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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I'm new to the forum, but I've browsed around a bit before posting. I'm not sure if I'll get flamed for this or not, but I need some advice from people who don't have any emotional attachments to me or my dogs. I need some advice on whether or not I should find a better home for my dogs.

I'm a 26 year old husband and father living in Portland, OR. I have 2 dogs, a Chow/Shepard(maybe Schipperke) mix named Shadow and a Chihuahua/MinPin mix named Patron. I adopted Shadow when he was about 3 weeks old from the humane society, and now he's 5 years old. My wife rescued Patron when he was about 3 weeks old, and he's almost 5 years old as well. I absolutely love my dogs. When I lived in Spokane, WA I had a house with a huge yard that my dogs could run around in and I could play with them in the yard. But, when I moved to Oregon, we had to rent and apartment and so our dogs had to make a lifestyle change. We walked them often, but probably not as often as we should. Now, they are actually pretty lazy (obviously not their fault, but mine).

Up until about 2 years ago, I would walk my dogs often and play with them often as well, but since my wife got pregnant with our daughter, I haven't spent as much time with my dogs. Not only because we gave our attention to our daughter, but because I took a new job that requires me to work around 50-60 hours a week, and I've decided to go back to school full time so that I can finish my degree. So, needless to say I don't have a lot of time at home, and when I do and I'm not doing homework or studying, I try to spend time with my wife and daughter. This really leaves no room for my dogs. I know everybody says "make time", but seriously, the only time I could make would be by getting 4-5 hours of sleep a night instead of the 6 that I get right now. If anyone here has worked as much as me and gone to school full time, you'll get what I'm talking about.

My wife has been trying to urge me to find new homes for our dogs for about the last year now. I agree with her that they are not getting the life that they deserve, and they should be given more attention. She's the one that's home the most often, so she has to take care of them, like the 2-3 times a year that Shadow blows his coat :) She runs a daycare out of our home, so she doesn't have time for them during the day, and she tries to catch up on housework at night (since I haven't had any time to really help her). Not only all that, but we just found out she's pregnant with our second child, so we'll probably have even less time than we have now. And to top it all off, I am trying to get into the US Army as a pilot, so if I get that we'll be moving and I will be gone for months at a time.

Another issue is that my wife can't walk Shadow. He is too aggressive when he walks her and he pulls on the leash pretty bad. I can walk him pretty well but if he sees another dog, he goes crazy. Patron on the other hand, is fine when we walk him. Also, Shadow gets testy when the kids push on him or grab his feet, etc, but Patron lets them do as they please.

I have been going back and forth with her for about a year, because I love my dogs and I don't want to get rid of them. But then again, I know that they deserve much better. She thinks I'm being selfish (and I probably am), but I just really don't want to get rid of them.

So, what do you all think is the best idea? I don't want to separate them because they've grown up together, but I know that it would be hard to find someone to take them both. Another option is to just find a new home for Shadow, and keep Patron. If my wife just had Patron at home, she could walk him when she takes the kids out to the park (which is almost everyday). That's one of the reasons that shadow doesn't get walked right now. When my wife takes the stroller, she can't control him and the stroller, but with Patron, he does fine.

This is a really hard decision, and I'm looking for some unbiased feedback.

Cliffnotes: I don't have time to give my dogs the attention they deserve due to working a 50-60 hour a week job and going to school full time. My wife has an in home daycare and is expecting our second child, so she doesn't have time either. Even if she did, our big dog, Shadow is too hard to control for her to walk him. Should I find a new home for our dogs?
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