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Could You Stay with Someone Whose Not Interested in Raising a Dog?

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ever since I lost my boston terrier beagle after she got hit by a car, three years ago, I have wanted a new puppy. I was so heartbroken, not wanting her to be dead at only 18 months old, wanting to replace her so badly (its how we handled losing dogs and cats when I grew up) that I got a kitten the day after my dog passed. He's turning 4 in July.

I was living with my boyfriend and his mother at the time. My boyfriend's mother is not a big animal lover so she said that because we had a cat we were not going to get another dog.

When I made the decision to move back in with them, to south jersey, under the arrangement that the house we moved into would later become mine and my boyfriend's once paid off, the agreement was that we would get a puppy. My boyfriend said he wanted one, too.

This made me stupidly think that a puppy would be the perfect gift, at time when we weren't living together, after he fell into a slump.

Deciding to buy him this puppy, without even finding out the type of dog that he wanted, was a naive decision, as he was a german shepherd who has all the warning signs of a byb puppy and he felt overwhelmed by her and the poor thing lost out on socialization, exercise, and training from being poorly raised. Yea, he should have told me that and said he had to rehome her when he first saw her.

While I knew that she had socialization issues I thought she had training. I wasn't living there, I had no idea what was going on. The only way that I could have prevented anything that happened was by not coming up with the idea to get a sick person a puppy, and giving my mother-in-law money for her in the first place.

I would have never got her had I thought that my boyfriend would have failed to raise her properly and she wasn't going to suffer just because I made a mistake. I finally agreed to rehome her because she was miserable, felt trapped and crated, and her behaviorist said that it was best for her to get a fresh start. The truth that all available treatments would be very difficult and if there was one false move, she'd bite. I didn't know that what happened to her would happen, and I didn't want her to have a future where she might die.

We've decided that we're going to get another puppy, a bichon frise, and that we're going to do things right this time. I'm reading all kinds of books, subscribing to magazines... actually researched the breeds that would be suited to our lifestyle as I never want to do that to another dog again.

I asked my boyfriend if I could send him some of these guides... he said no. We got into an argument, where I asked him if he really wanted a puppy because what happened to the german shepherd is never going to happen to another dog again. We are getting a puppy and he doesn't mind getting a puppy, he just wants something smaller that's easier to exercise. Something that's more suited to our lifestyle.

Ironically, even though german shepherds are lower maintenance dogs to other people, since we live in a townhouse, with no fenced in yard, none of us are athletes, and they require 3-4 hours of exercise... They are higher maintenance (I only considered a dog like that because I thought we'd have a yard). Even though the bichon frise needs lots of attention and grooming, they are lower maintenance for us as I have enough money to keep the dog who would sport a utility cut for easier maintenance, well-groomed, will wash its face and bathe it monthly, as I work remotely, meaning I'm home all the time, and want a playful dog who wants attention, that dog would be lower maintenance for us than a shepherd.

At first though I was ready to leave... because being with someone who doesn't want to raise a puppy would be a dealbreaker for me. The reason that I'm not leaving after what happened to the last puppy is because its not boyfriend's fault. I'm at fault for having naive judgment, his mother's for going along with the idea and choosing the first puppy she saw, to surprise my boyfriend (he found out when I told him the puppy had a vet appointment), me not being there, and the whole household's lack of knowledge on properly raising puppies. She wasn't unloved. His mother grew up with adult rescue dogs, and his uncle only had adult rescue dogs.

However, while it worked out okay for the german shepherd. She found a good home. I am deeply saddened by losing her and that I put something like that in motion (I couldn't visit the household for other reasons for lack of time.. so there was nothing I could have done about exercise, training or socialization).

He told me later that he does want a puppy but he wants to wait until spring, when its warmer, and he told me that he already understands the way to properly raise a puppy. I hope this is true... but if its not, I will leave with my little dog in tow. I will never have another dog that was rehomed after developing behavioral problems fron failure to meet its needs.

So could you stay with someone who doesn't want to raise a dog?
 

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Depends on how they acted? If it was with an attitude that they're (SO and dog) like roommates, but SO would help potty, feed, or step up with basic care if I was unavailable for some reason; then maybe. But they would have to be really special and crucial to my life for that. Would they become resentful during the training not to bite, jump, or beg phase? Do you both agree with where the dog will sleep? If it was someone who wouldn't feed or potty the dog if I was unavailable, because, "It wasn't their job/dog," it would be bye so fast they'd barely register we broke up.

I somewhat disagree with you. Yes, you maybe shouldn't have suggested the dog without talking to him. Yes, his mother shouldn't have sprung the surprise or been impulsive about it. But, you know what? That dog, a baby dog, depended on him for everything. And he failed her.

He did not rehome her right away. Set her up for success. Adapt because she needed him. Work on letting her be the dog she was meant to be or could have been. At some point, he heard her, saw her, saw what her life was like; and did nothing to notably change or better it. You did when you saw the results.

I'm glad she has a happy ending. But I would, if I were you, seriously be reconsidering this relationship and asking how he's going to be better. What, "How to properly raise a puppy," means to him in detail. Why this time is going to be different. Because German shepherds and bichons all learn basic obedience and training virtually the same way--positively, consistently, and patiently.

FWIW, my first dog that was actually mine was bought as a surprise for me by my parents when I was extremely suicidal. It worked out for us. So, while I wouldn't necessarily recommend this route, it does work out sometimes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Depends on how they acted? If it was with an attitude that they're (SO and dog) like roommates, but SO would help potty, feed, or step up with basic care if I was unavailable for some reason; then maybe. But they would have to be really special and crucial to my life for that. Would they become resentful during the training not to bite, jump, or beg phase? Do you both agree with where the dog will sleep? If it was someone who wouldn't feed or potty the dog if I was unavailable, because, "It wasn't their job/dog," it would be bye so fast they'd barely register we broke up.

I somewhat disagree with you. Yes, you maybe shouldn't have suggested the dog without talking to him. Yes, his mother shouldn't have sprung the surprise or been impulsive about it. But, you know what? That dog, a baby dog, depended on him for everything. And he failed her.

He did not rehome her right away. Set her up for success. Adapt because she needed him. Work on letting her be the dog she was meant to be or could have been. At some point, he heard her, saw her, saw what her life was like; and did nothing to notably change or better it. You did when you saw the results.

I'm glad she has a happy ending. But I would, if I were you, seriously be reconsidering this relationship and asking how he's going to be better. What, "How to properly raise a puppy," means to him in detail. Why this time is going to be different. Because German shepherds and bichons all learn basic obedience and training virtually the same way--positively, consistently, and patiently.

FWIW, my first dog that was actually mine was bought as a surprise for me by my parents when I was extremely suicidal. It worked out for us. So, while I wouldn't necessarily recommend this route, it does work out sometimes.
I'm glad your dog saved your life. While my boyfriend started off with depression... he, also, developed other health issues post getting the dog including high blood pressure and for some reason... it hurts him just to walk. I was so mad at him when I asked him how much training she actually had, and he confessed that it was very little.

I will say in fairness to my boyfriend, he did try to work on training her after the behaviorist gave us the plan that she had created for the dog, but it was too late. At the time, we had just moved and I developed kidney stones and a UTI, he just wanted me to rest so I couldn't work on the training. Despite this, during the second session, we found out that the dog wasn't happy in her surroundings and that the work he had done did little to rehabilitate her... we made a decision that she wasn't going to suffer anymore, and she would be rehomed.
 

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This sounds harsh, so remember, you asked.

My own feelings are strong enough that I don't even want people who don't like, are indifferent to, or get and neglect animals as friends much less as a lover and housemate. But then I wouldn't live with a boyfriend and his mommy and have her telling me what I could and couldn't do either.

I can't imagine giving anyone a puppy as a gift or making or accepting excuses for someone who failed to take proper care of a puppy to the extent you describe, but then how did an 18-month-old get hit by a car?

I can't imagine planning on another puppy that might mean "leav[ing] with my little dog in tow."

Maybe you need to sit down and really think about what's already happened, what could happen, and what should happen instead of planning on another puppy in the near future.
 

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There is a whole lot to unpack here. Normally I would be all over your boyfriend for not dealing properly with the shepherd puppy. However, depression plays merry hell with planning and coping abilities. He might well have been struggling even with normal human tasks like planning meals and dealing with the mail. If he's still not feeling fully functional, I think he's reasonable in refusing to take on the responsibility of a puppy. He's already seen two dogs suffer in your household. Honestly, I think he is making a very responsible call in light of his medical condition. Relationships are about establishing healthy boundaries. He has told you what his boundary is, and you are pushing back. I think it might be a good idea for both of you to get counseling before you get your finances tied up with his family's. Right now the issue is the puppy. In the future it will be the mother in law, a kid, a job, or something else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This sounds harsh, so remember, you asked.

My own feelings are strong enough that I don't even want people who don't like, are indifferent to, or get and neglect animals as friends much less as a lover and housemate. But then I wouldn't live with a boyfriend and his mommy and have her telling me what I could and couldn't do either.

I can't imagine giving anyone a puppy as a gift or making or accepting excuses for someone who failed to take proper care of a puppy to the extent you describe, but then how did an 18-month-old get hit by a car?

I can't imagine planning on another puppy that might mean "leav[ing] with my little dog in tow."

Maybe you need to sit down and really think about what's already happened, what could happen, and what should happen instead of planning on another puppy in the near future.
This is personal, but hopefully you can understand where I'm coming from. Prior to jumping to conclusions, my living situation is definitely weird. It took me awhile to come to the conclusion that I would live with my mother-in-law.

Although one thing you should understand is that I live in an area where living with your parents is not unheard of. I'm not sure of what area you live of the United States you live in. I'm originally from Long Island, NY and I live in NJ. Its difficult to find an apartment in Long Island, NY that's under $2,000 a month, and apartments in NJ, especially that county, can cost $1 250 for a studio, or $1,500 for a one-bedroom.

Keep in mind, that the environment I grew up in was very unstable. My mother had severe mental issues that went undiagnosed... My parents were poor and they lived in a house that was originally owned by my great grandmother and inherited by my grandmother. To put it this way, my parents always made less than $100,000, a year, combined. My mother must have resented where she lived so she'd constantly complain.

Five years ago, my father attempted suicide on Christmas Eve. I decided that I wanted out but I only made $37.5 K at the time... no where near what was needed to afford my own apartment. My mother and grandmother were saying such horrible things that I had to leave for my sanity. Eventually, I moved back home for work but retained a very close mother-daughter relationship with my mother-in-law.

I finally left for good at 27. This time, I was making $42 K. I moved back in with my mother-in-law, and lived there for another 2 years before finally moving out. She unofficially adopted me as her daughter when my mother died that November.

Around the time that my dog got hit by a car, there was so much turmoil going on. Keep in mind, this was my first dog by myself... I got her when I was 26. She was a sweet, primarily well-behaved, well-trained, except for when she was outside, boston terrier beagle mix who loved to run. As a new dog owner I didn't understand the reasons that dogs ran away. She likely was bored and needed mental stimulation. I know this now. Although I'm not the only dog owner who has ever had a dog hit hy a car. The first thing I would do with the new puppy would involve working on recall.

In my case, there were circumstances that impaired my judgment... preventing me from protecting her. My grandmother, who was the only suitable mother figure I had growing up had just passed away, my mother had just attempted to set my childhood home on fire, I might have just heard that my biological mother was braindead, and I had just had surgery. That day my little dog wouldn't stop crying and I took her out multiple times. Knowing that she might run out, I liked to keep her by me, that night she wouldn't come into the bathroom with me... My mother-in-law didn't realize that she was running loose in the house... an outside door was open and my little dog made a beeline. We tried grabbing her and she wouldn't listen until she ended up on the highway. Worst night of my life... I couldn't protect her. The first command the puppy will learn will be recall.

I lived with my mother-in-law for two years following that... the apartment was hers. I abided by her rules, as you do when you're living with someone. She, also, took my dad in later on.

I finally moved out when I was 29, with the resolution that I would never live with my mother-in-law again. It was a roommate type of situation, to make it more economical for my $50K salary. My boyfriend and I were supposed to get our own place, which is what I wanted.

That all ended when my boyfriend's brother offered to buy us a house, his mother, my boyfriend, myself. that would eventually be given to my boyfriend and I.

My boyfriend is nowhere as successful as I am, but we've been together for almost 11 years, he was actually doing better than me when we first met, and he is a good person... so he's kind of grandfathered in. If I had just met him, I probably never would have agreed to a living situation like my current one but there are special circumstances that got me here, and his mom might as well be my mom.

During this time, I did eventually move into my own apartment for like 6 months. I started making my $75K annual salary, allowing me to live comfortably as a single person, paying $1,350 in rent. I was even making enough where if I had waited long enough I could have afforded the down payment on the townhouse I'm living in now, with someone else - $200,000 townhouse, 20% down payment to avoid PMI... it wouldn't have taken that long either. So no I no longer need to live with my mother-in-law but my boyfriend wanted to take his brother up on the offer.

Yes, I am deeply saddened by what happened with that puppy... I wanted to break up with my boyfriend, when I became aware of the fact that he let a sweet, beautiful, lovely dog suffer but I blame myself for being so naive.

Yet, I'm not the only person who ever bought someone a puppy as a gift before. It doesn't always work out, either. I should have known that. My paternal grandfather bought a puppy for his grandson and it was rehomed, after his grandson decided that he wanted to hang out with his friends and the parents didn't want to be bothered.

Rescues and reputable breeders probably both love and fear the holidays, valentines day, mothers day, etc., because people, like me at that time, who don't know any better buy puppies and kittens as gifts ALL the time. Sometimes it works out but sometimes the animal is rehomed.

I've suffered for a long time without a dog, and if I had never decided to buy a puppy as a gift for my boyfriend, the accident with my puppy getting hit by the car would have been my only tragedy as a pet parent. That dog was a puppy 4 years ago, and with everything that's happened in my life I'm a different person now. I, also, did my own research on taking care of the german shepherd and tried to share them with everyone else... it just didn't work out how I wanted if to.

I am 100% committed to learning how to take care of this puppy. I believe that everyone whose responsible for what happened to the german shepherd feels extremely guilty and I 100% doubt it will happen. Yet, I'm in a place where I can easily take the dog and move out, and raise him or her by myself, if I don't like what's going on. One of the reasons I chose a bichon frise, a breed that I'm learning to love the more I find out about them, is because I think it fits the household VERY well, and solves a lot of concerns that everyone I live with had about dogs - shedding, chasing the cat, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
There is a whole lot to unpack here. Normally I would be all over your boyfriend for not dealing properly with the shepherd puppy. However, depression plays merry hell with planning and coping abilities. He might well have been struggling even with normal human tasks like planning meals and dealing with the mail. If he's still not feeling fully functional, I think he's reasonable in refusing to take on the responsibility of a puppy. He's already seen two dogs suffer in your household. Honestly, I think he is making a very responsible call in light of his medical condition. Relationships are about establishing healthy boundaries. He has told you what his boundary is, and you are pushing back. I think it might be a good idea for both of you to get counseling before you get your finances tied up with his family's. Right now the issue is the puppy. In the future it will be the mother in law, a kid, a job, or something else.
I understand your point... but I basically told him that a loving, rewarding forever dog is what I want. I'm very upset that the german shepherd wasn't the loving, rewarding forever dog... because she never got proper socialization, training, or exercise she needed, making her miserable, but I don't think it's fair of me to pin the blame on him. I should have never even got the dog for him if I wasn't there... I have a dog expert uncle who even told me that I shouldn't have gotten him a dog without living with him.

Even though I'm not athletic, I would have never done that to her... I was thinking of how to fit her into our lifestyle - a treadmill, so that she could run herself in the living room, an exercise class, with exercise equipment, doggie daycare, but by the time I was there, she was already miserable. I got there for her too late :(.

My point in the deal is if he doesn't want to raise a puppy and I do, then we have a problem, because to me, it would almost be like him saying I never want to have a baby. I never want to get married. If you read my previous comment, I gave up having my own place, and agreed to live with his mother again, for him and his mother. I love his mother dearly. She's basically my mom, too. I just feel like she tries to run things some times... but this a forum about dogs, not relationships.

I actually need a dog in order to be happy and I want to be with someone who wants to raise a puppy with me... even if I have to do most of the hard stuff, including the training and socialization. I don't know how long he's going to be like this for... he's been like this since May.

In my opinion, when you're raising a puppy, the whole household needs to be involved in things like training, for the puppy's safety... I would have never lost the first dog if she knew proper recall when she was outside, off leash. Yet, if I'm the one who can call the puppy is he or she really safe? Otherwise, its something else I'm giving up for him. I know the compromise would be a well-behaved adult dog, but I want and I think I deserve the puppy stage.
 

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What kind of reptile doesn't love dogs?

I've done my share of internet dating over the years and have had to good fortune to either never meet such a person, or they faked a love of dogs to get in my good graces.

Doomsday scenario: If every woman on planet Earth disliked dogs, I'd have no problem giving-a-guy-a-try and turning gay. Happily so many women have a picture of their dog on their internet dating profile, and it's always a plus IMO.

I've also brought my dog with me on dozens of first-dates (checking with the date first of course); heck, many of my dates have brought theirs too. I can't imagine a rapist/murderer showing up with a doggy in tow. Also dog-friendly places tend to be more people-friendly too.
 

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I'm going to nudge this in a slightly different direction for a moment.
actually need a dog in order to be happy
This concerns me. I may be wrong and forgive me if I am but a lot of what you have said makes me wonder whether you think a dog will be like the final piece of a jigsaw puzzle and will make everything right. Like allowing you to move on from the guilt you feel about what happened to the other dogs, and completing your ”happy family”. This is a rhetorical question, no need to answer it but please think about it. Rather than think what a dog will do for you, turn it around - what can you offer to a dog?
 

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But then I wouldn't live with a boyfriend and his mommy and have her telling me what I could and couldn't do either.
This.

The first command the puppy will learn will be recall.
Just be aware that even the highest trained dog can blow a recall. Any dog can develop cloth ears and decide that what it's doing is more important in that moment than listening to their human handler.

and he is a good person... so he's kind of grandfathered in
I'm not quite sure what you mean by this?

Yet, I'm not the only person who ever bought someone a puppy as a gift before
No, but unless you (general you) know that the person really wants a dog, it's not a good idea. And a dog is never going to cure mental health problems - they might help, but it's ill advised.

I actually need a dog in order to be happy and I want to be with someone who wants to raise a puppy with me
Then you have your answer right there.

Whether or not we would still persue a relationship with someone who wasn't interested in dogs, is beside the point.

What kind of reptile doesn't love dogs?
A bit harsh, and unnecessary. There are many people out there who aren't dog people, who may be afraid of dogs, or dog neutral and just don't want a dog in their lives.

I can't imagine a rapist/murderer showing up with a doggy in tow.
If they think a dog will lure in their victim, then of course they would.
 
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Rather than think what a dog will do for you, turn it around - what can you offer to a dog?
Is it not possible that what one can offer a dog is exactly what one needs to be happy? I've been utterly miserable since March when my ex got back on the pipe (and other drugs) and absconded with my beloved Nena up to Seattle. Sure, I missed the cuddles, affection, rough-housing, dogpark community, etc., but what I really missed was having someone to care for: routine feeding, vet visits, taking her out to pee & "tootsie-roll patrol", and someone who depended upon me so entirely--it's the most gratifying, vulnerable, and sacred thing someone can give you. I read somewhere in some self-helpy dreck that "not being needed is a slow-death for a man." As stupid as the rest of that book or article was, that rang profoundly true for me. I need to be needed. Doesn't everyone?

And while it's not impossible, I still can't imagine someone with a well-adjusted dog being a rapist or murderer. One reason dogs are such a successful species is because they can read humans better than we can read each other. A few of the women I met on dates had anxious dogs who I could tell were left alone all day while mommy was at work. Maybe I'm naive, but I don't see a psycho- or sociopath (or even an uncaring person) raising a serene, happy dog.
You raise an interesting question though; as sensitive and loving as dogs are, can you imagine what it would do to a dog to watch his/her owner rape or murder someone? To make someone suffer?
Can you imagine someone so callous to his/her fellow man, but be completely loving and sensitive to the needs of a dog? I can't.
 
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Is it not possible that what one can offer a dog is exactly what one needs to be happy?
Sure, but a lot of people do come here with a view that they want a dog in a similar way that they might want a new pair of shoes - I'm not saying that's what the OP feels, but a lot of people who come to us have a Disney view of dog ownership and don't really think through the consequences. So, it's a question we see asked quite often and a useful way of asking people to look at the bigger picture.
 

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Sure, but a lot of people do come here with a view that they want a dog in a similar way that they might want a new pair of shoes - I'm not saying that's what the OP feels, but a lot of people who come to us have a Disney view of dog ownership and don't really think through the consequences. So, it's a question we see asked quite often and a useful way of asking people to look at the bigger picture.
Very true. I've seen plenty of that, even in my own family tragically. Even wondered recently, "Was it pure empathy that joined me with this little guy? Or is there also a chance that I enjoy appearing a good person for rescuing him from his tragic ordeal?" Human motivations/emotions are so complex, never two-dimensionally pure, and often sinister. This is another reason I prefer the company of dogs.
 

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So could you stay with someone who doesn't want to raise a dog?
I haven't read the rest of the thread yet, but your problem isn't that he doesn't want to raise a dog. It sounds like he isn't opposed to the idea but the stress in your relationship is not due to the dog.

I know this is very direct and probably confrontational, but that's what I'm reading from what you wrote. It sounds to me a lot like you have having doubts about your guy and the dog is the lever, not the cause.

I apologize if I'm wrong about this. We obviously don't know each other so all I have to go on is what you wrote. What I do know, however, is that a relationship under strain can't take much friction and the difference in (... the Dutch have a perfect word for this that doesn't tranlate into English... "zienswijze").... the way of approaching or seeing your life together, seems to diverge when the element of the dog is introduced.

Taken to the next level, if it were children and not a dog, you would end up divorced. That's not to lay blame because 99% of the time there is no blame to be assigned when people realize they are not compatible enough for a long term relationship, but that's what I'm reading between the lines.

Again, I apologize if I'm wrong.
 

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This is personal, but hopefully you can understand where I'm coming from.
O...K... So if I can summarize what you're saying in my own words, you come from a middle-class upbringing, which you experienced as poor. Money is a big motivator for you because you associate that (most likely with good reason) with freedom.

So ... digging through the layers, freedom to live the life you want, as you want, is your big motivator.

You've experienced some ligitimately shitty stuff in your life like your mother's mental illness, your father trying to commit suicide on Christmas eve and the fact that you have had to rely on your own grandparents and your mother-in-law in order to transition into a functioning adult life. That IS hard and I do feel empathic. There are a lot of people on this earth who have had easier lives than that and still struggle.

It seems like your love of dogs has grown out of a desire to emulate your grandfather on the one hand, but on the other hand, we all know that dogs give us the one thing that human beings cannot... namely, unconditional love. Dogs ARE little bundles of unconditional love wrapped up in tail waging fluff. As humans relating to other humans, this is a feeling we seldom (if ever) experience. Human "love" (if you can call it that) always comes with conditions.

I'm going to bet you can relate to that. I'm also going to bet that you want to take your man by the hand and introduce him to the world of unconditional love via the dog.

That's a lot of pressure to put on a dog and by extension, it's an expectation that your guy may never be able to live up to. As I said, human love will never be as pure as the love of a dog. Are your expectations of you guy realistic?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm going to nudge this in a slightly different direction for a moment.

This concerns me. I may be wrong and forgive me if I am but a lot of what you have said makes me wonder whether you think a dog will be like the final piece of a jigsaw puzzle and will make everything right. Like allowing you to move on from the guilt you feel about what happened to the other dogs, and completing your ”happy family”. This is a rhetorical question, no need to answer it but please think about it. Rather than think what a dog will do for you, turn it around - what can you offer to a dog?
I know your question is rhetorical... but I can offer my dog lots of love. The german shepherd made me so happy because during this time, my boyfriend failed to spend much time with me. She was always there. I gave her lots of love, and her life was still crappy. I paid $1,000 in training costs, and would have paid more, ALWAYS made myself available to her whenever they needed a dog sitter and did everything I possibly could except the things that everyone can do for a dog when they're living with a dog. I guess I love having someone to take care of and spoil. and I want the well-trained dog that can sit down at a cafe, and everyone thinks, "Oh my god! What a beautiful, well trained, loving dog." It has nothing to do with having a final piece of the jigsaw puzzle completed.
 

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O...K... So if I can summarize what you're saying in my own words, you come from a middle-class upbringing, which you experienced as poor. Money is a big motivator for you because you associate that (most likely with good reason) with freedom.

So ... digging through the layers, freedom to live the life you want, as you want, is your big motivator.

You've experienced some ligitimately shitty stuff in your life like your mother's mental illness, your father trying to commit suicide on Christmas eve and the fact that you have had to rely on your own grandparents and your mother-in-law in order to transition into a functioning adult life. That IS hard and I do feel empathic. There are a lot of people on this earth who have had easier lives than that and still struggle.

It seems like your love of dogs has grown out of a desire to emulate your grandfather on the one hand, but on the other hand, we all know that dogs give us the one thing that human beings cannot... namely, unconditional love. Dogs ARE little bundles of unconditional love wrapped up in tail waging fluff. As humans relating to other humans, this is a feeling we seldom (if ever) experience. Human "love" (if you can call it that) always comes with conditions.

I'm going to bet you can relate to that. I'm also going to bet that you want to take your man by the hand and introduce him to the world of unconditional love via the dog.

That's a lot of pressure to put on a dog and by extension, it's an expectation that your guy may never be able to live up to. As I said, human love will never be as pure as the love of a dog. Are your expectations of you guy realistic?
My parents were actually poor. They lived in my grandmother's house, shortly after moving out of their first place, because they couldn't afford anything else.... and never had anything in savings. While they worked, kept food on the table, for much of my childhood, during my late teens my parents were so poor that they were receiving food stamps by the time that I was in my late teens.

That thing with the dog was not my desire to emulate my grandfather. My example was he gifted his grandson a dog, and the situation turned out differently than he wanted. He probably intended for his grandson to grow up knowing the love of a dog. Of course his grandparents didn't go through that extreme.

If you knew anything about my grandfather, you would know that he's not the type of person who ayone wants to model themselves after. He's a drunk, who had an affair with his first wife's cousin, got her pregnant, and left her with six kids. He then had an illegitimate son, with the babysitter, for him and his second wife's kids. I think she was 15 at the time. He didn't even know that she was pregnant until he finally found out that he had a son who he didn't even know about... until the son was a middle-aged real estate agent with a wife and kids of his own. He's never been there for me and he's actually a pretty crappy father and grandfather. The only thing I'm grateful him for is that he's been there for my dad after his stroke... my dad now calls him "daddy" and they had an estranged relationship with for years.

My relationship with dogs had to do with the fact that growing up, my dogs were always there for me. They were the one that loved and didn't judge. The thing is that I want to raise a dog so bad that while I would love for my boyfriend to absolutely love dogs, he ALWAYS said he did, if he didn't, I'd have to break up with him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
This.



Just be aware that even the highest trained dog can blow a recall. Any dog can develop cloth ears and decide that what it's doing is more important in that moment than listening to their human handler.



I'm not quite sure what you mean by this?



No, but unless you (general you) know that the person really wants a dog, it's not a good idea. And a dog is never going to cure mental health problems - they might help, but it's ill advised.



Then you have your answer right there.

Whether or not we would still persue a relationship with someone who wasn't interested in dogs, is beside the point.



A bit harsh, and unnecessary. There are many people out there who aren't dog people, who may be afraid of dogs, or dog neutral and just don't want a dog in their lives.



If they think a dog will lure in their victim, then of course they would.
My living situation is complicated and difficult for many people to understand. I've, actually, had friends who were distrustful of the living situation. However, my boyfriend's mom does more than me than most parents do for their children's significant other, and loves me like her daughter... I love her like my mom. During the times that I've discussed wanting to live with her son by myself, she would always say that she couldn't financially afford it. When I say "grandfathered in", I mean that while I wouldn't date my boyfriend now, I love him enough where I'll stick by him despite him never had a job since graduating college... and what that's done to me.

I am well aware of that with recall... it is, however, a line of defense for your dog. It is a way to protect your dog. We lived up a hill, and my boston terrier beagle ran away one night. That night it was too dark to see the little brindle and white dog who made a beeline for the door... I was going through a lot of things, despite our attempts to chase her, she viewed it as a game. That hill was right up a road that connects to the highway, on a street that multiple people, NOT only dogs, have died on over the years. Every day I live with the fact that I couldn't protect someone who did nothing but give unconditional love, every day she was in my life.

Yes, purchasing a puppy for someone who you don't know wants a dog is ill-advised... I wasn't aware of that at the time. I found out just how bad it was. However, since we first started dating, my boyfriend told me that he loved dogs and that he wanted to own a dog one day. I, also, knew his mother wasn't a big dog person so I thought that had something to do with his reason for not owning a dog. He had been so good with my boston terrier beagle... other than her running away, she was everything we both wanted in a dog. At the time that she died, we, primarily him, were trying to train her not to run away and needed more time.

When he fell into depression, I thought that he needed someone to connect with and we had plans to definitely get a dog, when we moved to south jersey. It made sense to move getting a puppy up. I just didn't understand that the puppy would be disadvantaged and have the upbringing that she did.

Also, although its ill-advised to gift someone a puppy without knowing if they want one... my deceased grandmother had a first cousin whose daughter got her a puppy, a little coton du tulear, without knowing if she wanted one. The daughter got engaged and surprised her mom with the puppy before moving in with her then-fiance, now-husband... saying that she didn't want her mother to be alone. Her mother, who still has some disabilities from having a stroke in '03, didn't get a say in whether she wanted the dog. Her daughter never said, "Mom, now that I'm engaged and moving out, I want to get you a kitten or a puppy so that you're not by yourself all the time." The situation turned out well, her mother loves and takes care of the dog.

Also, while I responded to someone who started talking about my living situation's comments and how I came to have a dog who got hit by a car at 18 months old... the purpose of this thread was not to receive advice on whether it is suitable for my boyfriend and myself to get a puppy, or anyone's thoughts on my relationship, given everything that happened. If you notice, I'm responding to everyone's comments. I was just discussing my own experience as it has much to do with my answer as to whether I would say with someone who didn't want to raise a puppy... I will leave my current partner of 11 years, with the puppy in tow, if he shows no interest in raising the dog to prevent the situation from happening again. The last dog was rehomed because of everything that happened with the dog, knowing that she was miserable and me not having a choice but to rehome the dog, as that was in her best interests given her emotional state and feelings.
 

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I know your question is rhetorical... but I can offer my dog lots of love. The german shepherd made me so happy because during this time, my boyfriend failed to spend much time with me. She was always there. I gave her lots of love, and her life was still crappy. I paid $1,000 in training costs, and would have paid more, ALWAYS made myself available to her whenever they needed a dog sitter and did everything I possibly could except the things that everyone can do for a dog when they're living with a dog. I guess I love having someone to take care of and spoil. and I want the well-trained dog that can sit down at a cafe, and everyone thinks, "Oh my god! What a beautiful, well trained, loving dog." It has nothing to do with having a final piece of the jigsaw puzzle completed.
OK, you can offer the dog lots of love.... And?

What about training, grooming, attention/companionship, playing? How much time in a typical day can you realistically commit to walking the dog?

We all aspire to such comments as "what a well behaved, well trained dog" as owners, but if that's what we want, we have to put the work in. It doesn't happen on its own. What does "Well behaved" mean to you?

That's what we mean by "what can you offer the dog?" Love alone is neither enough, nor a reason to get a dog. You need to be able to meet its needs.

And, I'm sorry, but you weren't there for the German Shepherd. Being there to dog sit when the owner (and you weren't the owner - your BF was) wasn't available, isn't being there for the dog - it's being there to help out the owners. You didn't train her, you didn't walk her, you didn't take her off your boyfriend when you realised he wasn't up to looking after her - you weren't physically there - you didn't see what the dog's living conditions were like until it was too late and a behaviourist stepped in and advised rehoming. There's a lot of missed opportunities there.

It's time to be realistic - both in terms of your relationship and where it's heading, and whether your current situation is compatible with a dog (you don't get a dog based on where you might live in the future - you wait until your lifestyle and environment suit the dog, or get a dog that suits your lifestyle and environment). Your boyfriend is part of that situation. Does he really want a dog - or is he breadcrumbing you? (promising you will get a dog at some arbitrary point in the future which never seems to arrive - the Spring, for example). What does he think is going to change - realistically - between then and now, when Now is a barrier to dog ownership, and Then becomes an open door? And why?

My living situation is complicated and difficult for many people to understand. I've, actually, had friends who were distrustful of the living situation. However, my boyfriend's mom does more than me than most parents do for their children's significant other, and loves me like her daughter... I love her like my mom. During the times that I've discussed wanting to live with her son by myself, she would always say that she couldn't financially afford it. When I say "grandfathered in", I mean that while I wouldn't date my boyfriend now, I love him enough where I'll stick by him despite him never had a job since graduating college... and what that's done to me.

I am well aware of that with recall... it is, however, a line of defense for your dog. It is a way to protect your dog. We lived up a hill, and my boston terrier beagle ran away one night. That night it was too dark to see the little brindle and white dog who made a beeline for the door... I was going through a lot of things, despite our attempts to chase her, she viewed it as a game. That hill was right up a road that connects to the highway, on a street that multiple people, NOT only dogs, have died on over the years. Every day I live with the fact that I couldn't protect someone who did nothing but give unconditional love, every day she was in my life.

Yes, purchasing a puppy for someone who you don't know wants a dog is ill-advised... I wasn't aware of that at the time. I found out just how bad it was. However, since we first started dating, my boyfriend told me that he loved dogs and that he wanted to own a dog one day. I, also, knew his mother wasn't a big dog person so I thought that had something to do with his reason for not owning a dog. He had been so good with my boston terrier beagle... other than her running away, she was everything we both wanted in a dog. At the time that she died, we, primarily him, were trying to train her not to run away and needed more time.

When he fell into depression, I thought that he needed someone to connect with and we had plans to definitely get a dog, when we moved to south jersey. It made sense to move getting a puppy up. I just didn't understand that the puppy would be disadvantaged and have the upbringing that she did.

Also, although its ill-advised to gift someone a puppy without knowing if they want one... my deceased grandmother had a first cousin whose daughter got her a puppy, a little coton du tulear, without knowing if she wanted one. The daughter got engaged and surprised her mom with the puppy before moving in with her then-fiance, now-husband... saying that she didn't want her mother to be alone. Her mother, who still has some disabilities from having a stroke in '03, didn't get a say in whether she wanted the dog. Her daughter never said, "Mom, now that I'm engaged and moving out, I want to get you a kitten or a puppy so that you're not by yourself all the time." The situation turned out well, her mother loves and takes care of the dog.

Also, while I responded to someone who started talking about my living situation's comments and how I came to have a dog who got hit by a car at 18 months old... the purpose of this thread was not to receive advice on whether it is suitable for my boyfriend and myself to get a puppy, or anyone's thoughts on my relationship, given everything that happened. If you notice, I'm responding to everyone's comments. I was just discussing my own experience as it has much to do with my answer as to whether I would say with someone who didn't want to raise a puppy... I will leave my current partner of 11 years, with the puppy in tow, if he shows no interest in raising the dog to prevent the situation from happening again. The last dog was rehomed because of everything that happened with the dog, knowing that she was miserable and me not having a choice but to rehome the dog, as that was in her best interests given her emotional state and feelings.
You asked whether we would stay in a relationship with someone who didn't want to raise a dog. Whilst it's not directly asking for relationship advice, it is asking for a consensus of opinions about what we would do in your situation. Fact is, we aren't.

No one is saying getting a dog as a gift will never work out, but you learnt the hard way why it's not advised.

You say you will leave your partner of 11 years if he fails to help out with the puppy - and you'll take the puppy with you.

To me, that's closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. You need to have a frank and honest discussion now before the dog is in situ. Before things break down and you find yourself trying to find somewhere to live that will accept a dog.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I haven't read the rest of the thread yet, but your problem isn't that he doesn't want to raise a dog. It sounds like he isn't opposed to the idea but the stress in your relationship is not due to the dog.

I know this is very direct and probably confrontational, but that's what I'm reading from what you wrote. It sounds to me a lot like you have having doubts about your guy and the dog is the lever, not the cause.

I apologize if I'm wrong about this. We obviously don't know each other so all I have to go on is what you wrote. What I do know, however, is that a relationship under strain can't take much friction and the difference in (... the Dutch have a perfect word for this that doesn't tranlate into English... "zienswijze").... the way of approaching or seeing your life together, seems to diverge when the element of the dog is introduced.

Taken to the next level, if it were children and not a dog, you would end up divorced. That's not to lay blame because 99% of the time there is no blame to be assigned when people realize they are not compatible enough for a long term relationship, but that's what I'm reading between the lines.

Again, I apologize if I'm wrong.
We just had a fight over this that day... because I thought that that he was totally for the idea of getting a puppy and raising the puppy with me, as long as he had say over the dog and it was a smaller dog. I was actually ready to break up with him, but he told me that it has to do the fixation. From the time I was a child, I was diagnosed with being on the spectrum... this can sometimes be frustrating for him, as he has bipolar disorder and mood swings. The puppy wasn't the lever, but it did show a different lifestyle ideal that to me would have been a dealbreaker... It just got me thinking, could I stay with someone who didn't want to raise a puppy? No.
 
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