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 Post subject: Worries over adopting
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 6:29 pm 
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Hoards Peppermint Jo-Jos
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Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:16 am
Posts: 789
Location: New Yawk
I want to preface this by saying there is absolutely 0% chance that I wouldn't adopt a shelter dog, so that is about of the question, and that's not what I'm asking about. I loved all of my "mutts" who were perfect in every way, and there is no shortage of people wanting a purebred dog as it is.

My border collie had to be put down a little over a year ago. He was 15, had severe tumors going throughout his body, and could no longer walk. My mom was devastated the most of all of us, she cared for him and he cared for our other dogs in a way that set a bar we don't think could ever be met. My dog was his best friend, and would accompany him to do EVERYTHING, from playing ball where he couldn't fit the huge ball in his mouth that Nanna, my border collie could, to sleeping right beside him and licking him to sleep. He truly is another one of the sweetest dogs I have ever had.

Unfortunately our luck changed when Nanna passed, and my other dog was killed by a dog my mom was fostering from the shelter. A sweet and lovable high energy dog just past the age of a puppy, she thought my mom's 10 year old maltese was a chew toy. It broke my mom's heart that in the one second she let things get out of her hands, she looked away and her dog was gone. My maltese lost two dogs in one year, one of which was his mother who he cared so much for, as any dog would, and he went into a severe depression. We almost lost him to severe weight loss and loss of appetite, but every night we would talk to him and try to convince him to eat, or drink, or just to know how much we love him (we always talk to our dogs, I always talk to him like a best friend, seriously.) He recovered and my mom vowed to never let it happen again. She got another puppy in honor of her dog, and her being there really helped him out of his depression, which just reaffirmed the fact that I won't ever believe that animals don't have feelings.

So fast forward to now. I live in a different location, no longer with my parents. I want to bring my dog here finally with things a bit more calm and situated. The thing is, my boyfriend wants to adopt another dog, and I do as well. We've given consideration to two particular breeds, Corgie Welsh and of course, Border Collie. I've gone to see a few beautiful dogs that were great, but I think I don't trust any large dogs anymore. This makes me feel sad that I can't help the dogs that I'm inclined to. I admit I have this suspicion that little dogs get adopted more frequently than larger ones for space reasons and generally because they look a certain way. I don't want to jeopardize my dog's safety if I do have to leave the apartment for a while, and I most of all want him to be happy because he is seriously the BEST dog I know, and because he is my friend without fail. He loves other animals, and without them I think he would feel lost.

My problem is I have never looked for a dog before because I've never been certain of how to address dogs. With cats, you can assess their personalities and if a bad situation arises, you know the worst may be getting cut up a bunch (which sucks and is ultra ultra painful) but with dogs, I feel like if they're any bit larger than Ballou (my dog) that they might put him at risk for something bad to happen. I will not compromise with him at all, and should it come down to it, I will adopt a kitten,rabbit, turtle, etc. so he feels comfortable here and so I can save a life.


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 Post subject: Re: Worries over adopting
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:41 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:13 am
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Location: Calgary!
I don't have very much to say except that I am so sorry you went through that! My advice would be to look at rescues that foster out their dogs. If you look at adopting a dog from a foster home you should be able to get a pretty good idea about the personality and reactivity of a dog and can likely get one that has lived with smaller breed dogs before. I understand your fears completely but hopefully you can still find a way to complete your fur family in whatever way works best. Good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: Worries over adopting
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:57 pm 
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Queen Bitch of Self-Righteous Veganville
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Location: Illinoize
Trust me, I feel you. I never saw the dog that killed Bonny (and actually I think that dog might be gone now since I never see or hear a dog when I go past their house), but i'm naturally more overly protective of Fawkes now. Harley is a gentle giant (and even then, she's not THAT big), but obviously any dogs that live together are going to growl and snip at each other sometime, for taking a toy or butting in on the food, or they might play rough. Since I knew what Harley was like beforehand, I didn't have any qualms about mixing those two together. Chester doesn't like that Harley is bigger than him, so he tries to bully her around and growls if she comes in when there's food to be eaten, and she just ignores him even when he slides in front of her. So I know that if we're out throwing a ball and Harley growls at Fawkes when he tries to take it, that's as far as she'll go. They don't wrestle a whole lot, so i'm not too worried about accidental injuries either.

So I think trying to find a dog that's been fostered is also a good idea. You can tell the shelter/rescue why you have the concerns that you do, and they will understand and help you find a dog that matches what you want. And keep in mind that there probably will be a little friction in the beginning, it's natural for the old dog to be a little upset at a new dog busting all up in their territory. You can always separate them while you're not home for a few days if you want, when we first got Bonny she was so small (two pounds!), and obviously puppies are annoying to older dogs, so for a few weeks if I had to go anywhere, I would put her in the bedroom with a baby gate.

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 Post subject: Re: Worries over adopting
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 11:34 am 
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Hoards Peppermint Jo-Jos
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Location: New Yawk
Thank you guys! Fostering actually sounds like a great idea! Before you brought up the reasoning, I thought that fostering a dog would just mean we're not serious about committing to a dog, but I think explaining why fostering is the best idea for us would work wonders in the end.

MrsBadMouth, wow, I'm so sorry you went through the same thing with Bonny, it's always rough to lose a friend. It's funny how our protective instincts come out in full force when anything happens to our dogs, right? I love the idea of a puppy being raised with an older set of dogs though, and that's another route to go down that I've thought about so I'm glad that it worked out for you. We may just have to take this route.

I went looking through a few shelters for border collies and corgies, or mixes of these dogs. I made a special point to go to this one shelter that had a wretched history, and some of the dogs and cats that were there before the shelter was taken over by a rescue were still there, we're talking 4 or 5 years at least. There was a beautiful, playful, and very sweet but goofy border collie-chow mix that was a bit older who was surrendered from her home. She was very sweet but I've heard chows can have a bit of a problem with aggression so instantly I started to doubt but I have no problem with visiting her again and getting to know her (or any of these other dogs)more. Then in another shelter was a terrified Mini Pinscher, whose temperament I couldn't get a feel for because he was so scared! I wanted to go back and walk him, which I made a point of telling to the person running the shelter, but things have changed since then so I don't think I can anymore. The last dog that I was interested in was a dog whose aged was undetermined, and was a lovable fireball of energy, but while I was there I heard 3 different ages, so I don't know if I can commit to the energy level (which is one of my cons for adopting a puppy, I don't think it's fair considering there's not much space here to roam around without a leash, and I'm not sure if I can be home all of the time). She was very sweet though, and was part of the shelter the Pinscher was in, but was being cared for through a rescue.

Before I commit to any dog though, my boyfriend needs to come out and see them with me, so I would like to do that soon when he can schedule a down day.
The saga continues!


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 Post subject: Re: Worries over adopting
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:23 pm 
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Hoards Peppermint Jo-Jos
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Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:16 am
Posts: 789
Location: New Yawk
So, we went to see dogs in multiple shelters, inquired about ones and filled out multiple adoption applications but unfortunately, some dogs are already taken, and others are not meant for our environment so their fosters are putting them in homes with other confident dogs. The one dog my boyfriend had his heart set on has one application ahead of ours and it looks like we're going to be beat out for him, which is sad because he is a dog that could use a home where he's spoiled with affections and has the ability to go out and play with other dogs when he wants to be social. He's emaciated because he was on his own as a stray in a basement for a while, and landed in the city's pound where dogs see their ends quickly. We want to help him so badly! We were petting him yesterday and his coat is so dry that I think he's dehydrated as well and his ribs are very visible, but he just has no desire for food. All I can think of is when Ballou lost his best friend and wouldn't eat dry nor canned nor cooked food for weeks, and was losing weight so quickly that he was literally wasting away from depression. I don't know how serious this dog's case is other than just anxiety from being bounced around, but I want to take him home and bring him into a loving environment and snuggle him into oblivion like I would with my own dog if he were here.

Gah, I just wanted to vent. I'm scared of rejection but this kind of rejection makes me feel like I'm less fit to be a dog parent than alot of the confident jerks who get to take a dog home to abuse them.


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 Post subject: Re: Worries over adopting
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 3:55 pm 
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Hoards Peppermint Jo-Jos
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Posts: 789
Location: New Yawk
Dudes,


WE GOT HIM.

Just letting you know that if you're in the process of adopting somebody,
hold on...

I am pretty pooped from running around with him since 8 AM this morning, plus he's an unfixed male pup, just about a year old, with a strong grip once he has a goal in mind.

The best part is? The shelter hasn't seen him really eating. He's eaten 3 times since we got him home last night at 5 PM, and he's currently chewing on a bone that a friend gave him. We got him higher quality dog food, not prescription but better than the generic stuff they had to been feeding him.

The staff there were helpful in giving us a good idea of how to keep him engaged and happy. He's a pup so it means I'll be exhausted at the end of the day now, and we'll get to both take naps. He follows me around alot, which I miss most about my own dog at home. He has taken his medication like a champ. He's being pretty good so far, having slept well, and waiting until he leaves to go. No accidents the first night, which is good. He's still a bit underweight so i cannot wait to give it a bit of time and get him back to a good weight.


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 Post subject: Re: Worries over adopting
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 4:21 pm 
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Semen Strong
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Location: Cliffbar NJ
Yay for getting him, but I am a bit concerned that anyone would give you an unneutered 1 year old male pup. Don't most shelters have them fixed as part of the adoption fee, in part to combat overpopulation and dogs being used for fighting?

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 Post subject: Re: Worries over adopting
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:24 am 
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Hoards Peppermint Jo-Jos
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Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:16 am
Posts: 789
Location: New Yawk
Tofulish---they gave us a voucher for his neuter, and set up the date for us. He's been on kennel cough medication because he started out at the ACC and I think he got it there. He needs to recover from that before he can be neutered but that was also the first available appointment too... I'm just glad that we got him.


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 Post subject: Re: Worries over adopting
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:51 pm 
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Hoards Peppermint Jo-Jos
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Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:16 am
Posts: 789
Location: New Yawk
Just wanted to give an update;

Mr. Moose is in good condition and spent the night at the ASPCA in Glendale to get neutered, finally. He is one step closer to getting to play with other dogs in the run. I'm still going to get training lessons for us. Training a dog is like training yourself, really. Still no rolling over(just kidding about that), but does listen to 'sit' now, which is good, and another plus is that getting his attention on walks when he passes another dog is less difficult, sometimes only takes one word instead of a quick tug on the leash.

He plants his feet in the pavement sometimes if he doesn't want to go in the direction we are, or rather has another route in mind that he's fighting for. That's been a big problem. He just wants to play with other dogs. His problem is in his approach and I've been trying to learn how to lead him into the situation so he actually gets to have good interactions with dogs instead of ones that stifle the problem and leave him with unfinished business.

I fall in love with him more and more every day. I want to cuddle with him, but we're not there yet. He's not there yet. I want to get married but he's still on the licking my feet stage.

Do you have any advice on getting him to play with toys? He's always just bored at home, and laying around, but we have toys for him. We've tried a few different, some rubber squeakie toys, plush, Kong stuffed with his favorite treats, etc. He doesn't have much of an interest in playing as much as he goes collecting. He is part Retriever, but it almost feels like he doesn't want to play, just collect.


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