DP does not want dog - coping tips please?

(55 Posts)
StrawberryP Thu 16-Aug-18 17:29:15

Hi everyone, gave myself a new account-name for this topic just in case.

I'm not totally sure if I should be posting in this topic, so apologies in advance if I've done it wrong.

I wanted to know if anyone has any tips on how to cope with one person in a relationship wanting to adopt a dog, and the other does not. I know this is probably a common story. I have accepted that my DP does not want any pets, but I am still struggling with the idea.

I love my DP so much and we have been together since A-Levels (now mid-thirties), but the idea of keeping pets never came up really because we were always in rented property, and always expected to be. Suddenly, we were given an opportunity to put a deposit on a house of our own (inheritance on his side) and now we can make our own rules!!! I thought of pets immediately. I would love a dog very much and have wanted a dog since childhood but, because of rent and so on, I never honestly entertained the idea beyond childhood so we never discussed it. A dog was the first thing I thought of when we moved here just over a year ago. But my DP said flat-out no. I accepted this but as I said, I am struggling with it somewhat.

(For anyone wondering: he loves dogs actually, but does not want to have any attachments or responsibilities). I respect that bringing a dog into our relationship would not be okay for him. But argh sad

For background: I'm autistic, and while I have friends and I do like people, people do give me a lot of anxiety and I do bond better with animals (not uncommon for autistics) – the idea of having to live animal-less makes me feel quite lonely, really. I appreciate my friends and my DP of course but I am sad, nonetheless. I just love the structure that pets do give me, and I love looking after animals so much (we have temporarily cared for friends' pets before).

It gets appalling when my PMT rolls around, I just cry and cry especially if I see someone walking their dog in the park sad Silly hormones!!!!

If anyone has any coping tips I would be grateful. I am quite good at distracting myself with other things but it can only go so far, you know. I am hoping it will settle with age, but it's been over a year now (of the "possibility" - I'm discounting childhood wishes here, etc.) and there has not been much change yet.

thank you for reading. I hope you are having a nice day today smile

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SylvanianFrenemies Thu 16-Aug-18 17:34:01

Could you arrange to pet sit/walk a dog for an elderly/disabled person? That would give you a regular dog friend without it living in your home.

Does your partner really never want any responsibilities? Why is he buying a house then? It would be fair enough if he was allergic or didn't like dogs, but his reasoning seems odd.

picklemepopcorn Thu 16-Aug-18 17:34:57

He may change his mind over time, too.

Have you got a neighbour who'd appreciate a hand with dog sitting? A kennels you can help out at?

Are you planning to have children? So much changes over time. Try not to be fixed on 'not being able to have a dog'. You can't have one at the moment, can't have one yet. Who knows what the future holds!

mimibunz Thu 16-Aug-18 17:35:20

Hi OP. I believe you should try to continue the conversation with your DP. If having a dog would bring you so much happiness and companionship then he should reconsider. It’s not fair for him to say ‘No’ and you get no say. This is obviously something coming from your heart; good luck! Companion animals can make such an enormous positive difference in our lives!

picklemepopcorn Thu 16-Aug-18 17:36:13

Borrow my doggy is a popular site, also the cinnamon trust help people look after dogs if they get too unwell to walk them, so they may need your help.

StrawberryP Thu 16-Aug-18 17:39:37

Hello Sylvanian - Yes, I've been keeping my eye out for things such as this!! I am on a few sites/services, but so far I've not had any luck/they're too far away for me to feasibly get to sad We actually live in a very dog-heavy area (there must be at least 6 on our road alone) but I suppose everyone is able to do their own looking after around me! Perhaps I will get lucky a bit later on.

I think I understand his reasoning, he does not want something he is not invested in. He was invested in our house, for instance. He has never had pets and I don't think is interested in caring for something like that.

I know this sounds like something perhaps we should have already discussed, but we were so young when we got together, I think it was quite feasible that it did not come up at the time, haha.

I put him first of course, though I am truly worried about resentment building... I'm trying my best to keep it at bay sad

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User467 Thu 16-Aug-18 17:41:15

I agree maybe try borrow my doggy or see if anyone local needs help with their dog. It does seem unfair that one person gets to decide but they really are such a commitment and can turn your life upside down so it really is important for you both to be on board.

Have you that about a cat as a compromise? Try are so much less tying and perhaps a gentler introduction into having your own pets.

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StrawberryP Thu 16-Aug-18 17:42:03

Hello pickleme - alas not great in my area!!! Ahh... I keep my eye out, but no luck so far sad Maybe soon.

I have to say as much as I love this idea (and am persuing), the thought of anything changing about an arrangement like that deeply distresses me. For instance: we did look after my friend's dog late last year for a week, and when he came to pick him up again I was incredibly distressed after they had gone, I felt very bereft. I will assume this is my autism coming through there, haha. Ugh.

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BiteyShark Thu 16-Aug-18 17:42:04

I have always wanted a dog but my DH wasn't as keen. When the time came when it was the right time for a dog we had a serious chat about it and honestly if he had said no then I wouldn't have got one because it would have affected him just as much as me.

A dog is a massive commitment. What if the dog howls or cries a lot. Some dogs are mud magnets. Some dogs wake early. Some dogs get anxious being left even for short periods. All these things and more will affect your DP as well and if he hasn't signed up to it then it will cause issues.

StrawberryP Thu 16-Aug-18 17:44:19

Hello Bitey - yes, I agree and understand completely. This is why I have not "been at him" over it since he said no. I'm just trying to work out how to properly live with it.

I think waiting for a situation like CinnamonTrust to work out and hoping if the arrangement does change it won't be too distressing for me is probably the best way forward.......

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Dodie66 Thu 16-Aug-18 17:48:17

Do you work? If not could you do dog walking for people who are at work? That way you could see the same dog every day without it being in your home
How about asking at your vets if they know anybody that would like their dog walked like and elderly person etc

Xocaraic Thu 16-Aug-18 17:52:22

My DH also won't have a dog. He just feels that there can be no holiday, long day trips to visit friends or other spontaneous events, without having to factor in a dog. I get that.

I am diagnosed with anxiety disorder and whilst a dog would be a great comfort, the actually looking after a dog would probably bring me unnecessary worry (and I am a if you are going to do it, do it well kind of person).

So, I get my fix with neighbours dogs and cats smile offer to pet sit while they go away etc.

It is a good compromise.

StrawberryP Thu 16-Aug-18 17:52:24

Hello Dodie - I do work full-time, but I work from home (we both do actually). I never thought about contacting a vet!! That is a good idea, hopefully I can open my avenues a bit more that way too...

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StrawberryP Thu 16-Aug-18 17:56:18

Hello Xocaraic - yes, it's similar here. (Though we don't really go away or on holiday, very honestly, lol). Everyone I know has cats, haha! I did get lucky last year with looking after my friend's dog (the only friend I know who has a dog, lol)... perhaps with practice, I might get less distressed at having to "break" up that relationship with said animal... crossing fingers said friend decides to go away for a week again, haha smile

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StrawberryP Thu 16-Aug-18 17:59:31

Hello User467 - I don't really know if he'd be up for a cat, and (please forgive my rigid thinking) I have a feeling that if we did get a cat, I would just feel like it was a dog-replacement?? I hope that makes sense. I was lucky to have a few pets in my life as a child (aside from a dog!) so I am absolutely aware of how things go with pets in your life; he has never had that and I think that is part of why he doesn't understand "the need".

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sleepsleepandmoresleep Thu 16-Aug-18 18:28:13

This post has come up in Active so I'm here to give a perspective from someone who wouldn't normally frequent this boards.

I would feel the same as your partner. For other reasons, I'm not a fan of dogs generally but if you have a a lifestyle with no ties I can completely understand why he wouldn't want one even as a dog lover. If DH asked me if we could get a dog, it'd be a flat out no from me too. He'd have to accept it. Just like when we had children, if he'd have said no, he didn't want one then I'd have had to accept that (and move on, as it'd be a deal breaker for me).

Greyhorses Thu 16-Aug-18 19:54:40

I have two and DH isn’t a dog fan.

It has caused tension between us and life would be easier without them...however I think the resentment would have finished us as off anyway if he did say no.

We have compromised and I look after them, feed, walk and pay for them and he now doesn’t mind them (although still would have chosen a dog free life!)

Hard one OP!

adaline Thu 16-Aug-18 21:09:07

We have a dog and he's amazing but hard work and very tiring! I would definitely not have him if DP hadn't wanted him too.

giveitfive Thu 16-Aug-18 21:20:00

I have a friend who fosters cats. Very handy from a commitment pov because if they are away or something they can just tell the rescue centre they can't host at that time?

Maybe volunteering or fostering would give you the animal connection you need? And perhaps get your partner used to the idea....

StrawberryP Fri 17-Aug-18 09:33:37

Hello sleepsleepandmoresleep - oh, I agree, I am not forcing him smile After the first "Absolute No" I have not brought it up again.

Hello Greyhorses - yes, it is a bit tricky! I am so worried about the resentment..... sad

Hello adaline - I understand! smile I love the things that we have worked very hard together for, and felt the same way about, and I know that I would feel awful forcing something as big as a dog into our lives that would affect DP in such a way.

Hello giveitfive - sounds lovely! I did bring up the idea of fostering with him, but he did not want to do this. I think in part because he knew I would be upset when they had to leave.

I was thinking more about this last night. This is an unusual situation for us. We've been together for well over 10 years; we've compromised an awful lot for each other, we do talk over absolutely everything and this is the first time we've hit a wall (so to speak) like this. I think part of what's making it very hard to move on - even though I have accepted his decision - is that I cannot talk to him about it. It's odd and unusual for us, and I think that might be 50% of my problem at the moment!!! I guess that is why I wanted to open a topic here to chat it out a bit! I don't really have anyone to speak to about this matter IRL. I did speak to my friend about it, but was given the advice of just bringing a dog home anyway, which I do not think is a solution.

I tried giving myself time so that my "want" would either fade, or I was able to approach him unemotionally to speak about it. I will try giving it more thought as to how to go about the latter. I think I really, really need to talk to him about it. I just... have not worked out how.

In the mean-time, I do like the idea of trying at the vets as well, thank you so much!

I hope I can have some peace in my heart soon...

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StrawberryP Fri 17-Aug-18 09:35:16

Addendum: I don't want to speak to him in order to convince him, by the way!

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Disfordarkchocolate Fri 17-Aug-18 09:36:47

I've lived with a dog I didn't want for over 12 years and there is a lot of resentment. I hate the smell, the money and the commitment. I will never get another dog.

StrawberryP Fri 17-Aug-18 10:00:11

Hello Disfordarkchocolate - I can certainly understand that if you are not a fan of dogs! Sadly my DP loves dogs, so it's... awkward, haha.

For him it is the same as children (he says). He loves children, but does not want them.

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Wolfiefan Fri 17-Aug-18 10:02:56

Just a thought. Have you registered with the Cinnamon Trust? They don't have all cases on the website.
A local dog rescue may appreciate you walking or socialising some of their dogs.

Disfordarkchocolate Fri 17-Aug-18 10:03:25

@StrawberryP I do like dogs, I just know I'm not the right person to look after and live with dogs. I hope you find someway of getting some time with a dog, I know they can add a lot to your life.

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