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Posts: 1
I can't stop crying.  I LOVED my dog.  His name was Ralphie and he was a 3 year old Yorkishire Terrier that I brought home on Christmas Eve at 8 weeks old.  I picked him out of his litter mates.  I already had children at the time I got him.

He was a hyper dog, but I could deal with that.  He loved to play!  We took him to Petsmart puppy training where he learned sit and stay.  I even have a picture of him graduating!

When he got a little older, he had trouble with marking in the house.  We paid a private trainer and she did 5 in home lessons.  We cured that problem, but he still had several others:  attacking people's feet, getting in the trash, etc.  Again, I could deal with them all.

THen, my family moved homes.  No problem, we weren't getting rid of our dog because we were moving.  We took him with us, but he began having seizures and needed meds.  We got the meds and vet care he needed.  We stayed with relatives while we were in transition of finding a new home, and he nipped them.  We moved out of their home and into an apartment, then he began nipping and charging at my husband.  We had to walk him on a leash outstide and he would lunge and try to attack dogs.  The vet said it wasn't caused by his seizures or meds.  I'm not sure.  The aggression towards my husband prevented him from sitting on our couch.  The dog would act aggressively if my husband approached the furniture or the children.  This occured after owning him for 3 years???  My husband never did anything to the dog.  He also didn't want my husband to approach me or put him on a leash.  He nipped me 2x when I tried to get his aggression towards my husband to calm down.  I didn't hit or hurt my dog.  I talked to him calmly.  I tried to give him treats for good behavior.

I considered MORE training, but we had done training before and it only partially fixed some issues.  Plus, it was VERY expensive and time consuming.  I wasn't sure I could actually follow through with the recommendations.  The aggression scared me and I feared if he could do it to my husband, he could do it to my children too.  I took him to a rescue and asked him to be rehomed to an older person with no other pets, no kids, and no spouse.  Someone who lived a alone and just wanted a companion.  They agreed and seemed confident they could find this home.  I tried on my own before taking him.  I reached out to family and friends.  I contacted the breeder I got him from.  No one could help.

I can't quit crying.  I called to check on him and it's only been 24 hours but he's not eating there.  I know he wonders where we are and why we've dumped him somewhere.  I wanted my home to be his forever home.  I just can't stand it.  I need to know I did the right thing.  We were walking on eggshells around my house not to trigger the dog's aggression.  I feel as if I failed him, as if I picked the wrong dog from the litter, as if maybe I should have tried more training...I am so heartbroken.  

Posts: 1,414

I am sorry  to hear what you are going through, my honest advise is you should take him back as you still can.

Most places are overloaded and it is hard to find a good home even for calmer dogs. Some have to put down due to long wait..

I have three small  children and I am still keeping my four dogs even though it is extremely stressful for me, I have one pom  that is just like yours, but he is very loving and very protective of my babies.  Some day I just want to cry and scream as while getting milk for by babies, I have to pick up after the doggies...

If you let him go, the agony going to be with you for a long time and it is hard to get over.  As the dogs get older, they slow down and the situation will be better.

I am sorry if my advise puts you in a difficult situation, but it is coming from my heart!


Posts: 5
The human society in Harrisburg is a no kill shelter they said she can stay there for a while and she up for adoption I can get her back anytime I want to the Alway call me every Friday to give me an update every week untill I find another place to

Posts: 1
I feel for all of you. Earlier today I surrendered Delilah 9 months after rescuing her. At the time I adopted her I lived in a large house with a good sized yard. I also have a 9 year old dog who had the whole yard to run around in and the dogs got along just fine. 4 months ago, I sold my home and moved in to a condo. It's much smaller than my house and the dogs have to be walked. 
Delilah has become very aggressive toward my older dog, constantly biting at him. If Delilah is sitting on my lap and my other dog walks over she would leap at him and bite and growl at him. I tried many different things to try and change the behavior. Now the personality of my older dog has changed from a sweet, loving boy to a withdrawn, barking, crazy dog. I took my older dog to the vet to see if he had some kind of illness. The vet told me he lost 7 pounds and after explaining the situation to her she said I should rehome the younger, new dog as it was stressing my older dog to his limit. I tried, as suggested, to put them on a mild sedative to see if that would settle them both down but it didn't work.  I called my local animal shelter and asked if they had any suggestions on rehoming Delilah. She said they would rehome her, doing background checks and making sure she goes to the right home. I put it off over and over, trying different behavior strategies but nothing worked. So, I dropped her off this afternoon and I have been crying for days. I feel so incredibly guilty, I'm not the type of person to give up on a dog. All of my dogs are members of my family and I feel like I failed Delilah. I miss her horribly and I'm afraid I made a terrible mistake.

Posts: 1
I just surrendered my dog to the shelter and I really regret it now. Even though she didn't like the cats we had and didn't get along with other dogs, I've become really attached to her. I wish I didn't let my mom convince me to bring her back. I hope by next year she will still be there so I can adopt her when I'm 18, but that most likely won't happen.

Posts: 2
I am so thankful I found this board. I contacted the rescue I adopted my beloved Jet from three years ago last night to begin the process of returning him.

When I got Jet, I was living alone in a big house with a big yard. He loved everyone, we went to dog parks, we were having a great time. Jet was great in a crate and stayed there while I worked. About a year and a half later, my sister and her then-fiancé moved in with me along with their two dogs. My Jet, who had always gotten along with other dogs, just didn’t seem right from the beginning. There was no play among the group of them. Jet ignored one of them and ended up attacking the other one, right in front of me, seemingly unprovoked. We had to be very careful after and never left them alone.

When my sister and her now-husband got married and moved out, Jet seemed relieved to be the only dog again. I began letting him loose during the day because I now have a different job with long hours and I felt terrible about him being in a crate all day long. He has never been destructive. But now he’s aggressive with everyone except me and my sister when she comes to visit me. I can’t have anyone in the house without putting him in his crate where he bowls and cries because he can hear us. It has been like this for over a year and I have thought many times about returning him. I have stuck it out, I’ve tried as much training as I can afford, he even bit one of these trainers. I can’t have a dog walker come and give him exercise because he will attack anyone who comes to the house and I can’t afford doggy daycare and I also don’t trust his temperament with other dogs since he attacked my sisters. I have been grappling with this decision for a long time.

This weekend, due to a change in financial circumstance, I moved into a small apartment. My landlord allows dogs, no problem. I will still be gone for work for about 11 hrs/day. I have also started traveling for work meaning being gone for a week at a time and him being in boarding. My apartment is so small there is nowhere for him to go when I have strangers over. There is no yard for him to run in. He has to be crated when I leave for work because of my landlord and he howls and cries for a long time when I leave, disturbing my neighbor at 4:30 am when I leave for work.

Like I said, I’ve been struggling with this decision for over a year. I feel like I was just barely able to manage the situation up until now, but the move has pushed us over the edge and it is no longer manageable from my perspective. He is currently curled up behind my knees while I lay on the couch writing this. I’ve cried many tears over him over the years and I love him so much. I just think I’m not meant to have a dog. I want to, so badly, but I don’t think I can be a good owner. My mom says he is happy just being loved and fed by me even if he is alone all day but I don’t think that’s true. My quality of life has been lowered or sacrificed in some areas for his sake, but I wonder how much better his quality of life would be in a different home...

Posts: 2
I’m so glad I’ve found others who have gone through this on this board. I have been struggling with this decision for over a year but I know it’s the right one now. I am just distraught.

Posts: 3
So I stumbled onto this thread while desperately searching for something to help me deal with the decision to re-home my 2 year old rescue Mastiff King Henry. My family and I adopted King Henry in July of 2018 from a rescue organization. We fell in love with him because he was such a happy guy who actually enjoyed being around our bossy old and cranky 12 year old Bichon and also because he immediately took to our 3 children. There were obstacles in the beginning, we had to remodel our backyard and rebuild all our fences because he was a huge dog who could jump. He also was super strong and so we worked with a trainer to teach him basic commands and how to walk on a leash. He was very smart and eager to learn and after the first few months of clearing away obstacles he quickly adjusted to life with our family. After bout 6 months we noticed that he was getting leash reactive with other dogs, which was strange to us because he was completely submissive to our 12 year old little doggie who would correct him every now and again. He also was very dog friendly at the rescue organization. We tried to follow the trainers tips to break him of this but he was so strong that I became afraid to walk him because I didn't want to have him get away from me and someone or something gets hurt. He also became very protective of the home and property and would jump, bark and lunge if anyone came in, including guests. We decided we needed to put him outside whenever guests were around for safety. However, outside of these issues he continued to be the sweetest, most calm, mellow and gentle dog with me, my husband and our kids. He adored everyoneand would greet us all daily with licks, a helicopter tail and kisses. That all changed this past Friday when we took him for vaccines. By Saturday he was acting like he didn't know my two boys (age 6 and 8) and was barking and lunging at them the way he previously had only done for strangers. I took him back to the vet, a hollistic vet, a behaviorist, and even reached out to an animal communicator and nobody has been able to solve the problem. After a lot of soul searching and long conversations with all these people as well as the rescue, we have decided that we need to rehome the dog. The truth is that even if we were able to retrain him, we would probably never be comfortable with him around our kids again, he's an animal and they can be unpredictable just like kids. AS much as my husband and I LOVE this dog and we do LOVE the dog very much, we have to put our children first. We also have realized that being two teachers with 3 kids, we don't have enough time to dedicate to this dog and really meet his needs right now. My head knows it's the right decision, but my heart isn't taking it so well. I've been in a state of depression since it happened, I honestly don't even want to get out of bed most days. I feel sick to my stomach most of the time and can hardly eat. I still love the dog and he loves me but it's hard to even spend time with him knowing I will have to soon let him go. The rescue said about two weeks, and I'm dreading each day as it grows closer. I don't know how to say goodbye, I don't know how to come home without him there, I don't know how to spend the rest of my life wondering if he was okay or if he thought I abandoned him or didn't love him anymore. I've lost pets before, and this feels almost worse. The uncertainty of where he will end up and if he will be okay. I don't know how to cope and every day it seems to get worse. Last night I just hugged his neck and cried, for a long time, he just licked my face and looked at me confused. My heart is breaking.   

Posts: 6
I am so sorry you are experiencing this pain. I have found that it isn’t something that most people can’t understand. I started this thread back in 2010 and after reading your message I have fresh tears for you and for my own sadness. The uncertainty is a big part of the grief. I think if I could have known FOR SURE that my pet ended up in a happy home it would have helped immensely. If it’s possible to get periodic updates from the rescue organization or even the new owners that might be soothing.

You have to trust that you are making the best decision possible based on the information you have now. Trust yourself and do what is best for the humans in your family. You will get through this. Be gentle with yourself. Sending you healing and love.

Posts: 3
Thank you for your kind words. I’m trying my best to enjoy my time with King while I still have him, although it is bittersweet. For the past year every night we have sat in the backyard together, just feeling the breeze and enjoying each other’s company. I can’t imagine my life without that. I know there’s no way I can keep him, not the way he goes after my sons. He’s 110 pound dog that could really hurt them. But it’s hard for me to reconcile that dog, with the gentle boy who sits by my side for hours showering me with love. I got King Henry a little over a year ago, right before my grandmother who raised me passed away. I had fallen into a deep depression and had terrible anxiety about everything. He helped pull me through all that, he became my protector and security. I keep thinking about the word never. Never see him again, never hug him again, never sit outside looking up at the stars together again. It doesn’t seem real. This is my dog, how am I never going to see him again? How is he going to live his life without me? I’m forced to make a choice I don’t want to make. Yes, I know it’s best for my family, but it’s killing me. For the last year we have all been happy, why did it have to change? It’s like every time I feel like life is going well it knocks me down again. It just seems so unfair. I’m sorry I’m rambling, sometimes it just helps to get it out.
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