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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is just ridiculous.

Let me preface this by saying, I'm not trying to throw myself a pity party. I'm just desperate for answers.

I got a puppy exactly 3 weeks ago today. These have been the worst 3 weeks of my life. Is the puppy bad? No...of course not. He's great. He's housetrained, he's sweet. His only vice is that he screams in his crate. Screams like a banshee. Other than that, he's just a puppy.

So what's the problem? I don't know. I'm a single mother. I work full-time and I'm a part-time student. Two weeks before I got the puppy, my son's father, who I am no longer with, told me he'd be moving. This meant that I would no longer have someone to watch my son on some days should I need help. I have some family around but none of them are overly keen on watching my son so I try not to ask them much. I digress. Basically, I knew then that I would be screwed and it was then that I should've said something to the breeder. But I didn't I was convinced that I was a strong warrior lioness or something stupid and I decided to truck on with our plans. Yes, I know what you're thinking: I am an idiot.

Needless to say, I am beyond overwhelmed. I suffer from severe generalized anxiety disorder with a healthy dose of depression. But I haven't been happy since I brought the dog home. Actually the only time I am happy is at work, where I'm away from the chaos. At 5:00, I get really sad and depressed and I dread going home because I just don't know what my evenings are going to be like on any given day. On the weekends, I'm looking for ANY excuse to get out of the house for a couple hours because the energy there is just so tense and bad. I'm so behind on my schoolwork, because all of my time at home is divided between puppy, son, cooking, cleaning and then before you know it the evening is gone and I'm so tired.

These have been some incredibly dark days. I cry every day, I'm irritable, I snap at everyone and everything. My family is noticing and they're worried. Frankly, I'm worried. I feel inadequate and guilty. I'm doing an okay job of everything and not a good job of anything.

Again, I know what you're thinking: "why didn't you think of this before you got a dog?" Believe me when I say I did all the research. TONS of it. Read every book, every internet resource, visited the dogs beforehand, dog-sat etc. etc. What I wasn't expecting was that I would be so alone doing this, the pressure of trying to keep up with all of this alone, and the dark feelings that would come along with this. I mean, really dark. I'm going to see a therapist because I can't sort out my feelings and I am scared of myself in a way that I haven't been before. Something's gotta give in this situation and I'm afraid it's going to be me.

I can't identify what exactly is triggering this, but I feel like it's just all the pressure and stress of trying to do everything perfectly. We're on a routine down to the minute every single day, and I thought it would help, but I just can't keep up with it all. I'm not sure what to do or what the best course of action is. People keep telling me to give the dog back to the breeder, which is allowed but I've developed such a friendship with her and I'm scared of letting her down. But my family is really upset seeing me like this so I feel like I'm letting them down too. I feel like I'm letting my son down by giving so much attention to the puppy and snapping at him, but I feel like I'm letting the puppy down because I can't give him enough attention and the environment is just toxic. I'm having panic attacks. I'm failing my classes, my work is suffering because I'm so tired. and I just feel like I want to be done with it all. I can't do it all anymore. But I know I made a commitment to the puppy and I'm trying my very best to do right by him too. Please help. Send advice, thoughts, alcohol, WHATEVER. I need guidance. Please try not to judge me too hard...TIA
 

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So yup, they can be completely overwhelming and I hit a point early on where I said "What the F did I get myself into" and was gonna offer reassuring advise until I read this:

. But I haven't been happy since I brought the dog home
Having puppy blues is one thing, but with those blues usually comes joy and happiness during the times that you are not overwhelmed. If it is pure misery and you are looking for an escape rather than looking forward to your time with your puppy and being a part of helping home grow and develop...then it is not for you. Rehome the dog without question. It is not fair to you nor the puppy.

It is not a failure. Raising a puppy is extremely demanding undertaking and you need to be in a good place in your life to take on that commitment and be able to unselfishly give that much attention and focus to another creature...and few actually rarely are ready regardless of any other issues in their lives.
 

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I don't think you have the puppy blues, I think you're exhausted and you shouldn't have gotten a puppy. I would think about rehoming him before something happens. Believe me, I know how it feels. I raised three kids and had to travel a lot for work. Dogs are difficult because they don't really grow like kids and they never really understand why we're either angry with them or don't welcome them with open arms and hearts the way they welcome us. It wasn't the right time for you to get a puppy. Best of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If it is pure misery and you are looking for an escape rather than looking forward to your time with your puppy and being a part of helping home grow and develop...then it is not for you.
Thank you for your advice. I just want to make it clear: I'm not neglecting the puppy in any way. He's fed and walked and played with (my son adores him). I just have a hard time finding joy in doing it. That sounds horrible, but I can't make myself feel anything.
 

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Sounds like getting a puppy was a mistake but there is no reason to compound that mistake or punish yourself or puppy by continuing making yourself miserable. I would find a good home for the puppy and cut yourself some slack it sounds like you are taking on a lot by yourself
 

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Thank you for your advice. I just want to make it clear: I'm not neglecting the puppy in any way. He's fed and walked and played with (my son adores him). I just have a hard time finding joy in doing it. That sounds horrible, but I can't make myself feel anything.
Long distance non-professional help is always risky, but, it seems to me reading the lines and between some of them, you were not happy before the puppy, and in reality you are certainly going through some major life upheavals. What I'm getting at is, I really am not sure the puppy is even a major cause of your unhappiness. At the risk of more non-professional advice, perhaps some counseling for you and your son, and a trainer for the puppy might be a way to infuse some positive interaction between all of you. If your son loves the puppy, just knowing and watching that can be a real source of happiness for you. I can tell you from experience, dogs, at least certainly ours is a never ending source of joy for us. She loves unconditionally, is amusing, ever patient and is an integral part of our family. Can't even imagine coming home to a house that she is not in. I guess what I'm suggesting, if you can find a way to let things settle down for awhile, and for the sake of your son, things will probably settle into an acceptable routine.
 

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This is more than the puppy blues, this is adding more chaos to an already extremely stressful situation. I would call the breeder absolutely and tell her that your life situation had drastically changed and you are unable to keep the puppy.
 

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Are you ever happy and have good times with your new pup? I got a Malinois puppy 4 weeks ago (I'm crazy I know) and I've definitely experienced the puppy blues. There have been a few times I've put my dogs out of my room and just sat on my floor and sobbed. I feel like my entire life revolves around this puppy and it's so overwhelming. Like you, I have a schedule down to the minute of every day.

BUT, along with those blues, my favorite thing in the world is the mornings where he crawls up next to me and puts his head over my neck and falls back sleep. The way he looks at me like I'm the best thing he's ever seen. The bonding we have playing tag and going through (sometimes frustrating) training. The little rascal drives me INSANE but my heart hurts when I'm gone from him for more than 4 or so hours...

If you are not experiencing any joy in him, I think you should find another home for him. He is still a puppy and is more malleable, he will bond with another owner this young. It will be best for you AND puppy. I know you are not neglecting him, but dogs can sense your emotions and your energy. He will not be happy if he feels he is always making you stressed/sad/etc. You are not failing him, please keep that in mind. Do what is best for both of you...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Are you ever happy and have good times with your new pup? I got a Malinois puppy 4 weeks ago (I'm crazy I know) and I've definitely experienced the puppy blues. There have been a few times I've put my dogs out of my room and just sat on my floor and sobbed. I feel like my entire life revolves around this puppy and it's so overwhelming. Like you, I have a schedule down to the minute of every day.

BUT, along with those blues, my favorite thing in the world is the mornings where he crawls up next to me and puts his head over my neck and falls back sleep. The way he looks at me like I'm the best thing he's ever seen. The bonding we have playing tag and going through (sometimes frustrating) training. The little rascal drives me INSANE but my heart hurts when I'm gone from him for more than 4 or so hours...

If you are not experiencing any joy in him, I think you should find another home for him. He is still a puppy and is more malleable, he will bond with another owner this young. It will be best for you AND puppy. I know you are not neglecting him, but dogs can sense your emotions and your energy. He will not be happy if he feels he is always making you stressed/sad/etc. You are not failing him, please keep that in mind. Do what is best for both of you...
There are times when he'll be sleeping and I'll look down and think maybe it's not all so bad, maybe I can handle this. (It's usually then that my son decides to act up.) But I can't say I've felt very joyful a lot over these last 3 weeks. I know, that is horrible. I look at myself in the mirror and think "what the f*** is wrong with you?! pull it together!". I mean I LOVE dogs. But loving him feels forced and that's the worst thing of all out of this entire situation. I think I look down at him and I just see the embodiment of my poor judgment and all of the frustration and anger and sadness I've felt over the last 3 weeks. I never in a million years would have expected to feel like this towards my own puppy.

I think it's pretty clear what I need to do. It's just a matter of mustering up the courage to do it. I am so scared of the breeder's reaction. We've developed such a GREAT relationship and had been making plans for his future (she wanted to show him) and this is going to crush her and make her hate me forever. Ugh...

Thank you for your advice!
 

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There are times when he'll be sleeping and I'll look down and think maybe it's not all so bad, maybe I can handle this. (It's usually then that my son decides to act up.) But I can't say I've felt very joyful a lot over these last 3 weeks. I know, that is horrible. I look at myself in the mirror and think "what the f*** is wrong with you?! pull it together!". I mean I LOVE dogs. But loving him feels forced and that's the worst thing of all out of this entire situation. I think I look down at him and I just see the embodiment of my poor judgment and all of the frustration and anger and sadness I've felt over the last 3 weeks. I never in a million years would have expected to feel like this towards my own puppy.

I think it's pretty clear what I need to do. It's just a matter of mustering up the courage to do it. I am so scared of the breeder's reaction. We've developed such a GREAT relationship and had been making plans for his future (she wanted to show him) and this is going to crush her and make her hate me forever. Ugh...

Thank you for your advice!

There is NOTHING wrong with you. You were just not in the right place for a puppy at this moment. Maybe it should have been thought out a little more thoroughly or whatever, but we are HUMAN and we make mistakes... When I got my other dog who was a rescue (she had MAJOR separation anxiety and behavior issues), I was not ready. I probably shouldn't have gotten her. I remember sitting out on my front porch with my mom one night sobbing saying I hated her... hard for me to admit now. It sent me into a deep depression for a while and I couldn't eat I was so overwhelmed (She's my best friend/world/everything now and we got through it... but man was it a tough year!!!!). People make mistakes, and maybe this was a mistake for you. It is not fair to you or puppy for you to be feeling this way. If you only see an ounce of joy in him while he's asleep and never when he's awake... I think that's your answer :( If he was an older dog I would hesitate more but you have only had him for a few weeks & he's a baby... I don't think it will have a major effect on him. If you explain to your breeder that you are sorry but you are not capable of giving him the love, attention, and life that he deserves right now... I think she will applaud you for your honesty. She wants him to be just as happy as you do. Not saying you should give him back... that decision is up to you and solely you. Keep us updated on what happens!! Best of luck!!
 

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I just got a puppy last week and I am full in the middle of the puppy blues. And I've raised a puppy before, as well as had other dogs, so I really knew what I was getting into! And I don't work!

I do think you should give the puppy back. It's just too much.

Don't feel ashamed about it. My mom used to work at a non-kill shelter and she told me they honestly never judged anyone who surrendered an animal. They were happy they came to them for help.

You are doing the right thing for the dog and the younger he is, the more likely he will find a new home that is the right fit for him.
 
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