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new dog dilema
June 24, 2009
7:33 pm
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chelonia mydas
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Hi folks,

I need some advice because I really want to help and I have a history of going above and beyond for pets- but also just now getting my life on track. I need help identifying if this is codie issues resurfacing or a real act of kindness.

I am down to 4 dogs, 6 cats, 5 birds and 5 turtles... All my dogs are older (youngest is 8, oldest is 16+ yrs old)and I have been thinking of getting a younger dog to keep the dog pack lively, but just haven't found the right one yet. I also wanted to build up a little more of a savings before taking in another one. I just got robbed a few weeks ago and the insurance won't cover the costs, so I'm now dipping into savings to fix the gate, replace the stolen items (one was my tractor, which I have to have because I live on acreage).

There is a larger mixed breed female that needs a home. Her previous owner adopted her as a 8 wk old puppy the day he discovered he had terminal cancer. He wanted to be sure that his wife wouldn't be alone without him. He died last week after battling the cancer for a year. His wife is 80 yrs old and suffered a minor stroke 4 months ago, but has regained limited mobility. She loves this dog dearly, but was knocked down by her on Saturday and knocked out cold. So she obviously can't keep her, because of safety concerns. The family isn't willing to help with the dog and is encouraging her to give it up to the shelter. This is breaking her heart, and she turned to the no kill rescue for help.

So I am considering taking her in- either as a foster or as a foreverkid, depending on how well she gets along with everyone.

It breaks my heart that this family isn't helping this women out with the dog. There are so many things that were well intentioned but missed their mark in this situation.

There are no openings at the rescue right now, all the fosters are beyond capacity. But I ask myself, if she were on the street would I take her in and sadly, I truthlyfully answer no- because there are too many on the street and I can't save them all. I think what calls me to action here, is the old women who has already suffered so much.

I still have to meet the dog and see if we will get along, but really unless she has major aggresssion issues, its not going to matter. I've trained a variety of behavior issues in my decades of foster care work already.

So is this my codependence acting up or it is really compassion and caring?

Thanks for the insight.

June 24, 2009
8:26 pm
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truthBtold
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Chelonia,

Is there not ANY WAY to talk with some/any members of the family into just keeping her - say for a couple of days at a time and rotating the care explaining that perhaps this dog is very important to their mother's life amd well-being and that she loves this dog dearly and is a reminder of her husband which has passed?

What about her neighbors?

Although I ever, rarely reccomend it except in extreme circumstances - perhaps laying on a guilt trip on the family is an option?

Being a fellow lover of animals, it is hard for me to somehow wrap my head around other folks whom seem so nonchalant and callous towards animals. It really just blows me away most times.

But maybe, just maybe there just might be a guilt avenue/button for you to try and push in this particular extreme circumstance - maybe?

I sure hope so!!!!

No, I don't think that this has anything whatsoever to do with your being codependent at all. Just one compassionate and caring human being is all.............

(((Chelonia))))

June 24, 2009
8:32 pm
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ShortCake
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Hi Chelonia Mydas,

I am an animal lover myself. I only have one doy and one cat, but if I had the room I would have more.

I think its natural for us to want to "take care" of others (be it animals, or people), however, I also think if we can keep a healthy home and balance its okay to enjoy the company and love of animals.

I personally don't see anything wrong with taking the doggy as a foster dog and seeing if the dog clicks with your pets. My doggy was acting older then her age so I got her a cat, she sparked right up. That young kitty runs through the house and keeps my dog acting younger then she is... I love it so much. My moms Rat Terrier is visiting right now and its great having them all run through the house. I personally balance what I have easily, but the real question is what do you want and what can you balance and still feel in control of yourself and your home.

I personally think as codies its easy for us to fall into the "care taking" role. So take some time and look at yourself and your life. Maybe ask yourself the questions... do you have enough space and outdoors for another pet. Are all your pets getting the attention they need and desire? For me, I am at my animal limit for now. Maybe someday when I get a larger yard and home I will add another addition to my pack.

I am not sure if this helps, but I wish you the best on your choice.

Smiles, Shortcake.

June 24, 2009
9:11 pm
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Healing.. and peace
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I think your concern is natural but you also kind of answered your own question if you saw the dog as a stray you wouldn't take it home with you.

I think the thought of trying to help out this older women is wonderful and thoughtful but then you have to think about the fact that your already dipping into your savings so it may be too much for you.

However,you may be able to foster the dog for her until you can find a good home for it, and you can ask her if you took the dog in if she could help with the feed, (not that one more dog would brake you) but that way she would feel that she is still part of caring for the dog, at least until you were able to find a forever home for the dog.

It's a tough one, and situations like this can pull on anyone's heart, it's only natural so I don't think it is your codendancy sneaking in or anything like that... but you kind of did answer your own question as far as taking in another dog.

Sleep on it, and then maybe you will find the right answer.

June 25, 2009
8:18 am
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chelonia mydas
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TBT, Shortcake, Healing,

Thanks so much for your insights. I haven't had a chance to actually talk to the lady or the family, all my info is coming from the director of the no kill shelter. She contacted me to ask for my advice on the situation (I'm kind of her mentor for many things). Neither of us could see any other alternatives. The children all have kids of their own and don't seem to be in a situation where they can care for their kids let alone this dog.

That's a great idea about asking for her help in supporting the dog... maybe I could even arrange to bring her over.

Your thoughts also gave me another possibility... that I could take the dog in and train her. If I can get her to really mind well, then maybe see if the older lady will want her. I think alot of it is just that she is still a puppy (just over 1 yr) and has so much energy. Maybe I could find a neighboor that will help walk her. I hadn't even thought of that πŸ™‚

Well gotta go to work, but thanks so much for your ideas. I really appreciate it πŸ™‚

June 25, 2009
9:08 am
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CAMER
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i am a dog lover also, have 3 furbabies of my own.

I can't add more, and agree that yes, maybe foster this animal (i'd end up falling in love though and want to keep her πŸ˜‰

and see what happens on the owners end, maybe some family member will help out, if there is no last resort, then foster and possibly keep if things work out with having the new dog in your family.

June 25, 2009
9:47 am
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FireFighter
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I have my puppy (1yr now ) He's a rescue.

In just taking him on board I had to ask myself can I give him a good life. In answering that I had to look at my living accomodation, finances, and the other pets.

In this case I was able to look at all of and say yesy I can give him and the rest of my pets a good life.

If you can then great πŸ™‚

If there were more pet lovers in the world this would not need to happen. In the meantime kudos for being a carer

June 25, 2009
9:51 am
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_anonymous
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Chelonia- It sounds like you have enough pets. The more pets you have to take care of the less time there is for you and each and everyone of the ones you already have. As you know there are so many unwanted pets that there are not enough people to take them in on a good day due to irreresponsible pet owners that keep on breeding them. I think there can be a fine line between owning pets for pleasure and collecting them. As long as you are enjoying them then your good.

June 25, 2009
10:11 am
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Lanigirl
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Hey Chelonia,

As a volunteer at the shelter, I had the same dilemas. I ended up with another cat and dog whom I love dearly.

Please think carefully before you take on another animal. I understand your compassion but in a sense you are taking on the irresponsibility of the previous owners when you have a lot on your plate.

June 25, 2009
11:47 am
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ShortCake
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Chalonia,

I think it would be good to talk with the lady who is giving up the dog and see if she is open minded to having the dog once he is trained. That might be a good option for everyone.

I know I would have a hard time fostering a dog and then giving them up one day.

Good luck with everything!

Shortcake

June 29, 2009
8:49 pm
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chelonia mydas
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Hi everyone,

Thanks for your advice and support. I haven't heard anymore on this from either the owners or the rescue in over 2 days- so I'm to the point of just not persuing it until they contact me. If it was meant to be it will be and if not, then it was a nice thought none the less.

June 30, 2009
1:00 am
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Chelonia-

It is only codependent if it's something self destructive and/or something that you don't feel right about or really want to do. Otherwise, it is caring and love.

Sorry I don't have any sage wisdom. I just know in the end you will make the right decision. Think of your animals and yourself as your first priority... and if you really want this pup. Puppies are a lot of work, but they do learn fast. So maybe you will either fall in love with the puppy, or train the furkid to make her a suitable pet for her owner.

Another possibility is to connect her with a good trainer beside yourself if she has the financial means. This could be done paid by her whether the dog is fostered by you or not. Then she gets her puppy back when she is ready to live with her owner... without knocking her down. She only needs to learn "heel" and "sit" and "no" for that. Maybe I am naive, but some dogs learn quickly.

-ella

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