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To think this dog's life is not right?

(58 Posts)
Nicola19 Sat 31-Aug-13 11:13:08

Opposite house to us have two older teenagers. They got a labrador pup about two or three years ago. He is sedate and sweet, he always used to be an indoor dog but would follow them out to the yard if they were busy out there. He was never left out. Got walked quite often but not regularly, he would go out on the paper round and up the woods sporadically on a flexi lead.

Last few weeks i noticed him barking and whimpering a lot and i saw that he was in the side yard, a fence away from where they come out of their doors. Walks seem to have reduced. He has now stopped barking and just stands still whimpering a bit. They go out to feed him but definitely no so much fuss is made of him and he is kind of held captive.

I plucked up courage to speak to the guy and we got onto topic of the dog. He said he was fine, banished outside because he has caused an allergic rash on two family members. He showed me and it looked like dermatitis, no evidence of any treatment/ cream. He said he had been to the doctors who said he had to choose between the dog or the rash!??

Dog has a new shed that he goes in as his new home. When i am out i can hear him softly whimpering for attention. Makes me so sad he is so miserable on my doorstep, keep being reminded of it. If they are fed up of him i would love to offer to have him but my DH would say no way! I wonder what others feel about this please? Is it a case of dog is probably adaptable and is ok?

theodorakisses Sat 07-Sep-13 05:53:52

Yes, it's amazing how many assholes become allergic to their dogs once they are not cute puppies. Most of my fosters come from sudden allergic reactions to adult or teenage dogs. Funny how they don't have a reaction when they are in the photo opportunity cutie puppy phase. Twat.

LeoandBoosmum Thu 12-Sep-13 13:47:34

Hi Nicola, sorry I haven't written sooner...
Just wondered if anything had happened since we last chatted?
You're right...labs are not a breed that are usually kept for guarding. I think he's just got fed up of having a dog in the home - theodorakisses's post is probably closest to the truth. I'm not sure that would mean he'd happily relinquish the dog though. You can but try... Maybe broaching the subject with the woman of the house if you see her on the road?

Did you look up the RSPCA info about what constitutes neglect? Maybe the radical change in the dog's circumstances would be enough for the RSPCA to intervene some way. I mean, if the dog had been kept in those conditions ie outside and alone for most of the time, since puppyhood (not saying that would be right either) the RSPCA might take the view that the dog - as long as there was adequate water/ food/ shelter - would be used to that lifestyle and not intervene. The issue is that the dog has not always been treated in that way and so his mental/ physical health could be seriously compromised... Might be worth a quick (at this stage, anonymous?) to the RSPCA or even a charity like The Dogs' Trust (much nice than the RSPCA in my opinion but I'm not sure to what extent they could advise...) I think you should point out that while - for now - the dog looks okay physically, you can't see enough to know whether the dog has adequate food, water, shelter, space etc...

Do you think other people in the community have noticed this dog's plight/ change in circumstances or expressed any concern?

I am a bit concerned that if the RSPCA, for example, visited they might trace it to you (although that can't really be a reason to not act if you have real concern)... It might just be better from your perspective if you're not the only neighbour who has sensed there is something not quite right...

I'm glad your husband may now be open to the idea of having the pooch. That's great news. I'm sure he'd have a much happier life with you. At least you sort of know that he has a home with you - even if it turns out to be temporary until the lab charity can find him somewhere - if the owner is amenable. If you can convince the owner (and, like I said, I would do it in a sympathetic know, 'it must be very difficult for you, you must love your dog and he must wonder why he's now an outside dog but I can understand your predicament...allergies can be nasty things...etc. Do you think you might be fairer to yourselves and the dog if you gave him up? I'd be happy to take him if you'd like the kids to still be able to see him, or if you think they or the kids wouldn't cope well with that you have a friend who rehomes labs).

I think the best thing is to be sympathetic, come across as understanding and caring, tell them you appreciate they love the dog but may be trying to keep him against their better judgement (ie their allergies but the dog must be wondering why his life has changed so much and overnight basically). You thought you'd just suggest some options to them in case they are thinking it's not viable to keep the dog themselves...

I will send you a quick private message now to try to make sure you see this. I haven't had a PM from you so don't know if you haven't worked it out yet or have just been busy smile

Anyhow, I hope our poochy chum is not suffering too much.
Send me a quick update when you can... I'll check back on this thread now and again too!

Nicola19 Thu 12-Sep-13 21:17:57

Hiya leo, just a quick update. Weather is rainy and cool. I am planning to wait until october for my approach. I really don't want to leave him that long but i think the cold conditions might help them decide if they want to rehome him. I don't think wife will say yes at my first show of interest but if i pace it they may come round. I looked up thre Five Freedoms and was actually heartened by the freedom to behave normally, it explores social interaction. I thought i was going to find very little to support my view. My three neighbours are also sad about it. One to the same extent as me. She has said that they had also toyed with the idea if having him! I think being sympathetic and neighbourly is the right approach, and not too intense. I am psyching myself up for four weeks from now and will feed back developments! Thankyou to all for interest and advice.

MikeOxard Sat 14-Sep-13 09:58:59

I have a rehomed Labrador so this is really tugging my heart strings. I think the family will be MUCH more open to you taking him than to giving him up to a rehoming charity. I would ask to rehome him (and not mention giving him up/rspca etc, as this often leads to defensiveness). Once you have him, see how your dh is, if you both love him once he's there (which I'm sure you will!) then you can keep him and give him a lovely home. If dh doesn't come round, ask Labrador rescue to find him a new home, and just mention to the family that sadly you couldn't keep him in the end but found a lovely family for him. xx

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 14-Sep-13 11:59:56

Thanks for the update op

I hope you manage to talk sense in to the "owners".

MyBaby1day Sun 15-Sep-13 03:40:26

Poor doggy sad. These neighbours sound very irresponsible to me and getting it was a 5-minute wonder, now the novelty has worn off. You can't do that!, it's not a doll, it's a life!. In a way I hope your DH comes round and you can take him. It's good that you're on good terms with the neighbour as A), he's your neighbour, you don't want to be at logger heads! and B) he may let you take the dog!! smile. Hope all ends well but it's so selfish of them to have done this!.

LeoandBoosmum Tue 17-Sep-13 03:45:07

Hi Nicola,
Just wanted to let you know I hope to reply tomorrow (I'll probably reply here and then copy and paste and send via mumsnet mail too).
I'm really hoping everything works out for our canine chum! TTYS! GNGB!

LeoandBoosmum Thu 19-Sep-13 01:56:49

Hi Nicola,
Hope you're okay. Your plan sounds good.
It occurred to me last night that Guy Fawkes' Night is not that far off so, hopefully, you can find an opportunity to speak to the owners before then... If this year is the first time the dog has been kept outside during this time then he is likely going to be scared stiff! Poor guy... If the owners will let you have him it'd be better if you could have him in your care before then...

It's good that you have other neighbours around you who are also concerned for him... If push comes to shove and you decide to take action - if the dog's owners are resistant to the idea of giving the dog up - then maybe you could approach the neighbour who seems as bothered as you and report together... Maybe there would be less chance of recrimination if the owners found out more than one neighbour reported them... For now, though, I would try - as others have suggested - to keep things amicable. What makes you feel certain that the lady of the house will object at the first approach? Does she seem closer to the dog? Does she walk him?

What are the 'Five Freedoms'? I'll have to go and look that up... I'm guessing it's something like 'freedom to eat, drink, shelter etc etc' Can owners be reported if they are not meeting these 5 freedoms? If it comes to it, at least if one or more of these freedoms is being denied you have something to report.

I am hoping that the family will give the dog up to you if you say something along the lines of what we originally discussed. I think that's the best way forward. Their allergies are one thing - and you have to say you respect that they feel they can't have the dog in the house for that reason - but the dog, not used to being outside until recently, is going to have a very lonely, miserable, cold winter if he has to spend it outside the whole time. Surely they will see reason?! I hope - if they won't give him up -that at the very least he has a sturdy kennel and plenty of blankets.
MikeOxard makes a great point, I think. I agree - having considered his message - that the family could become defensive if you start mentioning Lab rehoming charities/ RSPCA etc... I think they may interpret that as insulting, like you saying they are abusing the dog and are not looking after it (which, of course, between us, is the truth!!....)

Yep, as MikeOxard says, it is better that you just offer to have him yourself... I agree with him that you will fall in love with him (and your DH is likely to aswell...labs are super loving and lovable!) but that if you feel after a time you couldn't keep him for any reason, you could rehome him yourselves and make your excuses to the previous family if they ask.
The important thing, surely, is to get him out of that situation... There are plenty of responsible people out there who would love to have this gorgeous dog and give him a full, active, fun life. Labs make wonderful companions and are so good with really is a shame that he's basically been ostracized. Shame on them!!

It must be pretty galling to have to be nice to the little guy's owners but it is the best way forward and I think your plan sounds good. Just try to keep it friendly, amicable and helpful-sounding without appearing at all judgmental. I think you should sympathize with them over the allergy situation but point out how confusing it must be for the dog *winter's approaching etc etc... Then just ask if they find him too much with their allergies whether they would consider giving him to you... tell them the kids can drop by and visit (point out that that way they have the benefit of access to the dog without too great a risk of allergic reaction).
You can but try but I am really hoping and praying that they will see sense and let you have him. I keep thinking of the poor little bugger sitting there alone because his sh!t of a family have decided he's now a burden sad
I have a similar situation next door to my mum. The dog there is a little Jack Russell. He is gorgeous but he is left alone way too the back garden from morning until early evening til the woman comes home with her two little boys...during the school holidays he was left alone until 10 at night sometimes (she does appear to bring him in at night) ! I was at mum's today to check on her dog and took a peak over next door's fence and saw the little Jack Russell. He had no water and there was no food bowl (his only shelter is a tree at the back of the garden where I've seen him curled up when it's raining...really upsetting!) so I ended up throwing food over to him which he gobbled up like he'd not eaten in a week sad I put a bowl of milk under the fence for him which he drank too...and then took it back. Moments later I saw the house light go on... I take a chance when I do these things because I'm sure I'd get a mouthful if she noticed (you should hear what she screeches at her children!)
My heart bleeds for dogs such as the Jack Russell and the little guy who concerns you... I wish people would think long and hard before they get a pet... Our dogs are just as much a part of the family as the people in it! It should be the same in every household where there is a pet...
Rant over... I just wanted to say I sympathize and empathize with you and hope you can find a way forward in your situation! I am really rooting for you and our canine chum!! Sorry for going on and please do keep me updated.
Leo x

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