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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had adopted a greyhound last summer from a greyhound rescue. She's really shy, but very sweet, very well behaved and causes no trouble in the house. Unlike many greyhounds, she doesn't have a very strong prey drive and does very well with small dogs and cats. The only real problem that she has is that she's very timid and freaks out at just about anything outside. Any sort of sound will pretty much startle her, even the wind. A parked car, a garbage can or even some bushes can scare her. Anything that moves, including people is pretty much a given. She often won't even eat her food if there's noise, like a garbage truck, outside. This problem has been manageable where I'm currently living as I live in a quiet community in a fairly rural campustown.

I am currently in a situation where I have to move overseas for a job in about a month. I will be living in a high rise apartment right in the middle of a bustling urban city. There are no dog parks and very minimal to no grassy areas nearby. While I believe living in an apartment will be fine for her, the environment outside is far from ideal. With there being no dog parks, there won't be anywhere for her to even occasionally run around. All the noise of an urban city really makes me wonder how she will do on our daily walks. It's often bad enough over here where it's very quiet with nothing much going on. With all the people, cars and other noises of a city, I'm worried that going outside will become a stressful experience for her.

I really don't know what do to. My heart is telling me that I must take her. Including my other dog, who I'll be taking, we've all become so attached to each other. Aside from being in a foster home for a few weeks, we are her first real family after coming off the racetrack. I am probably the first human that she warmed up to and it kills me to even think of letting her go. However my mind is telling me that I must set aside my personal desires and the immediate pains and do what's ultimately best for her in the long run. Having lived with her for almost a year, I know that a rural community is where she belongs. She needs to be in a quieter community and needs to have access to a dog park where she can run around and socialize with other dogs and people. By giving her back to the rescue, I at least know that she will be going back to a foster home rather than a kennel so the transition to a new family may not be as traumatic.

In hindsight, I know that I probably shouldn't have adopted her with some uncertainties in my life. At the time, I wasn't even considering taking a job overseas as a possibility. I was envisioning a quieter life in a suburban area.

Please help. What do I need to do?
 

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I would take her.

The last thing she needs is to be abandoned by the first people she is beginning to trust.

Sensitivities can be easily worked on with some commitment. My abe was very very sound and motion sensitive when I got him but now after some work I can take him to music festivals, markets, right into downtown Seattle and he doesn't bat an eye at anything.

I believe that leaving the people she trusts will be far worse for your dog than having to face her fears with the people she trusts.
 

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Katie Lou is exactly right; take her with you. If she wasn't so shy and timid, I'd suggest that maybe a family member keep her while you're oversees but with her breed, background and things you've said, IMO she needs to be with you.
 

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Most dogs can adapt to the noises of the city. If you're bringing another dog with you, why can't you bring the greyhound? Retired greyhounds are very laid back dogs and honestly make good apartment dogs. I don't see why she would have such different needs of your other dog.
 

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I see your point and really sympathise, and I agree that if there was a family member or other known quantity who could take her, it could make sense for you to leave her, especially if you were only going overseas for a limited term. But I think if the choice is between surrendering this delicate dog back to rescue and foster, and bringing her with you, the right thing to do is bring her with you and take steps to help her adjust and manage her sensitivities.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I would take her.

The last thing she needs is to be abandoned by the first people she is beginning to trust.

Sensitivities can be easily worked on with some commitment. My abe was very very sound and motion sensitive when I got him but now after some work I can take him to music festivals, markets, right into downtown Seattle and he doesn't bat an eye at anything.

I believe that leaving the people she trusts will be far worse for your dog than having to face her fears with the people she trusts.
One of the reasons for this dilemma is that I'm actually moving back home (Korea) indefinitely when referring to moving overseas. I know this may sound weird for some, but I'm moving into my mother's place. The issue right now is that she doesn't want me to bring the greyhound. She's even on the fence about my other dog, but he's much smaller. If I were to have my own place, I wouldn't think twice taking her with me. But getting my own place is not something I can consider for now. With that and all the environmental factors in mind, I'm thinking that it might not be fair to the dog. I can't flat out ignore my mother either. Not being able to run around off leash is a very big concern of mine, because she LOVES being able to run in an open field. As for the other dog, he's used to running with me on a bike so that would meet his exercise requirements to a certain degree. I have tried many times to get the greyhound to run with the bike, but she just refuses to do so. He's not afraid of much so I know he'll adapt to city life very fast. I'm aware that greyhounds can be content with a mile walk a day, but not being able to freely run for the rest of her life just seems too cruel. There wouldn't even be a small yard she would have access to.

I have been trying to desensitize her with stuff ever since I got her. I would walk back and forth in front of garbage cans and treat her, I would just sit outside and treat her whenever a person or car went by. It just seems like she's genuinely afraid of everything and she hasn't made much progress. Perhaps she just needs more time to get adjusted, but suddenly taking her somewhere where there will be even more stimulus seems like any progress we've made so far will go away.

As painful as it might be immediately for all of us, I'm fairly confident that she will get used to a new family quickly. I had left my dogs at a home boarding for a week a month ago and she had bonded with the sitter within days. When I went to pick her up, she was actually hiding behind the sitter before recognizing me. Considering that she's only 4, I'm thinking that she could have a much better life by finding a new family.
Ugh...this sucks..
 

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Another consideration is if she needs to be shipped to your new home, as flying a noise phobic, timid dog is something to think very carefully about.

It would seem you know your dog better than anyone, so what others think you should or shouldn't do isn't really important. Years ago, I had a dog who could not adapt to living in town due to being afraid of noise and activity. She got progressively worse in the moths I had her until it was very clear she was not going to just adjust and managing the things that upset her was pretty much impossible. So it does happen, there are dogs who are unsuited to living in certain environments due to their temperament.
 

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Personally I would take her. There are some aids like Rescue Remedy and the Thundershirt that could possibly help her :) These have worked wonders for a few of my dogs!

Our girl Dutchess is a bit like this, she's an older rescued aussie that we've had for many yrs now. In the beginning she was pretty bad, she was super jumpy, would not eat if she felt scared, did not trust anybody but me for the longest time,now yrs later she's better, but she still has her moments if a car backfires or something that she will flip out and shake and pant :( But I know she trusts us and she knows we will never let harm come to her.
Your girl may have a long road to get to the point where she is comfortable with new situations, but with time and patience it can happen even in a city life!
 

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Here's an opinion from someone who has owned a fearful dog for 6 years: don't take her. The flight alone could kill her. That amount of stress over such a prolonged period could leave you with behavioral problems that are dramatically worse. If you can find a good, quiet home with someone who understands fearful dogs, that would be the route I would take. As much as I adore my dog, I just can't imagine subjecting her to such a move. It would kill me to leave her, but in the end, I think that's the choice I would make, for her sake.

I think your instincts are right on this.
 

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Wow! I am so sorry you're in this perdicament. I had to surrender a dog once, and it isn't something that ever really leaves us. It's been 6 years, and I don't think I've ever forgiven myself for it. I try to move on, and redirect my guilty feelings into caring for the dogs I have now... but the guilt is never completely assuaged.

I'll keep you in my thoughts, and hope you can find a solution you can feel good about.
 

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I would contact the rescue and let them know of your situation. I think you have no choice but to honor your mother's wishes seeing it is her house. If you contact the rescue now you could work with the foster family prior to you leaving. Like spending time at the foster with the dog for short periods. Working your way up to leaving the dog for a day or two. This will make it a lot easier on you and the dog. It seems there is more going on than what is fully disclosed in your message and we do not need to know everything. Only you know the whole truth and you are in a bad spot. I think working and being honest with the rescue will be a benefit to all involved.
 

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Having lived in Korea, I agree that the noise and chaos level of the major cities there is high. As I'm sure you know, they are truly 24/7 places. And the type of sounds are different also- much more shouting, motorbikes zooming by, the traffic is insane and the sidewalks are very crowded. When I first arrived, even I was stressed a bit by the intensity of life there and the constant crowds of people. Manhattan is calmer and quieter by far.
While many people have dogs, they do trend towards the much smaller "lap dogs" like Bichons, Maltese, Yorkies and such or the Jindos on the farms.
For a dog that is highly sensitive to stress and noise, the flight + the new living environment is very likely to just be too much.

My suggestion is to talk to the rescue ASAP, get to finding her a good foster and making a calm introduction. And I think that paying for her food, heartworm/flea/tick meds and herbal anti-anxiety chews for several months is the right thing to do to not burden the rescue anymore than necessary
 

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Hi Stevenham,

I've had 3 greyhounds, and work in greyhound rescue. To be honest, I would NOT take her. It's one thing to have a shy dog, but timid/flighty greyhounds (we call them "spooks") are so SO emotionally fragile. Like Winniec77 said--the flight alone could kill her. The stress she'd be subject to, living in a busy city, would be incredibly traumatic. IMHO, I'd contact the rescue group and ask them to work on finding her a new home or foster home. It'll be difficult for you, but I think much better for her!

Jen
 

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Personally I wouldn't take her. The deal breaker for me is your mom.

The noise/bustle I think she could maybe learn to live with, you could still exercise her without areas to run, but if your mom doesn't want her there that's going to add a whole lot of negativity to the dynamic and is going to be very, very difficult for a sensitive, intuitive dog like a spooky greyhound to live happily with and it's going to make the first two things all the more difficult. I'm just imagining her making some progress, then your mom getting irritated with her and setting her back... wash, rinse, repeat. I think it's better for her to stay away from that type of home environment. Any other dog I think it would be ok, but spooky greyhounds are really a unique kind of dog to deal with.
 

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Take this month to try to find a good family for her.
Personally, I would not take her. Some dogs have poor nerves, and no matter the desensitization, they will never adjust. If she can be put into a quiet home, she will quickly adapt and bond with a new owner. The flight overseas alone will traumatize her, if she is as nervy as described.

This is a heartbreaking choice to have to make, but honestly, if she isn't welcomed fully by your family, you may be faced with an even harder decision over there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Having lived in Korea, I agree that the noise and chaos level of the major cities there is high. As I'm sure you know, they are truly 24/7 places. And the type of sounds are different also- much more shouting, motorbikes zooming by, the traffic is insane and the sidewalks are very crowded. When I first arrived, even I was stressed a bit by the intensity of life there and the constant crowds of people. Manhattan is calmer and quieter by far.
While many people have dogs, they do trend towards the much smaller "lap dogs" like Bichons, Maltese, Yorkies and such or the Jindos on the farms.
For a dog that is highly sensitive to stress and noise, the flight + the new living environment is very likely to just be too much.

My suggestion is to talk to the rescue ASAP, get to finding her a good foster and making a calm introduction. And I think that paying for her food, heartworm/flea/tick meds and herbal anti-anxiety chews for several months is the right thing to do to not burden the rescue anymore than necessary
I've made up my mind to let her go as I believe that is going to be the best thing for her. I never knew that the flight alone could possibly kill her. I will contact the rescue and work with them to find a new home or foster. I agree that it would only be fair for me to lessen the burden of the rescue by paying for a food and meds. It's the least I'd be able to do for her.

This is a really crappy feeling. I know I should contact the rescue asap, but every nerve in my body is not wanting to...
 
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