I've adopted a dog from a local shelter, and I may have made a terrible mistake. I'm seriously thinking of returning her, but I've had her less than half a day. See details inside.
posted by jrochest to Pets & Animals (61 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Okay: TL:DR I adopted a 4 month mix breed pup from a local shelter this afternoon; she's a handful, is teething and refuses to poop outside, and she breaks out of every enclosure I've put her in. I cannot go to sleep, because she has to be watched 24/7.
I haven't owned a dog since university, although I've lived with several (partners, roomies, shared houses) and have dog-sat or dog-cared for week-to-month long stretches several times as well. Pup is unusually energetic, very very mouthy, rambunctious and, because she's teething, chewy. Chewy as in furniture. She has chew toys, three of them, but she's partial to the teak.
She is good about asking to go out, but will only pee outside, NOT POOP OUTSIDE. I have had her for 12 hours. She has pooped three times, once in the car (my fault) and twice in the house, both times AFTER WALKS OF MORE THAN TWO HOURS LENGTH. I have a fenced yard but she will not go there either.
She's exhausted, because I've walked her for 6 of the last 12 hours (this is not an exaggeration), so she's sleeping, but I can't sleep, because she cannot be left alone at all, under any circumstances. She breaks out of her crate, jumps the baby gates, and has figured out how to open the bathroom door. She's also incredibly anxious. I have to leave her alone for three hours tomorrow.
I also have cats, two of them. They're shut away in the bedrooms upstairs.
I cannot sleep. I have not eaten. I have not fed or watered the cats. I cannot leave her. I cannot pay any attention to anything other than her: hence cannot eat or go upstairs to feed the kitties. Turning my back means either poop or she's on the stove.
Tomorrow morning I teach. Before I was aware of what I had let myself in for, I'd intended to give her a nice long walk (45 minutes or so) in the morning, crate her in the kitchen and rush back to walk her after my classes (from 10:30 to 1:30 -- so I'd have been gone from 9:30 to 2). Now I know that's impossible (she breaks out of the crate, the baby gates, the bathroom). Doggie daycare can't be attended until she's 6 months and has her rabies shots. I cannot get a sitter at short notice. It is -35 and I cannot keep her outside.
I feel like a tool for thinking of taking her back to the shelter first thing in the morning but I cannot sleep tonight at all (as she will demolish everything if I'm not conscious to stop her) and I cannot imagine what will happen if she gets into the bedrooms where the cats are imprisoned (she can open the doors, which have lever handles, and they do not lock well).
The first thing she did was get up on the dining table. The second thing was to rip open the sofa cushion. She has ripped open her Kong bed.
She's a shepherd cross, maybe with a rottie or maybe a lab -- not especially strong or aggressive, just enthusiastic.
I'm a stupid loser to even have thought of getting a dog, obviously, but it seems better to return her before she's convinced she's got a loving home.
I can manage shit on the carpet/hardwood three times a day, but I have many pieces of wood furniture, as well as lamps and rugs. I didn't think that 'puppyproofing' meant I could not have furniture: this is why I can't take her into my bedroom, as I have a mattress. I could buy padlocks for all the doors, I suppose but really: the fuck I will.
Do I return her? And if so, should I just assume that this is what dog ownership is like and that any pup I adopt or buy (even older ones) will be as bad as this, or can I try with an older, calmer dog?
Everyone has told me that she'll calm down in a couple of months, but I cannot even manage tomorrow, let alone a week of this. I can only stay awake so long.
Please don't talk about love, as I feel none at all at the moment: I have a long and tiring day tomorrow and it's only 4 AM.