Not sure whether to keep dog. Please help.(27 Posts)
We have a 20 month old black lab. She is lovely; very affectionate and playful. We got her as a puppy and at the time DH was working from home 3 days a week. Since then he has had to change jobs and is now office based five days a week. I am working from home some of the time; about 2-3 days a week but not on a regular basis. We have a lovely lady who comes in every day and spends a couple of hours with the dog and takes her for a long walk but ddog is still on her own for much of the day. On top of this DM was widowed last year and I am now having to spend much more time supporting her. The long and short of it is that between DC, job and DM there isn't much left over for the dog. I love the dog but I don't feel she gets enough time or attention and I feel like a really shitty dog owner. We are thinking of re-homing her which consumes me with guilt as I know how much pressure there is on organisations like the Dogs Trust. I keep thinking I can make it work but I don't know if I'm being unfair to the dog. She seems happy but I don't know if those doleful looks are just lab expressions or a reflection of her unhappiness. Has anyone else been in this situation? Any advice appreciated. Sorry for the epic post and TIA.
could you pay someone to come and do an additional walk and play?
Would DM like her to spend the day there?
OP is there more to it? Is she being destructive as she's bored?
I'm not sure we can afford doggy daycare but will look into it, thanks for the suggestion Giles. DM is quite frail and has mild dementia. For a several reasons it's not really viable for her to be here during the day; it would need a major re-organisation of her life!
Is your dm entitled to any assistance.
not just to free up time for the dog but to lighten the load for you.
No Juggling she's not being destructive. She is needy for attention and probably doesn't always get as much walking as she needs/would like. Evenings are full with sorting out the various things for DC, social activities, homework etc. Maybe I'm just unrealistic about what she needs
How old are the children?
can they make their own way to activities?
can you and a couple of other parents share the pick ups and drop offs?
Can you design a rota where the kids can help organise things for themselves more.
packing bags/kits etc.
She is fed ,walked and cared for by people she trusts and loves - sounds good enough to me .
That's good Heidi, young labs can be very destructive if they're bored. She seems happy enough, they are very good at those doleful expressions though. Some friends of ours send they're boy to doggy day care once a week, he loves it.
DC are 6 and 7 so not old enough to take themselves anywhere but we do have arrangements for shared drop off and pick ups with other parents.
DM does get other help but need me for stuff like making arrangements for anything, dealing with finances, medical appoints, shopping and general reassurance etc.
Thanks Floral and Juggling for your comments. I think I just need to know the dog is fine. I'm really not neurotic, just feel a bit overwhelmed with it all at times. The dog is the lowest priority- I guess something has to be.
Sorry! Didn't mean to turn this into therapy
If course the dog is bottom of the pile, life is busy but as long as she is happy (and she sounds like she is), then I wouldn't worry about it. Our girls spend 2 days a week in their room from 7-6, it's a long day. They have a lovely room though, with a doggy flap so they can go outside. The 13 month old puppy has completely trashed
little bitch the garden with her bone burying but she is happy.
If she is getting a couple of hours company and a good long walk (over an hour?) every day from your dog sitter, along with a shorter evening walk that sounds really good. How long are you out the house each day other than this? Is she showing any anxiety - chewing etc. If not, she sounds ok.
Do the dc play games with her? Give her food in a treat ball/cube/slow feeder/toy to give her something to do, or hide food for her to sniff out and find, our lab loves this and takes pressure off us to play with him for a while.
Can you take her in the car with you to the dc's activities? I take ours everywhere I can, to ds's football games and to my dm when visiting. Even being out and seeing different things/places is good for her.
Are you in the South East (of England)? If you're anywhere near me I could do with a bouncy lab to drag me out for walks. Win/win?
Judging by your routine, and the fact that you have somebody coming in to walk her, I think she's probably better off with you than you realise. I know what you mean about the dog being the lowest priority. It made me feel guilty when my children came along, and my Ddog had to take a bit of a back-seat. He was still loved, walked everyday etc, but just not such a high priority when there was so much else going on. I think as long as you make time for her at the weekends, and when you are home then you're doing your best for her. I'm sure she loves her family and would rather miss the odd walk, or not get quite as much attention than have the upheaval of moving to a new home.
Thanks everyone for the helpful comments and suggestions. I do just need to get a perspective I think. I will follow up doggy day care . That's a good point little she probably is better off with what she knows; I'll keep that in mind.
my lab loved doggy dare care 1 day a week when our lifestyle changed.i was feeling guilty like you op but he really enjoyed a day a week out of routine.
You maybe surprised at the price of doggy daycare.......There is a lady in the next village from us - she charges £15 for a day, £20 for overnight. It is in her own home so spaces are limited, but I do know she has dogs that have regular days when their owners work. I don't do it regularly as I don't work - but if I have one of those days that it doesn't seem Ddog will have enough attention, or we are going to be out a lot DDog goes there for the day - he loves it - 2 hr walk in the woods and then lots of doggy company....he comes back exhausted and happy.
She is insured.
This compares to the going rate around here of £12 for an hours walk.
Just another to chime on saying that your dog sounds happyand or sounds like you're really considering her needs.
I think your dog would be a lot more unhappy in a kennel waiting to be rehomed, which must be a terrifying experience for some dogs - than she would be with you - even if you can't be with her all day every day, you are doing your best and she is settled and happy.
another vote for doggy daycare here, even if it is just one day per week! I have a similar set up to you Heidi and dog goes just one day a week to doggy day care. Its enough to really wear him out, I know he gets two really long walks and socializes with other dogs all day.
He is pressed up against the door on Tues morning waiting to go (how does he know it's Tuesday??), and then really chilled Weds and Thurs.
I agree with all pp, if he isn't being destructive then he is probably quite content. I think we all want to give our dogs the best life, but sometimes we can't do everything. It'll get easier as the children get older, mine were quite good at that age teaching the dog new tricks, can you get your children to do this (eg jumping through a hoop, a little routine) just 10 mins here and there.
Yes doggy day care. Our springer goes twice a week and it really takes the edge off him, he's always zonked the next day. DH takes him out for a proper walk before he leaves for work, so about 6.15am on days he's not in doggy day care (dog not DH!), then a shorter one last thing at night.
I work from home a lot of the time like you, and tend to organise things I need to be out a longer day for on doggy day care days. We're busy with activities etc in the evenings, so the dog just either pootles round or sleeps.
She sounds better off with you than in rescue - she's walked during the day and sounds happy.
Take her with you in the car - mine go everywhere - and seem to like the change of scene and company, even if it doesn't end in a walk. Get her some toys that make her think - those treat dispensing balls for example and do training exercises with her to keep her mind active.
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