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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello -- I need help. Or, encouragement and advice?

I've wanted a dog for many years, and four years ago (!) I knew I would definitely get one when my circumstances were right. I've spent months and months watching training videos on youtube (kikopup is a favourite), reading books and forums online. I read through The Happy Puppy Handbook, did research on feeding, crate training, exercise needs, clicker training -- I felt completely prepared. I'm a PhD student, I work from home most days and if I do go elsewhere during the day it's not for more than a couple of hours. I am prone to something called brief recurrent depression and I thought that owning a dog could help with that, and I loved the thought of having a running partner eventually (along with lots of other dog activities I've been researching). I was SO excited about getting a puppy and last Thursday I finally got Tova - an 8 week old silver standard poodle puppy from a responsible breeder.

The first couple of days were OK but right now I'm seriously considering taking her back/trying to find a new owner. She's not a bad puppy - she sleeps well in her crate and doesn't wet her bed, training is coming along OK (as far as can be expected for her age) and though there are mistakes, toilet training is also going OK. But I've spent all of the time since I got her watching her, playing with her or thinking about her, and when she's asleep I'm just panicking, thinking, 'What the heck was I thinking of? There is no way I can raise a puppy? I knew it would be hard but the actual experience of the difficulty just feels WAY too much!!' I'm single so I'm doing this by myself - I've read a few posts on here about post-puppy blues (I'm relieved to know that this is somewhat normal) but it seems like a lot of people are in a couple and have a partner to share the load?

I feel totally lost. I know that I've gotten myself into this, I'm beginning to feel like such an idiot for thinking I could do this, additionally I feel so embarrassed/ashamed as I've been excitedly talking to friends and family (and battling their advice to wait to get one) for months.. I simply don't know I'm going to make it work. Please help! Any advice welcome :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you so much for your response -- I too have been on the phone to my mum at least twice a day since I got her, but it's different hearing from somebody who has actually been through the same thing!! I hope that I feel better as well once she's finished her vaccinations (October 30 and can take her out. I'm looking into a dog daycare as well (though I don't know if they take such young puppies). What do you do with yours (she looks totally adorable among those flowers!) when you're at work? Crate? Playpen? Do your husband and kids play with Pixie, does that help tire her out?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think your mum has the right idea (re dogs and babies) -- mine was saying this morning the opposite, at least in terms of our relationship to them (constantly watching, not able to have a proper meal, toilet accidents, etc, etc). That sounds like a good arrangement with your kitchen - apparently a slightly smaller area feels like an extended den, so they feel safer.... My kitchen is open to the living room so I'll try to find another solution. Also sounds like you have some perfect doggy countryside for when Pixie's walkable!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This afternoon, I decided to just put her in her crate (it's sized more for an adult than a puppy so she has a bit of space) with chew toys and treats... she settled down and I managed to do an hour's work! I took her out to go to the toilet but she's in there now and yelping the house down... I just can't face her right now, I feel like a terrible person (and again, like a total idiot for imagining that I could make having a puppy work). I emailed the breeder to let her know I'm having difficulties, hopefully I'll get some support. Already though I'm thinking, 'I wish my life was back to how it was before!' I know that I should persevere for a couple of weeks, but it is so hard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Shandula, thanks for your reply :) I have had a search on here, I was reading lots of forum threads last night... I stopped though as I think maybe it was making me EVEN MORE anxious?!! Which is completely silly. My overwhelming feeling right now is "I can't do this".... ugh, I've not felt this down for a long, long time, which is the opposite effect to what I'd hoped to get from having a dog. Honestly, I've not had any days yet when I've thought that life would be terrible without her.... I realise now that I should have considered an adult rescue more seriously, but I was full of dreams of training the perfect dog (so naive).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hello everyone, thank you so much for all of your thoughtful responses! i've started crating Tova now, I took her out for breakfast, play and a little training first thing for about 2 hours. And again after an hour for a potty break. So that's good. She settles down in there quite quickly, and I did the same last night so i could enjoy dinner with my housemates rather than be on the edge of my seat running after her the whole time. Objectively, things are getting better. I still felt this morning when I woke up, though, 'God I just do not want to be doing this' and felt entirely unenthusiastic about playing with her, and cried while she was running about the garden. I still feel so embarrassed to be reacting this way to something that I've been dreaming about for so long! I'm going to be honest: the thought that I find most comforting right now is taking her back. I'll stick it out for another week and see how I feel at least first though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Shandula and Deisecailin - it was in part thanks to your advice that the crate rest thing happened, thanks!

Cos - thanks. I hope that day comes sooner rather than later...

Akodo - I'm trying to keep that in mind. She really does seem fine in her crate, although not exactly ecstatic about going in there. The thing that I'm most worried about now is that I'm not enjoying the time she's out either - I started crying because she weed on the doormat (hello, she's a puppy, this is inevitable!) and because she jumped at my face. Hopefully one day I'll look back and those moments will be funny?

TuxsMum - Nice to hear from another student! What arrangement do you have for when you need to leave Tux?
 
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