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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm going to lay all out on the table here..

I feel really trapped in life, in that.. The ideal setting for Zelda and I would be in an isolated area right outside of a town to walk in and so that if she barks with me gone, no one can hear her. But outside of it so that i can have her off leash and not worry about strangers so much, no cats (No neighbor cats laying on our yard not knowing my dog has full intentions of the prey game..), fenced in yard.. This ideal world, is not even near my future. I would give it maybe 20 years before i probably could afford a down payment for the cheapest real estate out there..

I also feel trapped in that i cant go out at night with friends because she will bark and i feel bad leaving her since she hates it so much still, i cant bring her with me to friends because she will attempt to eat her cats and i cant go to friends with her or they cant come here easily because of her FA and how it would take hours before i could properly introduce to a level where i feel comfortable putting my guard down a bit to enjoy myself. My social life is really not there.. Which also means missing out on events, taking extra shifts at work, vacations with family, enjoying the company of cats and my dog at the same time.

And i need to move on from here. But heres the thing.. I was going to get an apartment, but the daugher of the owners of it came back to the state and she is in it now. Its the only apartment that would in all honesty work for Zelda and I.. And well i been looking for an apartment i can afford, thats near my workplace (since the weekend i have 1 hour shifts several times a day, and it wouldn't make sense to drive 1 hour away to do a 1 hour shift..), can have a GSD/dog, and can have a dog barking in day or at night.. There is little to no appartments meeting that criteria.

I have a job (that i hope to make a career) that pays $10/hour plus half tips. So basically all the money i make a month would be going to rent with the prices around here for rent. I might be able to get an apartment or something with my sister, but it would be hard being that her dog would kill me everytime she bites Zelda because someone forgot they left a ball or stick on the ground (resource guarding),etc. And it would still have to fit my criteria, and her criteria..
So with all money im making at work and if i had an apartment that cost more than my budgeted rent money, there is no saving, no gas money, where would be the Zelda money for food, class, supplements, vet, how about the car fixing money, debt money, food, etc. College drop out, because i couldn't afford it!

I just feel like im holding her back in all her potential and she is holding me back in ways. Not that i resent her or am wanting to remove her from my life. You would have to pry her form my cold dead fingers. But, i do wish things were different circumstances/easier.. Or at the very least ideal circumstances were closer to reach..


I was hoping to hear some advice knowing my personal problems (apologize) on what they would do in my situation.

Thanks guys.. :help::blush:
Is it bad or is it just in my head.. I'm not sure anymore!.. lol





(most recent pictures of Zelda in the summer) :)
 

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I don't want to be a bummer, but I'm in my 50's, I still don't have a yard for Molly and I have crappy immediate neighbors. I struggled in evening classes and went back to school to get re-traiined, only to find I'd have to move a great distance after I graduated to find the training and type of job I wanted, which I cannot do.

You really need to change your perspective. For me - no yard = exploring the area around me where I can walk Molly either on or off leash. She doesn't care that she is on leash, this is actually my problem. Over the years we've found so many beautiful places within 10 miles of my home! You can't go out at night? Good, you stay home and save money on bar tabs, stay away from DUI drivers and guys that might not respect you.

You should do some serious research on where good paying jobs are, ask yourself if you can re-locate, and in the mean time, take some college classes, you might find something that will lead to better paying job or just a fun hobby. I went to school for nursing, but to me my most valuable and enjoyable class was modern art history. Only you are holding you back. Think out of the box.

Even with my dog, I've learned to change my perspective and look for the positive. When my dog was potty training, instead of looking at "accidents" as extra work and a mess, I saw this as an opportunity to keep my floors clean several times a week. As crazy as our start was with Molly, with patience and love she's grown into a great dog and a fun model for my daughter to practice her watercolor painting, and she's hoping one day to make a book out of Molly's life.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I don't want to be a bummer, but I'm in my 50's, I still don't have a yard for Molly and I have crappy immediate neighbors. I struggled in evening classes and went back to school to get re-traiined, only to find I'd have to move a great distance after I graduated to find the training and type of job I wanted, which I cannot do.

You really need to change your perspective. For me - no yard = exploring the area around me where I can walk Molly either on or off leash. She doesn't care that she is on leash, this is actually my problem. Over the years we've found so many beautiful places within 10 miles of my home! You can't go out at night? Good, you stay home and save money on bar tabs, stay away from DUI drivers and guys that might not respect you.

You should do some serious research on where good paying jobs are, ask yourself if you can re-locate, and in the mean time, take some college classes, you might find something that will lead to better paying job or just a fun hobby. I went to school for nursing, but to me my most valuable and enjoyable class was modern art history. Only you are holding you back. Think out of the box.

Even with my dog, I've learned to change my perspective and look for the positive. When my dog was potty training, instead of looking at "accidents" as extra work and a mess, I saw this as an opportunity to keep my floors clean several times a week. As crazy as our start was with Molly, with patience and love she's grown into a great dog and a fun model for my daughter to practice her watercolor painting, and she's hoping one day to make a book out of Molly's life.
Perspective does make a big difference! Good points.. Glad i posted in the end, I wasnt sure if i was going to regret posting.. But your post was worth it Gretchen. I do have a lot at the end of the day. It is fun to go on dirt roads, farm roads, back woods with Zelda.
I am currently training to be a groomer, i am hoping i can go far with it, i do enjoy it. :) I basically am an apprentice with a guy who owns his own grooming, boarding and daycare. (i have only been there about 3-4 months) And maybe i should go to a 3 month long grooming school to get certified, i am hoping that would help me go farther and maybe up my pay at some point! But i should do research on grooming jobs in the states, where they are most needed, average salary, etc. i am quite willing to relocate if i know i have a place with Zelda and a solid job.

Molly is sure lucky to have a mom with such a positive spin on even her accidents in the house :) Its very true though..

Thanks for posting Gretchen!
 

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I get stuck in that cycle, too. But, remember, as a kid, when you had to finish all the food because there were kids starving in China, or wherever? Now, I think: I'm thankful I've never had to see my kid ( or dog) starve. That gives me some perspective. I also wish I had 10 acres and the stupid neighbors with their stupid little dog were nowhere close....but, on the other hand, I'm glad I can afford kibble and Rudy doesn't have to eat that little dog for dinner...so I don't have to interact with them again. Sometimes we get stuck, then a couple of months or years later you think: oh, so that's why that happened that way!
 

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It really does have to do with perspective; if all I focus on is the negative in my life of course I'm going to feel sad and angry. I have to remind myself that I can choose to feel bad or focus on feeling thankful and happy. When I realize I'm starting to go down the bad road I stop and think of something that makes me happy, whether it be a funny joke or something someone did and I'll find myself smiling or laughing even just a little and I can feel my mood become brighter. Baby steps

Focus on the things you CAN improve - so if you choose to go back to school or possibly buy a house then save every penny you can and put it in a savings account. Even if it's just $20 a month watching that money grow gives you something to look forward to. Why not make an appointment with a financial advisor and speak to them? The appointment was free and wow was it worth the time to sit down and find out my options.

I have a yard, it's small and yes I wish it was a heck of a lot bigger but even when I take him to my parents and let him roam on their acreage unless he's chasing a toy he's always within ten feet of me so does he really need that extra space to be happy? Nope ;) Find some nice hiking areas and enjoy all that space without paying a penny or worrying about upkeep like cutting the grass or maintaining the trails :D Feel lonely? There are lots of people that have mutual interests out there you can connect with, you might be surprised at how not alone you are when you step outside of your bubble :) No one is perfect, it's our imperfections that make life interesting and our trials that make us strong
 

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If it's any comfort, I'm a pretty successful entrepreneur (I'm apparently a 1%'er though it sure doesn't feel like it!), have three dogs, will have more, and am struggling to find the property I can afford that works for me. Everything is very expensive around here. In my experience "mo money, mo problems". And I grew up poor as dirt so I have been on both sides of the spectrum.

Once you're comfortable grooming, start your own grooming business. If you have a hand for business you'll make many times the money you could make working for someone else. Money is actually quite easy to make I've found. It's only the first few dollars that are so hard won
 

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Ah, looking back, the poor houses I've lived in, the hard times I've had finding rentals with dogs, the times I've moved "for dogs"... It CAN be downright discouraging and expensive. Sometimes the light at the end of that tunnel is very very faint...
 

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Central CA has very reasonable real estate. I live 45 minutes from town in foothills on 5 acres in a HUGE home and similar places around here are 80K to 250K depending on mobile to mansion. There are even super reasonable rentals and rent to owns. There are lots of semi-country properties closer to the towns too. AND good groomers are in demand here. . . Just a thought -- look in the Fresno area. Mobile grooming or in-home is also really popular.
 

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I think the OP's main problem seems to be that the dog barks when she's not home. There have been some really good suggestions but until she can leave the dog alone and not risk getting kicked out of her existing place, she is rather stuck.

I wish I had some suggestions to help with the initial problem but I don't. I don't have enough experience to even begin to guess on how to keep her pup quiet so she can go to school or spend a couple hours with friends.

Anyone?
 

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I think the OP's main problem seems to be that the dog barks when she's not home. There have been some really good suggestions but until she can leave the dog alone and not risk getting kicked out of her existing place, she is rather stuck.

I wish I had some suggestions to help with the initial problem but I don't. I don't have enough experience to even begin to guess on how to keep her pup quiet so she can go to school or spend a couple hours with friends.

Anyone?
Well I'm not short on suggestions myself! I have a few that "might" help and cost nothing but time and patiance!
http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/training-theory-methods/426322-selzer-sitting-dog.html
Some of the pros said they do it all the time. I never had the need with my dogs but I did get a chance to try at a rescued day! I was impressed with the change in the demeanour of the dog fear issues!
http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/training-theory-methods/426322-selzer-sitting-dog.html
And add this to that:
A Great Small And Lightweight Nylon Mesh Muzzle
And: http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/general-behavior/132410-introducing-shepherd-cats-5.html
You have friends with cats tell them what you want to work on muzzle the dog and basically sit on the dog! Two for one!
And I always add this one:
http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/general-behavior/431289-new-dog-very-challenging.html
So there you go! :)
Those things alone may fix the bark problem? It will take time. And there is always a bark collar.
 

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For discouraging unwanted alerts (aka barking) -
Leave a TV or radio on - or both.
Get an "environmental" or sound canceling "radio." These mask all sorts of sounds (like toilets flushing in the next unit of a hotel/motel, car doors closing outside etc.)
 

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I get this.

Living with Eva (rip) was....so difficult. She couldn't be trusted around children, other dogs, cats other than our cat, men, even some women. "Luckily," when she was anxious she didn't bark or howl (paced endlessly, always counter clockwise), but still, as you can imagine, as an apartment-dweller, her issues were very difficult to manage. (Think: walks at 1am, 4am, choosing a job and college based on ability to take her out at "off" times, etc.) Absolutely worth it, though, for every day we had together.

I can't add anything to the advice you've already been given. I just wanted to say that I have been there. I remember being reduced to tears a few times when my management tactics came gut-wrenchingly close to failing, and feeling completely hopeless about ever getting into the perfect home for her.

Thing is... for Zelda, wherever she is with you is her perfect home. I know, I know; it's not a perfect environment, and really, you are the one shouldering the burden here, not Zelda. That's hard to reconcile mentally and emotionally; it's psychological discord - on the one hand, she brings you so much joy; on the other, she brings you so much stress and so many challenges.

Keep being honest with yourself, keep venting, keep being open... keep enjoying your walks in the backcountry and your time together, and keep a training journal/log so that you can see the small improvements she makes - it will give you hope and keep you motivated. Keep pushing through at work. Over the years, I have noticed that "stick-to-it-iveness" is what propels people towards success - combined, of course, with making the most of contacts and credentials.

You can do this :) One day at a time!
 
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