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Nickpo88 06-19-2014 11:57 AM

Leaving GSD for a year
This is not exactly a goodbye. It is more of a see you in a year type of deal, which feels like goodbye. My wife and I will be relocating for her clinicals. We both feel that it will be much easier if we leave our 15 month GSD with a family member. Has anyone had to experience leaving their dog for an extended amount out time? Do they forget about you? or will he be fine? This is so sad cause I feel terrible for leaving him behind.

wyoung2153 06-19-2014 12:17 PM

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I have deployed for 7 months.. which ultimately left Titan with someone for a little under 8 due to training and all that. I will say that I didn't get the welcome home from him I had hoped.. not to discourage you at all jsut being honest. He was brought to the airport and showed little to no interest in me. Then when he was finally brought to my house with all his things.. he was way more intrigued.. familiar smells, familiar space, yard, etc. I wonder if his response, was in large part due to that he was uprooted and given to a not super familiar friend, and just adjusted to the new life style, going "ok well this is my new home." Then didn't know what to do when I was back. We fell immediately back into step.. same routine, same exercise, same training, all that. He didn't skip a beat. We ran into stuff a few months later, but I don't think that had anything to do with the seperation.

That being said I go a year or more without seeing my parent's dogs that were there when I lived there 7 years ago. They still remember me and come charging up when I get there. And I know they remember me because Cocoa, the chocolate lab, is scared of life itself and she runs right up to me for belly rubs and our old routine.

So I think it is dependent on your dog and your situation. Are you able to visit with him at all or is this completely impossible? In the end.. I think you guys will be fine.. even if the worst happens, where he doesn't appear to remember you, he will integrate right back into your life style, promise :)

Nickpo88 06-19-2014 01:01 PM

Thanks you for your reply. He will be with my parents and their GSD. I will have one opportunity to visit him while he is there. This is just weird since I have done everything with him since he was 8 weeks. Your comments did make me feel better about leaving him for awhile. I am sure it will be for his best interest.

wyoung2153 06-19-2014 01:05 PM

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If you are positive about not being able to take them.. no need to justify to us.. then be comforted in the fact that they are with family who will love him just like you do.

I too have had Titan since he was just under 8 weeks. He was my everything.. and it was so strange to go away for that long. What helped tremendously was that my friend sent me pictures on request and kept me super updated with his adventures. And one time we skyped.. lol. just so I can see him sleeping :) sounds silly but I missed him. I also was lucky enough to interact with the MWD there a decent amount and they always let me play with them on their off time if I needed a puppy pick me up! :)

TommyB681 06-21-2014 05:44 AM

^^true and well said. good luck on the re-loc

David Winners 06-21-2014 09:21 AM

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He will be fine, and will remember you. I think you are lucky to have family that will watch the dog while you are away.

Fama hadn't seen me in a year and a half and there was no question that she remembered me.

blackshep 06-24-2014 12:21 PM

I don't think he'll forget about you at all. I thought that about my cat when I went to Germany for almost a month, he FREAKED OUT when I got home. lol I never thought cats actually cared, but he wouldn't let me go to sleep after I'd been up for almost 48 hours straight, I was exhausted. lol He was biting my hair, meowing, digging at me, what a commotion! :D

A GSD certainly has a better memory than a cat, I would think.

What I'd do is make sure your family who is looking after him has emergency contact information of your vet, emergency vet etc. And make sure they know how much they can spend in a medical emergency, should they not be able to contact you.

Good luck with your decision. I'd look at ways to bring him with you, but if you can't, I'm sure he'll be fine and remember you well when you return. Make sure you video his response when you finally get home :D

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