Feeling Really Guilty Should I?

Updated on January 06, 2009
B.C. asks from Valley Cottage, NY
44 answers

I had the brilliant idea of giving into my 5yr old's request to get a dog for christmas. Midway I changed my mind but my husband thought we should get the dog for our girls. Well it's been a week now and my life has changed drastically and I don't want to continue this way. I am a career women with a very demanding career two little girls ages 5 and 2. I now have to get up almost half an hour earlier to walk the dog, come back feed the dog, feed my girls, get them dressed, do their hairs, get myself dressed and then take the dog out again before I leave for work, pre-k and daycare. My husband is on his way out the door to work when I am getting up so he is of no help in the AM. In the evening I come home and my husband who is usually doing homework time with the girls must walk the dog immediately after. We have to feed it and then walk it again before bed. Today on what should have been a late morning for me by late I mean 7:30, 8ish I was up at 6:30am to walk the dog. I have a very small apartment were moving this summer thank god and this dog is taking up space we really don't have. Did I mention this dog is a puppy and we are training this puppy. By my count I haved wiped up more pee and poop on the floor and carpetthan I really want to admit to. I am feeling really stressed out about this and just want to sell the dog we paid too much money to just give it away after only a week. My question is right now I feel really guilty about selling the dog I know for sure my 2yr old loves the dog but honestly this is just too much of a sacrifice for me. Am I being selfish and inpatient or am I doing the right thing by removing this stressor from our lives. I also know that if we sell the dog I will have to lie to my daughters about why the dog had to go. Any input would be greatly appreciated. I really need some advice on this situation.

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So What Happened?

First let me say that all of your answers were very helpful and really helped me gain some perspective. I was amazed to find out that I wasn't the only one who was going through this kind of situation. Long story short were keeping "coco". My 5yr old who goes to speech therapy opened up to the speech pathologist and told her in between sobs how much she did not want mommy to send coco back to Santa. So were keeping her, my husband has promised to pitch in more and thanks to your advice I have assigned coco duties to my five year old. She will fill the water dish, give her snacks, and brush her every other day. My husband will perform one of the early am walks and I have a dog walker during the afternoon while were away at work. I am now trying very hard to see her COCO has part of the family. My daughter's have come to love her so too will I in time.

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A.D.

answers from New York on

Hi B., I am sorry you are in this position as many others have found themselves right after Christmas. A puppy is a big undertaking and committment. I guess you never had experience with a pet. I would say, even thought the children will be unhappy if you cannot keep up this pace and see it through you should find someone else to take the puppy. Get in touch with where you bought it so they can find a home soon. You do not want to be totally resentful of the little dog. Truly you should wait until the children are old enough to help care for a pet, not that they really ever do. You could start with a gerbil or something that does not have to be walked. I hope this helps, Grandma Mary

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B.C.

answers from New York on

It will get better I promise. I went through this for about a month and then it all works itself out. After that the dog will become part of the family:) I work full time single mom so I understand life gets crazy. As they get older it's a great way to teach the kids responsibilty by helping with the dog. Taking it away at this point could be very tramatic for them if they have already bonded with the dog.

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J.G.

answers from New York on

To be honest, it seems like you are being a little impatient. I would give it some time and see if it gets better. Once he's trained he should be fine.

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D.

answers from New York on

No offense, but people like you really make me angry. Having a pet looks good on paper, but then they get the animal home and don't realize how much work it is. It's like having another child. No offense but you made a commitment to this animal, and now that you realize what it takes you want to back out of your obligation. Not only are your girls inlove with this dog, but this dog is inlove with your girls. You can't expect a puppy to be housebroken in a week. It can take months to do that. By agreeing to take in this animal you were agreeing to all that having this dog involves. And now, because you can't handle what it takes to care for this pet, it's going to end up in some shelter most likely, or worse. Our shelters are already full of animals who come from homes like yours. Millions are killed annually for the same reasons. You did yourself and your family a huge disservice by agreeing to this and now this animal will be the one to suffer. Is that his fault...no. You made a commitment to this creature. You should follow it through.

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A.G.

answers from New York on

If you bought the dog from a good breeder contact the breeder and tell them the problem. They may offer to refund all or most of the cost and find the dog a home that wants it. If you bought it from a pet store they may have a "return" policy to. You sound like you already resent the dog and that won't improve any time soon. A puppy is almost as much work as a new baby and you have your hands full. They also need shots, "fixing", flea and tick meds, heart worm preventative and LOTS OF TLC, time, walking and care. As for the girls be honest with them and tell them you just couldn't handle the puppy. Honesty is the best policy. Assure them when they are older and can help with a dog you will get another one. Until then find the dog a new loving home after contacting the breeder or store yuo got it from. A.

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L.P.

answers from New York on

If you never owned a puppy before, you probably didn't know what you were in for...so I don't blame you at all. Small apartments and puppies are a recipe for disaster.
It gets better eventually, so, since you say that you'll be moving to larger quarters next summer, how about having someone "foster" your dog (like they do with the dogs for the blind)for a few months, until you guys are ready for it. There are many people that seem to prefer puppies to grown dogs. I'm sure it won't be too difficult to find a foster family if you pay the dog expenses, such as vet bills and food, during that period. Then you can tell your daughters that they'll have the puppy back after you move to the new place, where the puppy will be happier.

Otherwise, if you really want to give him away, don't tell your daughters that the dog HAS to go. Tell them that he WANTS and NEEDS to go because he prefers large spaces and live in the country and run around all day and that he doesn't like small apartments and that that's why he's going to the bathroom in the wrong places. Don't make it YOUR decision but HIS, and they might accept the inevitable without trauma.

You tried, IMO, that's what counts. Good luck!

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L.B.

answers from New York on

You have no idea what having a dog means. You should have held out until you had a home - it would have been easier. It sounds to me like the dog would be better off somewhere else. I hate to see people screwing up a puppy like this. I adopted a dog who had several homes and it took me 3 months to get it to calm down because of people like you.
Give it to a puppy friendly home where they will have the time to care and train a new puupy.

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R.G.

answers from New York on

Ok...I feel your pain because I too have been wrestling with the idea of getting a puppy for my children 4/7/and 10...But I just cant come to terms with all the responsibility and the severe lifestyle change that comes with adding this "child" to the family. I am waiting until my oldest child can do all the dog duties by himself. I really dont want to be walking, training, picking up steaming poop anytime soon. He wants a dog sooooooo bad and I said when he is 8th grade we will be able to get because that is when I got my dog and by then I think he can handle all that comes with dog care. That is is 2 1/2 years and we can wait. We are tempted, at times, to cave in, but reason sets in and we don't succumb. If you really want my opinion... I think your instincts are correct and that you should sell the puppy, and just wait a few more years like 5 or six. If you are stressed out all the time from doggy duty that doesnt translate very well to happy mommy. Good Luck -R. HG

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M.B.

answers from New York on

if you do get rid of the dog, please please please DO NOT LIE ABOUT IT. When the girls get older and find out you lied (and they will find out) they will feel betrayed. Please just make it as positive an experience as you can, let them know the dog is going to a good home so they will be confident about letting go.

Having small children AND a puppy is incredibly hard (I know, I have done it) but I do not work outside the home. If I worked full time, forget it. I wouldn't have the time for a dog.

I always suggest to people who think they want a dog to borrow one for a while (a week or so) to see what it's really like to take care of one. If someone has never had a dog before, chances are they have no clue how much is really involved in the care of the animal. My mother is a perfect example, she said she wanted a dog after her beloved cat of 19 years passed away. She did indeed "borrowed" a dog, her landlord's dog. After having this dog around for a few weeks, she realized she didn't want to have that much work for herself and never got one. My sister, OTOH, did not "borrow" a dog, and ended up re-homing hers after it was already attached to her family, which I am sure was confusing to the poor dog!

I don't blame you for wanting the best for yourself & your family, just please don't forget about the dog's feelings too. If you're going to re-home it, do it as quickly as possible before it's really attached to your family.

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S.H.

answers from Albany on

It doesn't make sense to keep a dog if you don't have time to look after it. It's a living being with feelings and it sounds like it's alone all day while you're all working. I would write it off as a bad mistake in your situation. Give the dog away if necessary. Money isn't everything when you're talking about a living thing. The sooner you find the puppy a home the better so it will grow up properly and still be able to trust its owner. A dog is a pack animal and needs to be around people or other dogs, not left alone. Of course a puppy is going to pee inside with no one around on a regular basis to train it. The children will get over it soon enough. An older, trained dog might be an alternative in the future when you're not so stressed and live in a bigger place. In the meantime, consider hiring someone to come in during the day to walk the puppy. It's far too much time for someone with a small bladder to hold it from morning till late afternoon. Dogs do not like to have their pen or kennel soiled.

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S.P.

answers from New York on

Have you discussed this with your husband? It sounds to me as though he's the one who insisted or talked you into this, and so maybe he should be helping, at least with, say the morning walk. If he knows how stressful this is for you, perhaps he would make the effort to help?
A week is a very short period of time. While it is true that the sooner the better would apply, if you must give the dog away, EVERYONE is overstressed during the holidays! The pup will settle down.
Puppies and kittens are crazy, I know, but the benefits of having pets, especially for children, can't be measured. Among other things, practically speaking, having a pet around when a child is quite young greatly reduces the risk of developing pet allergies later.
Don't lie to your kids, anyway. That just doesn't seem right.
I wish you the best.

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R.C.

answers from New York on

If you are feeling so strongly about selling the puppy, then do so especially if you are going to resent this pet....but don't lie to the children about it as that will prolong the guilt for you and lieing isn't good for children to learn.
Simply tell them that it has sadly turned out that Mom and Dad made a huge mistake....and are way-way to busy to give this puppy the care it needs now and perhaps when they get a lot older you'll consider getting them a dog then..but right now it's just not fear to the puppy to keep him. They might carry on thoughout the process and mourn the loss once the dog it's gone...so you'll need give the children the support to help them through this. They will adjust.

I had a dog for 15 years...got her at 10 weeks old....At times I had felt, what the hell was I thinking...but she won my heart....I spent a lot of time getting her trained well, watched her grow old.....everything I did for 15 years was around her care and safety and at the end, I painfully had to put her down due to old age and her illness...All those years, although I enjoyed her company, none of it came easy and I think I could have sent a child to college on what this dog cost me over the years. Yeah, She was a pain in the butt but I loved her, she was good company and now find myself missing her....but WOULD I DO IT All AGAIN...hell no.
But know when you take on a pet, it's like having another child in the house...lots of work but they give such pleasure. A dog is a great pet for children to grow up with so that's something to consider as well...

Maybe if you keep the dog, Ask your husband for more help in the training of this animal. Dogs need to be socialized and exercised with other dogs so they learn to become gentle in play...so ask him to take the dog to training classes in your area either in the evening or sometime over the weekend. You might want to get a sitter for the children and go with him...get involved, so you'll learn how to deal with the dog not only better but might even end up loving him/her.
You might also ask your husband to walk the dog before he leaves the house in the morning so it's not a rush for you to do so when you are first waking up in the mornings.....

Don't keep the dog out of guilt as you will only resent the animal more and more...also don't hang onto the guilt for to long...we all make mistakes...

Good luck with what ever you decide....

D.D.

answers from New York on

I kind of have mixed feelings on this subject because I'm a foster mom to feral kittens and abondoned cats. I currently have 2 lovable house cats that were dumped on a farm because some stupid person thought hey it's a farm and they'll live on mice. Nope instead they almost starved to death.

You couldn't have possible thought that a puppy would be house broken in a week or wouldn't have had any impact on your life so you need to stop thinking short term and think long term. Short term you can confine the puppy to a dog crate when you are gone so accidents won't take over your house. Between you and your hubby you can work out walks, child care and pet care. You got the dog as a companion and friend for your kids so let the 5 yr old pitch in a little with feeding or filling the water bowl.

This time of the year the shelters are filled with wonderful christmas presents like your puppy who were adopted by people who loved the idea of having a dog but didn't want the commitment. Don't let your puppy end up being put to death or given to someone who will sell it to medical research because you aren't willing to do a little additional work.

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J.D.

answers from New York on

I feel your stress and can completely empathize!! You already received a lot of great advice about training and caring for the puppy. I want to tell u 2 similar experiences I had.
When my daughter was in 2nd grade we got a cat from a shelter. The training part was definately not as tough as what u are going thru, but the cleaning was exhausting! After a yr, the cat stopped using the litter box. By this time were in love with the cat, Suzy, and tried EVERYTHING. Everyone said, cats are easy, that never happens, u did something wrong, etc. We spent so much $$ bringing the cat to the vet getting medical tests, she was prescribed anti-anxiety drugs (I was ready to take them at that point!), and even, as much as I am embarrassed to admit, a pet psych. but nothing helped. Also, I found out I was allergic to cats and had difficulty breathing. After 2 yrs of living like this, I had no choice but to call the animal shelter and give back the cat. Even the vet said we tried everything and we couldn't live that way. It was hard on my daughter, but call it a life experience.

The 2nd experience is my neighbor, single, found a poodle puppy and said she can only keep it if someone helps her with it. Well, guess who said yes and regretted it! All the above problems you had, I had, and it wasn't even my dog! It never got better (but all dogs are different) and after a year, I told her I just cud't help anymore. I had already removed my carpeting from the cat, and now I had to cover my rugs in plastic for someone else's dog, was waking up at the crack of dawn to walk him when she went out for the night, and sometimes cancelled plans for the dog. I told her she was just going to have to pay a professional dog sitter cuz I wasn't cutting it. I learned the power of NO the hard way, more than once.

Good luck in whatever decision you made. Your emotional health and stress levels are just as important as the puppy!
A happy and healthy New Year to you and your family!
J.

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K.M.

answers from Syracuse on

I am completely shocked at the number of people who are telling you to just give up on this puppy and get rid of it. Why don't you try to crate, and litter train the puppy. It will be easier then walking him on cold mornings. Litter training is sooo easy. You can look it up online for advice on how to do it. In the mean time, tell your husband he needs to help too. It was also his decision to get a puppy! Don't make your 5 yr old clean up poo like someone suggested. Instead have her feed and water him. She will feel important and included. Good luck. Puppies are work, but they are all worth it in the end.

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C.H.

answers from New York on

Having a dog is a huge adjustment for the entire family, but probably mostly for you as the mom who will be the primary care giver to this pet. We got our dog 2 years ago. He was 7 weeks old when we brought him home and I had to have him out the door almost every 2 hours during the day until he was potty trained. Those first few months were terrible, but after he was trained things got much better. Also, the older he got, the longer period of time that I could leave him alone to do the things I needed to do. I, however, am a stay-at-home mom, and my children are a little older than yours and could be somewhat more involved in our dog's care, especially giving him exercise which definitely makes him happier and calmer in the house. That being said, a dog is like a child that never grows up--they are and will always be completely dependent on you. We found that we had to adjust our lifestyles because you couldn't just go away for a day trip or vacation without having someone to take care of the dog. If you can deal with all of these things (especially getting through the potty training phase) then the unconditional love that you and your family will receive from having this pet in your lives is absolutely worth it. If you feel that this is too stressful, then you may need to consider giving the puppy away. I don't envy your decision, but know that having a dog does get better after the puppy phase. Good luck!

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D.R.

answers from New York on

Hi B.,
I just want to start by saying it gets better! It really does. Keep up the training and it will all work out. Do you crate your dog? This helps a ton with "Potty training" your puppy. It sounds like you have a good routine with the dog and if you continue with that he/she will be trained quickly and your life will go back to normal. I have 2 dogs and 17 month old twins and although it was hard in the beginning it does get better and easier. One of the dogs was a puppy when I was pregnant so when they were born she was still a little one, but I survived. In my opinion you should not get rid of the puppy. Your kids will be devistated and you would have to lie to them which you are not happy about. Dogs are a huge responsibility and I feel that since you chose to get the dog you have to stick with it. It's really not fair to the puppy to give it away. There are sooo many puppies that are purchased for x-mas and then given away or sold b//c people weren't ready for the commitment. Many puppies end up in the pound and are then put to sleep. Very sad. Please trust me when I tell you it gets better. And if you don't have a crate, look into getting one. It makes it SO much easier to train the puppy and they like being in them. BOth of my dogs (now 7 and 2) sleep in their crates as their own choice. They go in there when they need some space or want to cuddle up with thier blankets. My husband wanted to get rid of our youngest dog when it became tough. It was his first time having a puppy (And was urprised byt the time and energy that she took) I insisted that we keep her. We are both so grateful now that we stuck it out b/c she is a great dog and is our babies best friend. They love her to death and she loves them back equally. I hope I have offered you some insight and relief. It will get better, I promise...please stick it out.
Danielle

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V.M.

answers from New York on

I think you need to be honest and have a frank talk with your whole family. Everyone wanted the dog and everyone needs to help take care of the dog. A five year old can clean up puppy accidents and take the dog outside. A two year old can put food and water into dog bowls. Your husband is surely old enough to help far more with the dog than he is. Tell them you can't take care of the dog alone and it goes if you have to. Then make a chart of what has to be done and make sure everyone's name is on it! Hubby may get up early, but dogs can go out early just as well as later! Be firm now or you will resent this dog instead of enjoying a wonderful pet. Be firm! and remember, you can "remind" the family of their dog chores but DO NOT DO them or you'll be back where you started.

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P.K.

answers from New York on

Like I told my friend with three boys and a newborn girl.
"What were you thinking." Did not work. Dog had to go.
That being said, I just had to suddenly put my beautiful
English Springer Spaniel to sleep. Found out on a Monday
she had cancer and by Friday, was have a lot of trouble
breathing. We chose the humane way. Did not want her
last few days to be so bad.

I can't imagine working, living in an apartment with
two little ones and having a puppy. When my kids were
2, 3, and 4. I did the same, got a puppy. I was putting
the puppy in diaper and walking the 2 yo LOL. The
puppy went back after three days, but she was free.

Tough decision. Dogs give so much back. Are you
crate training him. That seems to work well. Maybe
someone to walk him during the day until you move
into your house.

I don't envy you. You are in a tough spot. If you do
give up the dog, the kids will be fine. Good luck.

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D.S.

answers from New York on

Dear B.,

I am probably not going to make you feel better with my story but I will share it anyway. My son was 6 and got a puppy from Santa. May I say the puppy from HELL!!! We had him for about four months and in that time he chewed all of my brand new furniture, my carpets were ruined, he would pee and poop on the bedspreads etc. I was not a working mom and I still wanted to jump out the window. This dog was impossible for us to train. I tried everything he would go out for a walk come in and pee on the carpet right in front of us. We had just completely renovated my house so everything was new and this dog was destroying it all. My daughter was 2 also and not quite as attached but my son was in love with this dog. After about 4 months or so I called my husband and said this dog has to go. We talked with my son and although he was upset he didn't put up a fuss so my husband found him a home with a coworker who had 5 dogs and didn't seem to care that the dog was out of control. My son went to school and cried to his teacher that him mom and dad gave away his dog and he was hysterical at school. I was called in by the teacher and explained the situation. I felt horrible that we did this to him. Of course in time he got over it but I felt like I created his heartache and felt terrible guilt. I might add my mother-in-law was living with us with terminal cancer so I did have a lot on my plate and we thought the dog would be a good distraction. I know how you feel about the extra commitment it is much more work then I anticipated. When both of my kids were older we got another puppy and they were both old enough to help so all was forgiven. I guess before your kids become more attached and if you can't really handle it you should make your decision quickly but I am warning you it will not be easy. Sorry if I didn't help but I just thought I would share my reality. Good luck!!

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L.L.

answers from New York on

I hear ya sister. I adopted a shelter dog a few years ago who was fully grown, but had a terrible life previous to us, so I had to train him myself. It took a few months of LOTS of cleaning and scrubbing up after him, but in the end, it was totally worth it. He's passed away now unfortunately, but he was the light of our lives while he was with us. Personally, I would stick it out. You will all adjust to the new schedule while training, and as the dog gets older, things will get easier. I think you're going to feel terrible by lying to the kids once the dog is gone. Puppies are definitely hard work! But get the kids to pitch in with cleaning up after him, and it will teach them good work ethic! :)
Sorry you're so stressed out, but try to make the most of it if you can! The right dog can be the best companion for your kids. Our dog had become so special to us, I don't think he can ever be replaced.
Good luck in your decision.
Lynsey
PS- what kind of dog is he?

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M.W.

answers from New York on

My husband want to get a dog also for the kids (2, 3, & 13 yo) for Christmas. I'm also a working mother with no other time for more responsibilities. My husband said he would help but he also leaves earlier and comes home later. Reading your story really helped me feel better about my decision about saying "NO". Thank you!
My advise to you is to sell the dog. Your children are still young. Make up an excuse like the puppy needed a new home, something bigger and bigger yard. When they are older then maybe try again.

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P.C.

answers from New York on

You're feeling stressed and sleep-deprived, which in turn is making you feel impatient. It's hard to add a puppy to your schedule any time, but even harder with all the extras that the holidays bring. Selfish, no, you're just in need of some relief. Just like with babies, it does get easier with time. Your husband was part of the decision to get the dog, so he needs to be more a part of caring for it. Your 5 year old can help feed the dog and can take it outside if you have a fenced-in yard. We have a fantastic trainer who lives in Clark who can help train your puppy and at the same time give you great advice on how to cope with your situation. Her name is Emma Court; her number is ###-###-####.

I have 4 dogs, 2 of my own and 2 my son adopted who spend a lot of time with me. I get the food bowls for the next meal ready as soon as they're empty and put them safely away in a pantry. Definitely get a crate -- it will help both you and your puppy. We have a much older dog who has the same accidents, and the crate keeps the messes to a minimum. With the crate you can establish a routine. The puppy comes out of the crate and goes right outside, preferably on a leash, to pee or poop. When he does this he gets lots of praise and gets to stay out of the crate for a little bit. If he doesn't need to go, then he goes right back in the crate for a while.

You don't say what you are doing with your puppy while everyone is at work. If it's several hours, then you also need to get a pet sitter to come in and give your puppy some relief. You can't expect him to "hold it" for 6 hours.

Puppies also pee when they're excited so you will have accidents. You can stock up on the "wee wee" pads at the pet store. I also recommend "Urine Gone" which you can get online at urinegone.com. It's been the best product for us. Easy to use -- just spray and leave it to dry.

If you decide not to keep your puppy, find a rescue group or good shelter to give if to. Don't just sell it to anyone -- there are too many bad people out there looking for a desperate person to buy a dog from. Be honest with your children about your decision. they will find out if you lied and not trust you for a long time. It's ok to admit you took on more than you can handle right now. You could try a smaller pet once you have moved -- a guinea pig or hamster, for example. However, I hope you can find a way to keep your puppy. A dog gives so much unconditional love. They are worth the effort. Read "Marley & Me" or see the movie. Good luck.

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T.G.

answers from New York on

B.,
You've had many very good and true responses. I support them all. Many families don't realize the amount of work and responsibility it takes to properly care for puppies/dogs. Unfortunately, if the right care/training is not provided, many become uncontrollable nuisances or possibly dangerous. Having raised & trained about 6 family dogs, and coming from a corporate career, I truly appreciate and respect your dilemma.
So, I can't stress enough the importance of WANTing to do what's needed to properly train your puppy to become a civilized & well-adjusted part of your family. The payback is they DO become valuable family members, the cost is it takes LOTS of time, commitment and desire. If it's too stressful or too much work for you now, then it's probably best to find a home that can provide proper care and raising. It's not fair to the puppy to do otherwise or to resent him/her. If you decide to keep your puppy, know you'll be in for the long haul (and as moms, we're the primary care-takers). If you decide to give up your pup, I hope you'll seek a good, loving home that can give the required attention. I agree about being truthful to your girls - help them understand the responsibilities around raising pets. My thoughts and best wishes are with you whatever you decide.

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S.K.

answers from New York on

My first question is what breed it is and how old is it?
Many different breeds mature slowly, and thus will take longer to potty train. I would guess once you have the potty training well udnerhand the stress will calm down and it will become easier to have the dog.
Your hubby is leaving as you're waking up, he should be taking the dog out when he wakes up. Dogs need to potty within 20 minutes of arousing from sleep, so when he's up and running around the house to leave, the clock is counting down on the walk for the puppy.
Do you have a crate for the dog? Get a crate that fits the dog (just big enough for him to turn around in) and put down a small blanket or towel. Put the pup in it at night and for short periods of time during the day to get used to it. If he cries too much, cover the crate with a towel so he can't see you.

Good luck!

C.B.

answers from New York on

First, please be honest with your kids why the dog can't stay. Someday your kids will have to realize the reality, no reason they can't now. To you and everyone reading, pets are work, dogs the most. Don't make the choice to be a pet owner lightly. Too many animals die because folks just don't have time and energy. Best of luck with a sale.

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H.G.

answers from New York on

I would call the person you bought the dog from, and see if there's any chance to sell the pup back. Good breeders want the dogs back, if they can't be taken care of. And consider getting an older dog for your kids. A low key dog, like a Labrador Retriever (over the age of 4, though!) will be much easier on all of you. And it will still give the kids that pup they want.

A puppy is too hard, in your situation! You shouldn't feel guilty, but if you can't get the breeder to buy the dog- then I wouldn't just sell it to just anybody who'll pay. Unless you know the buyer really well, consider giving the puppy to a really good rescue group. They'll make sure the new owner is a good one!

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R.H.

answers from New York on

Oh wow!!! When you first get a puppy, you go through a honeymoon phase, you're not in that after a week. This is a shame. You certainly did make a huge mistake by getting this puppy. I feel for your girls and this poor little puppy. You should definitely find a new family for him and quick. Puppies are like babies and dogs are kids that never grow up. They need thier family and lots of room to live and roam. If you try to keep him, you will never find the time with a work schedule and your girls to enjoy this puppy. You will end up resenting this puppy and everything about him will be an inconvenience, so don't bother keeping him like some of the other posts said. Expect that this will crush your girls, but better sooner than later and look at it as a lesson learned. I would feel horrible if I were you. That is why I never brought home any one of my pets as gifts. They are not things to give to people, let alone children. They were adopted into my family. My pets are a part of my family and get the same love and consideration as if they were one of my kids.

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A.S.

answers from Rochester on

Hi B.,

From what it sounds like, you tried to back out before you got the dog, but your husband talked you into following through, but won't help out. Your eldest daughter may be able to help making sure the dog is fed. However, your husband, as an adult that talked you into going through with it & is your partner in marriage, should get his can out of bed early to help you with the dog. I would suggest a talk with him & if he isn't willing to help you out, you should find a suitable home for the dog or see if the place you got the dog from would be willing to take it back.

Good luck,
A.

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D.A.

answers from New York on

Hi B., I can relate to your problem. I have always loved animals - to the point that I am a vegetarian. When my daughter was 7 I talked my husband (who didn't want a dog) into getting a puppy for our daughter. We got her a Cocker Spaniel. The dog drove me absolutely insane. If she was inside she barked to get out, if she was outside she barked to come in and I don't mean a yap but constant barking and the minute she was out she would begin the barking to get back in. She was almost housebroken, she still had an accident now and then that made me gag to clean up. She would also be very sneaky and get out the door and be gone for hours only to come home smelling like she rolled in something dead. And of cours my daughter, who really wanted a puppy didn't do anything as far as the puppy's care. I actually starting thinking that I must not like dogs. Anyway, I put an ad in the paper and found a very nice family with several kids who took her. That was 20 years ago, I now have 5 dogs, pigs, ducks, swans, horses and live on a farm. I love them all and wouldn't trade them for anything. I guess what I am trying to say is that now may not be the right time in your life to have a dog, maybe in another few years, and if you live somewhere that has a fenced yard where you can just let the dog out to do his thing, maybe then would be the right time. If you are so unhappy with the dog the best thing to do is find another family for it. Dogs have feelings and pick up on the fact that you are unhappy with them so it is not fair to the dog to keep him. Maybe you could get your daughters a rabbit or guinea pig - a lot less work. You should not feel guilty and you should tell your girls the truth because not everything you try in life is going to work out so you should do your best to fix the situation. I don't think of it as giving up or setting a bad example. You need to do what is right for everyone, including the dog. Sorry for the rambling. Good luck with whatever you decide to do. Happy New Year!

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T.W.

answers from New York on

B.,
Don't hurt the girls by getting rid of the dog. Tell your husband to get up a half hour earlier and walk him before he goes to work, plus after work too and you can do the second morning walk and maybe before you go to bed walk. Also have your 5 year old feed the dog as one of her chores, the other could be to play with the dog and teach him/her how to sit and stay. Take pictures, tons of them, for the kids to have when they grow up. I probably shouldn't be answering you, I am an animal lover and would take the dog in a heartbeat. Animals are a lot of work, but let me tell you if you relax and enjoy him/her you will gain a lot more than you are giving.
Hugs,
T.

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A.D.

answers from Philadelphia on

Your husband needs to walk and feed the dog right before he goes out the door. Then you do the after breakfast walking. Do you have the dog in a crate at night? This becomes an important "den" for the animal, a safe haven they know is their space. Puppies will cry at night because they miss their mother, but they still should sleep in a crate, and probably should either be in a crate or cordonned off in one room of the house while everyone is gone. Do you have newspaper down near the door (or in another spot) for those puppy emergencies?

Unfortunately, you gave in to the decision to get the dog when your kids are really too young to handle the responsibility of caring for it. Maybe your 5 year old can handle the feeding, you could start this on the weekends when you or your husband can provide a lot of oversight. I think it sends the wrong message to the kids if you bail out of the commitment just because it's difficult.

HOWEVER, if you see no light at the end of the tunnel, it is better to sell the dog than to let it wreck your lives, just make sure you and your husband make the decision together and that he understands how much more stressful this has made your life. Also, if you do give this dog away, don't get a new one as soon as you move into the new bigger house. Wait until your girls are old enough to handle the entire responsibility of care, the oldest should be at least 8 (but remember, on those rainy, miserable nights, and always the last walk before bed, MOM is the one who ends up with doggie duty, same goes for in house poo and vomit clean up, etc.). I would have the girls volunteer at a pet shelter and see if they still really want an animal when they learn more about the care involved.

Remember an adult dog is like a permanent two year old, but a puppy is a baby, make sure your family is ready for this responsibility before you do it again. Dogs can bring an immense amount of joy, but they always bring an immense amount of work. As for lying to your children, you're going to have to be really creative, and expect to hear from both of them how much they miss the dog (even years later from the 2 year old). Also, your 5 yo may not believe the lie, no matter how creative it is, and this could lead to trust issues.

Good luck, I hope you find a way to adjust to and love and care for the dog. But, if you really took on more than you can handle, I think the right thing is to get out, and don't feel guilty about it, just don't make the decision lightly, and again don't assume the bigger house will be the answer and dive right back in.

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D.Z.

answers from Binghamton on

Hi B.,

We have tried twice to have a dog...both times we had to get rid of the puppy. Too much work, like you said, especially when you have young children. It feels like another child in the house. If you are like me, you probably felt a little bit like you had a puppy before getting the dog because your 2 year old probably pees on the floor at times! The other day my daughter took off her diaper while leaving her pants on (unbeknownst to me) and she was standing in the living room and suddently there was poo on the floor by her feet!! She's a little houdini with the diaper. Puppy...no way...don't feel guilty...your girls will get over it, and you can try again when they are older...maybe when the youngest is 5 or 6 would be better.

We would like to have a dog someday, but not until the kids are older.

D.
35 year old mother of 5 with one more on the way

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J.F.

answers from Buffalo on

i'm a veterinary technician and deal with animals on a daily basis and constantly see people who don't realize what a commitment owning a pet is, especially dogs!! It is a frustrating to me to hear stories about this but we're not here to make you feel bad, we're here to give advice and my best advice is... you and your husband need to make this choice, you're the ones that are caring for your family (and yes, in my opinion once you adopt a pet they are part of your family just as an adopted child is). If you can stick this out it will be SO worth it!! The bond of a child and their dog is beyond compare!

Crate training is one of the best things you can do... its not cruel, its actually a natural instint to have their own little "cave" area and my dogs have always used it as a refuge once they got used to it... training the puppy to go in when you're not home or when you're asleep is the best way to go, it makes your life a lot easier (and less cleaning up carpets and floors because most accidents will happen in there)... using treats to get him in and make it a positive situation is helpful, even feeding the puppy in it - most puppies don't like it at first though so you have to use tough love and let them cry a bit. Letting him outside as regularly as you can and after every meal will help with house training too... you don't necessarily need to take the dog for so many walks... cant you just take it out in the yard until it does its business? (on a leash if there's no fence?)

Puppy training classes are great too!! Just knowing the basics - sit, stay, come - and the socialization the dog gets there are so important. It sounds like your life is hectic, but if you could find time once a week to go to a class with the pup - a well trained dog makes life so much better than an untrained one!!

It seems an easy way out, but if that's the way you need to go, the other option is to find a new home for the dog... but like many others have said, please don't just go with whoever can pay you most - as it is, its difficult on most animals to be shuffled around... this puppy deserves a happy home that will love and care for him. If you're willing to give him away without payment (i know you said you weren't), a rescue organization is the absolute best way - you don't say what breed, but since you paid money for him i assume he's a purebred... there is pretty much an organization for any breed too... just search online for one. They get the best care and the most wonderful homes from these places.

As far as your children, i agree that the best thing to do is to word it in a way so they understand it is best for the puppy... i wouldn't necessarily lie just to save face and have them not be upset with you... but saying that your apartment is too small and the puppy would be happier somewhere else. Or be completely honest and say that right now the puppy is too much work... they need to learn, even if its from your mistakes, that "impulse buying" without researching is never a good thing...

good luck on a very difficult decision!

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A.R.

answers from Albany on

If you get a house install a invisible fence. That way you let the dog out and then get ready, then let him in, crate him and go to work!!! The puppy stage is the hardest! But if you can make it through this stage a dog in your life is a awesome thing!!!

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D.N.

answers from Albany on

Hi B.,
You have to find a new home for the puppy. That's all there is to it. For now, your family life is already enough on your plate. Having the puppy involved is more than you bargained for. Go to the toy store with your daughters and have the girls pick out a stuffed puppy each, that they think looks the most like the puppy they had for a while. Have them sleep with those stuffed dogs. That will help with having to say goodbye to the pup. Your husband was not willing to do his fair share in caring for the pup, I take it, so it has to go. The girls will just have to deal with it. We got two dogs from the humane society and one worked out but the other did not. We had to give her back. We told our young sons that the dog escaped the yard and ran away. They handled it just fine. When they were older, we told them the truth and they actually got a laugh out of us having told them that she ran away. We handled it the easiest way we thought at the time. We still have the one dog.... 11 years later. (and we all love him, to the moon and back!) Good luck to you honey. By the way, I enjoyed your line in "a little about me" that was great!
D. N.
PS; "If momma ain't happy.... ain't nobody happy!" Am I right, or am I right?!

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K.R.

answers from New York on

Hi B.-
I know exactly how you feel because I had the same brilliant idea for my son's birthday which is a week before Christmas. My mother-in-law gave my son a bassett hound puppy for his birthday(she breeds basset hounds). She lives in Florida and brought the puppy with her when she came to visit. The puppy pooped and peed all over the place. I bought a crate for him, which I thought would help, but the puppy howled when he was put in the crate. I tried it for a week and decided I couldn't do it. I was so stressed out from the constant cleaning up, running home to let the puppy out, and trying to potty train my own son. Plus my son did not like me giving the puppy attention, so he would act up just to get my attention. I flew the puppy back to my in-laws in Florida through the PetSafe program. I explained to my 3 year old that he was just here for a visit and had to go home. My son came with me to the airport and we said Goodbye to the puppy. My son has never asked about him again. The longer you keep the puppy, the harder it will be to give it away. If you do decide it is too much, I suggest you do something soon before your children get too attached.
Hope this helps
K.

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J.B.

answers from New York on

Hi B., I understand exactly how you feel. When my twins were 2 1/2 (now 9) I went back to work full time, they were in day care full time my husband left the house @ 5:30am & didnt get home from work until 7:30pm & in the middle of all this chaos we got a puppy (yellow lab). I had to take care of him morning, noon & night-it was just aweful. My husband helped @ 5am with walks & then @ night but was never home after that school hour or lunch hour when the house needed to be cleaned up after him) it was just too stressful for me & us as a family. The timing was bad! To make a long story short we didnt keep him for too long,4 months & then gave him to my sister. I told the kids he was getting too big for our house & he needed more space. As luck would have it when we were moving to a bigger home with more property my sister was moving out os state & didnt want to take the dog so we took him back my children had gotten a little older we decided to try it again...it worked. The kids helped out & as they got older (they were 5 & i had a 8 month old :)it all became easier, like i said timing is everything. It has all worked out! You shouldn't feel guilty if you decide to sell or give the dog away. You are the one taking care of it & you need your energy for your kids & yourself! Your children are young enough you can tell them anything even like the owner needed the dog back or something. Having children, taking care of the family, running a household is hard enough, lol. I think us moms put enough stress on ourselves to begin with, why ad to it when our children are so young & most important - SPACE! Think it thru & make the best decision for YOU!!! The longer you wait the harder it will be. I understand that people can kind of make you feel guilty by saying this is a responsbilty & a living creature/pet. But dont let people do that to you. A young puppy in a small apartment with young children can make you go insane. You will know when the timing is right for your family to have a pet.

Good Luck!! I am sure whatever you decide will be the best for you & your family.

By the way, what type of dog did you get and male/female???
If you decide to sell you could prob do so on this site, lol. I know so many people looking to get a dog. Let me know if you decide to sell or give away [email protected]____.com

J. B

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K.S.

answers from New York on

Don't the rewards of the dog and seeing your children's faces with the dog overcome the "hassles" of taking care of the dog? Puppies are a big responsibility, and after you move, things will get better. I say stick it out. I also work full time and got a puppy for my 11 year old son for Christmas. Although he helps as well as my husband, when I am standing out in the backyard in 20 degree temperatures in the middle of the night to let the puppy out to go to the bathroom, I wonder "what was I thinking!" I think the guilt you will have if you sell the dog and lie to your daughters will be worse that what you are currently feeling.

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A.S.

answers from New York on

You probably won't like to hear what I have to say. By getting rid of the dog, what do you teach your daughters? You teach them that when things get tough you will take the easy way out. And lying to kids to cover for your own impulsivity and shortcomings? I don't even have the words for that.

When you decided to get a dog, no matter how impulsive it was, you made a committment--to your kids AND to the dog. You could teach your children a far better life lesson about sticking by your committments, even when the going gets tough. You could teach them that sometimes changing your situation for the better takes nothing more than a change of atitude. What if you chose to look forward to your morning walk instead of dreading it? What if you thought of it as time for yourself with the bonus of a bit of exercise? I'm not saying it would be an easy mental switch, but it could make a world of difference.

Yes it takes time to house train a dog, but given the tone of impatience in your post my guess is that the poor pup feels your impatience and that WILL directly affect how long it takes to train. When puppies, even older dogs, get nervous or stressed they will often lose control of their elimination. I highly recommend you keep the dog and teach your children to stick with their choices and work through difficult patches in life. Look on this as an exercise in stress management and recognize how rewarding having a dog can be when you fully commit yourself to it.

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C.F.

answers from New York on

In a nutshell, I would have to say yes. I'm sorry if this sounds harsh, but you're talking about a living creature.

Did you think it was going to be easy to take care of a baby? Puppies need to eat, go to the bathroom, be loved and be walked...not much different than a human baby.

Put together a plan that includes your husband pitching in equally. The kids are too young to help. If you can, get a dog walker to come in mid day.

Think about it this way - if you had a difficult baby, what would you do?

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P.M.

answers from New York on

I can I feel your pain. We went through something similar when my girls were little. The best remedy was to have a fenced in yard, even if it is really small so the dog can poop and pee in and you don't have to walk on a certain schedule. I no you said you were moving, so this should be a consideration, if at all possible. Once they are trained it does get easier, and as your girls get older, they should share in the responsibility of taking care of the dog. If not I would try and "lend" it to someone who can take care of it until you move. Ugh, it is certainly very tiring being a mom, working and now the dog!

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L.M.

answers from New York on

It sounds like you made a BIG mistake (which we're all guilty of) and now it's time to correct it. Get rid of the puppy before your daughters get too attached. This does not mean giving it to the highest bidder. Maybe you can return it to the breeder or pet store. You need to find a good home, the money should not be an issue!

Once you move into your new home and your children are a little, you may to consider getting a dog (not a puppy) that is conducive to your family and lifestyle.

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E.R.

answers from New York on

My husband and I have a 6 year old chocolate lab and I've always loved animals but having a dog is definitely a commitment that requires time and attention (not to mention money). Someone mentioned getting a different dog perhaps a lab but they're not necessarily mellow, especially for people who work and have busy lives and not alot of time to exercise them. The point is dogs not only need to be fed and walked, dogs need attention. You have 2 choices...you can try to make this work by readjusting, rearranging your life (Ex. maybe your husband can help-out more) or you can find a new owner.
Someone suggested contacting the breeder you got the dog from which seems like a good idea. Also, contacting a rescue organization sounds good but I wouldn't sell the dog to anyone who offered the right amount. It's a difficult decision but if made carefully and thoughtfully it can be less "painful". I wouldn't take too long to decide though.

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