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Discussion Starter #1
I have several reasons for asking this. Yesterday, my sister took Rocky for a walk. Not a big deal, except that she didn't TELL me. And, to make a long story short, my sister has problems - she's irresponsible and unstable. I came home and my dog was gone. I reacted hysterically. I couldn't breathe and I started sobbing. Thankfully this didn't go on too long before she came home with the dog. I think she was in shock when she saw the anxiety in my face and my tears. Did she apologize? Nope. I understand that she probably didn't think anything of it - it was just a walk after all. But I can never "assume" anything with her. She could have had one of her friends pick her and the dog up and go who-knows-where. Still, after all was said and done I wondered if my reaction was justified or if it was entirely melodramatic.

I have loved all of my dogs with all my heart, but I've developed a particularly special bond with Rocky. I'm 30 years old and I don't have children yet, so in many ways he IS my little baby. I think sometimes even my boyfriend gets a little jealous of the love I have for this dog. Thankfully he has his own GSD that he adores, so he's probably more understanding than some.

Still, I wonder...am I too attached to my dog? I know loving a dog too much isn't going to hurt the dog one bit (unless they're spoiled), but is it good for us humans?

Just curious to see what other's reactions are...
 

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I would have done the same thing
I would just tell her under no circumstances is she to take him
unless you know!

No one walks my dog unless I am right there Brady is my baby and I love him more then anything in this world.
Only a select few would I trust to do anything for him and even then I still worry.
 

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i can certainly relate to the emotional attachment you have with rocky and how someone that you see not as responsible as you personally would like taking your dog out would make you uncomfortable. but the reaction you had was a little over the top. truly anxiety based.
im assuming that you live in the house with your brother and sister and for that reason its good that these family members have relationships with your dog. its good for the dog and its good for them. if you are worried about your sister taking rocky for more than just a neigborhood stroll perhaps you can set some rules and limits to put you at ease and to keep whats in the dogs best interest, his safety and happiness. give her a chance to prove she can handle it and it may even improve the way you feel about her. making all the bonds stronger would be great wouldnt it?
take a walk with her and rocky with her holding the leash and see how she does for yourself. this could help alot.
 

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I would have reacted the same way too!! My nephew and a friend of his played a trick on his friend's sister who owns a gsd. They sent a text message to the sister somehow that she could not tell where it was coming from and the message when something like "we have your dog, we like your dog, we just might keep it, etc." Sister just freaked out!! I jumped all over my nephew big time for doing such an evil thing!!
 

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I can relate. I have a mini panic attack if we arrive home and aren't greeted quickly by our seniors. I know it's just because they're sleeping very soundly upstairs on the bed and didn't hear us, but doesn't matter. I've got a lump in my throat and my heartrate is through the roof until they either come downstairs or I make it up the stairs to find them.

First thing I do whenever I come home is a quick dog count to make sure everyone is fine. If I came home and a dog was missing and no where to be found, I'd be in complete hysterics!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
M2Forrest-
I'm living with my mom right now while I search for a house. My sister literally JUST moved back in on Sunday night after she and her roommate were evicted from their apartment. I can't go into all the detail, but my sister has stolen from my mom, she has OD'd on drugs, just many, many, things. She is not trustworthy. I think my reaction to her taking the dog is in a lot of ways a result of all the things she has put the family through. If she was a different kind of person, I probably would have been upset that she didn't tell me, but I wouldn't have been crying my eyes out.

I just feel like he is my responsibility and it's my job to protect him. What if the leash snapped and he ran off? What if he encountered an aggressive dog and got in a fight? She hasn't spent enough time with me OR the dog to know how to handle these situations. Plus, she took Shelby once without telling me as well. That time she took her in her car and drove her to a friends' house. Never bothered to tell me a thing about it. I was just left to wonder where my dog was.
 

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I don't know what to tell you, but I can totally relate. I have had dogs, cats, bunnies, and a kid and a foster kid. Yet I have never had the anxiety I have for my new puppy's health & safety. I am up late night researching & stressing about bloat, if she walks funny I worry about HD, if another dog plays rough I rush over like she's a fragile paper dog.
My daughter complains that I'm waaaay too attached. I've had the pup for 3 wks and I can't really explain why I have become so overprotective with her. I've never been like this before, even with my kids. When I get coffee in the morning I won't take my eyes off her because I fear someone is going to steal her. About 1/2 the time, I bring her to work, but when I leave her home I miss her sooo much it's weird. It's like I'm the one with seperation anxiety!
I hope it's just a brief episode of the crazies and it will pass. I just suffered some terrible loss a few months ago and thought maybe it's related to that. I don't think it's normal, but I completely relate to your story.
I'm also curious to see other's reactions to your post. good luck.
 

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I too think you responded in the right way, I would have flipped out on my sister! I think the bonds we form with our dogs can be very strong, as strong as a bond between parent and child. I can totally relate to your fear and anxiety at the prospect of not seeing your dog. A few months ago my husband and I were met with the prospect of having to put down our 3yr old GSD, I have NEVER felt pain like that, if anyone ever questioned our love for our dog they would have seen the answer if they had been in that ER room with my husband and myself, we were clinging to each other balling like babies, we made the entire staff cry. It was heart wrenching, thankfully we didn't have to put our baby down, but we had to live with out him for a week while he was laid up in a hospital two hours from our home, just having him gone for that week was painful...I have never cried more tears in my life than I had in that time frame. I feel their is no limit to how much love we can feel for our dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm the exact same way doggydog. I start to worry when Rocky has diarrhea, if he sleeps too much, etc. Sometimes I get tears in my eyes just TALKING about him. I think for me, and maybe for you too (you mentioned you suffered a loss recently), the dog becomes an outlet. When times are hard and everything around you is stressful, you have that one thing you can depend on. A dog's love is unconditional. We can't get that from human companions. Even parent-child relationships can really be put to the test. A dog will forgive darn near anything.

What my sister did by taking him without asking is: 1) She took away my control, and 2) She took away that one special thing. The thing that brings the most joy to my life when everything else is stressful and trying.
 

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I to, can relate. I make jokes about replacing my pet GSD's, but would be a total basket case if something ever happened. Many would never understand the grief or panic. My senior is 11 and still very healthy but can't even fathom the inevitable in a few years. Love them so much I treat them like dogs, but in my heart they are my children.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You all are making me feel much better about my reaction. Thank you!
 

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ah, i understand why you feel the way you do. i thought maybe she was just a bit younger and not as intune yet. but you have many good causes for feeling the way you do.
i also was looking at it that when you got home a family member was there and told you she took rocky, and not that you came home to an empty house and a dog missing. so my post before was with fitting in pieces incorrectly. the "no big deal" statement threw me off some.
but now that i have a better understanding of the reasons why you got so upset i would have probably reacted just as you have and then some.
sounds like its not a great place for you or your pets. the stress isnt good for any of you. im sure theres alot of it with your sister there. i do hope she finds her way and gets better.
good luck finding a home.
 

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I wouldn't say it's over the top but I'd be the same way so I can relate to how you feel. Most people think I'm way over the top with how much I care for Chance.

I refused to go with my family on a Disney vacation because I didn't feel anyone could care for Chance like I do. I absolutely bawled when I couldn't bring him camping and ended up staying behind. (My moms boyfriends son brought his Maltese and so they didn't want more than one dog on the trip....And if Chance wasn't going there was NO way I was.) I once chose my dog over my boyfriend to go on a trip to NC because we didn't know if we'd have room for both. :x (They both ended up going though lol)

When I started working I was a worried mess that I'd come home and my mom would tell me Chance was gone. I STILL worry about it and hope my next job will allow me to bring him to work so I don't have to leave him at home.

I spend most my day obsessing over Chance's health and care because I want to have as many years as I possibly can with him. I also spend quite a bit of time worrying about how I'll cope when he dies....He's only 2.

And as for children.....No plans for them anytime in the future. I'm worried Chance wouldn't get the same amount of care if I'm too busy taking care of a baby and so I'd need to be in a situation where I can care for BOTH my babies the same amount, fur and skinned. No less care on Chance's part and no neglect towards a human child.

Though my family and friends have told me if I'm anywhere near as good to my children as I am to my dog I'll be one **** of a mother. XDDD

If there is a way to "over bond" with a dog then so be it. Better over bonded than under bonded. Better my dog be overly loved than left in a backyard and eventually thrown in a shelter again.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks M2Forrest. The home search has been slow. My #1 priority of course, is to have a good secure yard for the dog, so that tends to rule out a lot of good properties, but I'm still looking. I'm going to leave Shelby with my mom when I move. She just lost my dad a couple years ago, and doesn't want to be alone. Plus she feels a lot safer with a dog in the house.

We did NOT think it was a good idea for my sister to move back in, but my mom just didn't know what else to do. Hopefully it will be short-lived, as I do worry about leaving my mom alone with my sister.
 

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yes, finding just the right place can be hard. but stay hopeful and keep looking, you will find one.
i understand your moms position, thats her daughter and its hard to turn anyone away that is struggling. somehow your mom needs to find a balance and be tough with her not letting her get away with breaking house rules. the fact that your sister stole from her could have been a deal breaker, but again a mothers love is a mothers love. i do truly hope things work out for you and your family.
im glad rocky came back to you safe and sound.
 

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Well, yes, I think I got too attached to my girl, always looking for her and sometimes paranoid, like the day I found some brownish stains just outside the crate, I rush to the vet and since he couldn’t find anything I order (myself) a full set of blood tests...
When I came home after the vet I check on the stain and it was only my girl’s saliva with the peanut butter that I leave for her every day in the crate....
I felt like idiot, the full set of tests was very expensive and the vet told me totally unnecessary.
I think she worth it, I have a daughter who lives very far and since her first child we just see each other couple of times a year, so my 4 legged daughter use most of my time, I don’t think is possible to live for so long with a companion and not get too attached emotionally.
 

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Frank - Don't feel too bad. I did something similar once. Just a day or two after I got Shelby spayed, when she was sitting next to me in my car I looked over at her and her lower abdomen area was completely swollen. I thought for sure she had some horrible infection. I rushed her to the vet's office right that second. When I got there and the vet checked her out she was intrigued. She said that Shelby was in false pregnancy and her mammary glands were filled with milk! I guess it's pretty rare, but her heat cycle prior to getting spayed fell at just the right time for her to think she was expecting babies. I felt kinda silly, but you can never be too careful! I just went out and bought her a bunch of stuffed animals to carry around while she was feeling the "Mama" vibe.
 

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I would of reacted the same way. Having no children my dogs are "my boys". I love them so much that I would not hesitate to put my own life in danger to protect them. I am constantly teased by my Mom about how much I worry about my boys. Sunday we took a walk in town and I checked the pavement with my hand because I didnt want it too hot for the dogs paws.
 

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When we had our Lab friends would say that they would love to come back as one of our pets.
Now we have Rocky, and I was thinking that I would treat him more like a dog this time around. It isn't working that way, I loved our Lab to death and feel about the same way with Rocky. He get our full attention when we are home, and during the weekends. We even have set up play dates with other dogs who have a fenced in backyard. I really can't wait to get home from work to let him out of his crate and take him for walks or just throw the ball around.
 

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IMHO you didn't overreact. My parents who were law abiding citizens, stable folks whose worst vices in life were eating ice cream sundaes, smoking cigarettes and having a cocktail before supper did this to me.

I was living at home and when I came home from work a little after 4PM Abbey, my OES, was gone!!! My parents were also gone, no note, but that wasn't unusual.

Andy, my Cocker, was home and fine. I looked all over for Abbey, closets, basement, everywhere, called neighbors, walked around the neighborhood caliing her. I was franic. By dinner time I was not only worried about my dog but also about my parents. My sister hadn't heard from them, neither had my aunts and uncles who lived in the area.

Finally about 8PM they drove up and had Abbey with them. I was spitting mad by then and we had a big fight about them not leaving me a note that they had Abbey (not the first, nor the last fight over the dog - long story).

So yes, I can understand your reaction to someone untrustworthy taking your dog anywhere without your permission or knowledge!!!

FWIW this incident happened 40 years ago and just thinking about it got me upset!!!
 
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