Rehoming Our Dog

Updated on June 09, 2014
V.M. asks from Lincoln, MA
27 answers

Moms - I need some advice. We took in a lovely little dog a few months ago from a friend who was very, very sick. I've always wanted a dog and it seemed like a good time to do it (daughter is 5 1/2 now). However, we live in an apartment and I really didn't forsee the difficulty with this (I grew up with dogs but out in the countryside!) My daughter absolutely loves the dog (and I love that she does!), but I am just feeling completely overwhelmed at this stage. I have to stay up later than usual to make sure she (the dog) gets let out at the last possible moment and though most mornings the dog is fine, I have woken up to "surprises" enough to be getting fed up (and it is definitely not helping my sleep or my mood!) So... my sister-in-law has offered to take the dog (they live in a house with a garden and have two boys who would be more than delighted about it). My question is - if we do give the dog to a new home is it somehow more cruel to give the dog to someone my daughter knows? On the one hand it seems great that she'd still be able to see the dog, but on the other, it seems like maybe it would be better that the dog just "goes" (to a house where we won't be in contact)... Let's be honest, I'm trying to limit the trauma. We have spoken with my daughter about it, to prepare her. She's going to be upset either way, but would like to minimise it if humanly possible and I honestly don't know what would be the better option. Any advice greatly appreciated. (PS: I feel horrible about this, but I don't see any other option. However, the dog won't go anywhere unless I know she's going to a good home).

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So What Happened?

Well, I would just like to thank the people that posted who understood that this was/is not a decision I am taking lightly and that I'm not just getting rid of the dog because I'm a horrible person. ;-) She gets walked at least twice a day by the way, but yes, I think she was more used to living in a suburban/country situation where she could be outside a bit more or just be let out the back door to the garden. We have not made a final decision as I would like to try everything I can - and had contemplated crate training (but again - this is totally out of my sphere of reference, hence looking for advice). So thank you to those of you who left the thoughtful posts with support and guidence - they were greatly appreciated.

Featured Answers



answers from Baton Rouge on

You have family willing to take the dog. You know that she will have a good home with them. That seems to be the best option for the dog.
And if it were my daughter, she would find having to rehome the dog much easier if she knew that she could see her when she went to visit her cousins.

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answers from Dallas on

How old is the dog? What breed? How big? Why did you accept this responsibility? If you grew up with dogs, you already know the responsibility you accept when you take in a dog.

Rehoming a dog is a big deal... either way, your daughter will feel the effects of giving away a dog that didn't work out and in the back of her mind, as much as you may love your daughter, the fact that she can be rehomed can also be in the back of her mind.

I recall as a teen when we had a move to another state, my mom refused to take along our older dog and insisted that it stay with my new stepfather's parents on some land. I hated her for that for a LONG time. I knew the dog was at a "safe" home but not "my" home where she belonged. She died within 6 months.

Dogs also have side effects of being rehomed. For starters, you say only a few months so this dog has been removed from his/her safe home and now put in place with you and does not feel secure in the new home. Did the dog's last home have a yard? Think of the trauma if you had a large or just decent yard and then got put up in an apartment for numerous hours of the day without your usual habits. The dog probably still wonders why he/she is no longer with the original owner.

Before you just give up on a responsibility you chose to take on, then take steps to help the dog adjust to the new surroundings by providing in training, using crates if needed.

I urge you to do all you possibly can for this dog and don't think about the inconveniences that he/she is causing to you. You are not the only one with issues here.... the dog is going through major change as well. It is not all about you and your inconvenience.... you accepted a responsibility, you obviously know that dogs need to be walked and go outside to potty but if you cannot provide a good quality of life for this dog then maybe the best place would be your SIL, ONLY if SIL is willing to accept the dog and the responsibilities that go along with it which means that dog could be in her family for 12+ years. It is a responsibility and some people are just not cut out to have pets.

HOWEVER, if you do rehome this dog... please do not ever get another pet unless you are ready to accept all the inconveniences that come along with the territory. My dogs mean the world to me and I would do anything to make sure they are healthy and have a comfortable, stable life.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

We recently took in a puppy from a shelter. Crating him at night and when he's left alone for short periods has worked out really well for him and us. Even with crating though, I still stay up later and get up earlier so that I can let him outside. It is more work but I enjoy the dog so I don't mind the extra work, and walking him everyday. What kind of dog is it? Obedience classes will also help a lot.

If in the end you find that having this dog is too overwhelming for you, I would let the dog go to your sister-in-law's- sounds like she has a good set-up for the dog and I think it would be more reassuring to your daughter and you that the dog will be okay. I'm sure the dog will adjust just fine. Sadly, I'm the 3rd home for my rescue dog but he's doing just fine. I think still getting a chance to visit the dog would be nice.

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answers from Washington DC on


Did you stop to think the dog may be experiencing trauma too? Yes! Dogs have feelings. Her whole life has been turned upside down and now you want to get rid of her too. How horrible for the dog!!

Try getting a trainer. LEARN about your dog. LEARN about what SHE needs before you toss her aside because "it's too much work".

Get a schedule in place - believe it or not - dogs need stability and routines just like humans do. Before giving up so easily, TRY a trainer and get into a routine.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

I am normally against rehoming, as my dog is my family member and I don't give away family members. HOWEVER, I think you are being very responsible in this situation and have found an ideal option. The dog will probably be happier and your daughter can visit him. Perhaps she and her cousins can "share" the dog, the dog can visit you occasionally for sleepovers with her, etc. That being said, please take this as a learning opportunity and do not get another dog, as it doesn't seem like a dog is a good fit for your family. Good luck!

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Lots of focus on the dog in replies, but less on your daughter, and your question was really about her. She will be fine. Kids are resilient. Yes, it will upset her and rightfully so, but she will not be forever traumatized and furious at you. Truly. She is young enough to be upset but also old enough to start understanding that dogs need more space than you have, and the dog will be happier even if she is, for a short time, unhappier.

Let her grieve the loss of the dog, which will loom very large in her mind for a while to come; agree with her that "Yes, it's really hard, I know you miss Skippy" and affirm her feelings -- don't just say "It's OK, stop being upset" but let her feel it, and give her outlets like writing a list of what Skippy likes to do for you to give to your sister, and so on. Try not to let guilt get to you -- you will feel guilty at times but you are doing the right thing, and you have to be the adult here. Let her be the kid, and grieve, and support that, but also stick to your plan.

Sorry to see some here are being critical of you for taking the dog in the first place and making out like you should do anything to try to keep it. Your friend is seriously ill, so of course your instinct was to say yes to helping out by taking the dog, even though in retrospect it wasn't a great idea. You'd have said yes to anything your friend asked of you, I'm sure. Don't let anyone beat you up for having the sense to realize this is not working for your family or for the dog--especially for the dog.

The dog going to a family your child knows is just fine. Your daughter will adjust to the idea of visiting the dog, though you might not want to start visits the next day or even the next week, as that will be hard on her. Be ready to distract her a good deal right after the dog leaves.

Consider getting an apartment-appropriate pet (not any dog, of course) but don't do it immediately -- you want to be clear with your daughter that you're not "replacing" the dog but giving a home to a new animal that needs your family's love and attention. Whatever pet you get, research it in advance and make her part of the research and choice. (And some pets that seem apartment-friendly may not be right for you -- our friends with guinea pigs say the pigs actually are up most of the night and noisy!)

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

We had to give up our dog too and I asked a question about it on here and got ripped a new one by some people. My dog was BITING people! I STILL got ripped! Don't take it to heart, I didn't.
Onto your question.
I think it's GREAT that your daughter would still be able to visit with the dog. At first she may not understand exactly why dog isn't with her but with someone else, but she'll get used to it.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

don't feel guilty! you've got a great place to rehome the dog, and you're handling it all sensibly and with compassion.
i think it's nice that the dog will go somewhere your daughter can still visit. i'm sure it will make her sad sometimes, but in the long run it will wonderful for her to be able to stay in touch with 'her' dog.
it's difficult to rehome adult dogs. since you've got a great place for this one, i'd go with it.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I think your SILs would be a great place.

I too, had dogs when I was young. It was in the country and they just went wherever their heart desired. I can't imagine cooping up a dog or crating it for my own convience, it breaks my heart. They have such a free spirit and love being in the great outdoors. I can't even entertain the thought of following a dog around and picking up its poop! It seems an indignity to me and the dog. There were risks of being a free range dog, but I believe if my dogs had a choice between safety and freedom..Freedom, baby, freedom, my blue tick hound would have said. Brooooooof

That said, if you crated it, you could manage it better. Hope your little one isn't too heartbroken.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

V., I think it's great that you are recognizing you may not be the best home for this dog, & are looking out for the best interest of both your daughter & the dog. There is lots of great advice below from people below.

As someone who has done rescue & rehoming of older dogs, my suggestion is to talk with your daughter about rehoming the pooch. Let her know that the dog was only staying with your family until the right home was available, and now it's time for her to go live with her new family. But that your daughter will be able to visit when she sees her cousins.

One family I worked with who did foster told their kids that the family was the 'guardian angel' for the dog until a right family was found.

You didn't mention how old the dog was, whether house training is an issue or not. Before you rehome the dog, you should make sure that there aren't other issues. The stress of relocating from one family to another for an older dog can cause accidents, and other behavioral issues.

The suggestions below regarding crate training are valid - often dogs don't choose to 'hold it' if they can go somewhere away from where they are laying, hence you can wake up to accidents. A crate offers a smaller space to prevent this & is helpful to train a young dog to not relieve themselves inside (as well as prevent destruction, etc).

There is also a possibility that the stress of the change has resulted in a urinary tract infection. This can easily be tested by taking a urine sample to the vet. Often a small change in body chemistry can bring on symptoms, without being a full-blown infection, and cause the dog discomfort & a need to urinate.

I hope that things go well with the transition. T. =-)

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

We had to re-home a cat several years ago, I know how hard it is. In our case, we are extremely committed pet parents, but re-homing was really the only choice. As our puppies grew, they decided that small furry things were prey. It simply was not safe to have the cat and dogs in the same home. There are circumstances where you have to acknowledge that things have to change.

We were able to give our cat to some very close friends who had just lost their kitty. We get to see her periodically and know, for sure, that she is well cared for and well loved. It worked great for us.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

OMG... some people can be so rude and insensitive! We got a puppy in FEB and had to get rid of him last month. We initially got him for my autistic child thinking it would be a good emotional support...holy crikey! It made my child so much worse! She has horrible sensory processing disorder due to the autism so the presence of the dog was making her anxiety go high sky! And TRUST ME dealing with an autistic child is challenging in itself and then putting anxiety on top of that! We did everything possible to try and get these two to bond and nothing worked! We even went as far as having them bathe together (she had swimsuit on) to try and strengthen the bond, that was a fail! We tried for three months and we weren't even coming close to success. So I had no other option but to get rid of him. I was sad bc I had already connected with him but having him in my house was pure hell! I felt bad but I had to let him go and yes he was stressed going to a new home but I made sure he was going to a good home. Family comes first and my kids come first, so there ya go! Do what is best for you and your family and you know what sometimes people get dogs thinking it will work out and for whatever reason it just doesn't. As long as you can find a good family for him, they will recover, they will adjust. Heck, its better than sending him to the pound, right? Just look past the negative remarks and focus on the positive! Good luck!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

A new pet is overwhelming as you have to shift your routine to take care of a living creature. I'll let you know that crating your dog at night is a wonderful thing to do. My dog loves his crate so much that he'll hang out there during the day to nap. Dogs are cave dwellers so their crate is their cave.

You have to remember that this hasn't just been a huge change for your family it's been a huge change for your dog. If you want to keep the dog then you should contact a trainer to take a couple classes to get tips on what you need to do to be the head dog in the household. If you decide to rehome then yes send her to live with your sister in law.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I'm with TF and a couple of others...why did you get the dog if you weren't up for the responsibility?

Yeah, there is lip-flapping too. Some people can be so rude and obvious. I guess they are jealous of other people that's why they try so hard to beat them down?

Children are resilient. Your daughter will get over it. Like TF said, your daughter may wonder if you will get rid of her too when times get tough.

I agree with Wild Woman as well, the dog is traumatized by the upheaval in its life. And re-homing her, will give her even more trauma. While I'm not a fan of crate training. It works for many dogs. Try that before you re-home her.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Richland on

I was going to say the same as Markasa, crate training. My daughter has a puppy coming home in a few weeks. Granted they rent a house but still I told her number one, for her sanity, crate train that dog! She is also training her on the doggie doorbells. I loved those things because my dogs would just ring the bell and wait for me to let them out.

Even when they had eaten something funny in the middle of the night, they rang, and waited. So even when they were trained enough that I didn't shut the door of the crate there were no accidents.

To give you some idea of how well it works, and granted this was a golden, a big dog with a bigger bladder, poor Di was stuck in her crate for 12 hours due to an emergency appendectomy. This was pre cell phones so I couldn't call anyone. She had her legs crossed but she held it the whole time.

Odd, I don't see a lot of lip flapping criticism about rehoming a the dog. I see a lot of people picking up on you wanted the dog and you don't seem to really want to get rid of the dog but you just can't handle it with things as they are. I know that is why I made suggestions on how to perhaps make keeping the dog acceptable. I guess some people just focus on being contrary to certain others.

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answers from Hartford on

When I was a kid we had to give away my cat. I was probably 5 at the time. I thought about the cat all the time and wished I could have seen him and know he was ok. I think it would be great to give the dog to your sister.

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answers from Jacksonville on

I'm not really sure. I am fine with you rehoming the dog if you can find it a good home. You didn't get this dog as a puppy, raise it for a few months and then decide it was cramping your style---that WOULD be a problem in my mind. You rescued this dog from an owner who could no longer care for it, and it needed a home or go to the shelter (I'd imagine). So... in a way... you are have been its temporary shelter home. Its interim foster situation.

So, now you are looking to find it a forever permanent home. You had hoped it would be with you--but that isn't going the way you envisioned so you have let that idea go. Ok.

Here's where I say I am not sure about this particular situation with your sister: You never said what sort of living arrangement this dog had before it came to you (as a foster). You live in an apartment, so it has been an inside dog with you, and since it poos in the house sometimes in the morning (I'm assuming you are not crating the dog overnight--which could eliminate this issue). So you are assuming that your sister's place (where I presume she is going to just stick the dog out in the back yard to live--and no longer be in the house/be an inside dog) will solve the problem.
HAS the dog ever been an outside dog? If not, then making it become an outside dog is not the solution to early morning poos. It really is that simple.

Rehome it with someone who maybe doesn't live in an apartment so that early morning constitutionals are more do-able, or is willing to crate him, or whatever other solution to the surprise gifts in the morning... but not just stick him outside as a solution. Because that is no solution--unless the dog lived outside all the time in its first home--and that doesn't sound like the case here.
After your SWH, I still am not sure you follow exactly what I'm getting at. Even in a suburban/country setting, if the dog lived in the house but was let outside off-leash to do his business frequently, that is very different than being turned outside to stay outside all the time. What would be the situation with your sister? Because living outdoors all day, or all day and night, is far different than just "easy access" to the outdoors. Which is why I said that someone not in an apartment who would be more likely to take or let the dog out later at night and earlier in the morning (without maybe having to put it on the leash and get dressed and walk downstairs around the block?) would be a better solution than sending the dog to your sister, who may just be planning to stick the dog outdoors permanently. (And that is a question, not saying that your sister is planning to do that--you weren't really clear on that point--which is why I was asking about it).
But in any situation, if the dog is left to be loose in the house overnight, if it is not trained or until it has time to adjust, or maybe has a vet visit to ensure it doesn't have a medical issue going on, then it may still leave gifts to be found in the morning.

Crate training is a good tool. I highly recommend it. It isn't punishment. It is providing the dog with a safe place. It can be used day and night (when you leave home to go to the store or, have guests, or whenever you need to contain the dog or make him out of reach of someone else-- a safe place).
And dogs who are properly trained with the crate will not mess in it if they can help it. Meaning, unless your dog has a medical issue that causes the accidents in the house, or unless you are just plain not affording him adequate pottying opportunities, then he won't pee/poop in the crate.

There are times when dogs are abused and kept in such confined spaces for so long that they loose this innate avoidance of soiling their sleeping place. Such as dogs confined to concrete runs that are never let out of them... they will poop all over the concrete willy nilly.

Do a little reading on crate training. It is very logical and interesting stuff. And it really is not that difficult to do. We did it with our GSD when we brought her home as a puppy at about 10 weeks old. Once she was trained, she has only had accidents in the house when she was severely ill (I'm talking multiple seizures and near death trauma), or recovering from that (taking steroids makes them drink an obscene amount of water and need to pee about every 2 hours, so that it stops being a matter of "control" as much as it is medically/physically not possible for them to hold it longer than that).
She's 10 years old now. I could count on one hand the poop accidents we've had since her first few months with our family. Actually, other than an upset stomach that happened once when we weren't home, the only other time was within the first 3 days after we moved into this house, and we had left her at home alone for a few hours, she pooped in a back bedroom that was just a storage space at the time.
Never has happened again--and we've been in this house 8 years.

And we packed up the crate and put it in the attic about 6 years ago.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I think you should ask this to your daughter. If you visit this family once a year it won't matter. If you go there a lot then it will help to know what she thinks about it.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Before giving your dog away, have you tried crating her at night? I got a dog after my mother died. When I purchased my dog, the Humane Society strongly encouraged me to make sure I took my dog for daily walks and crate her at night or when I left her to go out. This would help with preventing accidents. It worked for us.

To give a pet away can be traumatic for a child. I know this from my own personal experience. It is something that you never forget as pets become part of your family. I would contact the vet or a dog trainer to see if they can offer suggestions too before making that tough transition.

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answers from Austin on

I would think it would be easier on your daughter if she knew the family the dog went to, so that she could be reassured that it did go to a good home. I think that giving the dog to the SIL would be a better idea than some anonymous person or the shelter.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

What about wee wee pads? If she's small that might help. My friend took in a small rescue and it took forever for the dog to be good about not going in the house and she said the wee wee pads were a life saver. I do think people should take getting a dog seriously but not like you walked by a pet store and made a snap decision... Some people like to sit here I think waiting for posts that give them an opening to yell at someone. They're sad. I do walk our dog late at night btw and on weekends have to get up just to let him out. It's annoying. But you kind of get used to it... And he's big. I'd think a small dog you could deal with better crating and wee wee pads etc. But if you do give him away after kindly taking him from your sick friend, it's understandable and I'd give him to your SIL. My parents put down our dog when I was about in 3rd grade. Didn't tell me ahead of time. We went on vacation and came back and I asked when the dog was coming home during my bath. I can still picture it. They told me they had to put her to sleep bc she really was crazy. They'd tried... I cried but that's all I remember and I love dogs. I was not permanently scarred. As I got older of course I understood even better their reasoning. Your daughter will too. But I think seeing the dog is better than the dog going away completely. That's way it's not a forever goodbye but she can visit. Kids get over things pretty quickly too...

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answers from Bloomington on

I would give the dog to the best home / environment possible. Either way, your daughter will be upset.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Lancaster on

I haven't read the other answers but I think you may be over thinking this a little. Can you tell your daughter that you were taking care of this dog for your friend only until you could find a better home for him? Or just simply that it isn't fair to the dog that he doesn't have a place to play outside but your sister does? I think a child can understand that. It really it best for the dog that he lives with your sister. I think it's better that your daughter will be able to visit the dog in the future. Be excited about it and your little one will surely come around. You're doing the right thing.

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answers from Honolulu on

Not endorsing this, just saw an ad last night and it might work in your situation. It was called a puppy apartment? If I get the gist right, you crate train and train to puppy pads at the same time. You will have to google it since it was just an ad and I don't know anymore about it.
I am a big fan of crate training. Had very good success with it with dogs I have had in the past - including post-abused adopted dogs.
Good luck!


Not endorsing this, just saw an ad last night and it might work in your situation. It was called a puppy apartment? If I get the gist right, you crate train and train to puppy pads at the same time. You will have to google it since it was just an ad and I don't know anymore about it.
I am a big fan of crate training. Had very good success with it with dogs I have had in the past - including post-abused adopted dogs.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Yes, the best case scenario if you're absolutely sure you can't keep him
is to give him to your sister-in-law!!!
Perfect solution.
The dog will have a yard, kids to play w/him AND your daughter will get
to see him/keep in contact him.
I say that is the best case scenario & if you can't keep him, do it!
I love that idea. How nice of her & what a great solution!
Hope you choose to let her take him. Hope she keeps him. Best of luck in
this situation. Oh & one more thing, it will be easier for the dog if he gets
to see your family! :)

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answers from Boston on

The thing to do is to base this on the DOG'S needs and not your daughter's, the 2 nephews', or anyone else's. This dog has had 2 homes, and isn't adjusting perfectly - who can blame it? Dogs are work work work - a lot of people choose them for the companionship they will offer and don't understand the work involved, as you yourself have experienced. Many of us who grew up with dogs don't remember how much training our parents did. It's not much different than people who think it will be wonderful to have a baby who will love them - and then they realize there's the child care involved!

Have you crate-trained this dog? From your SWH, it looks like you have not. Or is it loose at night and therefore able to leave "surprises" for you? And yes, dogs have to go out late at night. Little dogs sometimes can be trained on pee-pee pads so their little bladders don't have to hold all night, but in just a few months and after being removed from its owner/home, it might be too soon to expect this dog to know everything it's supposed to do. Moreover, since you state this is a little dog, it's important to realize that you cannot let most dogs out in the yard, particularly if they are small. You live in Massachusetts like I do, and we have coyotes all over the place - so little dogs cannot be unattended at all, even in a fenced yard or on a run. As any dog officer about this.

The dog needs to go to someone who will make this the dog's "forever home" - no questions, no maybe's, no excuses. This needs to be a person or a family who is skilled in dog training. It needs to be a family who is home a good part of the day. Most dogs cannot be crated 8 hours a day, and most certainly not a dog who has lost its home and family twice (as this dog will have when it is re-homed.)

We own a dog who was abandoned twice (not counting a pound, a shelter and a foster home), and believe me, it took quite a while to get her to trust us, to feel comfortable, to know what was expected (because we had to teach her as well as un-teach her the old ways!) We filled out a 6-page application (I'm not kidding) in which we were asked if we knew how much it cost to own a dog, where the dog would sleep, what we would do if we moved to a place that didn't take dogs, what we would do on vacations, what areas the dog would not be allowed in, and all kinds of questions to ensure that we knew exactly what we were getting into. We were chosen over prior applicants precisely because we gave detailed answers to these questions.

I would try to re-home this dog to a family skilled in training, who is home during the day (either an attentive SAHM or a work-at-home family), and who have the financial resources to invest in a trainer as well as some necessary in-home care so this dog is not left ever again. It is unlikely that this dog, for example, can be sent to a kennel during a family vacation, so it needs to go on vacation with the family or have in-home dog sitting including overnight (someone staying in the house). There is considerable stress on the dog already, and adding to it by re-homing it will make it harder for the next family to train the dog and earn its trust. These are traumatic events for animals and need to be treated as such.

I understand your desire to shield your daughter from trauma and I know that you feel terrible about this situation from everyone's point of view. But honestly, your daughter will recover much more quickly than the dog will. And anytime we get a pet, we need to think through what we will do if the animal (cat, dog, bird, fish) doesn't live beyond the years when the child leaves home -- which is likely. We need to think about death as well as possible re-homing. So when we get a pet of any sort, we know our children will lose that animal at some point. We must assume there will be loss at some point.

From your daughter's standpoint, it may be better to let her know that the dog is going to a home with a yard, that owning a pet is a lot of work, and that you did it to help out a sick friend but it wasn't the best decision. Sometimes letting a kid know that a mistake was made (even when made in good faith) is the best lesson in growing up. It can help her learn the process of thinking about others more than herself - that's a tough lesson for kids (and anyone) but it's a good one.


answers from Spokane on

We just got a puppy in January and crate trained her. First time we used the crate method and it works well. I did sleep on the floor for a week while getting her used to it but it has totally paid off and she now loves her little den. When she is ready for bed at night she goes in on her own and goes into her crate and goes to bed. She sleeps a solid 8 hours at night with no accidents and I don't worry if she is up wandering around the house.

But if you do decide to re-home your dog I would think your SIL's place sounds like a pretty good option.

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