Thinking of returning my dog to the rescue

(111 Posts)
HappyMealWithLegs Wed 29-Jul-20 09:16:01

I’ll start by saying I am prepared for a flaming. Didn’t think I would be in a position to write a post like this but here we are. I will try to put as much information as I can, sorry if it is really long.

2 and a half years ago we adopted our dog, he is now 10, he’s a greyhound. At the time I was able to work from home 3 days and go into the office 2 days, my daughter also worked from home 3 days and was at college 2 days, so one of us was around all the time and it worked out fine.

In April, 2 weeks into lockdown my husband had his hours cut at work. It was either take the reduced hours or be made redundant so he took the reduced hours and took on another job in a supermarket. We are down a lot of money each month. Husband is now working 6 days a week pretty much from 7am until 10pm. I had to increase my hours and am now in the office 5 and a half days a week (Saturday until 1pm). On top of that, my daughter changed jobs (in a bid to help out with money partly) and is working 32 hours in shift patterns that change. Basically, the dog is now on his own 6 days a week from 7 in the morning until I get home at half five. We sold my car at the beginning of May for a few hundred quid and that paid for us to get a dog walker to come in for one hour every day – this obviously is still terrible in terms of how long he is alone but was better than nothing. That money has run out now. I have to get up at five every day to walk him for an hour to try and tire him out so he sleeps when he is alone but I KNOW this isn’t a solution and I feel guilty. The guilt is making me feel sick every day.

Dog is now messing in the house (wee and poo sad) because he is alone so much, not his fault but he can’t hold it. To make it worse our house is rented and I’m terrified he is doing permanent damage to someone elses property. Nothing is going to change – we are behind on rent and will have to continue working like this until we can get straight.

I feel like we have been backed into a corner and have to return the dog to rescue. I don’t know what I want from this post really. Has anyone done this? Am I the worst person in the world? The stress of the situation is making me ill – tough, I know, I took on the dog but I can’t see a way out of this situation without returning him. What would you do sad

OP’s posts: |
nicky7654 Wed 29-Jul-20 09:21:24

The stress you will cause your poor dog in going into a shelter will be far worse than him being alone during the day. It will be cruel. Surely you love your dog enough not to dump it? Clean up the poo then take dog.for another walk before you cook tea. It's not hard.

Lougle Wed 29-Jul-20 09:22:21

I'm sorry that your circumstances have changed so much. I don't know what to suggest, but didn't want to read and run. I can't imagine a 10 year old dog is going to get much interest in a rescue, tbh. sad

Lougle Wed 29-Jul-20 09:23:45

Can you get a dog flap so your dog can go out and relieve himself in the garden?

OliviaBenson Wed 29-Jul-20 09:23:53

There might be charities that can help- cinnamon trust has volunteers which walk dogs, could that be an option?

None of this is your fault and well done for realising that it's not working for the dog.

HappyMealWithLegs Wed 29-Jul-20 09:25:34

Can you get a dog flap so your dog can go out and relieve himself in the garden

He is too big for a dog flap, he's a big greyhound, nearly 3 feet tall. No way would the landlord let us fit a flap that size in the door. I did think of this as an option sad I know he wouldn't use it either, he has always been hit and miss with not going in the house. With nobody in all day a flap wouldn't make a difference, he has to be physically taken out before he will go.

OP’s posts: |
Twirlytwoo Wed 29-Jul-20 09:25:35

You are doing the right thing for the dog to return him to the rescue. It sounds like your change of circumstances has really affected him and any good rescue would be happy to take him back and find him a suitable home. As another option do you have a neighbour who works from home or retired who could take him out for a walk every day? Or bring him into their house for some company? Do not feel guilty, you have done everything you can but in these tough times where money is tight we don't always have a choice. Hopefully the rescue will forward your details to his new home and they can contact you to keep in touch.

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Tinyhumansurvivalist Wed 29-Jul-20 09:27:54

Can you try things like borrow my dog to get someone to walk him?

Indecisivelurcher Wed 29-Jul-20 09:29:09

That's difficult, I really sympathise. You need to think about what is best for your lovely dog. He's obviously not happy so something has got to change. I wonder if there is a local dog walking buddy system you could utilise, that would match make him with a dog lover who can't have a dog? Can you find a local teenager or retiree who would walk him for you for free or for less money than an official dog walker? Or just sit with him for an hour or two, as its not really the exercise he needs but more the company. Can you put the feelers out with local dog owners, when you bump into people on walks? Would you neighbours let dog out for a wee in the day? Would your landlord let you get a dog flap installed? Realistically if you have dog back to the rescue centre, the chances of a 10yo greyhound in rescue finding a new home have got to be slim to non-existent. I think it's got to be last resort. If you have to then find a rescue that fosters in homes rather than kennels, such as Evesham greyhound and lurcher rescue, who we got our lurcher from.

Allington Wed 29-Jul-20 09:30:56

Speak to your local rescues - if he is healthy and has no behavioural issues they may be able to find him a new home quite quickly. The Blue Cross has a 'Home Direct' scheme where they find new homes for animals without them coming into kennels. I haven't used it so don't know the details, but worth looking into.

Also, have a look at BorrowMyDoggy - it matches people without dogs to those in need of someone to help look after a dog.

MynameisJune Wed 29-Jul-20 09:31:39

Where are you based? On the off chance you’re near me I’m home all day at the minute and we lost our last dog in March. We won’t get another but I do miss having one to walk.

Borrow my dog is a good shout too.

HappyMealWithLegs Wed 29-Jul-20 09:32:50

I have tried the friends/neighbours option. I really feel like I have exhausted every option. My stepson comes over and sits with him sometimes for an hour but he also works shifts 6 days a week. Neighbours are all out full time. Family either work full time or don't live close-by. I registered with Borrow My Doggy months ago and had nobody contact me at all.

I know his chances of being rehomed through the rescue are tiny. He had been their longest stayer in kennels (2 years) when we adopted him.

OP’s posts: |
TheDogsMother Wed 29-Jul-20 09:33:15

Have you heard of Borrow my Doggy ? We lost our dog in April and will have a break before getting another but still really wanted to walk dogs. We now have two lovely borrowed dogs who we walk a couple of times a week each. One of the owners has given us a key and we can pick up and drop off if they aren't in. The whole idea of it is to borrow rather than receive payment.

Evenstar Wed 29-Jul-20 09:34:19

I would get a dog flap, provided your landlord would agree to that and the dog wouldn’t go in the garden and bark constantly whilst you are out. If that is not possible could you leave puppy pads down when you are out to at least contain the mess?

I feel for you, my husband’s job is secure and I own my own home but I have a lot of pets and my little business and 2 part time jobs have gone, my own income has reduced to last than half. I am digging into savings for the pet costs and have had some massive vet bills for one of my dogs and an elderly cat in the last two months. I have had moments of thinking that I actually will get to the point of returning one of my three dogs as I am so worried about the costs going forward 😢

Jojo19834 Wed 29-Jul-20 09:34:48

I second peoples suggestions to see if there is any local help available, or whether a charity could help. At 10 he probably doesn’t have much chance of rehoming and would be worse for him mentally. A possible extreme option but could you do an outside shelter for them so they can be outside and roaming the garden whilst you are out when the weather is more reasonable. This may give you a good part of the year where you can avoid dog walker cost etc and your situation may settle come winter?

HappyMealWithLegs Wed 29-Jul-20 09:35:57

Allington thanks for the info about the Blue Cross scheme. I will have a look at that. I suspect I am obliged to return him to the original rescue though, rather than try rehoming myself. I'm terrified of contacting them, they must dread people like me popping up out of the woodwork after 2 and a half years.

OP’s posts: |
bodgeitandscarper Wed 29-Jul-20 09:36:01

I would advertise for someone who would be happy to dog sit at a reduced rate/free. I'm afraid I couldn't contemplate returning to rescue, it would be very stressful for him and he'd probably be there for a long time or even permanently. If it can't be resolved then I honestly think that euthanasia would be kinder than a rescue centre for him.

Indecisivelurcher Wed 29-Jul-20 09:38:50

I thought the original rescue would have stipulated that, they usually do. But I would probably ignore it and pick somewhere like EGLR that wouldn't put him in kennels and wouldn't euthanase.

Indecisivelurcher Wed 29-Jul-20 09:40:32

I wonder if it's worth tapping up local retirement home residents if you have one.

relievedlady Wed 29-Jul-20 09:41:04

Contact the greyhound rescue or forever hounds trust.

They often have long term foster carers so have other greys and are around to look after them during the day.

I have two rescue greys. They are very docile and chilled but they do like some company. We are lucky that our life routine means they are rarely alone for more than a few hours when they sleep mostly

relievedlady Wed 29-Jul-20 09:41:47

If you were near me op I would take him

PineappleSquosh Wed 29-Jul-20 09:42:40

Have him put to sleep. He won’t get rehomed at 10 years old and it’s kinder than the stress of sending him to a rescue. Don’t get any more dogs if you can’t commit to look after them.

Cherrypies Wed 29-Jul-20 09:42:48

I would go back to the original rescue you got him from and explain the situation. They may be able to work out a way you can keep him, and help you get him out during the day.
Hope they can help.

HappyMealWithLegs Wed 29-Jul-20 09:43:16

They are very docile and chilled but they do like some company

Mine isn't docile or chilled. It's part of the reason we chose him over all the others in the rescue grin He is as mad as a basket of squirrels. He thinks he is a puppy. Behaves like one smile He isn't our first greyhound, his predecessor was the absolute example of the breed, a big lazy lump who had to be coerced into walking, or moving. This guy is like a border collie on speed smile

OP’s posts: |
Ihaventgottimeforthis Wed 29-Jul-20 09:43:22

I would contact the rescue and talk this over with them.
Being alone for most of the time is no life for the dog - they may have local walkers or fosterers who can help.
The circumstances are out of your control - talking to them can do no harm.

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