Rescuing a Dog - Excited and Anxious

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Rescuing a Dog - Excited and Anxious

This is a discussion on Rescuing a Dog - Excited and Anxious within the New Additions forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hello Everyone, I hope you all are doing well. I was wondering if anyone could please give me some advice. I'm having mixed feelings about ...

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Old 01-02-2017, 10:03 PM
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Rescuing a Dog - Excited and Anxious

Hello Everyone,
I hope you all are doing well.
I was wondering if anyone could please give me some advice. I'm having mixed feelings about adopting a rescue dog. I REALLY love the dog we are about to adopt. She's a 6 month old Beagle/Border Collie. Her name is Stella and she has probably spent about 2 of the 6 months she's been alive in the shelter - that makes me so sad!! I have another dog who is 3 1/2 years old and her name is Bella. She is a black lab/border collie. She's also a sweet girl. My partner and I have wanted to get another dog for quite some time to have as a new addition because we love dogs and feel it would be very beneficial for Bella who at this time has been the only dog in the house for the past 3 1/2 years. That's all she's ever known. We feel it would be good to have a companion for her, especially to keep her company when we are at work.

Last week my partner and I decided to go to the shelter because we felt that it would be nice to give a dog a second chance and adopt a rescue dog who needed a good loving home. We found Stella and she just melted our hearts. She has a lot of energy and played well with Bella at the shelter when we did the Meet and Greet. We got approved and we have been waiting the past week for her to get spayed so we can bring her home!

However, although I already love this puppy so much, I have been feeling anxious about this change. I'm afraid of a few things.. I'm afraid that Bella will feel sad that we are giving another dog attention instead of just the her and that she will feel uncomfortable having another dog in the house. I also fear that things will change between us and Bella (from her point of view anyways) and that we won't be able to have as much one on one cuddles because dogs usually get jealous of one another. I plan to give them equal cuddles but am afraid that each dog might get in the way of cuddles with the other. I'm also nervous because both Stella and Bella have to be spayed before we can officially adopt Stella. Stella is getting spayed tomorrow and Bella was supposed to be as well and then we were going to be adopting her tomorrow, but Bella is now on her heat and cannot be spayed for another month, so Stella will still be spayed but we will "foster" her until Bella is spayed. The shelters policy is to have all pets in the house spayed and I totally get that that is the responsible thing to do (I didn't have plans on letting Bella have pups because there are so many animals already who need homes) but this all came so sudden and I am sad that they both have to go through this.

Lastly, to be honest, I'm also a little nervous about health issues and vet costs because Bella has cost us a fortune with allergies issues (skin problems and anal gland issues) and has been seeing a naturopathic vet and although I wouldn't trade her for the world, I am just afraid our new dog will have issues too. It's been a nightmare seeing Bella go to the vet and so I am scared that Stella will have to too. I don't want either dog going through that which is why we have decided to take Bella to a naturopathic vet which has helped quite a bit!

I want the best for my dogs. I feed them raw, let them sleep on my bed and couch, give them lots of cuddles and love but am just anxious for some reason about the whole thing. Is this normal? I know I want Stella for sure but am just scared about the whole thing for some reason. Any advice would be great! Thank you.
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Old 01-03-2017, 04:43 PM
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What you're feeling is absolutely normal! Getting a new puppy is a big change, but it sounds like you know what you're getting yourself into

I have been going through something very similar. In fact, here is a link to my first post on this forum:

Was getting a second dog a mistake?

Like you, I was so upset that my first dog, Addie, would feel neglected. I found that even though I tried my hardest, it was impossible not to neglect her (or FEEL like I was neglecting her), at least a little. I was so used to it just being the two of us and her having my undivided attention, but now there was a new dog that needed even more attention (for training and making him feel welcome). I also felt like I was forcing Addie to sacrifice fun activities (like playing ball in the park), because it's harder to take 2 dogs.

I made that post about a month ago and things have gotten a LOT better. They have started to play together and we have fallen into a good rhythm. I try to make it a point to have 1-on-1 time with them as much as possible and they both seem content. And you are actually in a better situation than me, since there are two of you. You can give attention to one while your partner gives attention to the other!

Also like you, my first dog has had several random health issues. When she was a puppy, she had extensive dental surgery. She has also had a tumor removed from her nose and received treatment for a pretty gnarly ear infection. Unfortunately, there is no way to predict what medical treatment a dog may need, unless an issue is pre-existing. If you are concerned about not being able to afford reasonable medical treatment for Stella, should the need arise, then I would maybe encourage you to reconsider getting a second dog. There are some ways to help cut medical costs, though. Have you looked into pet insurance? I have never used it, but I hear great things.

As a final point, it might be a blessing in disguise that you are fostering Stella for so long. Think of it as a trial period, and if it just doesn't work out, there is no harm in bringing her back to the shelter, or finding someone else to take her!

Good luck! I can tell you from my experience that this past month has not been easy, but I know it'll be worth it in the end!!
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Old 01-03-2017, 05:20 PM
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I think it's normal to be nervous...It means you are thinking everything through carefully! Stella sounds like a great dog. Don't worry about the spaying. It is awful seeing them go through it, but it is routine surgery. Good luck
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Old 01-03-2017, 11:05 PM
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I think it's a bad idea to have a dog named Bella and one named Stella. And yes, it's normal to fell like that.

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Old 01-03-2017, 11:35 PM
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Hello,

Thank you for your reply! We ended up getting Stella today and she has been pretty ok, but has whined quite a bit which is understandable. I'm kind of sad though right now because I feel that Bella is sad for instance, I believe the new adoptee Stella may have a bit of separation anxiety and she started to whine in the bedroom at bedtime. Since my partner has to work early I deciddd to take her into the living room to sleep until she can adjust over the next few days. Might I add - she was spayed today as well and is probably not feeling the best. Anyways, my Bella is in the bedroom with my partner sleeping and she is usually my sidekick. This is making me very sad. I really don't want it to come down to me feeling so bad that I take her back to the shelter or find another home because she had already been homed and then rehomed with a foster family then back to the shelter before we got her. She's been moved around so much and she's only 6mths old. I really wouldn't want to do that. I'm so afraid and sad that I made a mistake. She's a sweet puppy but I'm sad things may change with my other dog. I don't know what to do.
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Old 01-04-2017, 12:45 AM
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Hi KerriAnn,

I hope that all goes well for you as Stella and Bella get to know each other. I think you're taking the right approach to slowly introducing them to each other and to wait until they are more themselves after their surgeries.

I might suggest that you rename Stella. The two names are too similar-sounding and will be confusing for them.

It's a bit too early to know how the dynamics in your household will change with the addition of a new dog. Hopefully, they'll get along well.
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Old 01-04-2017, 09:52 AM
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Do a bit of research on puppy blues/puppy depression and you will see that you're not alone! In fact, there is a thread at the top of this forum on that very topic.

When I got Bubba (my second dog), the first thing I did was just sit on the floor and cry. I was so convinced that I made the biggest mistake of my life and that I had ruined my relationship with Addie. The first week was definitely the hardest and I went back and forth on deciding to re-home him no less than a million times. Addie spent most of the week hiding behind the couch, which just broke my heart. She has gradually become more accustomed to having another dog there, though, and they are getting along better and better every day. It also hasn't affected our relationship as much as I initially feared it would. She still gets PLENTY of love and attention, even if she has to share it now

One thing that I did that helped was make it a point to take them for a walk or car ride together as much as possible. These were things that Addie already loved to do, and it helped her to associate Bubba with fun things.

I pored over these forums and other pages for days, trying to find some little glimmer of information that would make me feel better, like maybe someone else had the exact same dynamic as me and now their dogs are best friends. Every situation is different, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel! I think you will find that things get a little better every day and you will get used to having two dogs in no time!
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Old 01-09-2017, 03:40 PM
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Hello everyone,

Thank you all for your responses.

It has been a week now and I am totally stressed still. I have had 3 breakdowns. I know it's only been a week and there is an adjustment period but I don't know if this will get better.

I am already a bit of an anxious person to begin with and it has been really hard for me I think because:
-Stella won't stop barking. I mean she barks 90% of the time and this raises my stress levels. It makes me super sad.
-she plays super rough with my 3 1/2 year old dog who is very passive. She's bites at her ears and legs, etc.
-she mouths/gently bites at my hands when I tell her no or have to gently redirect her.
-she has seperation anxiety and I stress out when I have to leave her for work. The first time I kennelled her thinking she may be more comfortable because in a "safe" place and video recorded her when I left and she barked for an hour non stop. The next day I put a thundershirt on her and left her out of the kennel and she didn't distroy anything and only barked for a few mins (which is great). But I fear this stresses out my dog Bella because she isn't used to it and she seems unhappy compared to before.
-lastly, even though we have considered getting her training, it seems how that my partner is allergic to her (which training can't fix). I don't know if she just has more dander than Bella or what, but my partner has played with her twice now on the floor and his neck broke out to a beat red rash that stayed there for about an hour or two. He has also complained about a stuffy itchy nose which we thought was a cold but now that we think about it, these symptoms started over two weeks ago when we first started visiting Stella at the shelter and these symptoms haven't subsided.

I have no idea what to do. I feel completely lost, sad, -anxious and quite frankly depressed. I have cried 3 or the 7 nights we have had her. Right now we are fostering until Bella gets spayed in FEB (as she was in heat the past week) and I fear that we have no other choice than to take her back. That sounds SO bad and trust me, I am not the type to get rid of dogs whenever, because I love dogs more so than people really and hate to see them rehomed because they need a family. I just don't know if we can do this for 12-15 years if it's already been going on for 1 week and stressing me, my partner and my dog out. But I would rather be stressed than Stella and I get teary eyed just thinking about taking her back to the shelter. I am so lost. WHAT DO I DO? Shes already been rehomed originally due to her first families son being allergic and then again when her foster family was concerned about her nipping. She was in the shelter about 1 1/2 months before we got her and she's only 6months old!! It breaks my heart thinking that she's spent probably 3-4 months of her 6 months on earth in a cage without companionship or a friend to play with. I really need some advice!

Thank you,
Kerri
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Old 01-10-2017, 12:41 AM
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I think it's very hard and, frankly speaking, unrealistic to expect that prospective dog owners can make a lifelong commitment based on very brief meet-and-greets and very limited information about the new dog and how it will behave once it's been brought home. And, that's how most shelters in our country operate. A much better way would be to allow for a trial period of two weeks to see if the arrangement is the best one for all involved: the family, the new dog, and the resident pets.

I have rehomed the first two dogs that I've adopted, and you can find my threads about my struggles with each one on this site. The first dog I adopted was a poor match for me and my family. I brought him home with unrealistic expectations, and I found that, despite my best efforts, I was unable to meet his training and exercise needs. After two months, I contacted a rescue group and was able to place him in a private no-kill shelter. He was adopted that very same day by a young couple with much more dog experience. I hope he is well, and I know that I made the right decision for all of us.

I loved (and still love) the second dog I brought home. I fell in love with and adopted two unrelated dogs from a shelter. I loved them both, but one of them was a resource guarder and I really struggled with maintaining the balance between them. After many tears, I rehomed the resource guarder with a close friend and kept the third dog. I know that the second dog is thriving in her home as a single dog, and I'm very happy with the one I kept.

I know that a lot of guilt is placed on folks who return dogs to shelters. I feel, though, that too much pressure is placed on them in the first place. It's very hard for the average prospective dog owner to know how a shelter dog might behave once it's been brought home.

My feeling is that an adoption means making a commitment that one seeks the best outcome for the dog. With the first dog, I made a great effort to get him into a shelter that would place him in a more appropriate home and not euthanize him. For the second dog, I get regular updates and have made a commitment to always make sure that he is well-cared for.

Do what you can for your new dog, but don't beat yourself up if the adoption doesn't work out. None of this is easy.
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Old 01-10-2017, 07:25 AM
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SusanLynn makes some great points.

It's totally okay to rehome or return a dog that isn't working out. Given the speed and placement of your husband's reaction I'd be taking her back ASAP or at least consulting a doctor.
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