Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 2 of 2 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
A friend referred me here. I am a homeschooling mom of three kids from a sr. in high school to a 6th grader.

Well, we have had our 18 month old foster labradoodle, Bear, for 2 weeks. They have not had space at the shelter for us to bring him back for his evaluations (aggression which he will pass and health), so he is not up for adoption yet. I am in such a muddle.

While Bear is a wonderful dog - sweet, affectionate, people and dog friendly, he is a handful. We have to have eyes on him at all times or he will cause trouble (we are now calling it EOB - Eyes on Bear.)

He has chewed our braided rug. I know we were planning on replacing it, but it wasn't in bad condition before. He has destroyed two pairs of shoes - my favorite walking sandals and a friend's shoes - on the day she was planning on leaving for a trip to Europe. He likes to steal the computer mouse, so he has nearly ruined mine (it often thinks the "right click" button is down.) and he ruined my son's. The only chew toys he has not destroyed are nylabones and Kongs. The kicker was he just ruined my cell phone - , which had fallen out of my pocket into the couch. We was left alone only long enough for me to go answer the phone. Whenever he is downstairs (lower level family room of our split level house), if we are not paying attention to him (he is only allowed there if we are there), he tries to go after our new rug which is still encased in plastic. I need to find another place to store it until we are ready to redo our living room - nothing fancy, just fix the hardwood floors and repaint. We really do try to keep things up and away from him (like the shoes have been moved and secured) but phones ring and people knock on the door and children may need something and we do need to leave the house on occasion.

Since this past week was County Fair week and my kids were frantically finishing their 4H projects, he may not have had as much attention (but he surely has had lots of walks - four to five miles a day.) We are decompressing from this past week and want some time to relax, which is not happening with this dog.

My heart is heavy about this. I really love this dog. He really is a great dog. We have been wanting a dog for so long (okay, at least 3 of us have been wanting one). I am not allergic to him. He walks great on leash. He doesn't jump on people. He is usually a joy to be around. BUT, the responsibility is wearing on me. The "what do we do with Bear?" questions every time we have something we want to do. How long is reasonable to keep him crated? How do we keep him from chewing everything in the house? How do we keep him mentally stimulated? I think he has some ear issues (I will be calling the shelter today about it and they may send me to their vet.) I wonder if some if his chewing frenzy is related to ear discomfort.

To tell you the truth, I am not sure if I am up for this. I have school planning to do and I have barely made a dent. My son is applying to colleges this fall and I am so far behind on getting my course descriptions and other common app sections done. I am falling behind on housework and other projects (and I am not a great housekeeper to begin with.) How am I going to incorporate this dog into our routines when I really need my kids to concentrate on getting school work? We have some academic challenges ahead and I am not sure how to manage all of this with the dog.

Because he is not ours, I feel like I am in no man's land. We have some excellent resources for dog training, but don't want to spend the money until we know he is ours. I would love to have him run around outside, but we do not have a fence and I cannot go forward with any plans there until he is ours. Dd would love to do agility with him (he is smart and fast) but can't really begin with that until he is ours and we have a way of containing him outside.

But, is it fair to adopt him? Is it fair to our family? Is it fair to the dog? My heart breaks to think of him spending even a night in the shelter - we volunteer there. While is it a good place run by loving people, it is not a home. I'd hate to see the stress of that place do anything to mar his sweet nature. His brother who came up on the same transport was there yesterday when we were volunteering. I could see behaviors in that dog that I would hate to see Bear take on. Dh thinks he would easily be adopted (and part of me thinks so too.) But, it just breaks my heart for us not to have him. I've really fallen in love with him. We need to have another family meeting to discuss this. We had one on Sunday. Ds17 who never wanted a dog, is softening. Ds15 likes him, but is trying to stay neutral. Dd11, who has been wanting a dog for so long, kept thinking of all the negatives (as she was crying.) Dh kept talking about all the negatives. All I wanted to say was "Good thing there was no trial period with all of you because, at the time, I had moments where I didn't think I could do it." I cried myself to sleep that night.

So, do I need a pep talk? Or do I need a reality check?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
693 Posts
So, do I need a pep talk? Or do I need a reality check?
Perhaps a little bit of both :)

It does sound like he gets enough exercise, so that's great.

Labs are known to be highly destructive dogs. A few questions - does he chew your household items rather than playing with toys you provide? How much mental stimulation does he get? Physical exercise is great, but mental exercise is also important.

Loki was a destructo-puppy. He chewed thousands of dollars worth of shoes, books, clothes, electronics and furniture. He even ate a lightbulb. At 2 and a 1/2, he has finally grown out of it and I am comfortable leaving him out in the house while I'm not here.

So, you guys as a family need to decide how much you want this dog. Owning this dog means that you can't be careless with items laying around. In essence, you need to "Bear-proof" your house. Make sure your phone isn't somewhere he can eat it. Make sure everyone's shoes are in the closet at all times. When you're done with the computer, move the mouse so he can't get to it. All of these things are a pain in the butt, but a necessarily evil to puppy/young dog ownership. Your family needs to be vigilant and make a few sacrifices - maybe you won't be able to have a rug on the floor until he grows out of his chewing stage. Provide him with lots of toys and when he does manage to get something you don't want, don't get angry with him, but grab a dog bone and replace the "bad item" with an item he's allowed to have.

To tell you the truth, I am not sure if I am up for this. I have school planning to do and I have barely made a dent. My son is applying to colleges this fall and I am so far behind on getting my course descriptions and other common app sections done. I am falling behind on housework and other projects (and I am not a great housekeeper to begin with.) How am I going to incorporate this dog into our routines when I really need my kids to concentrate on getting school work? We have some academic challenges ahead and I am not sure how to manage all of this with the dog.
If you don't have time for the dog, don't adopt it. He sounds like a high maintenance guy who needs attention, and maybe it's just not the right time in your life for that kind of dog. As much as it hurts, it may benefit your family to find a slightly older, calmer dog that doesn't require so much of your time and effort. With Bear, it's going to take time - someone is going to make a mistake eventually, and their favorite shoes will be eaten or the computer mouse will be left out and destroyed. If you're not emotionally prepared for those challenges and it sounds like you have a lot on your plate with 3 home schooled children, I think that this dog may be too much for you to handle. It CAN be done, with plenty of patience and dedication, so you guys as a family need to decide whether it's worth the sacrifices you'll need to make. :)
 
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
Top