done being faithful sidekicks...who need someone to take a chance on them.


As for you being the worst mom ever.....NO...MY mom was the worst ever in this regard. My mother would get us dogs, we'd name them, care for them, love them....then come home some months later, to find the dog gone and she'd say "Oh, I brought it to a farm, it had to be done, I'm so sorry" - simply because the "new" had worn off of the creature and she didn't want it anymore. She did this several times to us, growing up. We once had a beautiful Vizla...named Kate. We LOVED that dog. My mother bought the dog for us, because it perfectly matched the coloring of the gorgeous new leather couch she bought for her study...she couldn't resist a dog, which when laying on the couch, brought out the beautiful mocha tones in the oriental rug she planned to put in the room. So...the dog came home. Again, we fell in love, cared PERFECTLY, RELIGIOUSLY for the dog..hoping that if we did, my mother wouldn't get rid of that one, too...well, one day, about a year into her being our dog "Where's Kate" she said. None of us knew. THe dog was gone.

She pretended that the doggie had run away...even sent my stepfather out to pretend to put fliers up and look for the dog....and would NOT let us go and help look, which we were frantic to do. To make a long story short...the dog was never "found"...it wasn't until some years later that she was telling the storyof Kate at a dinner party and slipped up and said "Oh yes, she had to go to a farm..etc." - one of us said, "I think you're mistaken, Kate ran away, right?" - she had absolutely no idea what we were talking about...then, much later, "Oh yes, you're right, that must have been it" - well after much probing, she cracked and admitted that she just hadn't wanted the dog anymore and so had given it away...and that she felt we were too young (13yo, 11.5yo, 8yo and 3yo) to understand...or say goodbye..or hear the truth.

I can remember the names of a few of the dogs...Sofie, Anastasia, Kate, Daphne (who I think legitimately died while we were at school -I don't know, we got home and she was dead, it was kind of mysterious) but the rest of the dogs I don't remember their names, they were only with us for a short while. She did this over and over again with dogs.

So. No....YOU are no the worst mom in the world. You made a mistake...you thought you were ready for a puppy, but you weren't...that's okay. You only had the dog for a couple of days...and gave it back to a responsible breeder who will care for and rehome the pup.

In the meantime, you and your DH should investigate what type of breed(s) would be best, locate a rescue program for that breed and make contact. After you have a few particulars in place...bring your DS in on the plans to rescue a best friend for him...your child will learn a valuable lesson in this and will feel such a connection and sense of pride for having taken in a dog who REALLY needed him as a friend in this world. Plus, if you choose the right breed and allow the rescue folks to hook you up with a foster mom who has the perfect fit for YOUR family....it will be an entirely different experience for you and your family, and one of much less stress!!

Congratualtions...you did the right thing...it's okay and your boy will totally forgive you and move on!!

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Old 05-24-2009, 01:33 PM
 
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You are so far from the worst mother ever that it is unbelievable. If you were the worst mother ever you wouldn't be feeling the guilt you are right now. Your feelings right now show what a great mother you are. I have children around the same ages as yours, and we've been through similar disappointments. My guilt far, far outlasted my children's broken hearts.

I agree with pp's that you probably only feel you want to get the dog back because you are feeling guilt. You made a rational decision that you are now rethinking for emotional reasons. Do not think you are a bad mother for what you did, you weren't ready for the puppy and you did the right thing.

I also agree with pp's that getting a shelter pet, that is older, will probably be a lot better for you at this time. Really think about it and be sure before you jump into anything.

Whatever you decide to do, don't beat yourself up over the decision you made. You did the right thing for the puppy and for yourself. Your family will be over it before you know it and have moved on to other things. Their sadness is not permanent and you are not the worst mother in the world by any means.


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Old 05-24-2009, 01:48 PM
 
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Puppies are a lot of work, and kudos to you for realizing what you could and couldn't provide, and acting in the best interests of the dog. I second the recommendation to find an older dog that fits your family better.

We recently adopted a dog at 9 months, and it was like having a new baby all over again, right down to the poop analysis.
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Old 05-24-2009, 04:31 PM
 
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I will never get a puppy again. Go rescue and adult dog. Your kid will love it and you won't have to go through the puppy phase....

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Old 05-24-2009, 06:45 PM
 
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You did the right thing. You realized what a JOB it is to raise a puppy and with a 4 year old and a 1 year old, that it wasn't feasible. I've seen a lot of good dogs relegated to the back yard, not given any training and really leading sad lives.

when your kids are older, you can try again.

Sometimes being a good parent means making hard decisions.

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Old 05-24-2009, 06:47 PM
 
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You did well. We had a dog that I still miss but he needed a lot of time and energy and I wouldn't go there again... we're dog sitting my parents' dog right now and although he's a very well trained calm loveable guy, it's reminding me of the work... walks... hair... and did I mention the hair?

You've modelled a really important thing here: Responsibility, and willingness to fix a mistake.

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Old 05-24-2009, 06:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for all your responses! It's nice to know I'm not the horrible mother I feel like!

After sleeping on it, I know we did the right thing. We really can't look after a puppy and he was so lovely, he deserves to be with a family that can give him everything he needs.

I think that I will look into rescue dogs. An adult dog sounds much better for our family.

Thank you ladies. Ironically DS1 is not that heartbroken this morning. He's told me he misses Dave but he stopped crying (thank god!) and now just tells me he misses Dave and wants a dog.

It's complicated.
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Old 05-24-2009, 06:55 PM
 
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I don't think that a *good* breeder would give you the puppy back.
Yeah, sorry, I have to agree with this.

I know this opinion may not be popular, but before you get an animal, you really need to do your homework. If you don't intend to keep the animal 'forever' then you should really think about whether it's a good idea for your family. Puppies, dogs, cats, are work, they have issues, they can cost money, and if you aren't willing to train, or don't have the funds to put into the costs of keeping a family animal, then you really shouldn't have a pet.

I know people have suggested an adult rescue dog, but what if that doesn't work for you either? Before you consider any animal, you really need to figure out if this is going to be something good for your family. I don't think it's a good idea to get animals, and then just give them back. Animals are affected by this sort of situation too

Anyway, don't feel too bad, but I don't think you'll get the dog back.
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Old 05-24-2009, 07:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, sorry, I have to agree with this.

I know this opinion may not be popular, but before you get an animal, you really need to do your homework. If you don't intend to keep the animal 'forever' then you should really think about whether it's a good idea for your family. Puppies, dogs, cats, are work, they have issues, they can cost money, and if you aren't willing to train, or don't have the funds to put into the costs of keeping a family animal, then you really shouldn't have a pet.

I know people have suggested an adult rescue dog, but what if that doesn't work for you either? Before you consider any animal, you really need to figure out if this is going to be something good for your family. I don't think it's a good idea to get animals, and then just give them back. Animals are affected by this sort of situation too

Anyway, don't feel too bad, but I don't think you'll get the dog back.
Yeah, I did do lots of homework and research, but I've never owned a dog - it's a bit like a baby really, you can do all the reading but you never really know what it's like until you become a parent. I do think that we could give a good home to a dog, but I do think it needs to be a dog rather than a puppy. We have cats, I know what it's like to care for animals, I just didn't realise *exactly* how much time and attention a puppy needs.

ETA: I did intend to keep the puppy. I didn't buy the puppy just because it cute, but as a part of our family and friend for our kids.

It's complicated.
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Old 05-24-2009, 07:37 PM
 
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OP: I agree with everyone. You're far from being a bad mom. You're doing what's best for the puppy. If your ds were a little older, I'm sure he'd totally understand that. I think the advice to get an older dog with a mild disposition is right on. Puppies are great, but so are grown dogs.

AverysMomma: Your story horrified me. I had a relative who did that with a dog we gave his son, with his advance approval. The dog "disappeared" from their yard one day, and he told his son he didn't know why. Months later, he admitted to my ex that he'd given it away, because he didn't want a puppy. At least he only did it once!

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Old 05-24-2009, 09:13 PM
 
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Oh, I am SO with you!! We just gave our puppy back to the breeder a few weeks ago for basically the same reason, except it was my dh. He just wasn't prepared for how much work a puppy is and really regretted getting the puppy. So I sent him back. He was such a sweet little puppy, but I couldn't keep the puppy when dh wasn't happy with having him. Giving him back was sooo hard, I had a tough time of it to say the least.

I urge you to NOT call the breeder about getting your puppy back. A good/reputable breeder probably wouldn't give the puppy back to you anyway. It's normal to regret your decision but you gave the puppy back for a reason and those reasons haven't changed......right? RIGHT?? You're not a bad mom or anything like that. You just made a mistake, it happens. It's not the end of the world. Your boys will be fine, really. The PP had good ideas for ways to explain the situation.

Why don't you and your family come up with a plan for when the right time to get a dog would be.... I would suggest waiting until your youngest child is at least 6. That way they can help and I mean REALLY help with taking care of the dog. Dogs are HUGE responsibility for sure. Also maybe consider the option of getting an older dog next time. There are cons to that too though so you just need to research it.

Anyway, I know how you're feeling!! Don't beat yourself up over this. After my experience (and so many other people I've heard of), I'm really starting to think that puppies and very young children aren't always a good mix.

Hang in there!

Sara Mama to DS (6) and DS (4)
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Old 05-24-2009, 11:44 PM
 
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Averysmama
Cannot believe that anyone would do this -- to kids or dogs.

Lucky wife to DH and mom to DS (10/02) and sweet DD (7/08) and DSD (3/93) and assorted animalia
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Old 05-25-2009, 12:41 AM
 
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Yeah, I did do lots of homework and research, but I've never owned a dog - it's a bit like a baby really, you can do all the reading but you never really know what it's like until you become a parent. I do think that we could give a good home to a dog, but I do think it needs to be a dog rather than a puppy. We have cats, I know what it's like to care for animals, I just didn't realise *exactly* how much time and attention a puppy needs.

ETA: I did intend to keep the puppy. I didn't buy the puppy just because it cute, but as a part of our family and friend for our kids.
And I suppose will have to disagree then because I feel that if you had done your homework on owning a puppy, you wouldn't have had to give him back.

I know it sucks for you and your family, but I think it's just sad for an animal. So many people end up in this situation, and don't realize how much work a puppy, or untrained animal can be. Unlike you, some people seem to not care about dumping their animals because "they can't handle it".

I just think that before you get a bigger dog, make sure you know where it came from. A rescue dog is a good idea, but make sure the shelter is legit, as some won't tell you what sort of background the dog came from.

I hope I'm not being harsh, I've volunteered in shelters where this sort of thing was a daily occurrence. Hopefully you will find a dog that is suitable for your home.
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Old 05-25-2009, 01:18 AM
 
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Goodness gracious!! She feels bad enough. She did the right thing. Puppies are a lot of work and she has 2 little ones. If she was a bad person she would have taken it somewhere and dropped it off or shot it or some of the other things I've known people to do with their animals when I worked in rescues. But she bought from a responsible breeder who was willing to take it back, thats what they do, thats why you go to one.

Just as a side, I get a "postpartum" depression after I get a puppy that sometimes will last for a few weeks, but DH pulls me through. After it wears off I totally love my puppy. Puppies are a lot of work and sometimes it just kinda smacks you in the face for awhile!
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Old 05-25-2009, 08:13 PM
 
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Old 05-25-2009, 08:21 PM
 
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Yeah, I did do lots of homework and research, but I've never owned a dog - it's a bit like a baby really, you can do all the reading but you never really know what it's like until you become a parent. I do think that we could give a good home to a dog, but I do think it needs to be a dog rather than a puppy. We have cats, I know what it's like to care for animals, I just didn't realise *exactly* how much time and attention a puppy needs.

ETA: I did intend to keep the puppy. I didn't buy the puppy just because it cute, but as a part of our family and friend for our kids.
Soooo true!! You can research and research 'til you're blue in the face, but you can't *really* know what it's like to have a puppy until it's there in our house. I know, I've been there.

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Old 05-25-2009, 08:22 PM
 
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Goodness gracious!! She feels bad enough. She did the right thing. Puppies are a lot of work and she has 2 little ones. If she was a bad person she would have taken it somewhere and dropped it off or shot it or some of the other things I've known people to do with their animals when I worked in rescues. But she bought from a responsible breeder who was willing to take it back, thats what they do, thats why you go to one.

Just as a side, I get a "postpartum" depression after I get a puppy that sometimes will last for a few weeks, but DH pulls me through. After it wears off I totally love my puppy. Puppies are a lot of work and sometimes it just kinda smacks you in the face for awhile!
I'm not trying to make her feel bad, I'm just not sharing the opinion of the majority.

I just think that animals are often labeled as "replaceable" or "dispensable", and as a pet lover, I'd just like to see more people understand that it does affect an animal when you just drop them off somewhere else, even if it's back to the breeder.

And, sorry, but no, breeders are not there so people can do trial runs with animals. They are there to make money, and to breed dogs.

Like I said, I've just seen this situation happen so often that it hits a nerve. I really hope that the OP will find a dog that will be more suitable for their home. There are a lot of unwanted adult dogs out there looking for forever homes.
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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One suggestion I have about talking to your son is to explain responsible pet ownership --- how you loved the puppy so much, you didn't want to hurt her by not caring for her the way she deserved. Explain this to him at his level. Hopefully he'll understand.

We have three rabbits, all of whom we had before C came along. It is a lot of work to give them the attention they need. You're not a bad mom for giving the puppy up.
Yeah, I did tell him that I didn't realise how much attention puppies needed, and that because we love him very much we wanted him to have a home where he would get everything he needed. He was very sad, but he now seems to understand more and is very happy that the puppy will have a good home. He does tell me though he wants another puppy.

It's complicated.
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Averysmama
Cannot believe that anyone would do this -- to kids or dogs.
It's not something I feel good about and I definitely really thought about it before we gave him back.

I feel like it's better to have given him back sooner, before everyone bonded more and it made it even harder. I didn't want him to end up being an outside dog because no one could deal with him. I want a dog to be part of our family and I realised there was a risk of that not happening.

I know more about dog ownership now, so I know that when we do decide to add a dog to our family that one will have a home with us forever.

For what it's worth, the puppy is very happy. He settled straight back in at the breeders as though he'd never been away. Both DS1 and the puppy seem to be adjusting well.

It's complicated.
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:17 PM
 
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It's not something I feel good about and I definitely really thought about it before we gave him back.
I think the poster was referring to the repeated giving and taking of the dogs by AverysMomma's mom.

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