Dear Dog

Updated on October 18, 2013
B.W. asks from Saint Paul, MN
20 answers

So, I have a delima with our dog...She's a sweet, 9 year old Beagle that wouldn't hurt a fly but yet I have grown to dislike her more and more every day. First of all, I'm allergic. I haven't always been allergic, the older I get and more kids I have the more allergic I become. So basically, I don't ever touch her and I won't let her on any of the furniture. She's potty trained but over the last 5 or so years she has made it acceptable to pee on the rug whenever she sees fit and if she gets the chance to go into the basement she will poop. We let her out regularly and have had her to see the vet, she has no issues. But of course this behavior has led me to resent her more. I've tried talking with my husband and he doesn't understabd my allergy (I take singulair daily to keep it at bay) he let's the dog on the furniture and our bed! I've tried to ask him if we can find another family for her and he won't. We don't walk her, we don't play with her, my kids are too young to care but he thinks that if we give her away that we will be "breaking the commitment" we made to her. My logic is that we should honor our commitment to her by giving her a better life with someone else. I can't convince him. The dog is really a burden on us...whenever we leave town and have to find someone to leave her with, no one wants her because they have to potty her on a leash if they don't have a fenced yard. She has anxiety in the car and pants the whole trip which is sometimes 8 hours to my home state. Hubby won't let me kennel her during the day or night so that she won't pee all over because he says that she's too old and he feels that would be mean to do that to her. I'm about to deliver our 3rd baby and I really don't know what to do. Some days I get so mad at the situation that I want to give her to someone else and not tell my hubby until she's gone. I'm not looking for people to tell me that I'm being a horrible person, I need positive comments that can lead to a resolution. She really is a sweet dog that would do so well with a family that would just love her more and I'm sure we wouldn't have a problem finding's getting my husband on board that I'm having a problem with. Help!

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answers from Minneapolis on

She needs a new home. I'm going to guess that the reason she potties all over the house is because she feels how much you resent her/don't like her, which just makes you resent her/not like her more.

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answers from Chicago on

I'm sorry, but I have to side with your husband. You did make a commitment to this dog. She is 9 yrs old, and probably only has a few years left to live. You are not going to find anyone who will want a 9 yr old dog who potties in the house. I think you're going to have to suck it up and deal with it.

Having said that, your husband needs to do more for her. He's not allergic, so he should be spending time with her. She needs to be walked, played with, and loved on. Poor little thing!

We have a 3 yr old cat that I wish we'd never gotten. She is feisty, and bites a lot, she scratches up the furniture and carpet (anything but her scratching posts), and pukes at least 1-2 times per week. But despite everything, I would not think of getting rid of her. We made a commitment, and we have to stand by it.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

This is going to sound terrible but I would seriously considering euthanizing her. At her age it's going to be tough to re-home her, and if you guys are the only family she has ever known can you imagine how hard and confusing it will be for her? It makes me sad just to think about it.

I say this as someone who is crazy about my own dog, after YEARS of being a dog free family due to allergies and other health issues.

I would draw some serious boundaries with my husband. In other words, I would tell him in no uncertain terms that I will NOT continue to live in this fashion. The dog is going or the kids and me are going. I can't believe he expects his pregnant wife to deal with dog allergies and an unstimulated, not-properly-cared-for, demanding beagle. That is just nuts. As much as I love animals the people in the family have to come first.

Again, nice but firm. I would let him know that I am teetering on the edge of taking drastic action. And I would mean it.


ETA: The other thing I might do is contact a beagle rescue in your area. But again, I think it will be hard for her at her age. :(

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Your husband needs to wake up. He says there is a commitment, but as you said, you don't walk her, you don't play with her, you resent her, you're allergic. If HE will not walk her and play with her, she needs a family that will. If you find a loving home (with the vet's help, or a beagle rescue or something to really find a good home) you WILL be honoring the commitment you made to her - because currently, the commitment isn't being honored, really. The dog needs a family that REALLY wants it, not just a "we made a decision but aren't really into it" commitment. You're doing the right thing by finding a new home for her.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

your husband is a piece of work, talking about 'honoring commitments' when he does nothing of the kind for his dog OR his wife. if he meant it, HE'D be the one cleaning up after the dog, taking the time to train and love on her appropriately, and keeping her out of the areas which set of his WIFE'S allergies.
i suspect your resentment for the beagle is displaced fury at your disrespectful spouse.
beagles are tough. they're high-strung, hard-headed and difficult to train. they're also very, very attached to their people. it will be very difficult to re-home this little lady, what with her age and her various issues.
what a miserable situation.
you really can't get rid of her without telling your husband.
but since your husband's the problem here, i don't know what to tell you. clearly the only logical answer is for him to stop being a wipe, and to take care of his little dog as well as the woman who is about to bear him another child.
and he doesn't seem willing to do that.
i know what I'D do with a man like that.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


Your husband sounds like an A$$. Sorry. But if he wants to "honor his commitment" to the dog? Then he would walk her, play with her, etc. How utterly disrespectful to you to NOT care about your allergies and allowing the dog on the furniture and bed. That would chap my hide and I'd start a fight over that. And my husband and I? We don't fight that often....

And what's with the "LET"??? I'm sorry. I don't ask my husband permission for stuff. We are partners. We talk about things but we don't ask for permission to do something.

Yes, giving up the dog is something you need to talk about. But you don't need permission to do give the dog up.

As to the dog defecating and urinating on the floor? that's her way of communicating with you. You have allowed it to continue, so she's communicating her displeasure with the situation - especially if she's been seen by a vet and there are no medical reasons for her to not be able to hold it...

You need to COMMUNICATE with your husband. Tell him that the dog needs to go - she is NOT getting the commitment from her that she DESERVES...walked - sorry - but EVERY dog deserves a walk a day. AT LEAST ONE PER DAY!!!

Call your local shelter and let them know that you have allergies, love the dog but can't handle the allergies - can they help you find a home for her. Then tell your husband that you are seeking out a new home for her.

Good luck!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

oh boy-you got your hands full huh? your dog feels n senses your dislike for a dog rescuer this is what you need to do.
1) have her checked by a vet-her bladder maybe weakening due to age-theres meds for that-fairly cheap.
2) have hubby give dog a bath 2-3xs a week to reduce dander
3)theres travel meds for dogs to relax in car.
4)kenneling leads to more anxiety-
5)heres my vets # ###-###-####-dr.marie louderback-she comes right to your home-her prices are extremly cheap.shes an awesome vet.i wont use anyone else.
6)if you need a dog sitter-for whatever reason-please contact me-im more than willing to help you out-no charge.
7)if you really feel that your at the end of your time with her-put her to sleep-at this age shes really not wouldnt be fair to put her thru more stress,anxiety etc.
8)they do make doggy diapers for dogs in heat,bladder issues etc.
anything i can do to help please let me know...

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Wow. 9 yrs old. Did you get her as a pup? Did you accept the responsibility of being a pet owner? Did things change when you had children? Of course it does but we adapt. Why can't someone from your family walk her, at least interact with her and let her know she is loved? She's a trained dog. Her "accidents" are no " accident" , just like a child..... She's begging for attention.

At 9, she's not got a lot of time left. Yes. You have a lot on your plate. Whatever you do, do NOT adopt ANY pet for your family. IF you choose to rehome.....Yes, your children will realize that this dog is bothersome to you now and you fixed things by getting rid if her, even possibly behind their backs. What message does that send to your children??

I do believe in commitment and responsibility for pets and I rarely think it's ok to rehome a pet.

I say this as I sit here on night #2 with no sleep to come because our beloved toy poodle ( 7 yrs old) is in pain from surgery yesterday and he faces more surgery in the next couple of months. I love this dog like crazy and I would never consider getting rid of him because he's had a couple of health issues that can be fixed. We have 2 other dogs as well. I know my family loves me but I can't describe the feeling if love I had last night ( and now) while he is curled up to me, looking at me for his security. He knows with no doubt that he will be ok and we will ensure that.

If you hate the dog as much as you say, the dog is neglected due to your family being " too busy" then maybe she should be rehomed to a family who will love her as unconditionally as she loves her family.

Too many families get a pet and then all you hear are excuses. You step up to the plate with your responsibilities.

It sounds like your family is not ready for a pet and its dad that this dog is 9 already and will be harder to rehome.

Bless your family

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

It sounds like from your post that you would rather not have her than deal with the issues that come with her. Do you really want a solution or just to be rid of her?

If you want a solution, seek out a trainer. Do some reading on dog behavior. (more than just one magazine article... get several books and read them all the way through).
When you get the house training issues back on track, you need to be focusing on the issue with your husband. MartyMomma is certainly on to something regarding how this dog fits into the relationship between you and your husband. Your husband is disrespecting you and you are blaming the dog. Discuss your allergies with your husband and figure out what the rules for the dog are going to be together. And then you both follow the rules that you made together.

It isn't the dog's fault that you are allergic. And it isn't the dog's fault that your husband allows her things that you don't.

At our house, the rule is that the dog isn't allowed on any of the furniture, period, and it has nothing to do with allergies. It has been that way since day one, when she was 9 weeks old and came to live in our home as part of our family. What have the rules been for your dog? Was there ever a time you allowed her on the furniture, or is this new that your husband is allowing it? If it's new, why is he doing it now? Does he think she is old and needs the comfort of a softer place to lie down? They make therapeutic beds for dogs. Even memory foam beds for them. If she is arthritic there are meds that can help. And exercise can help, too.

I'm not sure how long beagles typically live, but I would think that she might have many years left if her health is otherwise good. But 9 is still too old that many people are going to have any interest in adopting her. She is old. That means uncertainty about life and quality of life going forward into the immediate future, and that can be expensive, too. People are not anxious to take that on, they almost always rather get a puppy, or a younger dog (that is maybe 2 or 3 years old that is trained, but still young).

Our dog is 9 1/2. I cannot imagine rehoming her. As wonderful as she is (and she is, no behavior issues whatsoever) she has some health issues. She is absolutely fine on her meds, but she has to take the meds. And the cost adds up. Nobody wants to deal with that. Nor with an elder dog that may soon have issues with arthritis or cataracts or who knows whatever else that happens naturally with age. I do not WANT to rehome her, that is not my point. Only that she is the same age and even with near perfect behavior, if she weren't already part of our family, I would be leary of taking her in from someone else.

Meds are one thing. Pooping and peeing in the house is another. The only person who might ignore that is someone who intends only to toss her out into the back yard and leave her out there. If that is what someone intends from the start, I wish they just wouldn't have a dog. Dogs are social animals. They need their pack, not to be isolated outside.

Check out some books, find a trainer, and address the issues with the dog and your husband. And love that dog. She probably feels like an outcast.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

Whenever there is an issue with a pet, the responses will be very polarizing. Some siding with the animal, others with one person or the other's point of view.

Whether you keep Pooch or not is a decision that must be made between you & your husband. Simply saying "she has to go" is not going to be beneficial to your marriage.

An older dog will have a difficult time finding a family. Breed rescue would be the best way to go if you MUST give her up, but know that they don't always have foster home room available immediately.

Let's say you & your husband cannot come to a concensus on letting her go. There are some things you can do to alleviate the issues that have come up lately.

1. Give Pooch a bath every week, using a mild dog shampo. I breed & raise Rhodesian Ridgebacks. In the last 13 years, we have had anywhere b/t 1 & 7 dogs in the house, plus 5 litters of puppies. And my husband is allergic! He takes an allergy med every day, & keeping the dogs bathed helps aleviate the allergens floating around.

2. Dogs off the furniture is helpful. To be honest, our dogs go on the furniture & it doesn't bother my husband too much (everyone's allergies are different, I realize). But we have a hard rule of no dogs in the bedroom, & clean PJ's before getting into bed, so that the fur & dander is not on the sheets, which are right by his face when sleeping.

3. Do some remedial housebreaking again. Old dogs can learn new manners. I use the "dog in sight" rule... where you are, Pooch is, so she can't escape & mess somewhere else. Make sure she is pottied on a regular schedule, so that she doesn't feel the need to urinate in the house.

4. Find a way to enjoy her again. I'm sure there was a time that she was a more honored part of the family. Teach her a new trick, work on basic manners (if lacking), something that bonds you again.

Regarding the crating during the day - if Pooch hasn't been crated before, that is very stressful for a lot of older dogs to adjust to. If she has been crated before, or is now on certain occasions, you can absolutely try it during the day. Dogs sleep (especially hounds) & sleeping in a comfy little crate-den is perfectly fine to them.

If you can't (or she can't ) do crating, then separate her from other areas of the house with child gates in the doorways. Make sure not to limit her to too small of an area. For example, while dogs are quite comfortable in crates, many times they can get claustrophobic, & therefore destructive, in a confined space like a bathroom. Maybe give her the kitchen, with a nice bed to lay on, while you are gone.

Finally, involve the family. If you are having your third child, the other two are probably at an age that they can do SOMETHING. One of them responsible for making sure Pooch is pottied in the morning, or fed breakfast, or always has fresh water. Even if they need your help performing the task, it builds responsibility in your children & gives you an activity to do with them.

Good luck, I hope things can work out. It is so hard on dogs that have only known one family to try to adjust to such a drastic change as a new one. Talk to your husband & find compromises, & work with Pooch to make her adapt to the changing needs of your family.


4 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

You are not horrible at all.
I would not live like this.
Ok, this is going to sound kind of flip but here's what you need to do.

Get rid of your husband.

Your husband has very little regard for your needs and feelings and insists on this situation which is making you unhappy, allergic, and cleaning up after an animal that is equally unhappy.
What sort of man INSISTS that his spouse and family and animal live like this?
You are already mad - get just a bit more mad.
Then sell the dog for $1 to a family that will love a beagle with nary a 'by your leave' from your husband.
What's he likely to do, get mad? Good!
It's about time he feels something about the mess he's caused for you.
Simply REFUSE to live like this anymore and don't cave in to any nonsense.
No more pets PERIOD until you both get some marriage counseling.
If he won't go then you go.
If he's still being an idiot then get a lawyer and divorce him.
Your kids do not need to grow up seeing you be a doormat to the whims of an unreasonable man else they will learn to be just like him.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Your husband won't let you. Who is your husband? Is he your boss? Are you his servant? What about his commitment to the woman he married and mother of his children? He thinks his commitment to a DOG is more important than to you?

You need to stand up for yourself and tell your husband that either he finds a home for the dog or you will. He is being a horse's arse putting that dog on your bed. On your bed!! People with allergies suffer over this stuff. And pregnant to boot!

Find your backbone and don't take anymore bullying from this man! Enough!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

You know what I know you want "positive comments" but some things just can't be sugarcoated. When you got the dog you did make a commitment that you don't get to break just because the animal has become inconvenient. I also think you overestimate how easy it would be to rehome your dog. Most people do NOT want a 9 year old dog that has a history of soiling your home. So unless you lie to prospective adoptive families... I think it will be difficult.

If you want a more pleasant dog that you have a better relationship with then you have to put in the work. Period.

I understand that you have other commitments (like 3 kids) - but frankly you sound like you just want an easy out because you have no intention of putting any effort into this dog. You are neglecting her.

So what to do? I am sure anybody could find 15 - 30 minutes every day to walk the dog. It's healthy for you and the kids as well, everyone gets some fresh air and exercise. Walking is great exercise for pregnant women and to get back into shape after birth and it's easy to do even with 3 kids in tow.
Find another 15 - 30 minutes every day to play with the dog. Get a ball and stand in the yard throwing it. That's all. It's easy. Do it during nap time, teach your kids to throw the ball... whatever you want just do it.
Third get some toys that require the dog use his brain: dog-puzzles, treat filled toys something that he can occupy himself with for a while.
A bored dog is a terrible dog, once you give him something to do he will do much better.

As for the problem with having the dog on the furniture - you just need to get your DH on the same page. With a new infant it would be a good idea to keep the dog restricted to certain areas of the house - get a couple of baby gates and gate off certain areas. Our dog for example spends the majority of her time in our kitchen, which is gated off. We have an open concept, so she can see us and is right next to us when we are in the living room (where we spend most of our time) - but can't eat my daughter Legos. When all the toys are put away she can join us in the living room but is not allowed on the furniture. We keep the doors to the bedrooms closed and the downstairs is gated off.

In general we allow our dog to be where ever we are and such keep an eye on her and if we cannot - she has the kitchen (vinyl floors = easy cleanup).

So... set up your house to make your life with the dog easier and commit to 30 minutes to an hour every day to engage with the animal (your DH should take over some of this) and I bet you will feel a lot better and do right by the poor dog.

Good luck.

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answers from Dallas on

awww....:( can't make my sad face big enough....i'm sorry for you & your sweet dog. maybe you're just emotional right now? did you love your dog before your babies came along or have you always felt this way?
well, i wouldn't say anything to make you feel bad, you don't need that, but i do hope y'all can come up w/something soon. :(
but...i love my little dog, i call her my firstborn lol so i can't relate to how you feel at all
but good luck w/your dog & your new baby! :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

The only part of this I can sympathize with is the allergy issue.

The other issues you describe sound like problems that have developed because your dog is not being cared for properly in the home. You don't say how old your kids are but I would guess that the peeing in the house issues began shortly after your children came along.

I totally get that having kids changes things, but I don't get giving away an animal that you've had in your home for 9 years.

You and your husband seem to be on polar opposite ends of this issue. So either he needs to step up and start participating in the care of the dog more or yes... rehoming her would be a better option than neglecting her. You'll either need to put in some work to try to improve her behaviors or look for a rescue that will take her as in. I think you're incorrect in thinking that finding a home for her as is will be easy. Her age alone will make it harder to find a home.

The whole thing makes me sad. We had a situation with a cat that we adopted. She was just crazy. Really. We had to put her on Prozac for a while because of the things she was doing. There is no way I would have given her away. NO ONE would have put up with her and it would have been the end for her to go someplace else. We made the best of it and cared for her even though she drove us crazy and did things we didn't like. That's what you do when you choose to have an animal. The only difference I see here is the allergy problem.

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answers from Honolulu on

Oh boy.
Hubby pampers dog more than he does for you?

She is 9. Sure she may be "old." But, you are allergic too. Husband does not want to "break the commitment" you/he made to the dog, but what the heck?
What about the commitment to you, as a husband?
HE should be, taking care of the dog. Not just letting it sabotage the house/ you, either.
And the sentence you wrote "my husband doesn't understand my allergy, I take Singulair daily to keep it at bay.... lets the dog on the furniture and our bed...."
Well he is attached to the dog.
Like most pet owners.
But you are allergic.
And the dog is sensing your frustration with it, and no one else in your home, seems to take care of the dog.
I would be irked too.

It is either your health or the dog.
Or, you find a room for the dog that the dog can be in. I have a friend that keeps their dog in its own room. Literally. They had an extra room, ripped out the carpet etc, and made it into a dog "room." Yep, like its own dog hotel. Anyway, that was their solution. BUT the Husband was cooperative and did not try sabotage the house/her, with the dog and its fur/shedding etc.

Then, I have another friend, who, ONLY she takes care of their dog. And NO ONE ELSE, will or does. So she is getting resentful of the dog too. Or rather, resentful toward her family.
The family is over the "honeymoon" period with their new dog. Already.
Real pathetic.

Anyway, a pet deserves to be happy.
And since you have allergies, then perhaps another dog won't even be possible. Or, unless you get those hypoallergenic breeds.

Beagles need a lot of attention.
And your allergy... is getting worse the older you get. And you were not initially allergic at all.
That happens, with many people. I know people like that too. They are now, allergic to things that they never were, previously.

Yes, she can be and would probably be, happier with another great family or couple or even a single person who can devote themselves to her.

There ARE, people who will adopt an older dog.
There are also organizations that will re-home a pet.

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answers from Chicago on

Beagles need a LOT of attention and play time ... I think you need to make changes in your lives and how you approach the dog. If the bowel issues are recent then I am going to assume they are due to the lack of attention. One really good way to play with a dog with out touching is a laser pointer - our dogs LOVE them and it's great play time.

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answers from Salinas on

You make it sound like there's this perfect, loving family right down the street just waiting for you to drop off your 9 year old beagle. You need to think realistically what will happen if you get rid of her.

It's hard for me with relate, I don't have allergies or a husband who would not take something like that seriously. Have you talked to him about the fact that it literally makes you sick to have the dog on furniture or your bed?

I think between you and your husband you should be able to work out a system in which everyone is happy including the dog.

As for the peeing, why don't you ever walk her? Sometimes dogs need a regular walk just to feel good. You may find that if your husband takes her on a short walk in the mornings and evenings she'll get in the habit of going to the bathroom then instead of in your home. Notice I said your husband, if you resent the dog and he wants to keep it he should be the one taking care of it. Help him see he is the one breaking commitments by not walking the dog and allowing her to make you sick.

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answers from Las Vegas on

I am not big on pets and feel your pain. We had two dogs. Our Boston Terrier was our wild dog that was never trained. He was potty trained and that was about it. I was totally against our Rottie, but as it turned out, she loved me most. I loved that dog, but I already had plenty of other work without the needs of a dog.

We had baby gates since day one, so the Rottie never learned how to climb the stairs. She tried later and she was pretty clumsy. In the end, we never had to close them because she new she did not belong up there.

I trained her to stay off the furniture with milk jugs and pennies. Your dog is nine years old, so it probably will never work. They hate the sound of he pennies in the jug, so when they go past the boundaries, you shake the jug. You tie a rope or cord to the jug and rope off an area. Oh ya, you have to talk to the dog and tell them what they did wrong while you shake the pennies. Eventually, they learn that you are going to give them that mean look and shake your jug and they stop.

You are in MN, so I guess an outdoor dog is out of the question. Is there a part of the house that you can designate the dog to? Can you get hubby onboard to give the dog a bath so your allergies are not bothered?

My husband was so upset that I took our dog in to be put down. She was so sick in the end and was 14.5 years old. He felt I should have waited, but she could barely breath and could no longer stand up. Even after explaining how much pain she was in, he still looked upset. I am quite sure if you rehome the dog without his knowledge, you will have a big fight on your hands.

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answers from Cleveland on

We have a dog that I take responsibility for bc my husband does not want him. So it's only fair that I do the work bc I wanted him (and the kids do too). I take pride in the fact that I don't push him on my husband, abide by his "not on our bed" rule and get the dog a lot of exercise so he's not a huge pain. It's a pain for me often to be taking him out in the little bit of free time I have! But I do it. Your husband should too if he wants the dog. Tell him it's his choice - step up or get rid of the dog. Having said that, our dog is a bit younger but if we had to get rid of him, I would put him down vs rehome him unless we got lucky that friends he knew wanted him. Euthanizing is so quick and painless. The dog never knows. A dog does know that you've all disppeared though and he doens't know why and I think that's way more cruel. I never would want our dog wondering what happened and being sad. And if your kids are really young, I dont' think it has to be a lesson in not fulfilling obligations. We had a dog as a kid that had mental problems. My parents put her down. I was about 7. I did cry but I got over it and even at that age I understood they couldn't have her constantly pooping in the house minutes after we got her home bc she was pulling like mad to get back home. So if your kids are young, I think you can say he wasn't well and it was time for him to go to heaven. It's stretching the truth but she does sound like she has some issues. I love dogs so much but realistically, they are dogs. They shouldn't rule our lives unless you want them to (like I let our dog do bc I just love him so much :)

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