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In turmoil over puppy

(38 Posts)
Desperatelysadandashamed Tue 05-Dec-17 20:39:43

Let me start by saying I grew up with dogs and they were always extremely well cared for and adored. Part of the family in every sense of the word.

I'm not making excuses but it's relevant - our only daughter was stillborn (born on our second round of IVF). Don't need to go into detail about how horrific that was. We haven't since been able to have another baby (3 years later).

My DH suggested we get a puppy. I am self employed and work from home, we have a large garden and plenty of time to care for a dog.

We collected a beautiful male 8 week border terrier 6 days ago.

I have all the time in the world to spend with this beautiful animal but I'm just going to say it: I wish I'd never got him. In the interest of being transparent:

- he is a very well behaved puppy.
- he is sleeping well in our bedroom (sleeps in a crate and does business in a cardboard box that I attach to crate. Crate dry all night) we leave him to cry and he settles within 30 mins. He wakes about twice a night for me to let him out. Goes back to bed and cries a little (5-15 mins maybe) and then back to sleep. He wakes about 7am and I bring him to bed for a bit as I think he's suffered enough. I hate ignoring him but I don't want a dog that sleeps in our bed in the unlikely event that a miracle happens and we have a baby someday.
- he is obviously boisterous in the day but he is manageable and trust me, ALL his needs are met and more. If anything I worry I am ruining him by giving him too much attention and I'll never be able to leave him alone in future. I put him in his crate earlier just so I could have a shower and he screamed. I hate that, I find it quite upsetting.

My problem: I can't shake the feeling that I wish I'd never got him. I am sick and angry with myself and feel indescribable shame and sadness. I broke into sobs when DH came home and I confessed. If the breeder called and said that she needed him back I would be relieved. I am overwhelmed with responsibility and a feeling that this isn't right. He isn't a 'fix' for the heartbreak I feel.

He's currently sleeping in my lap and the tears are streaming down my face typing this. WHAT THE FUCK DO I DO?

You are within your rights to flame me, nothing less than indeserve but know that I feel Sick to the pit of my stomach with guilt and shame at these feelings. Literally everyone I know knows that I have this beautiful boy, I wouldn't even know where to start if I rehomed him and had to share what I've done. It's the lowest of the low in my opinion.

jedenfalls Tue 05-Dec-17 20:42:01

With my armchair psychologist hat on, sounds like you are finally allowing yourself to grieve and it's coming out as regret for the dog?

Desperatelysadandashamed Tue 05-Dec-17 20:44:33

I might add that he wasn't bought for me to replace a baby. I understand that he is a dog and was bought solely in that sense: we can offer a dog a living and safe, fun home. Also I am not suffering from any mental illness hence why I am so worried that this isn't just a feeling which will
Pass.

Desperatelysadandashamed Tue 05-Dec-17 20:46:11

Thanks for your response. I would say I have grieved for our daughter. We manage to live a full and happy life albeit a massive part is missing and we carry her with us daily. I feel like he is more of a hassle in reality and I don't know why I feel like this, I have had dogs all my life.

jedenfalls Tue 05-Dec-17 20:48:53

I Will add that in my life I have had several animals, much loved and thoroughly well researched before I got them and yet each time I had a massive attack of the blues just after I got them. For me it was adjusting to the responsibility of having the animal. even though I had been a pet sitter for ages for some very intensive and hard to look after animals before I got my own low maintenance creatures, so it's not like I didn't commitment and work involved.

jedenfalls Tue 05-Dec-17 20:49:25

Oh. Sorry post.

jedenfalls Tue 05-Dec-17 20:49:38

*xpost

SureIusedtobetaller Tue 05-Dec-17 20:53:17

I’ve always had a period of regret after getting a new pet for whatever reason too- same as after I had a baby. Sort of overwhelmed with the responsibility and sad that I have irrevocably altered my life.
I think you may need to give yourself some settling time before you make any decisions.

villainousbroodmare Tue 05-Dec-17 20:53:18

I think you should see a grief counsellor.
This is not about the puppy.

Wrt the puppy, I would very strongly suggest that you don't bring him into your bed (unless you want him there forever) and that you start practising leaving him alone for brief periods, as it is probably one of the most important things he needs to learn. Also the crate needs to be a happy place for him, not a prison, so when you need a shower or whatever, how about quickly puppy-proofing the bathroom and bringing him in with you, or leaving him in another reasonably puppy-proofed room with a toy.

Desperatelysadandashamed Tue 05-Dec-17 21:00:56

Thank you both. Should innit be putting his bed in our room then? If not a problem, when should I move him? I just worry that it is so cold atm.

How long did the blues last and what made it dissipate?

Desperatelysadandashamed Tue 05-Dec-17 21:01:53

So are you saying that in my position you wouldn't return her to the breeder?

Hoppinggreen Tue 05-Dec-17 21:07:05

I’m sorry for your loss
I got my much wanted and researched puppy almost 2 years ago in very different circumstances to you but I felt very similar
I actually sat and sobbed “I’m sorry I don’t love you “ at him more than once. There are a few threads about it on here but post puppy depression is certainly a thing .
I know your circumstances are more difficult than most and are probably making things even worse and if you DO feel the puppy needs a different home then be kind to yourself and find him one.
However, I wouldn’t be without my lovely boy now and in time you might feel the same

Tedster77 Tue 05-Dec-17 21:09:22

I think you need to give this time. I honestly think many if not most puppy owners go through a kind of Post Puppy Depression at some point! Then you have added complexity of the huge loss you’ve suffered.

I would just try to relax and not stress too much and let the bond slowly grow. Love at first sight is rare! Most relationships blossom given time and bonding rather than trying to force ourselves to feel things.

I have lots of pets and have all kind of reactions - but I love the bones of them and am getting another puppy at Christmas so it does pass (gulp!!! Before anyone flames me Christmas is quiet here and when I’m off work - it’s not some stupid Christmas present idea).

I think you’re being very hard on yourself x

Greyhorses Tue 05-Dec-17 21:09:29

I had a period of regret and 'what have I done' with every dog I have got so far. Maybe not to the extent you have but I do think it's normal to feel overwhelmed by the whole thing.

Puppies are hard work and I think you need to give yourself some time smile

mistermagpie Tue 05-Dec-17 21:11:13

I know nothing about dogs (I have cats) but I can say that I have experienced a feeling of being overwhelmed and regretful whenever I have got a new pet. It's the overwhelming feeling of being responsible for another living creature forever. It's a big deal and to me, says that you understand the reality of having a dog and will be an excellent owner.

I wouldn't make any rash decisions just now. He's still really young and puppies are hard work, it won't be like this forever.

It doesn't sound like you got the dog to 'replace' your daughter or fix your broken heart. It sounds like a separate issue to me.

jedenfalls Tue 05-Dec-17 21:11:57

No, I wouldn't return her.

I think you are going through some very normal, though intense emotions.

Totally agree with pp about seeing a grief counsellor, I'm guessing the pup has stirred up some powerful emotions tied to caring and responsibilities. I agree with the pp who agreed with me (!) it's that feeling you have made an irrevocable decision. I had it really badly after I had a baby, and as I said earlier I got it after each time I got a pet. That's why I think it is somehow linked in your emotions, even if it doesn't feel like it to you right now.

I actually think that the sheer power of these feelings you have stirred up might mean that this little dog is the best thing for you right now.

Good luck whatever you decide, be kind to yourself, you have had a rough time. But don't rush into handing the dog back just yet.

CheeseAtFourpence Tue 05-Dec-17 21:12:31

I had this with our puppy- sobbing in the garden and utterly regretted getting him. The difference in hindsight was that he was meant to be a substitute for the baby we couldn’t have. I felt completely overwhelmed by the situation and thought we had made a huge mistake.

8 years on my gorgeous boy is snoring beside me.

We stuck with him in a crate, made it warm and cosy, graduated to a bed and then his own sofa (!), never the bed. I can’t remember when the blues went but we made sure we did lots of fun things with him.

He’s added joy to our lives and we are a different family with him in our lives.

CornflakeHomunculus Tue 05-Dec-17 21:12:59

It's impossible for anyone to say whether you should keep at it or not as obviously your situation is a bit more complex than just the aftershock of getting a puppy. It is very normal though to have feelings of regret or be wondering what the hell you've done in the early days after bringing a puppy home. Many people feel like that (just google "puppy blues" or read through the puppy survival threads here in the Doghouse to see how common it is) and do get through it just fine.

Have you had a chat with your puppy's breeder about how you're feeling? A good breeder will want to be there to support and advise you when you're having doubts or struggling.

I'd also recommend having a read through the puppy related links on this thread, particularly the Congratulations on Your New Puppy collection of articles/guides.

Desperatelysadandashamed Tue 05-Dec-17 21:13:17

Thank you for your reply. I did exactly the same thing to him earlier!!!! But I was genuinely sorry for him and he divine little face really shatters me when I am feeling so negative. He's still cuddling into me and already trusts and seeks comfort from me. This is why I am so torn - I feel nothing but an urge to protect him and keep him safe yet I also feel like I wish I'd never got him.

How soon does this pass typically? Please bear in mind that I am not a wreck. I was destroyed by what happened but I put myself back together and life just had to go on.

He has his final jabs in just under a fortnight. I think I am just terrified about what to reasonably expect and if I am ruining him and making him needy and what he'll be like as an adult. My head is a mess.

fourpawswhite Tue 05-Dec-17 21:14:30

I wouldn't return him, big hug for you OP.

Not identical circumstances but I get you. So we have had multiple mcs and failed IVF. I work in a professional role, dh is a farmer. Two years ago we got a puppy for him, so older dog could retire and pup could go with him. This was his puppy, dog was his dog. She was tiny and very demanding. I can remember standing in the garden at four in the morning howling because I couldn't cope. Dh was on harvest and I was at work and trying to manage everything. I can't remember what exactly was the moment but it was very early on and she suddenly got inside my heart rather than my head. Me loves her. She chose me maybe? And is my best friend.

We now have a ridiculous situation where she comes to work with me and dh still needs another dog and old dog still has not retired.

It was super hard work though. She had a pen that she would escape from. My office is three floors up, not handy for training. The early days were really hard. I did throw myself into classes and I have to say that paid off. She's a super dog.

I get that guilt though. I have that. Guilty we got her, guilty she's now not doing what she was supposed to do, guilty I spoil her, guilty she follows me everywhere, sick to my stomach that something happens to her. In my case it maybe is linked to the repeated loss and the fear that everything is taken away from me.

Give yourself some time. You have been through a lot and it's entirely normal to find it hard to adjust. flowers

jedenfalls Tue 05-Dec-17 21:15:11

Sounds to me like you are going to be a great owner, if you decide to keep him.

Your worries are those of a responsible owner who understands what they have done.

fourpawswhite Tue 05-Dec-17 21:17:36

Should also add (or maybe not) we have four now, like water, they get everywhere......wink

ClementineWardrobe Tue 05-Dec-17 21:18:19

Ok here's my thoughts for what they're worth; the pup is something wonderful warm, and depending on you completely right now, Borders are loving little dogs. Is it possible that your feelings about him are because he is like a new child but then again he definitely is not like a new child - therefore there's a bit of cognitive dissonance going on in your head- does that make any sense? I can only further add that I've moved on from years of failed TTC, and now have two dogs, who I adore but I've still had moments where I've wondered what the bloody hell i had done getting my first!
I can understand your feelings. Maybe try to imagine how you'd feel giving him back to the breeder. Could you do it? If you think you'd be hugely relieved for him and for you then call the breeder

Good luck and take care x

ColonelJackONeil Tue 05-Dec-17 21:38:25

I agree it's a difficult combination of post puppy blues with your sad feelings about your past losses. You sound like you will be a really good dog owner and it would be a shame not to let this little fella stay with you.

Desperatelysadandashamed Tue 05-Dec-17 23:28:01

Wow. Thank you SO much. This and a long chat with my husband has made me see the light. We'll be keeping him. Planning to spend the weekend enjoying our lovely boy. You've all helped me more than I can say, sometimes it just takes a few kind
words and honest experiences to make the right decision.

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