Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner
1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay. This might be a long one, but I just need to get this off my chest/get some unbiased opinions on this one. Here goes.
My family and I were given the opportunity to live abroad for a year, but we were unable to take our 2 year old black lab mix with us. So, originally, my brother and SIL agreed to take him, I knew he would be in good hands. After we moved and the dog had been at their place for a couple of months, it was determined that he would not be a good fit. Being a puppy, he needed more attention than they could give (they both worked) and he was also terrorizing their cat (which I had no clue was an issue for this dog while we had him). So, my mom took him for a couple of months, when that didn't work out (she has 2 cats), my aunt finally agreed to take him (she liked him and they only had another dog at home). Splendid!

Well, it was a great situation. My A & U really enjoyed him, they were home all the time and they loved going on hikes, exercising, etc. We ended up loving living abroad, so we asked if he could stay another year. Sure! We'd love to! We visited him for 2 days over the summer and he (and the kids) were ecstatic. He seemed a little chunky to me, but very happy and well cared for.

Second year: Basically, my U never put a leash on the dog and when he was at his storage unit, the dog ended up eating some rat poison. But instead of taking him directly to the vet, he thought since he was immediately sick, he was fine. Well, he wasn't. After at least a week of hospitalization (we always agreed to pay for any vet bills before any of this), we weren't spent. We couldn't spend any more money on this dog. It was a lot. a. lot. But my A&U were really attached to the dog, and asked if they could start paying and see what happens. The dog survived. They spent a pretty penny as well. Expensive dog.

Anyhoo. We are now back home and are requesting our dog back. We are driving down south for 12 hours to pick up the dog, meeting my mom half way from my A&U's home. But my A&U are all upset. We talked to my A and she was talking about how he was a great dog, how he has changed so much, how much he was part of their family, how they are going to miss him. But she doesn't want to ask out right if they can keep the dog ("we always agreed that we weren't keeping the dog") My mom has been laying on the guilt heavy too. "If you hadn't added on another year, this wouldn't have been an issue".

We breached the subject with our kids, the 8 year old bawled herself to sleep that night, the son, agreed, only if we could get another dog and a cat. We really just want our dog back.

Am I being unreasonable here? My mom says that my aunt is depressed.
What should I do?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,511 Posts
I think the moment you gave up on his medical care at the vets and your aunt and uncle took over the expenses it became their dog IMO. That on top of you extending your stay for another year away from the dog... Let them keep the dog. Honestly I don't think I could ever choose to leave my dog for a year even if I knew he'd be wonderfully cared for let alone extend that to two years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts
Honestly, at this point, I'd imagine the dog considers his home to be with your aunt and uncle. That's the place where he's lived for the last two years. While he'd probably adjust back to living with you, changing homes on a dog can be really upsetting for them and throw them off a lot - as anybody who has ever moved with a dog will likely know. It's been two years, and, this may sound harsh, but it sounds like you were ready to give up on him when his medical bills got to be too much. They stepped in, took over financial responsibility for him, and saved his life. Sounds to me like he's more their dog than yours, even if he's yours in name. I don't know how you could really expect someone to care for a dog for two years and not start to feel like he's part of their family, especially when he hasn't been a part of your family for that long. I'm sure your kids love him and all, but how attached can they really be when they've hardly seen him for two years? Seems to me like they're just fine living without him. Do the right thing and let the dog stay where he is and where he's happy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,193 Posts
If I lived with a dog for two years, there is no way I would be able to give him up. I would let him stay. I would package it to the kids by saying how happy he is and how much he's loved and then let the kids start shopping on Petfinder. I find that most kids love looking for their new pet. It's very fun and exciting to sift through possibilities. It might take the sting out of letting their buddy stay in his new home.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,443 Posts
Unless you are prepared to reimburse your aunt and uncle all of the money they paid to save the dog's life, let them keep it. I agree with the others -- you gave up, and they saved the dog. They've had it for much longer than initially agreed upon. It's essentially theirs now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,277 Posts
Sorry, but after leaving the dog for TWO YEARS (who does that??), you have lost all rights to the dog. Incidentally, I would say the same thing about a sofa, which is about how much regard you have shown for this dog. Good grief. You gave up your responsibility and let others step in, not because you had no choice, but because it's what you wanted to do, regardless of what happened to the dog. You made your choice to live without that dog long ago. He's found a new home. Leave him be and let him live with people who care about him.

Just curious - would you have canceled the trip or come home a year earlier if you had not found a proper home for the dog?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,186 Posts
You left the dog for two years, how attached could you be? Plus, you let them pay "a lot" for medical care. Let them keep the dog they love so much and get another. There are millions of dogs in need of homes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,310 Posts
The dog should stay with the Aunt and Uncle. It would have died if they didn't pay it's vet bill and neither of you would have had the dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,116 Posts
The dog is happy and settled with his new family. He already suffered a loss when you moved abroad it wouldn't be fair to make him suffer another. Bringing him back home at this point would be selfish, the best thing for HIM would be to stay where he is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,406 Posts
Accidents happen, and i bet they never put him in a position to eat rat poison again (it may be something the storage unit's owner didn't tell them he'd done.) IF you consider them a responsible home, I would let them keep the dog (they've earned him!) and check your shelter for another worthy dog. I know one dog doesn't replace another, and am seldom in favor of giving away a dog to get another, but it this case, he got a new home two years ago. And I'd seriously consider if you are likely to have more
"living abroad" experiences before a new dog comes home
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
462 Posts
Basically you rehomed the dog with your Aunt and Uncle. They paid to feed him, took care of him, and paid to save his life. If they hadn't stepped in to pay the vet bill it sounds like there wouldn't even be a dog to argue about. The kindest fairest thing is to leave the dog with your Aunt and Uncle. They are happy, the dog is happy, and the children have done fine for 2 years without their pet. If you are going to be in a stable home enviroment for the next several years perhaps you could find a new pet who is looking for a new home.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I tried to reply to this post before, but it seems to have eaten my post. I'll try again.

Thank you for all of your input. I feel the need to clarify a couple of things:
We love our dog. Us moving abroad was for jobs, which in this economy, required some sacrifices, which meant leaving the dog behind. We were in constant communication with our family about the dog. It has always been talked about that when we will return and retrieve the dog. It was not meant to be 2 years, but stuff happens and it is what it is. We and our family have always known that we would be returning and getting the dog back. Our kids are constantly talking about the dog, about the 2 years we did have him, about the things we did with him and the fun stuff we were going to do when we got back.

As for the veterinary costs, honestly, this was a tough decision, especially being on a different continent, in a different time zone. My A&U decided to help pay costs not only because they were attached to the dog but they also felt extremely guilty about how their negligence got him in the hospital in the first place. Obviously, I can't go back in time, but I have worked in the veterinary field for over 17 years and their initial reaction to what happened was absurd and I would have never allowed it to get as drastic as it had. But veterinary costs are not the issue here.

We were always in agreement that we would get the dog back. Now that we are back in town and requesting the dog is when all of the guilt trips and passive aggressive stuff has occurred. We are suppose to leave tomorrow for our road trip to get the dog. The kids are extremely excited, and have been talking about it nonstop. I am excited to see my dog. We have missed him tremendously. We were able to "give him up" for two years because we knew he was with family and we would be getting him back.

oh, and my u continues to keep the dog off-leash.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,406 Posts
And still, I believe you should let them keep the dog. They take care of him, he's settled, and they obviously love him or they would not have helped pay the cost of saving his life. They are a good fit for him.
You and your family have been away from him for 2 years. Your A&U have been WITH him for 2 years. In dog time, that's a lot. I honestly think it's in the your A&U's best interest, and more importantly, the DOG'S best interest if you just let him remain in the home he is in. Unless they are abusing him somehow, then there's no real reason to take him back.

Your daughter seems upset, but your son doesn't. He only seems interested in having a dog (as you stated, he doesn't mind as long as the dog can be replaced). As someone else said, I would try to explain to them that it's best for the dog.

In the dog's mind, they are his family now, that is his home. Do you really want to take him from his family?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
792 Posts
I can see where the OP is coming from, honestly.

Two years is a long time, but I know that wasn't the intial plan. IF opportunities arose for me that I could not responsibly (to provide for my family) turn down, and I had to live without Mumble for a year it would break my heart to pieces, but I would do it. He would probably live with my parents, who already know and love him and I'd trust he was in good hands.

The issue of the medical bills keeps being brought up, but I find the OP's uncle to have been extremely negligent in this situation. The OP was half the world away which I'm sure limits options. True, I would have done whatever I could to cover expenses for any chance to save my dogs life. HOWEVER, in this situation I kind of feel like the Aunt/Uncle's payment is just, considering that they allowed the dog to eat rat poison and didn't immediately seek help for him. In the hypothetical situation where my parents are taking care of Mumble while I have to live elsewhere, and they allowed him to run out into the street and get hit by a car I know for a fact that they would offer to pay for ALL vet expenses related to the incident, because that one is completely on them.

For this to only be brought up now, never discussed before so that the OP and their family could 1) consider letting the dog stay in his new home and 2) adjust to the idea of not getting their dog back I think this would be a different story. But from the OP's post this has very suddenly been thrust upon them, and in a very negative way.

Then again, if Mumble stayed with my parents for two years I don't know if I could take him away from them. I know my dad would be extremely close to him (and my dad is already Mumble's favorite person in the world, so that wouldn't help) and would probably miss him just as much as I missed him while I was away.
But he is my dog, and I could still love him from a distance, and if the agreement was always that I'd take him back, I would expect my parents to understand.



In the end, though, I don't think this is a problem that people can help you with over the internet. We're not there, it's impossible for us to know everything that is involved in this situation. I definitely do not envy decisions you have to make.




Edit: I'd like to say that while my post is contrary to most others, I do agree with what they've said as well. The dog probably does see them as his family, and I think children can adapt to new ideas well, espcially when they involve picking out a new best friend.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,215 Posts
My hubby and I just moved to a different country for job and money etc.
I even dropped out of my last year at uni for the opportunity. I did however take my puppy with me, and my cat. And we plan to go home as well in a couple years. We have been here 3 months and I couldnt imagine life without my dog I had only had 5 or 6 months before the move. If we couldn't take the pets it wouldn't have been an option. Both my hubby and I knew that. So we paid the 3 thousand dollars to get them both over with us.

Seriously, I really don't think you should have the dog back at all. If your prepared to leave him once what's to stop you from doing it again. To him your just this person he knows , her certainly doesn't see you as his owners. Why take him Away from a family who clearly loves and cares for him for no other reason then you want what's yours.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,415 Posts
i think the moment you gave up on his medical care at the vets and your aunt and uncle took over the expenses it became their dog imo. That on top of you extending your stay for another year away from the dog... Let them keep the dog. Honestly i don't think i could ever choose to leave my dog for a year even if i knew he'd be wonderfully cared for let alone extend that to two years.


this^^^^^^^
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,240 Posts
My dog was living with my mom for four or five years after I got her because I was in high school and my dad (who I lived with) would not allow me to have her. Should I really not have taken her with me when I moved out? Really? Just because my mom paid for her while I was unable? She settled in just fine and she was switched from Ol' Roy to better kibble and later to raw and trained more thoroughly. And I shouldn't have taken her because she lived with my mom for so long? That's exactly what you guys are saying. She is my best friend, I would never leave her behind. I cried often missing her while I was in high school. Also, if Roxie were under the care of my parents and she got sick or injured due to their negligence I would expect them to pay all expenses.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,406 Posts
My dog was living with my mom for four or five years after I got her because I was in high school and my dad (who I lived with) would not allow me to have her. Should I really not have taken her with me when I moved out? Really? Just because my mom paid for her while I was unable? She settled in just fine and she was switched from Ol' Roy to better kibble and later to raw and trained more thoroughly. And I shouldn't have taken her because she lived with my mom for so long? That's exactly what you guys are saying. She is my best friend, I would never leave her behind. I cried often missing her while I was in high school. Also, if Roxie were under the care of my parents and she got sick or injured due to their negligence I would expect them to pay all expenses.
Parents are different from more distant relatives. My first Aussie lived with my parents for 9 months while I was out of state at grad school. If I'd have had to look for other options, I'd have found an apartment instead of a dorm room. And, I'm guessing your mom was more than willing to let you take her. In this case, there are several other considerations. A) the OP is an adult, not a high school student, whose choices are limited by age and often by custody agreements B) moving out of country was a choice C) moving out of country without the dog was a choice - many people move across continents AND take their pets D) the arrangement was not as originally agreed upon because the couple decided to stay an extra year (also a choice)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,116 Posts
I reread my post and realized it sounded a little harsh. I do sympathize with your position OP, it would be very sad to leave your dog behind and now thinking about making it permanent must be even harder. I don't really think the vet bills are a deciding issue, for me its about whats best for the dog. Two years ago you made a decision about whats best for your family and your dog was put in an unfortunate situation. Your reasons may have been valid but regardless the dog lost his family, it would have been very hard on him. He was secondary before but I think its his turn to be considered as most important here. As much as you want him home that desire is selfish because its not in his best interests. Being uprooted again will be another major trauma, I just dont think its fair to take away his family a second time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,215 Posts
My dog was living with my mom for four or five years after I got her because I was in high school and my dad (who I lived with) would not allow me to have her. Should I really not have taken her with me when I moved out? Really? Just because my mom paid for her while I was unable? She settled in just fine and she was switched from Ol' Roy to better kibble and later to raw and trained more thoroughly. And I shouldn't have taken her because she lived with my mom for so long? That's exactly what you guys are saying. She is my best friend, I would never leave her behind. I cried often missing her while I was in high school. Also, if Roxie were under the care of my parents and she got sick or injured due to their negligence I would expect them to pay all expenses.
You can't really compare a high school student who does not have a choice with an adult who does. That's a different ball game altogether.
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
Top