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This memory is still affecting me badly 10 years later

(19 Posts)
elephantcuddles Fri 17-Mar-17 00:52:46

I wasn't sure where to post this. I just need to get this out and talk to someone about this as I've been crying. 10 years ago, when I was 21, I (American with dual citizenship) was living in the states and I found a beautiful golden retriever/labrador mix puppy. I wanted to keep him. I was broke and had two cats already. I lived six hours away from everything I knew. I took him to the vet, got all of his vaccines and had him neutered, etc. He was a beautiful, sweet puppy and I adored him. I lived in an apartment. I wanted him to have a yard to play in. But I always took him to a huge nature reserve right by my apartment for walks and we would play in the grass, etc.

I made the mistake of telling my mom about the puppy and that I think I should find a home for him. She worked at a school. I sent her some pics of him and she told all the staff at her school. Another teacher there expressed interest in him. I came home a few weekends later because of a wedding. I took the puppy to meet the woman. She never invited me in her house.
An older female friend of mine had an animal rescue and knew lots of people in the town. Her friend said not to give the puppy to this woman because her husband (a plumber) knew the people and had been in their house a lot. He said they were terrible hoarders (not of animals, but of STUFF). They were very insistent that it would be a horrible mistake to let them have the puppy.

My mom screamed at me and told me I had to give this woman the puppy and that I had no choice (I had not been living under her roof for years, she didn't invest anything into this puppy at all!). My mom was badly abusive to me growing up and even as a young adult woman I still let her tell me what to do. I regret not just taking the puppy and driving back to my home 6 hours away. it hurts so much! I felt like she had control over me. It still makes me sad, angry, and emotional to this day. She forced me to give the puppy to this lady. To this day I have no idea what it looks like inside the house.

She asked to use the bathroom when we got to their house to give them the puppy. She promised me if it was really bad we wouldn't leave him there. Well she later told me that it looked like there was construction going on in the house or remodeling. Later I emailed that lady and said if they were doing construction, I wish she had waited to get him as he was just a puppy and I wanted him to be safe. She said they weren't doing construction at all, their house is always just like that. I cried and cried so much. I tried to move on and just get on with my life. He was gone forever and there was nothing I could do about it. It still breaks my heart.

Recently I emailed her after a decade asking how he is doing... she said he is great, amazing, etc. She sent a few pics. He is on a leash thing in the backyard (I mean a chain attached to a stake). I'm against these. He also looks like maybe they don't walk him much as he is overweight. I'm really not sure. But I know they are hoarders. I saw the background of their house on a pic that was posted on her son's social media. I asked if I could visit him at some point as I'm only temporarily in the state. I want to see him again before it's too late as I know he is getting older (I didn't say that though). She said she would check her schedule and get back to me but I don't know if she will. I know she obviously doesn't owe me a visit to him or anything. I never found closure. And I never knew what I was sending him into. I hate the thought of him having had to live in a hoarder home for all these years. She is a perfectly nice person. I just loved that puppy so much and wanted him to have an amazing life. I would have kept him, but I wanted him to have a yard. Now I feel like our walks to the nature reserve would have been really more than sufficient. It could have been done.

I want to think the best. But it is hard and so painful. Here's a pic of him from 10 years ago as a puppy. It doesn't seem possible 10 years have passed . :'( i.imgur.com/oKc1wRK.jpg

Dieu Fri 17-Mar-17 01:07:47

I honestly think you need to find a way to move on from this, as it's not healthy to be dwelling on it 10 years later.
One of my closest friends is a hoarder, and one of the best people I know.
You cannot know for certain that the pup has had a bad life. You seem to have catastrophised the situation in your own head.
The loss of the pup was sad for you, of course ... but what's done is done. All the 'would and should haves' are pointless, and keeping you from closure.

elephantcuddles Fri 17-Mar-17 01:10:18

But a hoarding situation is not good for an animal. They can't move freely in the home. I haven't made this situation up in my head or made it out to be worse. The husband (a man ffs who wouldn't normally gossip) said their house was bad. Even he said not to do it.My mom is so abusive that I basically had no choice.

elephantcuddles Fri 17-Mar-17 01:11:09

Plus animals could easily pick something up in their mouth. especially a puppy, as puppies put everything in their mouth. I didn't want him going in that situation. According to the husband they didn't even have a kitchen sink because they were that bad of hoarders. Your friend might be a nice person but hoarders have issues they need to work through. It's a mental health condition.

Dieu Fri 17-Mar-17 01:18:49

Again, 'could have' put something in his mouth. The fact that he's alive 10 years later shows that he has fared ok.
Sorry OP, but you are sounding rather neurotic over this.

BastardGoDarkly Fri 17-Mar-17 01:21:31

They've had him for ten years! He's a bit porky, older dogs often are, so he's been fed, loved and kept in the same home with people that love him all that time.

That house is the only home he knows, he won't give a shit if its cluttered.

You need to let this go, and think about counselling for your relationship with your Mum, that part does sound worth worrying about.

elephantcuddles Fri 17-Mar-17 01:22:16

I may sound neurotic but I am a die hard animal lover. It's what I live for.

The day that I gave the puppy to the lady the couple who knows her and her husband are the ones that said "He could pick something up in his mouth and end up needing stomach surgery." They scared me badly. The lady called me pleading with me not to take him there. Then my mom grabbed my cell phone from me and screamed at her. I left out that part.

BastardGoDarkly Fri 17-Mar-17 01:23:34

He didn't need surgery though did he? He's fine hmm

elephantcuddles Fri 17-Mar-17 01:28:42

I don't know. A decade has passed. It's not like I know everything that's happened to him. He might have had surgery at some point. I know very little because I chose not to bother them all these years.
I had him for a few months as a puppy -- I took him for all his shots and neuter the first year. I was his first home. He knew me first. And I keep things clean and uncluttered. I didn't like that they had him on a chain in the backyard. I'm so against those.

elephantcuddles Fri 17-Mar-17 01:30:36

I know I need to let it go but it's a terrible guilt I feel for letting him go to a hoarder home. I didn't have a choice. My mom was an abusive bitch that day.

VimFuego101 Fri 17-Mar-17 02:18:48

Unfortunately you can't do anything about the dog's situation now. The only thing you can take control of is your relationship with your mother and the hold she had over you at that time. How is your relationship with her now?

Concernedmum4567 Fri 17-Mar-17 02:19:21

I know people that love dogs as if they were their children. You poor thing you must of been really attached.

Concernedmum4567 Fri 17-Mar-17 02:19:34

Did you name him?

elephantcuddles Fri 17-Mar-17 02:29:21

Yes, I named him. They kept the name which was nice. (I'm good at picking names though to be fair).

My mom is like a narcissist and really mean at times. She hit me a lot growing up and claims she didn't now (just this past Christmas said she didn't hit me/ That's a lie. Then accused me of hitting her when I was a teen. Also a HUUUUGE lie. I was always afraid of her). She is toxic. I'm adopted. She got me when I was 2-3ish. I don't like her but I love her. If that makes sense. I keep my distance from her.

elephantcuddles Fri 17-Mar-17 02:30:44

But I don't think I will ever forgive her for this. I know there is nothing I can do about it now but God it hurts. sad Never stopped thinking of him all those years. I'm crazy about animals. I live for them. I feel so much guilt that he went to a hoarder home.

AcrossthePond55 Fri 17-Mar-17 02:39:55

Contact the local ASPCA, The Humane Society, or the local animal shelter (usually run by the county) and tell them you are concerned that the dog is not properly being cared for/may be neglected. You will have turned it over to the proper authorities. It will be up to them to pursue it and you can sleep better knowing you've made a report.

elephantcuddles Fri 17-Mar-17 02:46:17

I don't think it''s that he's being improperly cared for. He looks well fed and all that. And from what the woman says, they love him. But it's this hoarding issue that bothers me. Dogs have a sense of smell that is so powerful. Hoarder homes usually smell. Dogs need to be able to move freely in their environment. Hoarding is unnatural for a dog to live in. These things would affect his quality of life and it's why I didn't want him going there in the first place. Nothing I can do about it now but it eats away at me so badly. I don't think the ASPCA would have any reason to take him away. They hoard stuff and that isn't enough to remove an animal.

MiscellaneousAssortment Fri 17-Mar-17 05:08:56

You cannot change what happened a decade ago. You just can't.

Doesn't matter how much you fret and how much you agonise over it. You cannot go back in time.

You also have no way of knowing what life that dog has had. Although you seem to have decided to project a huge amount onto the dog and it's owners. If you really do want to sort this out in your head, then you need to start working through what are actual facts, and what is you catastrophising and making leaps to the worst case scenario. Scenarios that aren't supported by what you actually know, the dog being alive and relatively well cared for in the photo.

It seems to me you've mixed in all the angst you've felt about your mother and her abuse, and put the dog owners in the same group as her in your head. But of course they are not her, they don't have to be cruel and nasty pet owners who put their own needs above the basic health & wellbeing of the dog. You can worry about you hearing they are hoarders. But being someone who hoards stuff does not necessarily mean they've been terrible dog owners. It really doesn't. And although they vaguely knew your mother, it doesn't mean to say they are nasty abusive people like your mother is.

This whole thing obviously represents a terribly upsetting time in your life, when you were still under your mothers influence, so much that you were forced to do things that went against all you believe in. And the guilt you feel for that happening.

I think you should concentrate on working through what happened and your relationship with your mother in general. I'd really recommend counselling etc, as that could really help.

keeponkeeponkeepon Sat 18-Mar-17 10:21:26

Do you think you are transferring your self worth to animals? I do t really know how to phrase it properly.

You keep saying you live for animals, you are crazy about them etc etc. Which makes you an honourable person, who could criticise your love for them? But it seems as though it is easier for you to do that than recognise you mums abuse of you which is significant. So you hide behind loving animals because it is easier than the real issue which is you abusive mother and your total lack of self worth.

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