Rescue dog - do we adopt or walk away

(12 Posts)
psychoticbeetroot Sun 14-Jul-19 11:44:32

We already have a rescue dog since the end of last year - 21 months old and a lovely boy. Won't say it's been easy but we're able to walk off lead and he's settled in to our family well.

We've been thinking of getting another rescue (same breed) as a companion. A female rescue has become available and we went to meet her on Friday. Lovely little dog but absolutely terrified of everything. My heart broke when I saw her. She was cowering and tail between her legs. Totally scared and stressed. I totally understand that being in a kennel is stressful and her situation has been far from ideal. We have been told that she has already been returned to the rescue centre once already, she isn't house trained and she will take a lot of time to adjust (if she ever will fully). We have a provisional booking for her subject to my teenage sons meeting her. Our dog has met her and they appeared to get on. We've been advised that she will have to have company all the time, which isn't necessarily a problem, but she will look to our existing dog as a mentor so he won't be able to go out as much. At the moment I'm doing pretty much all the dog care as I'm fortunate to not be working at the moment. After taking one son to meet her yesterday, and with the new information, I am coming to the conclusion that this is too big an ask for us. Much as I would love to have a buddy for number one, perhaps this isn't the right one. I'm in bits at the moment as I don't want to let her down, or our existing dog, the rest of the family or the rescue centre (who are understandably keen to move her to a permanent home ASAP). I'm also trying to do what is right for this beautiful little dog who has had a massive trauma in the past and needs TLC and a new start. No response needed, I just wanted to write it down. I'm out walking our pooch this morning feeling totally mixed up. confused

OP’s posts: |
longearedbat Sun 14-Jul-19 12:00:30

I would say that if you knew it was right and you could cope, you wouldn't have any doubts at all, and would be counting down the hours until you get the new dog home.. Listen to your inner voice. If you think it might not work, it's really better to walk away.

Booboostwo Sun 14-Jul-19 12:07:43

If you have doubts, it’s better to walk away now than try to take her and find out in a few weeks that you can’t cope.

Ellmau Sun 14-Jul-19 17:15:27

Don't worry about "letting her down", she won't realise you're rejecting her. It would be worse to take her and then have to return her a that would be more disruption for the poor little girl.

JesusInTheCabbageVan Sun 14-Jul-19 18:21:39

Sounds to me like she'd benefit from being an 'only dog', so she can take things at her own pace. Bless her, I can see why you're tempted, but there is a potential for this to go very wrong and be stressful for all concerned.

Jouska Sun 14-Jul-19 18:41:39

Walk away.

You are going to put an enormous pressure on your existing dog and he did not ask for that. His life should be enhanced from having another dog not restricted and it will be.

psychoticbeetroot Sun 14-Jul-19 20:33:15

Thank you all for your replies. I'm very grateful for all your comments. I don't want to fail her (or anyone else in this situation).

OP’s posts: |


sillysmiles Mon 15-Jul-19 15:06:12

Is there an option to foster her for a while. Maybe other of kennels she could be a very different dog. And if she still isn't the right dog for you the experience of being out of kennels might do her the world of good.
And you are not committed - if it is too much or not working out then she can go back.

TakeOneForTheBreem Mon 15-Jul-19 15:08:34

I agree that fostering could be a good option.

Or volunteer to walk her along with your dog.

Often, you'll see a very different dog outside of the shelter, especially if you build up a relationship.

Couchpotato3 Mon 15-Jul-19 15:11:58

FWIW, we adopted a very very anxious rescue dog nearly a year ago, who wasn't house-trained or indeed trained at all - she didn't even know what to do with a ball or toy. She was house-trained within days and has settled beautifully. Still very territorial and aggressive towards visitors to the house, but otherwise great. I'd say go for it.

Kayjay2018 Mon 15-Jul-19 17:10:28

@psychoticbeetroot we adopted a rescue back in December to join our 5year old dog. We were matched with him and told he was nervous to meet new people and would need an older dog to show him doggy ways!

When we met him he crawled to us on his belly and peed himself. We took him for a little walk out back with our dog and he was a little braver. He was much more confident with the people at the kennel he knew.

We did adopt him and he has never looked back. He will never enjoy town walks and gets nervous there, but he has grown into a much more confident pooch and loves off lead walks In the country. He had never lived in a house so everything was a learning curve and he became a Clingon (apart from at bedtime) for the first few weeks. We started him at doggy daycare after 2 weeks and it cured any separation anxiety. He has a lovely life and you would t think he was the same dog.

All I'd say is that we were lucky he was only 9months old when we got him so was quite easy to socialise. I have no idea whether other people had met him and decided he wasn't right, it doesn't matter as he found his forever home in the end.

If the little one you met wasn't right for you, the next person they meet might be made for them! If you are unsure then maybe try another visit or two and maximise the socialising with your dog and see how you feel then

MattMagnolia Mon 15-Jul-19 20:53:48

Rescue dogs learn so much from the resident dog in their new home. Ours was housetrained quickly, grew confident and obedient, never was best friends with our older dog but they tolerated each other.
Many rescues, as ours did, fall totally in love with a new owner.

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