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In November, I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. The doctors thought having a pet would help, so I went to an animal shelter and saw a cocker spaniel dog. The age can't be guessed, though he's thought to be between one and three. He was eight pounds and was shaved almost to the skin, and he had cherry eye.

We were told that the woman who'd previously owned him had kept him chained outside with no room to run. He'd had no food, no water, no shelter, no companionship. His fur had grown out and matted terribly. According to the animal police that took the dog away, the woman had been fond of yanking him up by the chain and beating him across the face if he barked. She ended up being fined about a thousand dollars in court.

Originally I'd wanted a tiny puppy, but this dog looked so very sad and lonely. I bought him. My mother, who was there with me, named him Murphy. I, being a nerd, named him Charles Xavier, and my brother wanted Joe Cocker, so his name is officially Murphy Charles Xavier Joe Cocker Spaniel Esquire the First.

He's a sweet, sweet dog, but nobody but my mother and I can approach him from above, and he'll pee if my mom does it. For anyone else he gets scared and growls and snaps. He can't be chained up because, I think, he's reminded of his other home. But I spoil him. He has toys, canned food, treats. He sleeps in my bed with me and gets cuddled so much he sometimes walks away from it.

I love him to pieces.

Here's the problem.

I have to go away to college in September. I'll be living in an apartment all the time except the summer semester, and they don't allow dogs. Murphy will stay with my mother. I might get to see him on the weekends, or at the worst, over the summer... but I'm worried about him.

When we adopted him, he became healthy and became my shadow. If I went to the bathroom at night, I'd come out and he'd be sleeping by the bathroom door, only to follow me back into my room. If I'm at a desk, he's by the chair, even though there's a soft couch on the other side of the room. He loves me, and I love him so much the thought of sleeping without him sprawled on my bed makes my heart break.

After such a transition---from that woman's house to mine---I'm scared he'll think I'm abandoning him and be sad. I'm scared he won't be a happy little puppy dog anymore.

Is there anything I can do, or any insight anyone can give me to ease my mind and heart? This is really killing me, and I can't think of anything comforting.
 

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The only thing I can think of if you cannot take him with you is to have your Mother start now with most all of his walking, training, feeding, etc. so he can form a really strong bond with her. Maybe you take the back seat some. This is what I would personally do .... :)

Find a stuffie to take with you ... I know it sounds childish but if you are a child at heart ( I still am! Lol!) .... and you can always call on the phone and let him hear your voice. My relatives sometimes call and talk to my dogs over the phone. ( They love my dogs ) My dogs seem to recognize their voices. :)
 

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I agree. Mom needs to take over feeding, walking, etc. while you're still home, so that the dog realizes that she's one of the good guys. It will be more tramatic if the transition happens suddenly.
 

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Thank you for your answers.

My mother does take care of him too. He loves her; gets excited when she comes back, etc. I'm just really hoping that would be enough. I don't want to hurt the dog more than he's been hurt before.
 

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I would find an apartment that allows dogs. Ask the local animal welfare groups if they have a list of affordable pet-friendly housing.
 

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Would the doctor consider the dog to be an emotional support dog or a mental health service dog? While emotional support animals don't have the same public access rights as service dogs (who are trained to do specific tasks for their handlers), some apartment complexes will waive a no-pets rule for them.

Otherwise, I suggest looking for other housing. Check out rescue groups on Facebook and post asking about pet-friendly housing, fortunately you have a smaller dog who isn't going to be on any banned breed lists so you have a good chance of finding something. If there's a local humane society, call them about pet friendly housing.
You could also consider house share with roommate as many privately owned houses are more flexible about dogs than apartment complexes with management companies (like, you can offer a larger damage deposit to a private owner while a complex manager can't make a change like that to the overall rules)
 
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