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Hi all,
This is my first post here and i think i just wanted to share with you my bad luck (this is how i'm calling this) with the adopted dogs. I'm not looking for a judgment (even i know it will come) as i'm judging myself every day.

Long story short. Last year, me and my husband adopted a dog (named Jay-Jay) from the shelter (run by Foundation more like a foster home since the dogs where in the big house). The puppy (mixed breed Parson type) was 4 months old we traveled for him almost 500km from our home, we signed the papers and we came back home. We have been informed that he was found by rescue team in a forest with his mother and 3 other puppies. He was healthy and already after vaccination. A week after adoption on a routine vet visit we learnt that he had heart murmur and we should consider visiting cardiologist. So we did. After first check up it turned out that puppy has very serious heart disease - aortostenosis. The life span of such dogs is around 5 yrs, also vet told us that it is impossible that any veterinarian in the shelter could omit that since it was already very serious. We were shocked and traumatized, a lot of people asked us if we have consider returning him. We haven't felt like this. He was so sweet and calm, he learnt very fast he was a perfect dog actually... every month his prognosis were worse (firstly max 3 yrs of life, than maybe a year) he was getting a lot of pills we paid a lot for consultation, unfortunately he could't get the surgery. Finally at age: 10 months (only) he died. I think a part of me died as well i was so engaged with him. Me and my husband actually did everything to make his life easier.
We talked when he was alive that no matter what happen we should consider a dog again. A lot of people supported us, they said that this will be good for us to take care of another 'poor puppy'.

Around 4 months later we started looking for a dog, we wanted a dog around 10 months old as our previous one. We decided to adopt again. Different shelter, but dog we have chosen was quite similar to our lovely Jay-Jay. I should have noticed first alarm already when we went for a first visit but i didn't. When we came there the lady owner of the shelter told us that the dog we wanted to see was already adopted (i was actually angry because we traveled again 100km from home), but she wanted to show us another dog which we might like. Tbh, i didn't like the dog at all he was bigger than our expectations, very loud and just not my type but we said 'lets give a try'. We went for a walk, the shelter owner and volunteers said that they know our story that our poor dog died an this is another poor dog we should consider. They were playing on our emotions so hard (now i can feel that). I don't know what turned out into this, but we scheduled another walk with this dog two days later and another one 3 days after. My husband openly said to the lady that he has a lot of questions and expectations and we can consider this dog only if he meets at least most of them. Dog was already too big (we wanted max 10 kg dog, he was around 17kg). they couldn't decide how old he was and told us something around 8-10 months (so puppy). They said the dog was dropped by shelter fence by abuser owner, we asked what kind of abuser since they were, so sure about this, but not a lot of comments were placed (only that probably the dog was starving because he is eating a lot in the shelter). My husband underlined that there is one big thing we will not accept - any sort of aggression and if they noticed something like this from the dog. They denied. (Aggression was important for us and me because i was bitten by the unnamed dog at age 8 yrs old and it took me a lot of time time to work on that trauma). We discussed with my husband and actually we said that if only problem is the dog is bigger then we wanted, but rest of the things are fine we can consider. And this is how we adopted the second dog (named Hunt). Two days after adoption the dog has 'attacked' me first time. He just out of the nowhere jumped to my ankles and hands trying to bit me and actually he left me with a lot of bruising and scrubs, but as other people said i still had my hands and ankles in one piece. When this happened i was alone on the walk with the dog i didn't understand what happen i got a panic attack and called my husband. He said i should calm down and he will take a dog himself. 20 mins later he called me cursing a lot that WTF happened this dog is getting crazy omg (staff like this). After this story, i first thought about sending the dog back to the shelter. But my husband wanted to try and give him a chance, so we set up a behaviorist visit. The dog was so frustrated and showed his attacks again in front of behaviorist. The diagnosis was that the dog is hyperritable, frustrated and shows something like human ADHD. We were advised to give him firstly cannaboil and then if this didn't work we should automatically go into the medicines like antidepressants, xanax etc. It was too much for me to be honest. And the dog was still acting like this, he stopped a little bit the attacks on walks, but he moved everything at home. Basically i need to say that after first 'attack' i was so traumatized i couldn't eat for a week anyway we still tried but i think i already made my mind. My husband was really desperate to make this work even that the dog frustrated him so much. I informed the shelter after 5 days with the dog that we have so many issues with him - they were totally not surprised. Finally, after almost 3 weeks i informed them that i'm no longer able to take care of the dog as i'm physically and psychologically tired. Again, shelter owner was not surprised at all, she even thanked us for the time we have spent with the dog and for the consultation. This only showed me that probably the were aware of the dog condition and lied to us.

I actually i don't know what to say - i'm getting a lot of judgment from the friends and family that i can feel ('how could you return the dog?'). Some of them tried not to judge. But mostly i'm judging myself every day. I'm feeling like a failure and treating this as a sign that i shouldn't have dogs anymore and i have so bad luck.
Any of you had bad luck with the adoptions, but finally met his long time dog friend?
 

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Hi all,
This is my first post here and i think i just wanted to share with you my bad luck (this is how i'm calling this) with the adopted dogs. I'm not looking for a judgment (even i know it will come) as i'm judging myself every day.

Long story short. Last year, me and my husband adopted a dog (named Jay-Jay) from the shelter (run by Foundation more like a foster home since the dogs where in the big house). The puppy (mixed breed Parson type) was 4 months old we traveled for him almost 500km from our home, we signed the papers and we came back home. We have been informed that he was found by rescue team in a forest with his mother and 3 other puppies. He was healthy and already after vaccination. A week after adoption on a routine vet visit we learnt that he had heart murmur and we should consider visiting cardiologist. So we did. After first check up it turned out that puppy has very serious heart disease - aortostenosis. The life span of such dogs is around 5 yrs, also vet told us that it is impossible that any veterinarian in the shelter could omit that since it was already very serious. We were shocked and traumatized, a lot of people asked us if we have consider returning him. We haven't felt like this. He was so sweet and calm, he learnt very fast he was a perfect dog actually... every month his prognosis were worse (firstly max 3 yrs of life, than maybe a year) he was getting a lot of pills we paid a lot for consultation, unfortunately he could't get the surgery. Finally at age: 10 months (only) he died. I think a part of me died as well i was so engaged with him. Me and my husband actually did everything to make his life easier.
We talked when he was alive that no matter what happen we should consider a dog again. A lot of people supported us, they said that this will be good for us to take care of another 'poor puppy'.

Around 4 months later we started looking for a dog, we wanted a dog around 10 months old as our previous one. We decided to adopt again. Different shelter, but dog we have chosen was quite similar to our lovely Jay-Jay. I should have noticed first alarm already when we went for a first visit but i didn't. When we came there the lady owner of the shelter told us that the dog we wanted to see was already adopted (i was actually angry because we traveled again 100km from home), but she wanted to show us another dog which we might like. Tbh, i didn't like the dog at all he was bigger than our expectations, very loud and just not my type but we said 'lets give a try'. We went for a walk, the shelter owner and volunteers said that they know our story that our poor dog died an this is another poor dog we should consider. They were playing on our emotions so hard (now i can feel that). I don't know what turned out into this, but we scheduled another walk with this dog two days later and another one 3 days after. My husband openly said to the lady that he has a lot of questions and expectations and we can consider this dog only if he meets at least most of them. Dog was already too big (we wanted max 10 kg dog, he was around 17kg). they couldn't decide how old he was and told us something around 8-10 months (so puppy). They said the dog was dropped by shelter fence by abuser owner, we asked what kind of abuser since they were, so sure about this, but not a lot of comments were placed (only that probably the dog was starving because he is eating a lot in the shelter). My husband underlined that there is one big thing we will not accept - any sort of aggression and if they noticed something like this from the dog. They denied. (Aggression was important for us and me because i was bitten by the unnamed dog at age 8 yrs old and it took me a lot of time time to work on that trauma). We discussed with my husband and actually we said that if only problem is the dog is bigger then we wanted, but rest of the things are fine we can consider. And this is how we adopted the second dog (named Hunt). Two days after adoption the dog has 'attacked' me first time. He just out of the nowhere jumped to my ankles and hands trying to bit me and actually he left me with a lot of bruising and scrubs, but as other people said i still had my hands and ankles in one piece. When this happened i was alone on the walk with the dog i didn't understand what happen i got a panic attack and called my husband. He said i should calm down and he will take a dog himself. 20 mins later he called me cursing a lot that WTF happened this dog is getting crazy omg (staff like this). After this story, i first thought about sending the dog back to the shelter. But my husband wanted to try and give him a chance, so we set up a behaviorist visit. The dog was so frustrated and showed his attacks again in front of behaviorist. The diagnosis was that the dog is hyperritable, frustrated and shows something like human ADHD. We were advised to give him firstly cannaboil and then if this didn't work we should automatically go into the medicines like antidepressants, xanax etc. It was too much for me to be honest. And the dog was still acting like this, he stopped a little bit the attacks on walks, but he moved everything at home. Basically i need to say that after first 'attack' i was so traumatized i couldn't eat for a week anyway we still tried but i think i already made my mind. My husband was really desperate to make this work even that the dog frustrated him so much. I informed the shelter after 5 days with the dog that we have so many issues with him - they were totally not surprised. Finally, after almost 3 weeks i informed them that i'm no longer able to take care of the dog as i'm physically and psychologically tired. Again, shelter owner was not surprised at all, she even thanked us for the time we have spent with the dog and for the consultation. This only showed me that probably the were aware of the dog condition and lied to us.

I actually i don't know what to say - i'm getting a lot of judgment from the friends and family that i can feel ('how could you return the dog?'). Some of them tried not to judge. But mostly i'm judging myself every day. I'm feeling like a failure and treating this as a sign that i shouldn't have dogs anymore and i have so bad luck.
Any of you had bad luck with the adoptions, but finally met his long time dog friend?
Hi. Welcome to the forum. I’m so sorry it’s under the circumstances. :(

Listen. I know you’re expecting to be judged, (or rather more accurately, harshly judged) by what happened, but I don’t think you will - not by anyone here

Sometimes, things just don’t work out. You told the rescue centre that aggression was a dealbreaker, and you ended up with an aggressive dog.

I’m not altogether sure I’m convinced that the manager knew the dog was aggressive. She might have (probably did have) had suspicions about the adoption and how committed you were to this dog and making it work. People in her line of work probably develop a “sixth sense” into which ones will work out, and which ones won’t. Some may pleasantly surprise them, but I doubt many will.

That’s not a judgement from me. You had your deal, you communicated the deal breaker clearly, the dog “broke” the deal, and you returned the dog. No judgement here.

Now, if you’d said that aggression was the only dealbreaker, but returned the dog because it didn’t match the furniture (a surprisingly common excuse here amongst the “throwaway” society) - then you’d be judged. Harshly. And you’d deserve it.

But not for something as serious as this, especially given the circumstances.

All I will say is, don’t let those awful experiences put you off adoption. Just maybe be a bit more discerning about who you adopt from. ;)

:
 

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First of all, DON’T FEEL GUILTY.
Not every dog will match your personality, home, skills, ability, and even personality- and that’s OKAY. It’s a reason why we love dogs- they’re individuals. And if you’re not TOTALLY on board to rehabilitate an aggressive dog, you need to find someone who can. It’s part of being a responsible dog owner. It’s the RIGHT choice.
Secondly, it’s totally worth another try. I would suggest perhaps purchasing a dog from a reputable breeder- that way, you would get a health guarantee and lifetime support. It’s more money at the outset but potentially worth it for pain and suffering.
A lot of dogs at shelters DO have behavioral issues- if you do adopt, you would have better chances going for a younger puppy, one that fits your expectations. Or, you could go to a well-reviewed shelter nearer your home.
Not everyone is able, mentally, physically, financially, or emotionally, to rehabilitate a dog with existing behavioral issues. That’s okay. You’re okay. It’s going to be okay.
 

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I'm so sorry for what's happened to you, so much heartache that shouldn't have happened.

Some rescues and shelters are so eager to get dogs into homes they exaggerate the pros and downplay or even ignore the cons the way you experienced, and some are really hard to get a dog from because they worry so much the home won't fit.

Two things you need to consider. First, any dog you adopt you should take to a vet for an exam right away. This is true of a puppy you buy also. Good breeders have a contract with their buyers and a vet check within a certain period is required. When I did rescue, we required this of adopters. I don't know how common that is with shelters and rescue, but you should definitely do it for your own protection and decide ahead of time how much of a problem you are willing and able to deal with.

Just as a for instance, I'll be honest with you, I would have returned that first puppy. The one puppy I bought out of state years ago and flew to get, I made a vet appointment in that state and took her there before flying home with her. For me enough problems crop up in a dog's lifetime without taking them on from the get-go. But you need to decide on things like that for yourself up front.

Second, consider a breed rescue. People who rescue a given breed often have dogs who aren't really purebred but a mix of that breed and something else, but if you go to someone who rescues dogs of a 10 kg breed, the odds of them having, much less pushing a 17 kg dog on you are pretty small.

I'm not good at knowing which country a poster here is in from many flags and don't recognize yours, @Izzy135, are there no shelters or rescue groups closer to you than hundreds of km? That makes things really difficult, but I never adopted any dog out except on a trial period of at least 2 weeks, and not only did I get a few returned, which was fine with me, but I actually went and got a couple I can think of because feedback from the trial adopter in that time made me unwilling to leave the dog with them.

There's absolutely no reason you should feel bad about returning a dog. Even with much less of a problem, he should never have been adopted to someone who wasn't experienced with and willing to deal with aggression, and that's not good for you or the dog.

I hope whatever you do next results in a wonderful pet that brings joy to your life for years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you all for your comments. Despite what happened I feel sorry for the dog I have returned and I wish him another human eager to work with him on his behaviour ( that won’t be scared of him). I know he anyway felt something to us and even it was quite short time and mentally exhausting for me I will remember him best I can.
I think for now I will “take a break” from looking for a dog. I will focus on the dogs that already in the family ( my sister has a dog, also my parents have two) there is so much to love. And maybe some time in the future me and my husband will find our ‘best friend’.
 

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Sorry you had that experience, but it can work. We found ours at a shelter over twelve years ago. They had a behaviorist that worked with us, watching all the interactions between my wife, myself and the dog. She was about nine months old at the time. Here we are, today, she will be fourteen next January, and has been the 'perfect' dog all these years. The only bumps have been a number of medical issues she has had over the years, and continues to have, but she has been the best dog all these years. My point, don't give up, may be wise to take a break for awhile, but believe me, the 'perfect' dog for you and your husband is out there. Once you find and connect with that dog, the rewards are huge, and your satisfaction will know no bounds. Give it some time, but don't give up.
 

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I think it's quite common for people to think all shelters are equal - and they aren't. In fact, it's just as important to check out the credentials of a those of a breeder. Some of them are so keen to move dogs on that they push difficult dogs on to unprepared owners. Some - particularly from foreign countries - are thinly disguised puppy mills.

If you plan to adopt again, choose your shelter carefully. The good ones will often have back up for owners, from behaviourists - if doesn't mean they are a bad shelter if they don't, Some excellent ones are too small, but for you, I think that would be a good benchmark and a safety net.
 
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