Should I rehome my dog? I feel like the worst owner ever.(12 Posts)
Sorry if this is long and incoherent, please don't flame me, I feel so awful for getting to this point.
I have a 5 year old border collie who I bought with my ex when she was a puppy, we have had her since 8 weeks old, I'll call her K. My ex bought her from a friend of a friend, which now I know more about it I know was not the best idea as I think she was the runt of the litter and quite poorly socialised.
Nevertheless we worked really hard training her, taking her for long walks every day, meeting other dogs and she became a lovely well trained dog. She was always a little wary of other dogs, anxious and a little bouncy and prone to over-excitement, but I loved her immensely. She was originally meant to be ex's responsibility, as he was at home most of the time and my work became more demanding with full time hours. However, he just lost interest and refused to continue walking or training her. I carried on the walking and training for as long as I could, but then became pregnant unexpectedly and had hyperemesis and anaemia, I was still working full time and was just incapable of walking her as well.
During my pregnancy my ex became emotionally abusive, lots of shouting, a constant atmosphere and it was just miserable. K became more and more anxious, wary around my ex and protective of me. I eventually asked my ex to leave last Christmas- he took K with him. I reluctantly agreed as with a full time job and a toddler to look after I knew I wouldn't be able to give her the time she needs, he moved in with his dad who had a large garden, and they would both be at home all day.
Two months later I had a nervous breakdown and was very ill, I was almost admitted as an inpatient as I was so unwell. I still suffer very badly with anxiety and PTSD.
5 months ago my ex asked me if I would have K for a night as he wanted to go somewhere- he then refused to pick her up again, saying he wasn't having her back. She is even worse than before now- so anxious and unhappy, terrified of strangers and barks at everything. She shows me almost no affection, although she adores dd. And she has become incredibly fear aggressive, snapping or growling several times a day. I just don't think its a good idea having her in the house with a 2 year old. Its impossible to make K do anything she doesn't want to do, she just becomes a snarling snappy terrified mess.
I know I need to walk her more, but I just can't cope with it- she is so anxious around other dogs, her barking gives me extreme anxiety due to the PTSD and most days I am so anxious I struggle to go out at all, dog or not. I feel desperately sad that this whole thing seems to have broken my dog, I love her so much but she is just so unhappy. I know she needs a lot of love and work, and at the moment I am just too unwell. I have a new partner, but he works all the hours he can to keep things going. We have no money- my ex left me in an awful financial situation and the divorce is costing a fortune, so I cant pay for a dog walker or a behaviourist. Its just such a mess.
I think rehoming her is probably the best option- hopefully somebody else would be able to give her the time and experience needed to make her a happy dog again. But will anyone take her if she is so aggressive and difficult? I feel awful about the thought of giving her up, she is my responsibility and I just feel I have failed her. Does anyone have any thoughts?
Don't feel guilty about exploring re-homing. It shows you care.
Which avenues might you investigate?
I should look into rehoming her immediately. Call one of the big charities and talk to them.
And poor you.
Definitely rehome. Speak to your nearest rescue centre as soon as possible because they stop taking dogs in in middle December over Christmas. They will match the dog up with someone who can spend time with her.
It sounds like you have already made up your mind, you're now just dealing with the guilt. Understandable considering she has been a part of your life for so long!
I think rehoming is the right choice, for you and your little girl AND the dog. There will be a loving family out there with the time to walk her and train her, you just need to find them
Thank you, I know its the right thing really, although I'm heartbroken. Does anyone know a good rescue in the North West, preferably one that is good with collies? I have found a few to call tomorrow.
There's a border collie trust based in Staffs which might be a starting point?
Here's the link to the Border Collie Trust www.bordercollietrustgb.org.uk/
Valgrays is also for Border Collies. They are not in your area but, if you email them, I'm sure they'd know of somewhere suitable www.valgraysbcrescue.org.uk/index.htm
Good luck. You've been through a really shitty, difficult time, just think that it's amazing you can still function and look after your little girl. Don't feel bad, you need to look after yourself and it's great you are responsibly looking for a new home where your dog will get some help with its problems. Best wishes
If you are in Preston ish area of Lancashire I can offer to walk your dog, not every day, but I can offer a few days. If it helps you and dog while you are going through rehoming process im happy to do it. I have lots of experience with borders, including damaged rescues. PM me if i can help.
People's situations change - that's life, you can't plan for every eventuality and sometimes dogs need re-homing, you all ready know this is the best outcome for your family and hopefully the collie too. Must be heart-breaking but it sounds like you've really tried hard to explore all the options before coming to this desicion.
You love her and want what is best for her I think you are right to put her first. There are people with the experience to take on challenging dogs.
I'm not a dog lover so I'm looking at it from a different angle to most.
You've had this dog back for 5 months after she's been with your Ex for (? years) . Sounds like he didn't keep up with the sterling work you'd put into her training as a pup/youngster.
Border collies don't just need physical excercise, they need mental excercise.
I was admiring a BC in the park - his owner said she could walk his legs to stumps and he wouldn't be tired if it was just a walk. He needed to be doing something (she had one of those ball-throw scoops. He crouched, waited, then on command went to find it and return for praise)
Sounds like you've done what you can but if she's growling and scared, you must be very worried about your DD.
Sounds like a breed rescue would be your best way forward.
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