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Old 07-23-2017, 04:06 AM
 
2 posts, read 1,220 times
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Hi. I am a first time pet owner who did all of her research before I adopted the sweetest dog ever. He is well behaved, well trained and just a joy...but I am realizing that the dream of owning a pet is far different from the reality. I may have bitten off more than I can chew And although I love this little guy with all my heart I just am not the right person for him. I didn't think I would be as paranoid about basic things about owning a pet as I am. For instance, I thought he had fleas and all of the sudde. I am obsessed with whether he has fleas, are they biting me, will I get a flea infestation in my carpeted home, what kind of diseases do fleas carry, etc. This is just one example. I got him the flea meds but I can't stop obsessing about these things and I think it is just too much for me. I asked my best friend who is also a pet parent but she was cold in her response and told me she didn't think I would do this and it is my choice.


Am I being a horrible person? I am recognizing I may have made a mistake and am trying to decide the proper steps to take to correct it but I have no sounding board just judgement. Like I said, he is the best little guy I could ever get and I am so lucky but does that mean I keep him. Maybe he deserves someone better than me. I am trying to make the best decision for both of us.

Even as I am writing this I am just watching him sleep and loving on him. He is the most adorable and best pup ever.

I am praying on it real hard and I just don't know if I am just reacting the initial overwhelming stuff that happens when you first get a dog or if I am being a conscientious person and recognizing this may not be the best situation for me and Ziggy.

Last edited by GirlNeri; 07-23-2017 at 05:25 AM..
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Old 07-23-2017, 05:51 AM
 
Location: Wilmington, NC
1,919 posts, read 339,761 times
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I think it's good that you're trying to determine the best thing to do for your dog.

Have you ever been owned by a dog before? One thing to consider is that you still have a lot to learn about dogs and what they need. Do you have a trusted veterinarian you can talk to about these things, or a friend who can help you feel more confident? It sounds like having Ziggy in your home is creating a lot of anxiety for you. If you have a therapist, this would be a good thing to address with them as well.

Also, if Ziggy is on a systemic anti-flea/tick medication, you shouldn't have fleas in your carpet.
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Old 07-23-2017, 05:58 AM
 
Location: Cushing OK
14,547 posts, read 17,472,426 times
Reputation: 16765
Quote:
Originally Posted by GirlNeri View Post
Hi. I am a first time pet owner who did all of her research before I adopted the sweetest dog ever. He is well behaved, well trained and just a joy...but I am realizing that the dream of owning a pet is far different from the reality. I may have bitten off more than I can chew And although I love this little guy with all my heart I just am not the right person for him. I didn't think I would be as paranoid about basic things about owning a pet as I am. For instance, I thought he had fleas and all of the sudde. I am obsessed with whether he has fleas, are they biting me, will I get a flea infestation in my carpeted home, what kind of diseases do fleas carry, etc. This is just one example. I got him the flea meds but I can't stop obsessing about these things and I think it is just too much for me. I asked my best friend who is also a pet parent but she was cold in her response and told me she didn't think I would do this and it is my choice.

Am I being a horrible person? I am recognizing I may have made a mistake and am trying to decide the proper steps to take to correct it but I have no sounding board just judgement. Like I said, he is the best little guy I could ever get and I am so lucky but does that mean I keep him. Maybe he deserves someone better than me.
If you live in a place where the ground is sandy, or there are dry areas, you could also just have fleas in the yard. When they are stimulated to reproduce, you'll get them in a lot of areas where there are no pets. If you have a pet, get one of the chewables for them from the vet. You get no fleas for a month without putting anything on the pet. So fleas are not all that hard to handle. And go over the carpet regularly, for any brought in on shoes, and when you feel like obsessing, remind yourself that you have dealt with it. And the hardest part is done. The pup loves you and obsession aside, you love him. That's a lucky gift for both of you.

And yes, you can't just bring the pet home and she or he takes care of themself. This little dog sounds like a very nice one, and you say you love the dog, and it sounds like she's of the same mind, and you've bonded. Do you really want to send this sweet little dog out there to an uncertain future? As far as what you can expect, rehoming can be uncertain. Don't deal with a shelter if its not a no kill one. But they may be full. And even if they take them in and find them, the dog will feel abandoned. That's not something better for him.

And from what you've said, the little dog is happy with his home and bonded with you. What I suggest is giving it a better try. Get flea pills from the vet and you'll keep the dog flea free. Ask the vet for a place to call and get some pointers on caring for dogs. And you say you love him, so enjoy his company. He all ready gives back to you. He won't care if your not perfect, or obsessive, and he already knows he loves you. Sudden seperation will be very painful for him. He has a home.

And lots of people obsess about their pets. The critters just know they are loved. Especially since this little dog had accepted you as his human, and you care much about him, give him love and let him show you that even if you're a bit obsessive, he's safe and happy with his human.

In your own words, he is the best little guy you could ever have and he sounds very happy in what he sees as his new home, and he already bonded with you. He doesn't care if you get to be obsessive, just wants your love. The obsessions are yours, not his, and he'll love you anyway. So let him stay home and give him love and learn to conquer the fears (thats what an obsession is) and both of you will grow into being family.

I think your friend is trying to say the same thing in a different way. But it sounds like the person he deserves is the one who already loves him that he's already bonded with, you.
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Old 07-23-2017, 07:04 AM
 
2 posts, read 1,220 times
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Default Oh no...

The rescue I got him from are very nice people. They are the very best people I can imagine out there rescuing dogs from so many situations. They rescue from the kill shelters as well. Whether it is with me or not, this guy is loved and will be loved.
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Old 07-23-2017, 07:45 AM
 
Location: NY>FL>VA>NC>IN
2,524 posts, read 984,931 times
Reputation: 5339
Do NOT feel guilty and YES return him if you aren't comfortable.
Keeping him when the "fit" isn't right is far worse.
The rescue will place him with someone else; it's not like returning him means he will suffer or be put down.


I had to put down a beagle who I did not seek out; he literally appeared in my yard (this is years ago when I had a yard not a condo I'm now in) in horrific condition, emaciated, miserable.
I put him directly into my car and straight to the closest vet as I thought he may die; he could barely walk.

Very truncated version, I was in no position to take on a dog at that time, he had severe separation anxiety, I moved to an apt 3mos after getting him (I had the house for sale; it sold, I was in a transition time, deciding on an out of state move, apt was only option) wherein I could NOT have him howling as he did when left alone. He also clawed desperately at the windowsills/door threshholds if alone and I was afraid he'd go insane if crated.

My solution was to NEVER leave him alone for the following 14mos I had him.

I had to leave the apt only when one of my children were home. I did that for 14 mos.
He never seemed happy; he was trapped in a small apt, needed to RUN, needed things I could NOT give him, my heart broke every time I looked at him.

I had NOT sought him out, he appeared in the yard, mind you.
Vet estimated his age at 10-12.

I had him put down.

I had a vet come to the apt and do it.

I still have agony over doing that BUT there was no option I could see at the time; he was old, had severe sep anx, what rescue would take him? What person would take him and never leave him alone, or have the patience to work on it? The vet thought at his age he would not be able to be brought out of it and was a likely case for mistreatment by a frustrated owner.
He was fear reactive and nervous on walks; he had been (we later found out his actual history) used as a hunting dog, by a harsh, mean owner (a neighbor) who threw him out of the outdoor exposed to the elements pen in which he had always lived, when he got too old to hunt.
He spooked at any loud noise so I don't know how he was used for hunting.


My seemingly unconnected to your situation tale is told to illustrate how sometimes we have to do things that will cause US to suffer, in order to prevent suffering for the DOG.
It's a far more loving thing for you to suffer over giving him back than it would be to keep him in a situation in which his happiness is not assured.

Last edited by VexedAndSolitary; 07-23-2017 at 07:55 AM..
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Old 07-23-2017, 08:07 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
2,725 posts, read 1,681,855 times
Reputation: 8412
Quote:
Originally Posted by GirlNeri View Post
Hi. I am a first time pet owner who did all of her research before I adopted the sweetest dog ever. He is well behaved, well trained and just a joy...but I am realizing that the dream of owning a pet is far different from the reality. I may have bitten off more than I can chew And although I love this little guy with all my heart I just am not the right person for him. I didn't think I would be as paranoid about basic things about owning a pet as I am. For instance, I thought he had fleas and all of the sudde. I am obsessed with whether he has fleas, are they biting me, will I get a flea infestation in my carpeted home, what kind of diseases do fleas carry, etc. This is just one example. I got him the flea meds but I can't stop obsessing about these things and I think it is just too much for me. I asked my best friend who is also a pet parent but she was cold in her response and told me she didn't think I would do this and it is my choice.


Am I being a horrible person? I am recognizing I may have made a mistake and am trying to decide the proper steps to take to correct it but I have no sounding board just judgement. Like I said, he is the best little guy I could ever get and I am so lucky but does that mean I keep him. Maybe he deserves someone better than me. I am trying to make the best decision for both of us.

Even as I am writing this I am just watching him sleep and loving on him. He is the most adorable and best pup ever.

I am praying on it real hard and I just don't know if I am just reacting the initial overwhelming stuff that happens when you first get a dog or if I am being a conscientious person and recognizing this may not be the best situation for me and Ziggy.
I think this might have something to do with how much you wanted to have a dog. It's kind of like performance anxiety, and if you have anxiety issues, they will come out when you make a major, life changing, permanent decision like this--especially one that affects not just you, but this innocent, trusting creature that you want the best for.

I had something like this when I adopted my first greyhound, Audrey. I had wanted a dog for years and when I finally had the chance to have one, I was overwhelmed with joy. And then we got her home and my anxieties started up. For me, it wasn't fleas, it was, "What have I done? This creature, who hasn't had the best life so far, is totally dependent on me to supply all her needs and what if I'm not capable and I mess up and do something that harms this beautiful, trusting dog?"

For the first few weeks, I was undecided as to my fitness as a dog mom. The only thing that kept me from deciding to take her back was that my DH reminded me that I had always wanted a dog, this was a great dog and if we gave her back, that would be the end of us having dogs, we tried it and it didn't work.

I have a slight anxiety disorder and having a dog triggered a lot of anxiety. But after a while, after we had our routine down and I had a vet I trusted, I was so happy I had rescued her. (In a real way, she rescued me, too.) We went on to adopt another greyhound and after they passed, two more.

I have several suggestions, and I hope one of them will help.

Since you are a person of faith, my first recommendation is that you affirm that God has the perfect plan for you and for this dog, and that you will be clearly shown what to do. If you have a "God box," (which I totally recommend for those of us who tend to worry a situation to death without finding the answer), put this in it.

Also, pay attention to your dreams--they have a way of letting you know what you really want and feel.

And finally, sit quietly for a time, then say out loud, "I am keeping Ziggy," and see how that feels--not what you think of it in your logical brain, but how it feels in your gut--warm, calm, or tense and unsettled? Then sit for another quiet moment and say out loud, "I am going to return Ziggy to the rescue," and see how that feels. If you are really tuning in to your gut, not your head, you will feel a definite difference and that will tell you what you need to know.

Another thing--you do not have to decide this today or tomorrow. Give yourself the gift of a little time if you need it. There is absolutely an adjustment period. For me, it took several weeks. The good thing is that you got him from a great rescue and whatever you decide, he will have a good life with people who love him. Do not tear yourself up about this, whatever you decide. You are a good person. It shows in what you have written.
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Old 07-23-2017, 08:47 AM
 
Location: DC
6,509 posts, read 6,427,712 times
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Not everyone is cut out to be a successful dog owner. Dogs need leadership. They aren't here to make us feel better, we are here to help them be better. If your worries are about how your dog can adversely affect your life, I don't think you are in the right space to help a dog. Better to recognize that sooner than later.
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Old 07-23-2017, 08:58 AM
 
Location: NY>FL>VA>NC>IN
2,524 posts, read 984,931 times
Reputation: 5339
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCforever View Post
Not everyone is cut out to be a successful dog owner. Dogs need leadership. They aren't here to make us feel better, we are here to help them be better. If your worries are about how your dog can adversely affect your life, I don't think you are in the right space to help a dog. Better to recognize that sooner than later.
I LOVE this^^^ post esp the "they aren't here to make us feel better, we are here to..." part.

1000% agree. Many folks get dogs for selfish stupid reasons like ooooh I fell in loooove.....and have no clue what the dog actually needs or if they can provide what it needs. That's one of the (many, many) reasons I detest pet shops; they are designed to suck in the impulsive idiots.

(That wasn't directed at you, OP; I commend you for caring enough about the dog to realize you may not be right for him; I wish more peeps did that).

Last edited by VexedAndSolitary; 07-23-2017 at 10:17 AM..
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Old 07-23-2017, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Massachusetts
4,033 posts, read 8,563,716 times
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OP, I think that you need to give this some more thought, as I think that your anxieties are pretty typical of a first-time pet owner, especially where parasites are concerned (parasites can be pretty alarming--you imagine them everywhere and go into hyper-eradication mode!). Just remember that these situations are temporary--this, too, shall pass--but that your relationship with your dog is not; it is a life-long commitment.

As a first-time caregiver, there are going to be all sorts of things that are going to cause you to go into panic mode, and I actually think that this is precisely what will make you a good (nay, great) caregiver.

Caring for another living being is a process. If you really love your dog, you will be in it for the long haul and you will deal with situations as they come. And, yeah, there are times when having a dog is really stressful (like when they get lost, are sick, etc.). However, the stressful times are balanced out by the days of joy and ease and the unconditional love that you feel for your dog and that he feels for you.

I think you have to decide if you are committed or not to this dog. Dogs aren't children but the relationship is similar--they're great but messy!
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Old 07-23-2017, 12:17 PM
 
13,675 posts, read 13,489,213 times
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I think you're exhibiting all the signs of anxiety/OCD. If you really enjoy this dog, I would keep him and focus your efforts on dealing with your mental health issues. I have had some very severe episodes of anxiety/OCD myself, and I've found it often tends to take very beautiful and happy aspects of your life and turn them into stressors. The fact of the matter is that if this is well-behaved and affectionate animal, it could HELP to ease your anxiety issues - I know mine do.

Look, fleas are not the end of the world. As long as you catch an infestation early, they can be eradicated very easily. In my mind, I once built a possible flea infestation up into a financial disaster and eviction - it was all in my imagination, and there were no fleas at all, but my world was ending. I will not even tell you the saga about my bedbug fears.

We did have some fleas once at my dad's house among multiple dogs. Some Revolution got rid of them in a couple days.

I would talk to a vet and to the rescue about what are reasonable concerns to have and what are highly unlikely ones. Then I'd check in with a therapist or psychiatrist. I have the same thing you have, and I will assure you that once it gets rolling it can suck the joy out of the good things in your life.

I've dealt with it by focusing on cultivating rational thought and relying on statistical probabilities. I meditate. For a few years, I took Zoloft, but now I just see a therapist and consult my life coach - between the two of them, they keep me from poisoning my own life with unreasonable fears.
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