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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi Everyone,

Some of you might remember a few posts of mine about our new puppy Pepper that we adopted this past weekend. Don't worry, she's still doing well, she's just not ours anymore :( . The below is my account of how it all went down, it still hurts to think about her but ultimately I think the outcome was the best for all parties. On to the story...

I've wanted a dog since I was a kid, I've always found that I'm great with them on almost all fronts. I've been trying to convince my wife for the past 2 years that we should get a dog since we are now home owners, she always said no. Two weeks ago however she came home with the exciting news that a co-worker was selling some pure labs, but after talking we decided that we'd rather do the responsible thing and adopt a rescue puppy. We each read 3 books on raising dogs, what kind of commitment and responsibility they require and what expectations we should have of our puppy in the first week/month/year. After deciding that we would be responsible with a dog and could afford it we went out and adopted Pepper, a golden retriever border collie mix, she was 4 months old and had the sweetest temperment.

Fast forward 4 days, I convinced work to let me work from home to spend time with the pup, I got her housebroken, taught her to sit before entering or leaving the house, got her on our schedule so she didn't wake us up in the morning and taught her how to properly walk on a leash. Her personality was finally starting to show through too, she'd start playing with her toys, pouncing on ice cubes, the whole nine yards. Unfortunately my wife decided to tell me that she gets nervous around dogs and she hated coming home to one. She also started telling me that she wants to do all this traveling and now with a dog, she can't. I saw the resentment building already.

After a long discussion, I found out my wife never wanted a dog, she just wanted me to be happy. She told me she'd try to like her and try to commit to the responsibilities, but that wasn't good enough for me. In my mind you either want a dog or not, there's no in between. You either commit to it 100% or not at all. As a young professional and a soon to be graduate student I couldn't do this by myself, and having a back-up that isn't into it would result in resentment to Pepper and others, which isn't fair to anyone.

So after our short very tearful discussion I decided to call the foster mom back and ask that she be returned. My wife was even more upset by this and kept telling how she will try to like the dog but after losing some very important people in my life, I couldn't take it emotionally to get more attached to this dog just to give her up later on, I couldn't even do it 1 more day. I packed up all of Pepper's things and brought her back to the foster home and donated all her toys, food and crate to the rescue foundation we got her from.

It's been roughly 12 hours since then and I can still hear her whines, dropping her off was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I don't think I've ever been this emotional since my mother passed away, not even on my wedding day. Pepper was an amazing puppy, she was smart, fun and loving, but I couldn't let her grow up in a house that might harbor some resentment, it wouldn't be fair. I never thought I'd have the connection i did in just 4 days, man does it hurt.

I found out last night that there was someone else interested in adopting her but we got there first. The foster mom called that person and they were so delighted to hear she was available, they wanted to pick her up that night. I feel a little better that at least this will just seem like a mere vacation to her and she'll move on to a home that will hopefully provide her with the love and care that she needs. The foundation told us they'd rip up our check, the contract gave us a few days to settle in with the dog before they cashed it. We decided though that we'd like to donate that money to the foundation, we're hoping we can help a family bring a puppy into their childrens' lives.

I realize what we did was irresponsible, and there's nothing we can do to fix that. What I have gone through in the past 24 hours is punishment enough. The puppy herself though is in good hands and that's all we could ask for. To those of you reading this who were thinking about adopting, please make sure you think the ENTIRE process out, don't skip the line in the book that says it's a 15 year commitment, don't brush aside the fact that you will have to change your lifestyle around, and be sure that EVERYONE in your house is ready and 100% willing to do the work.

Thanks for reading this long post but I hope someone else can learn from our mistake.

-S
 

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Great post!! Although I'm sorry it had to end this way. Don't be too hard on yourself or your wife. You did what was right for Pepper. Things happen for a reason and Pepper was in your life for that short time for a reason. You will find out hat the reason is some day.

You are a great person for the dogs and for rescues all over. You have just taught however many people read this post to not jump into anything before "reading between the lines".
 

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How sad for you :( Don't be too hard on yourself...I think you did the right thing for Pepper. I don't think any dog should live in a home where it's not wanted 100% by all the humans. Heartbreaking as I'm sure it was for you....in the long run, Pepper deserves to be cherished by everyone in her family.

There is definitely a lesson to be learned here, so thanks for sharing your experience.
 

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Thanks for this post. I can only imagine how you feel (and how your wife feels). I was in your same situation: I've always wanted a dog, voluteered at shelters, watched dog training shows and videos, read books, etc. My wife never grew up with pets and was pretty apprehensive about making that life change. But we talked at length about it (months and basically years) and fortunately she is into it 100% at this point and loves the dog more than I do :eek:

I post not to contrast our experiences but to say that I had a very odd reaction myself: the morning after we brought Deci home I had a kind of post-puppy anxiety/stress syndrome. I had wanted a dog all my life and finally had one and the responsibility/change overwhelmed me. The first week I thought about seriously returning the dog because I was questioning whether we had a good enough home for her. I discovered that my standards for myself and my pup were very high and have relaxed considerably. Now I cannot imagine my life without Deci.

I post this to say that anyone considering a dog needs to consider the decision for a LONG time. It cannot be whimiscal or impulsive. The reason we have humane societies is mostly because people bring home pets in this way. I also want to say that you have to be realistic but also ready for the unknown.
 

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Thanks for sharing your story. It is sad and it sounds hard for everyone involved, but you did the right thing. Pepper now has a great home, I'm sure.

Take care.
 

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You made a good and hard decision.

I told my boyfriend early on that dogs were a big part of my life, and that at some point in the relationship I was going to have a puppy again. If he had not agreed to it, I would not have gotten serious with him.

;-) That is how dog crazy I am. ;-)

I understand your wife's fear. Many people are afraid of dogs. Maybe she thought it would be fine if it was just a puppy.

I feel bad that you will never be able to have a dog.

Take care!
 

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Good post both to Sicklyscot and lasrbrn. YOU made the Right Decisions for YOU.

In my case I had a BF who told me my Cats were fine when he moved in. However, as time went on he let me know he just hated the cats. He woud not even fedd them if I was going to be home late. I then told him I wanted a dog. He was horrified because dogs are "dirty."

At that moment I looked at him and for this (and other GOOD reasons) I told him where the door was. I told him it only swung one way. I gave him a deadline. I told him I was getting a dog.

He got all hurt looking and said, "You are replacing ME with a DOG???"

I told him, "Yes. First intelligent reasoning you have done since I have known you." Loser.

He's gone over two and a half years now. I got the dog. Best swap I ever made!

You should not have dogs, cats, kids or any other animate thing and be in a relationship unless both people are on the same page about having them.
 

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I told my boyfriend early on that dogs were a big part of my life, and that at some point in the relationship I was going to have a puppy again. If he had not agreed to it, I would not have gotten serious with him.

;-) That is how dog crazy I am. ;-)
You're not the only one.

I am lucky that I have found a man that LOVES German Shepherd Dogs. I make it very clear from day 1 that my dogs were here first, and if you make me choose between you and the dog, the dog wins.

That's what happened with my last boyfriend.

Still have Strauss xD!!!!
 

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As tough as it is, you did the right and responsible thing, and I commend you for it. I know how hard it was, but you're absolutely right; even a 95% commitment isn't enough, and it's much better to re-home the dog now than in a year.

laserbrn - It's too bad your first post was on something so painful, but thanks for sharing that story.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you all for the comments, it is definately a bitter sweet moment, I now know I did the right thing but I still miss the little rascal.

A bit of an update, my wife decided yesterday to try and call the foster mom back and see if we can get Pepper back. She said she missed having her around and I was just so happy with a dog. I told her that those were the wrong reasons and we should really just drop it and move on. As someone said above, when I have the time to raise the dog by myself then we'll reconsider which I think is a great idea.

I do have to say though, if i see Pepper pop back up on Petfinder there is going to be some serious soul searching.

Thanks again for all the comments, I'm sorry to hear others had to go through the same thing, but at the same time I'm glad to hear I'm not alone.
 

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I know it was hard, but you did the right thing. It's obvious that your wife is conflicted about the puppy and that's never a good thing. (And please discourage her from trying to get the puppy back, especially if she's in a new home with people who truly want and love her now. That wouldn't be fair to anyone.)

My hubby and I were married 13 years before we got a dog. I had wanted one for some time but he just wasn't ready. And I knew it wouldn't be good to try to pressure him into it. But man, when he decided he was ready for a dog, he was 100% on board. Went online and did hours and hours of research about what breed of dog would be right for us. We ultimately ended up with our rat terrier, Ranger, and he and my hubby are absolutely inseparable.

The dog we just adopted was much more my idea. I saw her and fell in love with her, even though we weren't planning on adopting another dog for at least a year. We talked about it and I left the decision up to him. Of course, now he's completely in love with her too.

I hope that one day you BOTH will be ready for a dog. When that day comes, make sure she has lots of input into the type of dog you get, which will help her be excited about it, too.

Good luck and just keep remembering...you did the right thing!
 
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