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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We recently adopted a dog and I'm having second thoughts as to the disruption in our schedule/routine. We lost our old dog several years ago, so we have gotten use to not having that responsibility. My kids are both teenagers, who have been begging us for a dog the last couple of years. They said they would take care of it, and play with it, and be responsible, and for the most part they are, but they are still teenagers with sports, homework, friends, and other activities that keep us busy every night of the week. My second thoughts are not about the dog itself, he is a wonderful dog, I'm just not sure we have enough time to give him. Is it fair to have a dog that's alone during the day while we are at work/school and then again several evenings when we are busy with other things? Or is this typical "mom" guilt? I'm really struggling with this decision and feeling like a horrible person that we agreed to something and now regretting it. The kids would be so sad if we gave him back to the rescue, and I would be embarrassed to give him back too. But I just want what's best for the dog, he deserves a family that has time for him. Any advice would be very helpful!
 

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If you truly don't have time for the dog then it would be better for the dog to go back embarrassment or not. Dog are pack animals and need a person or persons to interact with on a regular basis or they will start to act out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I know, that's what my gut tells me. I just wanted to make the kids happy, and I know we can give him a loving home, but hate leaving him alone so much.
 

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I had a dog many many years ago when I was a kid. He was left alone virtually every day, work and school schedules, and he became a neurotic mess. He would destroy the house during the day, and was just generally unruly and difficult. Update to today: both my wife and I are retired, and we adopted Samantha, a poodle/bishon mix six years ago. We spend a lot of time with her, and she is well adjusted, happy and absolutely devoted to both my wife and me. She is well behaved, and everyone that meets her, loves her. She is just a pleasant dog to be around. I can't say for sure, exactly why she is such a wonderful dog, but I think, the breed has something to do with it, and certainly the time we spend with her.

Perhaps in your case, there would be some activities that your dog could be included in. They love to be part of everything, and generally respond well to the involvement and attention. Before you decide to 'give up', see if there are some compromises, that each member of the family can make to improve the relationship with your dog. When everyone works together, it becomes much more manageable for each member. You should have a family meeting and discuss exactly how everyone sees the relationship with the dog, and work it out together. Just my 10 cents, and wishing you the best of luck. IMO dogs are so wonderful, they are unquestionably worth what every energy is required.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the words of encouragement! We definitely need to work together and make sure this was the right decision for everyone in our family. I know how wonderful dogs can me, so I'm really hoping we can make this work.
 

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Would hiring a dog walker help, maybe. Then he'd get some people time during the day when everyone is at work and school.
 

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My daughter and her family are on the same kind of schedule as your family, but they weren't 2 years ago when the adopted a Schnauzer puppy. So he was a well-adjusted dog because for his first year and a half, Beth was at home all day, but now she works from 7:40 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. And her boys are very active in sports. Dash is still his wonderful self, but he is alone a lot now.

I do see a few people who bring their dogs, leashed, of course, to practices and to outdoor games.
 

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@Sophie0622
I know that guilty feeling! I definitely second all of the advice that urges you and your family to think about times that the dog might be included (of course, easier and safer in the fall/spring/winter(depending on how severe your winters are). What breed is the dog? What is the age of the dog? How does the dog seem when you get back to the house?
 
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