Having regrets. Feeling overwhelmed - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-14-2008, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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Having regrets. Feeling overwhelmed

Quincy is 8 mnths old and in general he has been an ideal puppy. Expensive because of health concerns but that all seems to be behind us.

I do not know where these feelings are coming from entirely but I am sorry we added Quinn to our family. I feel horribly guilty even typing this but the feelings have been growing over the past month.

Two dogs just seemed so easy. Quincy is very attached to me and slight SA when apart from me. This leaves me traped. The only way my older dog gets a break is to stay away from me.

I do not take them places as three seems like a chore. Quinn is so big and bolts from the car or attempts.

Really the problem is all me as Quincy is very well mannered for his age. I just seem to have little patience for any of his antics.

I feel HORRIBLE especially since he adores me. I even asked in the form of a joke if my husband would ever rehome Quincy. He immediately said no never which made me feel all the worse because the dog all but ignores my husbands exsistance.

Maybe I have done such a good job and spent so much time raising him that I now feel sufficated.

Has anyone else ever wanted to pack it in. I could never imagine life without my other two but I could see life without Quincy. No one who knew me would believe this post.

I want to get rid of this feeling before it starts to affect the way I treat the dog.

Michelle
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Mia (4 yr old Brussels Griffon)
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-15-2008, 12:05 AM
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Re: Having regrets. Feeling overwhelmed

As for packing it in with my dogs, never. Sometimes I get a bit down, because my GSD's require a lot of attention. To add to my concerns my house is surrounded by flood waters, and will be for least another week or so. And one of the dogs does not do well going in and out by boat. He barks, attacks the motor, and simply willnot settle. And I am worried about the damage the flood has caused. Futhermore, they are house broken so Imust take them to dry land at least 2X daily, by a leakly boat.

So I am feeling a bit down.

Then my neighbor stopped over in a canoe this PM. The energy company shut off his power, because they are afraid someone might be electrocuted. His property is lower then mine so no more electricity. He and his wife have three kids and two dogs, yet he is coping.

My point is things could be a lot worse for you, and youneed to get up and take your dogs places. It might seem like a core, but when you do it your feelings will be better.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-15-2008, 12:13 AM
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Re: Having regrets. Feeling overwhelmed

Sure I feel overwhelmed too... I have two dogs and two cats... and you might think that "two cats, not a big deal" but YES it is a BIG DEAL. They need love and attention too... so I have four animals to take care of daily. And guess what, they are all attached to me and ignore my DH the same way Quincy ignores your DH..
Regardless of feeling overwhelmed occasionally, I feel very blessed that I have all my babies... they make me so happy every day even if they are a lot of work.
Think about it, what if she was not there? It might make you feel good now, but what if you missed her and then you could not get her back... Did you want another dog or did your DH want one?

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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-15-2008, 12:16 AM
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Re: Having regrets. Feeling overwhelmed

I'm not sure what to say. You need to "break" this down for yourself so you can deal with it. Maybe write out on paper exactly what/why you may be feeling this way. Is 3 really that much more work? Maybe when you see it on paper visually, you can then figure out a way to maybe change some things. The SA I'm sure can be dealt with. People on this board can give great advice and ideas to help you get through this. Young pups are a lot of work and sometimes when we have mature dogs we quickly forget what's involved. I know I did. When our 13 yo GSD passed we waited 3 months and got Mojo. Oh was he cute... but..... a few months into it I had major moments of "why did we get a puppy". It does/will get better with time. Continue to bond w/Quincy and get Quincy to bond w/your other dogs, so that he's not so dependent on you. It sounds like you are doing your best and maybe you just need to hang in there. Have you ever owned a GSD before? Quincy sounds like a typical GSD...loving and full of crazy energy. These dogs are smart and you can train them...w/patience to do the things you need them to do. Do you have any friends w/young pups that may want to do "a play date"?

Hang in there!

Terry
Mommy to Mojo and Weasel
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-15-2008, 12:29 AM
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Re: Having regrets. Feeling overwhelmed

I have gone through periods of feeling overwhelmed with my 18 month old male, Tanner. He turned out to be a whole lot more dog than I had wanted. The trainer I work with says that Tanner is like a finely tuned Ferrari, both in his engine and in his body. I say that I wanted the looks of that finely tuned Ferrari, but with the engine of an old station wagon. There have been times when I would have rehomed him if I thought that I could do it safely. That feeling does pass, though, and I am glad that I have stuck it out with him.

I still feel exhausted by my dog at times, but it helps me to acknowledge feeling that way and then moving on.

If there are things about Quincy's behavior that make him difficult to handle, then work on it. Maybe your husband could become the primary trainer for Quincy? It would help improve their bond and take some of the burden off you. And the easier Quincy is to spend time with, and take places, the more likely you'll be to enjoy him.

Having dogs and doing it responsibly can be hard at times. It is just like any other long term relationship! Cut yourself some slack, and then move on. And know that at least some of us have been there and understand.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-15-2008, 02:03 AM
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Re: Having regrets. Feeling overwhelmed

I had a lot of regrets when we added Rocky, Jessie's littermate, to the mix esp. after they started fighting. I have MS and after breaking up a fight with those two trying to kill each other, I'd have to spend 3 days in bed just recuperating, after taking one of them to ER first though. Yea everything had been perfect before he came, but we love him so much, even though now we have to keep them separate all the time, I mean ALL THE TIME, we are in a routine and actually, it's been a year now and Jessie is slowly accepting him, has made a million baby steps.

I remember the time I told her, "Jess, just accept it, Rocky is going to stay here...forever." She looked panicky back at him and then me a couple times but at that minute she knew this is the way it is going to be and over the months has gradually accepted it.

Someday we'll do that new CAT stuff to try and reintroduce them but just with the rest of life, management is enough for now.

At the time, two 22 month old GSDs who have a death wish for each other was a lot to bear. Then we did stuff to make ourselves feel better, like buy them nice kennels for outside, really nice, and just spoiling them made us feel better about the forced situation.

It felt good back then to talk about our mistake. A couple of times DH said 'we shouldnt' have gotten Rocky!' and I agreed but we had him and he needed us, had nowhere else to go, was full of emotional issues (as was Jess and still is). I think what really helped was the other two dogs stepping and a helping shape the pack. We depended on them to really make it all bearable. They stepped right up to the plate, helping each GSD find their place, taking the alpha role and making them feel more secure. What a funny alpha and beta they are, little Schip and cute little Collie commanding two huge GSDs.

Jess had terrible SA when she first came here, would pee every time I looked at her cross eyed, we were her fourth home and she was only 15 months. That was the quickest thing to go too once she took cues from the other dogs and realized there was nothing to worry about. Also, she realized she got her certain amount of time every day that was her attention from me and then I had to move on and spread myself everywhere else which is a lot with all the other critters here.

You don't realize it now but your animals can turn to each other for comfort and create their own community. It doesn't always have to be you. Older dogs will become the Uncle or Aunt, or so forth and then you've got another to shoulder to lean on as well.
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-15-2008, 02:14 AM
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Re: Having regrets. Feeling overwhelmed

Of course it gets hard at times. Brenna came to me with a lot of behavior issues at just 9 months old. She is fearful of strangers, extremely so with men and loud children. I remember taking her to petsmart once (stupidly on a busy Sunday) and she was in such a panic I could hardly hold onto her leash. I took her out to the car and just burst into tears. It is very overwhelming and often times I have felt in over my head but I've never considered quitting on her.

At 8 months old, your dog is still a baby and has a lot of learning to do. If he bolts from the car, teach him not to. I taught my dogs 'wait' by giving the command as I very slowly opened the door, any movement towards it resulted in me shutting (not slamming) it. Now I can open the back and fiddle with leashes, get myself situated, etc. then I say "OK" and they know they can jump down. I also use the command at doorways they are not to cross for whatever reason. They are pretty good at this point I just say "ah ah!" if they start to cross the doorway.

I believe the most common age for dogs to be turned into shelters is probably between 6 months and 2 years because that is the age they are getting large but are still hyper and playful puppies. They are also learning about the pack structure and will question authority.

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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-15-2008, 03:11 AM
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Re: Having regrets. Feeling overwhelmed

I can definitely relate. We got Heidi in October 2007 and by January, 2008, we were wondering what we had gotten ourselves into and had some major regrets. We had originally wanted to get an older, calm dog with little to no prey drive that got along well with other dogs. Well, we got the opposite of that!

On January 1st, we were taking her on a hike and she was doing her usual pulling, lunging and growling at other dogs we passed (and this was AFTER her "grumpy pup" class and a lot of other expenses and training). And she was extremely attached to me (still is!), had major separation anxiety, and wouldn't give my husband the time of day. I think my husband would have returned her to rescue at that point, but I just couldn't do it. I told him, give me a month and I'll get her in shape. And so I was really firm and did some major NILF work with her, and she seemed to know that she needed to shape up. Well, after a week, he said, there's no way we can let her go.

It hasn't been easy, but she's improved a LOT, and she's much better with obeying us, not lunging, getting along better with other dogs, and liking my husband more and more all the time. She's an important part of our lives and we take her all over the place.

So, I hope you hang in there--especially since he loves you so much! I think that was a good idea to have your husband more involved in training classes, etc.

Best of luck to you! I really hope that you get over this hurdle like we did. I can't imagine life without Heidi at this point and neither can my husband.

Karin and Dave

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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-15-2008, 03:43 AM
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Re: Having regrets. Feeling overwhelmed

We have 5 cats and 2 dogs, if it was up to me I would have more dogs.

Everyones situation is very different, money, time, patience, etc.

However when I think about adding another member, it's not taking lightly, it can't, it just doesn't effect you, it effects the pack, your significant other, the pocket book, etc.

Since I don't work, my schedule is very flexible, and I know that dogs like to have a schedule, so I created a schedule, and I stick with it (even though there is flexibility).

Jasper has also saved me from lots of negative aspects that I have had in my life, it's a fact that animals add years to your life, however it's sad to me to see you feel this way.

Your feelings will project onto Quincy, no matter how you look at it, he is also at a tough age, everything seems difficult during this time period.

Jasper has Elbow dysplasia, I have spent over $10,000 on him (surgery, rehab, meds, shots 2x a month, training, etc), but money is no object when it comes to certain things.

We don't have children, and if we did, I would be the same way.

Never make a rush decision, think things out, do things the proper way, everyone makes a mistake, we are human, we aren't perfect.

It's nice to see that you have shared this, because some people could easily want to flame you for your feelings, but that's their opinion (because they care about the Quincy's well being. It shows you can take the heat, but you want to do whats best for all involved.

If you do decide to give him up, try friends or family, rescue, just someone you can trust.

Please take no offense to this, but sometimes people just don't know what they are getting themselves into, until they do something, then it backfires (example, family gets puppy at christmas, then 4 months later its in the pound (that's a big problem I have).

No one said it's easy to raise a puppy, or a child, but responsibility and owning up to your actions is what it sounds like what you want to do.

If you got Quincy from breeder, call breeder and see if they would take him back (it happens).

Just make sure whateveer you do, it's what is best for Quincy, he deserves at least that.

You have started the process of in right manner, putting it into words, and on this forum.

Just make sure you finish the job, and either he gets the love he deserves from you, or he goes to a loving home.

The ball is in your court, now lets see how you handle it, IMO it will telll me alot about your charactor.

Good luck to you, and for now on, be patient, loving (not say you not), give some time, he is only 8months old, you are his guide, his leader), he looks for guidance from you, so make it happen, one way or another.

Just don't banish him, dogs have a pack mentality, and they don't like to be banished from the pack.

PM me if I can help further.

~JACK~

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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-15-2008, 04:56 AM
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Re: Having regrets. Feeling overwhelmed

I think everyone has given you very good advice. I think it is great you have been honest with your feelings and members here have answered honestly and not in an inflammatory way.

Jasper was right on in his post.

I think we all feel overwhelmed somedays with everything..and also with our dogs at times. We all want them to be balanced, have fun and for most they are a big part of our lives.

8 months is a hard age, lots of testing and different needs from what I have experienced from pup to adult. Just keep at it, your dog is so young, and they give us so much in return really.

We have only had 2 at a time, but for the few months we had just one, I found it harder than having two. The balance just did not seem to be there. I , however, have never had three at a time, I am sure there is many that have..but it just depends on what works for you.

When I have a 12-14 hour day at work I know that our dogs will still be waiting for us to give them exercise/play and training when we get home. So maybe you can make your husband more part of that, if one of us is having an "off" day the other will take the time with the dogs so the other can go to bed early or what not.

It really is just striking an ebb and flow of things..

Don't give up! Like said, you have a young pup and things should get better with exercise and training..and I really think they are forgiving of "off" days ..and we have 2 GSDS under the age of 2 right now they are really great dogs, they just like to be a part of everything, which leads to a great training opportunity around every corner

Maybe try some classes where you can spend some alone time with Quincy, I like to take each of ours to their different things as they have different personalities. And then when when we have people over/ go somewhere with them we can all have fun hanging out.

But, as overwhelming as it can get I can say that I never have wanted, ever, to pack it in. The first thing that makes me grin every day is seeing my awkward teenage dogs bopping around our house I could not see my life right now without either of them.

-Steph

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