Need to make a tough decision (plus a rant)

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.


Noms for the- pug...
Barked: Wed Apr 24, '13 11:55am PST 
I wasn’t quite sure where to put this so I’ll start here and if the mods need to move it, they can.

I’ve seen several posts recently about people who shouldn’t own dogs and I have my best friend to add to that list. I’m very frustrated with her so this is probably going to start as a rant, but ultimately I need to decide if I should try to take this dog in or not. So I’m looking for advice too.

A few years ago, my friend adopted a puppy from the shelter. She said it was for her boyfriend who lives with her. I was quite frankly shocked when she told me because she’s never been an animal person herself. She doesn’t hate them and she thinks they’re cute, but in the 10 years I’d known her, she’d never had any inclination to share her home with one. So this came out of the blue. And knowing her and her boyfriend, I immediately worried that the dog wouldn’t be cared for properly.

A few weeks after she adopted him, she called me in a panic wanting to know what to do because he was sick. She said he was vomiting and had diarrhea and also was lethargic and had stopped eating. I told her to take him to the vet. She didn’t have a vet! She brought home a puppy from the shelter and didn’t take it to get checked out by a vet. That’s the first thing any responsible owner would do with a new dog. So I recommended my vet. She called me back the next day and said my vet was a rip-off. He believed it might be parvo and she wouldn’t pay for the test to confirm it. My vet tried to explain to her that if it was parvo it was very serious and would be miserable way for a dog to die. But she brought her dog home and said he was just lying on his blanket, looking depressed and not eating anything. I was so mad I hung up the phone and didn’t talk to her for several days. I was sure her dog wasn’t going to make it.

A couple days later, she tells me he’s snapped out of it, that he’s been eating cheetos that they offered him and is acting better. She said she didn’t need the vet after all and vets are a waste of money and she’ll never trust one again. I told her she was just lucky this time. She followed that up by sending me pictures of him in his brand new sweaters. She can’t pay for a parvo test but she can go buy him a bunch of clothes. Grrr….

So anyway, I knew this situation would not end well for her dog so I distanced myself so I didn’t have to watch things go downhill. I haven’t been over to her house since she got the puppy so that I wouldn’t have to see him and get attached.

Then today, she asks me if I want a dog. She says she has to get rid of him because she can’t take care of him anymore. Her boyfriend is in jail for drugs and she’s got 4 kids plus his 1 kid to look after. Her heat/hot water has been turned off and she’s having to heat the kids’ bath water on the stove. She’s struggling financially and apparently can’t afford to feed the dog anymore because she said animal control came by and left a note that the dog was underweight and needed vaccinations. So I guess she’s also leaving him outside when she’s not home, but I know he’s mostly an indoor dog. I told her I couldn’t take him right now and she said she’s calling animal control to pick him up today.

So I’m trying to decide if I should pick him up from the shelter once he’s been processed. I couldn’t just take him today. I have to talk it over with my husband anyway, and I’m worried that it will put Capone under a lot of stress. Her dog is a small terrier, maybe a JRT mix (?). I believe he’s high energy which I am not. He is a good size for my family and would be smaller than Capone, I think. But Capone’s just not crazy about other dogs. He’ll tolerate them but he’s never had much interest in them. And Capone is a senior and very velcro. If I have to spend a lot of time and energy focusing on the new dog to get him acclimated and fix any problems my friend may have caused, I know Capone will get depressed and I don’t want it to negatively affect his health.

IF (big if) I do decide to take him, I would prefer to adopt him from the shelter unbeknownst to my friend. She can be a drama queen and I can see her boyfriend getting home from jail in a year or so and wanting his dog back. If they know I have him, they could easily expect me to just hand him over and I won’t do that. If I take him, it’ll be permanent. And adopting him from the shelter, I’ll have the papers to prove that he’s mine, along with vet records, city licenses, etc in case there is any drama.

What do you think I should do? I stayed far away from this situation so that I wouldn’t get upset if something happened to him, but I can’t help it. I want to cry for him. I want to take him but I just don’t think he’d be a good fit for my lifestyle or for Capone. Will a small, relatively young terrier who has been relinquished by his owner likely find a good home? We don’t see a lot of small dogs in our shelters so I’m hoping that means he’ll have a good chance???
Jewel, PCD

8.6lbs of fury- in a bow!
Barked: Wed Apr 24, '13 12:38pm PST 
I wouldn't if I were you. It probably hasn't got any training at all on top of everything else. If small dogs are uncommon it's likely it will get adopted or you could try contacting some foster based rescues to get it pulled.

If the guilt is really eating at you I would suggest you adopt another older dog that's more likely to get along with Capone. What would be the difference? A life saved is a life saved and you've never met this dog.

Black dogs rock!
Barked: Wed Apr 24, '13 1:12pm PST 
hug I know it's hard to watch all this and not do anything. If small dogs are not common in your shelter, it won't stay there long. If its a terrier and doesn't shed, it will be snapped up in no time. You know yourself and your dog best and you stated in your post the dog would not fit with your dog and yourself. I am currently volunteering at our shelter and in spite of the fact that I would like to take every dog home, I know which ones fit my house and which don'tsmile Thankfully, so far, none are a good fitlaugh out loud


The Monster
Barked: Wed Apr 24, '13 1:29pm PST 
No, don't do it. You've said you're not a high energy dog type person, and young terriers are about as high energy as they come. Your current dog is a senior and doesn't care for other dogs. You'd be deceiving your "friend" by adopting the animal but not telling her and opening yourself up to some serious future drama if she or her boyfriend ever found out (which they almost inevitably will).

I know the dog is a sad story, but it's not a good fit for you. Here's hoping the dog's story ends up with a happy ending, but it's not your responsibility.

Why run when you- can hop??!!
Barked: Wed Apr 24, '13 2:01pm PST 
I agree with others, I would not do it. He doesn't sound like a good match for you and like you said you don't want to stress out your current dog. The fact that he is a smaller dog will help him find a home quicker. If you still wanted to help him out look to see if the shelter would let you cover his adoption fees for his future family. I know of some shelters that do this and it does raise the dogs adoption chances.

Hopefully the little guy will find a better home. wishes

I'm unstoppable!
Barked: Wed Apr 24, '13 2:56pm PST 
If you're lifestyle doesn't match up with this dog, I would say it's best to let him go to a family that suits his needs. It will benefit you and the dog. I've raised a JRT and they are a very loyal, affectionate, and intelligent breed but they are VERY active. So hopefully he finds a very active family that will be able to take him everywhere with them. It hurts me to hear this story, it's so hard when things like this happen frown Let's all hope this little guy gets a home where he's treated well! You are so awesome for wanting to take him in, big props to you! I say maybe keep in contact with the shelter and see if he's adopted out smile

Lenny -The- Wrecking Ball
Barked: Wed Apr 24, '13 6:12pm PST 
I like the idea of trying to get a rescue to step in. And if a rescue said "We'd love to help but don't have room" then maybe you could offer maybe to foster him as an option. That way you don't have to keep him long term (like everyone said, small dogs are very popular and he's young as well which pays in his favor)and you likely wouldn't have to pay for his vet expenses (which may be large if he's never been) since the rescue usually covers that.

I definitely don't think he sounds like a good long term mix for you, but if you can help him on the journey to his new home then I think that's a beautiful thing.

Fritz, cats are- fun when they- run
Barked: Thu Apr 25, '13 3:55am PST 
I'd take him. The dog is a few years old. Even Huskies and terrors..I mean terriers mellow out and quiet down with age. The poor guy needs a break and he doesn't sound like he would have much of a chance in a shelter.

Good luck, follow your heart. hug

Im just a little- guy
Barked: Thu Apr 25, '13 6:38am PST 
I have one of those clingy velro dogs with a tight bond. Years ago I was at a park with my dog and was joined by a stray peke. I took the dog home with me because there were no people around and he was very thin. My dog has never played with another dog, but likes to meet them.

I had 2 dogs following me around. There were a few growls here and there but they did not fight. I don't think my dog was jealous. I just included the other dog into our routine. Like you this stray dog does not fit into my lifestyle. I was able to place the dog into a rescue after failing to find his people. While I had him there were not any issues with jealously. My dog mostly ignored him and he did the same. They both were focused on me.

I agree this dog would likely get adopted. However some animal control facilities have very high kill rates. Small dogs are highly adoptable. The energy difference between an elderly pug and JRT is likely huge. Dogs with different energy levels sometimes don't get along so well. The young dog could annoy your dog. I was pretty lucky the stray dog I found was pretty mellow.

If you took in this dog you may have to make lifestyle changes to appease this dog. Like adding more activity like runs and walks.

Noms for the- pug...
Barked: Thu Apr 25, '13 7:53am PST 
Thanks, everyone. I know the dog doesn’t fit my lifestyle at all and I’m very worried that the huge energy difference between dogs would be problematic. So I’ve decided it’s probably best that I don’t take him in. But I love all of your suggestions for other ways I can help him. I’m going to look into those.

I don’t know for sure where they’ve taken him yet, but we only have one city shelter so I’m pretty sure that’s where he is. And the humane societies in our surrounding counties frequently pull dogs to foster them. I volunteered for one of them several years ago, so I could contact them and see if they would pull this dog. I found out he is 3 years old so that’s a pretty good age, I think.

She had him picked up yesterday afternoon before I even got another chance to talk to her. She made me so angry. The lady who picked up the dog told her as they were leaving to please not ever, ever get another dog. I think she was perfectly correct to say that, but my friend got very offended. She said to me that they should be happy she called them to take him instead of letting him loose where he could die. She acted like she was doing them and her dog a favor. Then, she looked at me so innocently and asked “What will they do with him? They’ll find him a good home, right?” I told her how many dogs get euthanized every day and she started crying. “I’ll miss him,” she says.

Then she goes on to tell me how when he was indoors, she was keeping him down in the basement because he jumps on her kids. According to her, “he wasn’t like a normal dog who just walks up to you, he jumped on my kids so I had to put him in the basement.” Yeah, because dogs don’t need training, right? They’re just supposed to be like that without her having to invest any work whatsoever.

And she believes that her neighbor who has dogs must have called animal control on her. She said she’s going to try to find a reason to call animal control on her now as payback. What in the world is wrong with some people! I just don’t think this friendship is going to survive. Which is sad, because for 10 years before she got this dog we were so close.