Second guessing rescue. Vent.

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by meepitsmeagan, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. meepitsmeagan

    meepitsmeagan Meagan & The Cattle Dog Crew

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    I feel like a horrible person. I'm having a really hard time enjoying Ryder. He's just, stupid. He's incredibly intelligent, but he's stupid. He's opening up a lot now, and I realize that we have only had him for a short time, but he is just not living up to my expectations at all.

    He's had no socialization, so we are having to work on that, with both humans and other dogs, in addition to all of the normal basic obedience I put on a dog. He has a ridiculous prey drive (which I know is a big part of the herding breed, but he doesn't know how to manage his), and I cannot do any sort of training outside. I really wanted to train purely clicker with him, that hasn't gone well. He peed in a store today. Ugh. Never in my life did I think I would have to go get an employee to clean up dog pee.

    I'm just irritated with myself that I let myself get talked into rescue. I wanted an ACD pup. I was on a waiting list. They have a litter about to go on the ground. I'm so freaking picky about how my dogs are raised and how they act. And I got so impatient that I just jumped on this rescue not thinking I would get accepted and now I'm kicking myself. This dog is ridiculously sweet and good tempered, and he's come a long way in the time we have had him. He IS trainable and I think he will turn out to be a great dog. I'm just, ugh. I'm honestly nervous to press "Submit New Thread" because this makes me sound awful. And it's really long. All my posts are long. I wish I didn't always have so much to say.

    Please don't flame me. It won't help anything. I'm already beating myself up.
     
  2. SpringerLover

    SpringerLover Active Member

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  3. Zhucca

    Zhucca Lab Love

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    I had similar feelings when I first got Duke. He wasn't a rescue, just a rehome. So I know his past, his last family was very nice. Just a little dog stupid.

    I always enjoyed him at the daycare and loved labs as a breed. I wasn't in the ideal position to get a dog, but I couldn't turn away the opportunity. After all, a dog I knew since a puppy, one of my favourites, was being offered to me. The first day at my house he peed all over the floor, twice. At 7 months old. I was a bit shocked, but shrugged it off. (he didn't do it again) The first couple of weeks were a little chaotic. He counter surfed, wouldn;t focus on me, pulled like a horse, and his first trip to the dog park was hellish. He ran away, jumped OFF of people, got over stimulated and redirected onto me (nipping) and I left early because I was so annoyed. I wondered if I did the right thing. After all, I really wanted a purebred puppy from an awesome breeder so that I could mold a little young puppy into a perfect sports-type dog. I mean I expected puppy antics but he wasn't responding as quickly to training as I wanted. He wasn't similar enough to McGruff. He was lazy. A little stupid. But then he started to change. My mindset started to change. I spent so much time building up this fantasy dog temperament that I spent too much time on his negative attributes than his positive ones. Which he has a lot of. Our bond got better, and his training started to stick. Besides his separation anxiety (which has gotten better), he's pretty much my ideal these days. He's become such a polite, well mannered dog (most of the time) and I couldn't be happier with him. I'm really looking forward to getting him into some classes (rally-o or agility) this winter because I'm sure he'll do fantastic. I've really tapped into his drive and motivation over the past year.

    Anyways, I can totally relate. But it will get better.
     
  4. meepitsmeagan

    meepitsmeagan Meagan & The Cattle Dog Crew

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    Thank you for this. Unfortunately, this isn't my first thread on how I'm flustered with Ryder. Because of our living situation, I wasn't able to do the two week shutdown type of situation with him. However, we will be uprooting once again back to MI in 14 days, and when we get there, we will have the right situation to do it with him. And I'm going to. This month has really showed me how important it is to do.
     
  5. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    I'm not quite sure how to respond, because of course nobody else is living your life or dealing with it. Heaven knows I've had moments of frustration with Gusto where I think I made the stupidest decision ever, and if this was one of those moments and you needed to vent - go for it.

    If this is genuinely how you feel most of the time - what options do you have for re-homing him? Will the rescue take him back? Are you allowed to place him?

    I say this because I think that is a more fair option for Ryder than spending the rest of his life being compared to the mythical "dog I meant to get". Of course, your ACD puppy could have had all these issues and more besides, but if you are someone who likes to get a puppy from a breeder - do that. There's nothing wrong with that - what is wrong is spending your dog's life being disappointed in him. That sucks for both of you.

    What's right for some people isn't right for everyone. Maybe this isn't the dog for you. Maybe rescue isn't for you. Someone else will think he's the best thing since sliced bread.

    If it is just venting - like I said, go for it. We all need to do it sometimes. And I can assure you that, for me, it always winds up being worth it. I've had moments where I've looked at my rescue dogs and thought "Why couldn't I have gotten the perfect dog like other people?" Spending months and months getting Meg over her fears and severe shut downs. Watching Gusto struggle with any sense of self control. But nothing makes my heart feel more full than thinking of Meg stuffed in a crate with another dog - and then looking at her curled up on a feather pillow on my bed. Or thinking of Gusto being lifted out of the mattress he'd dug his way into, in the trailer where he'd been left to die - and comparing it to him walking to the agility start line, all sleek and shiny and wearing his nice agility lead with his name embroidered on it.

    It's really okay to say rescue isn't for you; but admit it and deal with it, rather than spending the next 15 years wishing your dog was something else.
     
  6. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    this.

    Sorry you're going through this. :(
     
  7. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    The only problem is those 'perfect dogs' probably aren't so perfect and they probably didn't start out that way. You could not look at my two out and about and know that Summer had such bad SA or that Mia was reactive and is so wild. I think there will nearly always be ways you could wish your dog was more X or more Y.

    I have had one dog that was very unsuited to me and my family. I would never want another like him again but on the other hand I learned so much from him and gained so much from him. But that was only after I stopped comparing him to my other shelties. He was never going to be them and me trying to make him them wasn't going to help. Once I threw that idea out, we had a lot of fun.

    I'm not meaning to flame, just give some advice. I don't think it's wrong to rehome a dog if they truly don't fit but I also think it's very easy to romanticize that 'next dog' to an unrealistic extent. It's also very easy to be overwhelmed at first regardless of where you got the dog. Just sit back and breathe and work on some relationship building imo. Go slow and breathe.

    And just for the record, Summer peed all over Petsmart the other day. It happens. I wouldn't worry about that at all.
     
  8. yoko

    yoko New Member

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    I think that's important to remember.

    I'm 100% a rescue pusher but that's just me. Sometimes though rescue just isn't right for people. Is the rescue able to take him back? If you really don't see yourself connecting and enjoying him it might be better for both of you to return him. But at the same time that quote above is true also. If you really don't think he will work out return him but don't think that the next dog will be perfect and problem free.

    When I got Yoshi I was overwhelmed and really wondered why I got her. She wasn't house trained, she hadn't been around people so everyone was a new best friend with no boundaries, she wasn't trained at all. Of course now she is my heart dog and I can't even imagine what my life would be like if it I didn't get her. But we clicked. I felt all that stuff you feel but we clicked.

    If you guys haven't maybe evaluation the situation *when you aren't upset* would be the best thing to do.
     
  9. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    When I first got my Doberman, Lyric, there were times I wanted to send him packing. He was a monster puppy, a puppy from Hell. LOL. I kid you not...he was a handful. A very busy puppy is a gross understatement. He was cute but he was a train barreling down the tracks. I didn't bond with him as early as I did with any other dog I've had. But then...several months down the road, something seemed to change. What was, evolved into the strongest bond I've ever had with a dog. We somehow got on the same page and understood each other...meshed like nothing before. I really think this will happen if you give it time. The lack of socialization during your dogs early puppy hood could make things difficult though. And if you don't think you can work through it or work around it, you might consider seeing if the rescue would take him back or if you can rehome him. No one can predict if things will get better for sure and the decision has to be yours. I am just saying that your feelings are not uncommon. Your dog is in a new environment, he's been taken away from what was his stability. He's with unfamiliar people and routines. When things level out and he blends more into your day to day life, learns to look to you for his security, isn't scattered like he might be right now, I suspect things will get better and you'll click more. I'm sorry you're feeling like this. It's certainly nothing to beat yourself up about. It's not atypical to feel like that.
     
  10. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    Oh, trust me I know that! Heck, I get "she's always so perfect" comments about Meg all the time, and those of us who have known her for a long time just glance at each other and smirk. But there are still moments where I think "if I'd just gotten the purebred puppy from the good breeder I would have done it all right and never have issues and...". Rational thought sometimes goes out the window when you are upset. Like I said, the purebred ACD from a good breeder could have all the same problems and more - or a whole slew of different ones.

    Like I said, I just feel that it is unfair for both the dog and the owner for him to have to spend his life being compared to this non-existent puppy. I'm not generally a fan of rehoming dogs, but there are times when it is the best answer for all involved. If you are going to be looking at pictures of those ACD puppies you could have had, and then turning to Ryder and saying "Why did I get you instead?"...don't. Let him find someone who is going to look at him and say "I'm so glad I made this choice".

    And as I said, if this is just the frustrated venting, let it out, and then move on to helping Ryder be the dog he's capable of being.
     
  11. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Absolutely true. (the bolded part especially) If you don't think you can separate him out and put him in his own little spot in your heart....or if you are compelled to compare him to the "theoretical" dog, it wouldn't be fair to hang onto him. He needs and deserves to be appreciated and loved for the "person" he is...just the way he is. It's not a blight on you if you can't feel that way. It's just the way it is if you do. And steps should be taken to make his life the best it can be. And yours too.
     
  12. Gempress

    Gempress Walks into Mordor

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    I agree with this to some extent, but not entirely. Getting a young puppy from parents with known temperaments, from a breeder who is knowledgeable at evaluating their pup's personalities and making sure they go to the perfect home, is very different from getting an adult dog from rescue.

    Socializing a young pup is often a matter of months. With a grown dog, it can be a matter of years, if ever. With a puppy, you're helping shape its growing and developing personality. With an adult dog, you're trying to undo set habits and established behaviors. It's a lot more difficult.

    That being said, I'm certainly not against rescue. Many great dogs come from rescue. My sweet Zeus was rescued as an adult, and I love him to death. But dealing with issues of an older dog is without a doubt VERY different from a new puppy.

    I agree with what everyone else has said about returning him to the rescue. Dogs live for 10-15 years on average, and it's not fair for you to be "stuck" with a dog you're unhappy with for at least a decade. In the end, we own our dogs because they make us happy. If your dog isn't making you happy, than I would seriously consider returning him to rescue. He may not be right for you, but he may be the dream dog for somebody else.
     
  13. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Oh I know you do. I was just saying in general people can see the end result and miss the steps to get there and only see the end result.

    I do agree that getting a pup vs adult is different. I've never gotten an adult rescue but I have had 3 dogs we've gotten as adults. Each one had something about their personality that I know I could have handled differently and in turn made them ever so slightly into more 'my kind of dog'. But I think the genetics for their temperament would always be there. If I had gotten Trey as a pup MAYBE he wouldn't have been quite so fearful. But that's a big maybe. His owner knew what she was doing and he still ended up that way. It leads me to believe his temperament had more to do with the way he was wired than the way he was raised.

    I know enough people that have gotten breeder pups and had some serious trouble with their dogs for me to say it's a breeder dog vs rescue thing. I have one friend who got her dream border collie puppy and has been dealing with some major temperament issues (OCD in the form of self mutilation, suspected ETS, and more). This is someone with tons of experience with performance dogs and herding breeds. I really don't think she could have done much differently in raising this dog that would fix these issues.

    In the end I think it is much less WHERE you get the dog versus finding a dog with a temperament that matches you. And then on top of that having some luck.

    Sorry this is a little off topic, I guess. :eek:
     
  14. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Only you will know if the dog is not for you. But let me tell you of two dogs.

    Kat was carefully bred. Heck she was the daughter of the best dog on the planet (I admit bias lol) As a pup she was hell on 4 paws. If you (any generic human) was holding her and she wanted down she would try to full on attack your face. Luckily she was small and that never got her anywhere. She was drivey and a big big pain. She matured into a wonderful dog. I was lucky to have her for the 2 years I did, and as seen by my recent thread I still hurt from her loss. But if you were to have met her at 6 months of age... So even the perfect puppy can start out as a chaos causing attention span of a nat whirling dervish type..

    Then take Seren. I got her almost a year ago. She had been a kennel dog, very well bred and friendly. She screamed in fear at the whippets. She had NO concept of house training. She had never had to hold it in the kennel so messed in her crate for the first week. It took MONTHS to house train her. (She still isn't 100%) There was so much she didn't know. She is now a well adjusted member of the household. I can take her out in public, train her etc. But it took quite a while.

    So if there is a little voice going 'maybe' I say give it some more time. If you look at the dog and go "not my dog" then I agree finding the dog another home is in both your best interests.
     
  15. Kilter

    Kilter New Member

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    Storee was supposed to be my big performance dog, bred for that, awesome breeder, best temperament...

    And it's taken five years to 'get there' where she's not as independant and wants to work. There's been times where I've thought 'ugh' but still pushed working her, sometimes taking a break from training, and now she's coming together nicely. Would be nicer if she was three years younger, but she's taught me a lot.

    But, you have to do what works for you too, if you can't give him a chance or he's just not the right dog, then rehoming would be better for both.
     
  16. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    I think it was Laurelin who observed -- after getting Mia ;) -- that often we get the dogs we NEED instead of the ones we want.

    I can only imagine the anguish you're feeling, because you do love dogs, and it seems, from your posts, that you want to love Ryder -- and really already do on a raw, emotional level. Pre-existing expectations can screw up relationships, but they can be hard to let go of.
     
  17. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    It's normal to have some of those feelings. I think if you really look inside your heart you will feel whether there is something there that can blossom into the relationship you want with him or not. If not, as others have said it's not really fair to either one of you to try to force things.

    As far as true confessions. Maisy is Roxy's successor. No matter how much I told myself at the time this wasn't true, in retrospect I was trying to find Roxy Part II. And for a long time I did not bond with Maisy because of it, although I wouldn't really admit that to myself for a long time. I wondered and worried if she was not a good fit, I felt bad about it, agonized over whether to talk to the rescue about them taking her back. But even if she wasn't what I expected, there was ALWAYS something there that made me feel like she belonged with me and ultimately I decided to stick it out.

    It took me over a year to truly bond with Maisy as Maisy. And there were a variety of challenges along the way but she is truly my dog now and I don't regret anything. Is she the dog I thought I was getting, or the dog that was in my head when she came home? No. But she is still my girl.

    So my point is, what you are feeling now does not make the future hopeless and sometimes it takes time for that relationship to blossom. Often I do think our pre-expectations are the cause. BUT there really is no shame in having those feelings in the first place OR in ultimately deciding that little spark between you really, truly isn't there and he's not the dog for you.
     
  18. monkeys23

    monkeys23 New Member

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    This exactly.

    My second dog Scout was not what I was looking for. In fact I turned down not one, but two dogs that would have been exactly what I was looking for. I turned them down because though I wanted a well bred GSD with which to do sport, I felt it was not the right time monetarily to make that investment. And I wasn't even looking at pups, I was looking at 2yr old breeder rehomes.

    Long story short, I ended up with Scout because my best friend's mother didn't listen to my warnings about how much work Lily requires on a daily basis. I turned Scout down multiple times before finally taking her, but she decided I was her person from the second we met.

    Scout will never be normal, but I would not trade her for the world. There are times when I just want to scream, but at the same time she's as much a part of me as like my arm. She's fear reactive toward dogs and also co-dependant to my other dog to the point where I can't leave her alone. Ever. Know how frustrating it is not to get one on one time with Lily?

    I had to approach training her completely differently, but you know what its made me an enormously better trainer than I ever would have become otherwise. And I will never be done learning. I worked on finding a way to get her to platz for over two years before I figured something out that works... and now she's progressed to offerring it.

    I'll be honest, adopting Lily was a cakewalk. Lily has the good genetics to overcome and surpass her early life experiences. She will never overcome her compulsive eating disorder from being dumped by her first owner, but really that is super small potatos in the big picture and I can't complain because thats the only real baggage she's got.

    Though she's nearly the exact same mix, taking Scout in has been totally different. I learned just how important things like genetics (she was born into rescue after a hoarding bust) and early socialization/training games are. I do think she'd be a lot different if she'd been with me from day one, but even with that she would still never be normal. She is what she is and I love her anyway.

    I don't want another rescue, but by the same token I know I'd eat my words if I said I was swearing off rescues forever. I will say my working mix rescues have done a very good job of preparing me for the eventuality of getting a well bred dog or puppy of my preferred breeds someday in the future, especially in regards to building a good foundation.
     
  19. meepitsmeagan

    meepitsmeagan Meagan & The Cattle Dog Crew

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    This was almost fully a vent. Have I thrown around the idea of returning him to the rescue? Yes. Do I know deep down that is what I want? No. It's not. He is MY dog. Today, we took a nice long hike and I really evaluated how he fit into our family, and to be honest, he is 95% everything I wanted in my ACD.

    Like I said, he needs socialization. It can be done. Will it take a while? Yes, yes it will. But I'm 20, I've got plenty of time to get him socialized, and I also have plenty of time in the future to eventually get an ACD pup. With him being an adult, I do think it is a good stepping stone going from Bullies to herding dogs and I think it will help me a lot when I do get my ACD pup. His off switch in the house will come with time.

    I just needed to get my words written down and get it out. I truly do try to work with the dog I have, not the one I want. I was just having a bad day and was frustrated.

    How could I not love this face?
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Everyone understands needing to vent sometimes. He has such a sweet face. :)
     

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