Returning an adopted rescue dog when the adoption just doesn't "take." Happened to anyone? How to handle? (Lengthy angsting and soul-searching within...)
posted by anonymous to Pets & Animals (44 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
So, a week ago I brought into my home a retired racing greyhound who is, truly, a wonderful dog in most respects, sweet and lovely and loving. However -- although I had done a lot of reading and research, and had thought about what was involved in this step, I guess I hadn't been, I dunno, honest enough with myself, or thought deeply enough, or something. See, I've never had a dog before, and even though I knew intellectually the intensity and constancy of the commitment required, I didn't realize that after a week of it I'd be feeling as overwhelmed and trapped as I am now.
An exacerbating feature is that the dog in question suffers from moderately severe separation anxiety. I live alone, I work full-time, and when I go to work she howls, loudly, all day long (according to my long-suffering neighbor). I'm a renter, and this can only go on so long before the landlords are going to step in with ultimatums. She's also destroyed stuff around the house (some mine, some apartment fixtures that I'll need to replace). I've done the things recommended in such cases--alone training, Kongs, radio, crate, DAP diffuser, homeopathic remedies, etc. etc. etc.-- without any improvement thus far.
And really, I wouldn't be fazed by the separation anxiety so much, knowing that in almost all cases it abates with time, if it weren't for the fact that ... well, I can feel myself loving her less, rather than more, with every passing day. Feeling more and more ground down by the constant worry, when I'm at work, about how soon I'm going to get the ultimatum from my landlord, or about whether today's the day she freaks out completely and decides to shred the sofa. Feeling like ALL my free time, such as it is, is now committed to this dog, for the next ten years or so.
And I know, I should have understood this going in, I made a commitment and now I should honor it. There's a reason this is posted anonymously, and that's because the moral judgment made of someone who decides to return an adopted dog for rehoming--who isn't willing to go all the way to the bitter end to do everything within human power to make it work--is often harsh, in dog-adoption circles. I've found myself fantasizing the most elaborate and insane scenarios to present to the adoption rep of the group from which I got the dog, about my sudden-onset terminal illness, or my sudden need to relocate under the witness protection program, or *something* that would provide a rationale of some sort for backing out of a situation that's starting to feel like -- just like a really wrong, wrong choice.
So...anyone else been in this situation? Help?