May 04, 2010,
L.C. asks from Baltimore, MD on May 03, 2010
My Husband Wants a Dog and I Dont
My husband wants a boxer and I dont. I have a 5 and 7 year old, 4 cats, 4 birds and 4 fish. A high stress job and work full time, do the house work and manage the household. My husband works full time as a police officer. He has frequently looses his temper and states its worse now because I said he can not have this dog. I can not deal with anymore responsibility now and I just can not understand why he is so obsessed about getting this dog (puppy). He states he always wanted one as a child but could not have one. He has had a full grown dog which bit one of our children( we gave it away) , he says that does not count because it did not grow up with us. I feel like we should work on our relationship with each other and the kids as that is on a fine line now. He says the dog will bring happiness, I see burden. Any suggestions?
So What Happened?™
I just wanted to say, thankyou to everyone for your imput. This is the first time I have asked a question on line and I am greatful to the people who give their advise. It truly helps gain perspective on issues. Sometime we are so wrapped up in our own lives and ideas that we loose perspecitve. Its good to hear what other people think. Once we do I think we feel better about ourselfs and what we are trying to stand for.
Some additional notes: We did have a calm discussion about the dog and he wants that dog because he feels a special connection with it and it does not have a home. I took care of the prior dog. I think he has some internal demons he has to work out and I dont know if having a dog would make him happier, thought it would make my unhappy. He currently had the dog at a friends house until we take him or he can be placed in another home.
N.B. answers from Toledo on May 03, 2010
Sounds like you have 3 kids at your house! A grown man who says it's your fault he loses his temper so much because you won't give him something he wants?? This sounds like a bigger problem than whether to add a dog to the mix. I thought police were given training in settling domestic disputes without resorting to aggression. This is the same as saying, "another baby will heal this rotten, broken marriage". We all know how well that works. I think he needs to show you how he can help bring the stress levels down in everyone's life so you can happily bring a new family member in. A new dog means puppy classes and sharing the care and feeding of another mouth. Is he willing to do that, or does he just want someone to adore him without question?
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C.C. answers from Fresno on May 03, 2010
OMG. Ok, I had to respond because we used to have boxers. They are sweet dogs, but they are big (so, lots of food = big poops), they drool all the time, and as a breed, they're not the smartest. They also have tons of health issues - ours had heart problems and severe allergies, and both ended up dying of cancer (one at 8 years and one at 10 years). I would estimate that despite having pet health insurance, we still ended up paying an average of $2000/year on their health care. Our male boxer, who was probably the most beautiful boxer you've ever seen (he was a show dog and finished as #2 boxer in the country, so he was supposedly the prime example of what every boxer should be), was absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to train. We went faithfully to many, many dog trainers, and Scooter tried really hard to please us (and loved treats), but the most he could ever accomplish was to learn to sit. I mean, he was such a sweetie, but he was dumber than a box of rocks, poor dog.
So... yeah, if I were you I would really not want to add a dog to an already busy household, but if your husband really insists, I think I'd really look into a different breed. Boxers need a LOT of exercise or they become very destructive, they're expensive, messy, and have health problems. Maybe your husband could be happy with a smaller dog, or a big dog that has fewer "issues." Good luck!!
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D.H. answers from Indianapolis on May 03, 2010
Wow.....well, I'm a dog lover, but also a woman, so I know what you mean about taking care of it. And it's a puppy.......so if it is in the house, you have to potty train it.
I think you need to have a talk with him, a nice calm talk. Tell him your concerns, and why you don't want the dog, but also understand, he obviously is feeling this need for some reason. You can tell him that he must take care of the dog, potty training, all of it, the kids around it as well. And then you have to make sure you do what you say!
Come to an agreement on what will happen if he can't take care of the dog...........although, You should NEVER get a dog that you don't intend to keep. They become family and loyal, so being there for them is just like being there for one of the kids in a way.
I'm really mixed here on what to tell you...........If he can take care of the dog, and not put the burden on you, and you know he will, then get the dog.......if he can't or you don't think he can, then tell him why........Obviously with kids, he should be old enough to take care of a dog! And I'm sure as a police officer, especially if any of his friends are in the K-9 area, he's jealous........guess you should be glad he doesn't want a shepherd.......although they are great dogs, and great with kids, they get pretty big.........
Oh, and if he's a cop, that's BS about not getting the dog now making things worse.........I've worked at a Police station, and I know it's stressful, but he must control that..................dogs do provide stress relief, that is true.....they are like a cat to some people.
Good Luck and it might be a fun thing for the kids as well as the hubby as far as all playing together with the puppy...........
Take care. Let us know what happens.
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R.J. answers from San Diego on May 03, 2010
How OLD is you DH? 3???
What a pathetic excuse, "I'm losing my temper on you because I don't have a dog" ?????? Seriously? Who is he kidding with THAT line?
No really, you deserve it (rolls eyes). Wait wait... lets look up every kind of manipulative blame shifting possible and THEN I'll roll my eyes. Can we squeeze "walked into a door" in there somewhere?
Honey, keep you chin up and your chutzpah wrapped around you like a shield. You're going to need it.
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H.W. answers from Norfolk on May 04, 2010
As a dog lover, I don't think that now is the right time for you to get a dog. It sounds like you have your hands full as it is. It also sounds like you've likely never really experienced the wonderful relationship that a dog can bring. That said, I don't think that you will have the time necessary to invest into forming that relationship now. Dogs that don't receive the proper amount of attention are neglected, which can often lead to cages and biting. Dogs are very different than cats. Cats sort of take care of themselves. Sure, you have to clean their litter boxes and feed them, but they are not nearly as much work as dogs. Honestly, I really don't think either one of you has the time right now to invest in a dog. When you are ready, please don't buy one. There are plenty of wonderful animals up for adoption at shelters all over the country...many of which will die because they aren't adopted in time.
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V.W. answers from Jacksonville on May 03, 2010
What are his reasons for wanting to get the dog? I mean, have him sit down and write a LIST of the reasons he wants to get a dog. Is it a particular dog he wants? Does someone suddenly have a pup available and he has the "fever" because there is one available? Or is this some long standing desire he has had? WHY?
Does he need more companionship? Does he think your home needs a new member? Is he ready to commit to caring for a living creature (that needs love and affection and care and provision and vet appointments and babysitting when you travel) for the next 12 years or so? Does he have any realistic idea of how much time and effort will be required to proper raise and care for a dog?
I agree that getting a dog that is already past the puppy stages is harder to grow into part of your family and mold into the well trained companion you would want to have... but it isn't THAT much harder.... why didn't it work the first go round? Did he not step up and do the necessary work for the dog to understand it's role in the family?
We have a 6 yr old german shepherd that we have had since she was 10 weeks old. She has grown up with our kids, in the house, as a member of our family. We are just getting over a recent health scare with her (I mean.. we spent $800 on her in the past 10 days including a weekend of inpatient treatment at the vet on IV's and 4 dif medications due to sudden swelling, seizures, unable to walk/stand/sit, etc). We STILL don't know what happened, but our entire family was in mourning, because we thought she was about to die. It was horrible. She is back home now and you wouldn't even know she had been ill (except she is still on lots of meds). But it was agony trying to decide what to do during her worst moments. If you take a puppy into your home, that is the kind of love and care that your pet should have available to it (not necessarily the $ part, but realizing that they are living creatures with dignity, honor, loyalty and love for their families). They are not disposable. Does your husband realize all of that? Is he able to make that kind of commitment?
I agree with a previous poster who said it sounds like he is trying to fill a void in his life. Perhaps even in your relationship as husband and wife. If you do end up getting a puppy, maybe you could insist he trade off getting rid of some of the other pets... That is a LOT for a working mom of 2 kids to manage. And we all know, that moms bear the brunt of it... right down to dragging in the bags of chow, and letting them out to use the bathroom, cleaning up when they vomit or have a bout of diarhea, etc... they are just like kids. And Dad's tend to (not always, but usually) "let" those things be mom's domain.
I would definitely explore his stated reasons... not just... "I always wanted one." Gee, I always wanted a horse, but guess what...... I can't afford one. Don't have the space or the time for one. And it just isn't going to ever happen for me.
L.M. answers from Norfolk on May 04, 2010
To say "No" is to take on a role and responsibility you don't want. You want to be a wife to your spouse, not a mother, and you want him to assume ownership over himself and his emotions, not dump them at your feet because you are "ruling the roost." I read that you had a calm discussion with your husband about the situation and you perhaps gained perspective. I think you should have another conversation where you suspend your emotions on the subject and talk pure logistics. Budget: Can you afford this? Will you have to make cuts? What would those cuts be? Could you afford help, like a weekly housekeeper, to help take other burdens off of you? If you approach the subject as if you are in favor, simply focus on the hows of making it happen, I have found it an effective way of dealing with my own husband when he gets.... childish about some of his wants and demands. More often that not, I can reason him back from unreasonable demands by keeping my cool. Not 100%, but it's worth trying. Good luck!
L.D. answers from Las Vegas on May 03, 2010
Getting a dog is like getting another child. I completely agree with you that you already have enough on your plate; why add another burden? I'm concerned about your huband's using the dog to retionalize why he loses his temper. Possibly the dog is symbolic of some deeper underlying issue . . .??? Maybe some couples counseling can help you come to a better understanding of each other and help give you the tools to work out some effective compromising or win-win strategies.
Wishing you all the best.