Not who I think I was

Sometimes I wish I was the person people think I am. I used to be a real big animal lover. I would literally die to save one of my pets. But lately all I can do is wonder how I can rehome some of them. If you knew who I was you would be shocked and aghast! I was one of those crusaders preaching the responsibites and life long commitment to one's pets. I even had my pets in my will. I still want that for a few of them. This is all tied into my employment. So I can't Just dump the ones I don't want in my life easily. But it is like I don't even know myself to even feel this way. It is like - man-what happened?! I used to cry at the thought of kittens freezing in the cold. Now I am like- meh! I would never put one in the cold but I just don't care like I used to. I had a friend who woke up from a nightmare cause she dreamed she saw a kitten so hungry he was eating little rocks. And I was still waiting to hear the nightmare part of her dream. If you never cared about things like this my story will have little meaning. But if you are an avid volunteer and advocate for responsible life long commitments to our pets- you may see how extremely out of character all this is for me if you imagine or happening to your own heart! I am disappointed in myself for sure. When someone talks about a person showing their true colours -I never saw that as a positive thing for someone to do. And now thinking of myself I definately don't!

18 Replies

  • Good Morning Aspen

    As a person who goes to Dogs Trust for his dogs when our old one dies I think I can try and understand where you are coming from. We have one dog at a time and attend to His needs including vet insurance for when He is ill. We would rather have the one dog to love than several that crave for attention

    In your blog you say you have several animals to look after and you are loosing empathy toward several of them. The problem is if you have several dogs that are middle aged to put them into kennels causes problems as most people want young animals that both animal and human can relate to, Older animals can end up in kennels for the greater part of their lives and dependent where they are put could end up being put down.

    When we have several animals the bottom line is can you afford the looking after of that mass of animals, they neeed vet insurance and feeding, walking, not forgetting stimulation. I you have too many pets it can become a problem giving all the attention that they all crave.

    Sad to say you do not say what the problem is With Pax He does not like other dogs getting attention from both Hazel and myself, He gets very upset as he expects all attention, this can also be a problem when our next door lost her animal and got another dog when waiting to get another she was taking Pax out for walks and when the other dog came into her house Pax became very jealous of the new puppy and we are still having problems with that now, a period of four months.

    We need to remember as well dogs are very trusting and loyal to their owners how can we break that trust when we put that animal up for rehoming or death


  • Hi Bob! Thank-you for your reply. I have pets with special needs. An 18 year old, one with inoperable cancer, and one missing parts of his feet. I would not part with these. When they hurt I hurt. I stayed up until 3am last week thinking my 18 year old was going to go. But she rallied around and is back basking in the sunbeams and eating and drinking on her own. She has a fine quality of life minus mobility issues. She sleeps a lot. But is affectionate and not showing signs of being in any discomfort or pain. These pets I would not want to loose. I know time will take them from me. But I really want to be there for them until the end.

    The ones I am lacking empathy for as you really described have a bit of an explanation. I work professionally with animals. And my boss forced me to take a pet that had a bit of a stress issue but otherwise healthy. He said I take her- or I put her in the base,net and take care of her daily there. The basement is dank, no windows - and I know there is rats down there. As if I could put her there. She howls so loud you can hear her on the main floor sometimes. A cleaner in the building who is a tough guy type came to me saying he has a tear in his eye every time he heard her. It was horrific really- but where she was only me and the cleaner heard her. So know one else got the constant impact of her crying.

    So three years ago I took her home. Actually she is an angel and would find it hard to part with her if I knew she was going anywhere that she would not be happy. The thing she changed the relationship I had with one of my own pets. Instead of him being himself as I knew him - three years ago he developed negitive behaviours when she moved in with me. He is paired off with her and basically is obnoxious and unpleasant where as before he was pretty much my soul.

    I can remember one sunny morning after breakfast playing on the floor with him thinking I finally got my routine down pat. Cleaning, care, my work, my relationship - I remember feeling I had balance.

    Next day I had this animal forced on me. Now I heard stories of other people at work who were in the same position. One rehomed the pet without permission- and it is a small world. Because the person he rehomed the pet with - who he thought was the sweetest animal lover ever- SOLD her to someone else. And that person did not take her to the vet when she was sick. And the word got out about this sick pet and my boss was shocked to know it actually was his! It was too late and the pet had to be euthanized. So just rehoming the animal on my own is not an option.

    I also know of another story where my boss forced someone else to take an animal. He paid for all the destruction it did eating a laptop and a couch- and cared for it faithfully. Then on day my boss asked for the animal back- and without any care of the money invested in the damage of the his guys own personal property or food he paid for- the pet was removed from his care and guess what? Sold.

    I also heard a story about someone who quit working here and kept the animals without permission - and my boss was yammering how it was theft.

    So three years ago I got this animal and I guess I do recent having a pet I did not want trust upon me. I do love her and feel guilty but there is only so much of me available. It is causing stress in my relationship when my boyfriend tells me I am not a cleaner and that I might as well be looking after these animals at home. I work at my job and then come home to this. I get very depressed and hopeless. I don't have a home I am proud of anymore. There is $500 damage done to my home that I am going to have repaired out of my own pocket. Because of damage my boss' animal did to my home. And the reason it was not prevented in the first place is because there used to be times just to keep the animal quiet I let her have liberties I should not have. So my fault- but at the same time I was so tired at the time it was worth having my doors and windows chewed off- just for a moments peace. Now I have a special room designed just for them and they never get anywhere else in my home expect for baths. I hate that room. I feel bitter and pissed off every time I am in it. Endless cycle of cleaning. I have another room just for my peaceful animals and one sleeps in my room. I don't begrudge them anything. I enjoy cleaning their room and keeping their company while I do it.

    The one forced on me three years ago could be asked for back at anytime. If he sells her or gives her away or anything I will try to make sure she goes with my pet that loves her. His personality is so different now and although I do work with special needs animals- he does not have one and I am just bored of his obnoxiousness and mess and loudness.

    We all go on about responsible pet ownership being a lifetime commitment. And I am one of the people taking in elderly pets. I choose to have them here. Having being emotionally blackmailed in taking the one my boss forced on me - as worn on my after 3 years. I didn't think it would be this long. I would love to empty that room and make it an animal free place I can read and get away from my work.

    For all my complaining there pretty much nothing I am able to do about it. My boss is a hateful a-hole in love with himself when everyone around him complains what an ass he is. If I quit my job I will have no where else locally to be employed. This is the only place. And I am extermely bonded to animals at work it would break my heart to never see again. My secret hope is that he will ask for her back. Then it opens up options for me to restructure my own life. I know one of the people had one of his animals for 1.5 years and was unexpectedly asked for him back. So I selfishly have even been praying this would happen to me.

    I told my boyfriend I should just embrace my responsibilities and own up to what is ahead for me in my daily life. But I think I am just burnt out. Working in the morning - cleaning and caring for my own animals and back to work again every evening 6 days a week. Here it is Sunday and it is implied I am supposed to be there today to do something very minor. So I walk 1.5 miles to work each way on my day-off when there is people already there that can do what I am implied I am supposed to do today. I have to spend my entire day off cleaning my home making up for anything I missed being tired during the week. Everyday is like that.

    I get paid well for the hours I clock at work. But I do have to walk there twice a day equalling almost 6 miles on somedays. Good exercise people say- well I get enough exercise. I do suffer from depression and I weigh under 100 pounds. But I do have an ED- but still being this thin is taxing when I need energy sometimes.

    I am bored and depressed. If I miss a day of scrubbing out the room with the pets I don't want - the dirt is waiting for me the next day. I normally do it every three days. I hate it. And then I hate myself for turning so cold against these living creatures who never asked to be apart of any of this. If one of them died from natural causes it would be a relief to me. Imagine saying that about healthy animals in your care. No wonder I feel so bad about myself. I should.

    My boyfriend says all the time - they got to go. You get no enjoyment out of them. True. I had breakdowns before. Even this year I had one. This is my life. Forever if I want to work and live where I do- then this it is. Forever. People are quick to judge others who rehome their pet. And I am not. When people tell me they have done it or even the elderly pets I have that have been surrenderd that I gave a home- I do not judge the former owner. Here I take in old pets disguarded by their owners for over a decade- and now I have young healthy ones I want to 'disguard'. Hypercrite I am. I worked at animal sheltors. Even the staff judge the people surrendering their pets. Even worse when someone goes threw the adoption process and ends up returning the pet to the sheltor because it doesn't work out. I remember one time someone returned a cat that they adopted but once home constantly meowed even though it had all her needs provided for.

    The staff behind the guys back of course we're asking - did you hear that? Some one returned the cat they adopted because it meowed too much. That is what cats do! What a loser, idiot etc. the person who returned the cat must be!

    There is a time I would feel that way too. It never was the cats fault. But to imagine a family listening to a howling cat day in and night - because it is the right thing to do for 20 years- is not right either. Not me! But some people may also become physically abusive to their animals too. I have seen beaten in dog crates from owners who lost it. Everyone judges them- and their behaviour is criminal and wrong. However if we as people who rescue animals accept someone's choice to surrender their pet without questioning why it may be the case- contributes to animals being in homes they are not wanted. In the end- who pays the price? The unwanted pet.

    I don't like to admit it but I have been sucidial partly because of the struggle I have with this issue. I never knew I was the selfish person I actually am. I know my life is mundane but there is lives who depend on me- they need and love me. And without me they would have a much less of a quality life. I spent one night just stroking my favourite pet who has a very disabilating problem with one leg. What would happen to her if I was no longer here? She would be just an other unwanted life dumped off at a sheltor.

    I do have a partner who supports me emotionally for taking care of the special needs animals in my life. He buys them treats and plays with them when he comes to visit me. Anyone reading this probably sees such an easy solution to my problem. But living it and knowing who I thought I used to be - is soul crushing sometimes.

    Thank-you for your response Bob. You always are someone I enjoy hearing from you. Pax is a lucky boy to have found you and Hazel.

  • P.S. - i had a typo. I meant to say people DON'T accept other people's choice to surrender their pet - then it contributes to animals being kept in unwanted homes. And if they are unwanted.. likely they are not being treated to a standard of care they deserve.

  • I'd really like to know what kind of organisation you work? Your boss sounds like a bully and not someone who has care for animals . what's going on ?

  • The animal are well taken of I promise. It is my full time job to look after them. They have full access to vet care too. I am just burnt out and never had any vacation since I started working there 4 years ago. Each pay check has a bit of vacation pay on it instead of having actual calendar time off. Thank-you for your reply

  • Hello Aspen.i can fully understand where you are coming much as i love my two dogs .I am so concerned that I wont be there for them and cant imagine them going back into kennels.they are so loyal to me and as they were both in kennels when I adopted them,i wouldn't want them to go through that again,it would be even more traumatic for them don't say what pets you have,are they all dogs?

  • I will PM you. Thank-you for your reply.

  • On the contrary, Aspen-I do not feel that you are heartless,rather that you have too big a heart and have taken on too much which is now causing you to feel weighed down with responsibility and physical fatigue.

    A few years ago we were a multi pet household-dogs,rabbits,hamsters, many were unwanted cast offs from other people-I never had the heart to say 'No'.This was hard work but I was younger,fitter,worked several jobs and had loads of energy so able to manage all the physical/financial requirements well.Some of the animals stayed only as a temporary measure until they were rehomed with friends or family that I knew I could trust and could continue to see regularly : )

    Your boss appears to be playing on your sympathy by treating the dog in this way.The sad fact is that animals are treated badly everyday but it is not the job of one person to take on all these poor creatures to the detriment of their own wellbeing.I would say you are suffering from empathy burn out-the joy and pleasure of pet ownership has been overshadowed by the sheer exhaustion of the volume of physical demand and responsibility to the point where you have no life left outside of work and caring for your pets.

    If you cannot consider parting with any of your animals for fear of not finding suitable homes, you must at least not replace any as they gradually pass away from old age.You will have to be very strict with yourself-it is tough not to crumble in the face of a needy animal but remember that the more you have,the less time can be devoted to each and the heavier the weight of responsibility.

    I now have one elderly dog,one young rabbit and a very old doormouse.This is the volume of care I can manage these days whilst maintaining the joy and pleasure of ownership : )

    My elderly lab requires more care as she has got older-more vet trips some handfeeding etc ,my house rabbit requires play stimulation,cuddles,nail trimming and regular bathing as he gets messy at the rear end a lot and my doormouse is the easiest-just cleaning out and feeding and check that she is still breathing as she sleeps so much !

    I hope you can find a resolution to your problems-you are a good person to have taken all these needy creatures into your care but you need to remember that you,yourself have needs too.

    Kind regards, Angela x

  • Thank-you so much Angela. You know exactly what is like to have a multi pet household and now are enjoying your three. People always do bring unwanted pets to me. It is hard to say no. But a person really has to sometimes. If I had ownership of the pet forced on me I would rehome her and I would like to rehome two more. Then I would have a good balance. Just thinking about having that room back makes me happy. It is like I can't even believe that could happen. Your reply was healing to me and I sincerely thank-you for it. I know of people ringing doorbells and leaving animals outside doors of people thru know to be animal lovers. Then it becomes our problem. There was a time there was nothing I wouldn't do to help but I just can't anymore. Knowing your limits is important. Hearing your story really makes me feel encouraged. I would love that to be me one day.

  • The fact you recognise your animals could be better placed elsewhere shows you care about animals.

  • Thank-you. I am just a bit emotionally burnt out at the moment. 😕

  • Listen Miss Aspen I wont have this, this bad habit you have of finding things wrong with you, I'm afraid its straight to the naught step with you!.

    No one stays the same through out their life.

    You aren't here to save animals you are here to experience life, the God given life you have.

    Are you really going to roam the world saving every animal, no, so stoppit!. If you help and animal then great but right now you are overwhelmed it's in all your posts, you have to look after you else you are no use to man nor beast.

    Why don't you allow we none of us know the bigger picture and animals and humans die, no one's fault it just happens. You really are only responsible for you. If you believe in God or a higher power can't you let him look after the rest. If you need to scale down your rescue work do it, it wont be for ever just till you get stronger.

    You are a kind, thoughtful, generous person and extremely special and very much loved. Who cares who you were or who you will be, be kind to you now. I like you and Id love to have you as a friend living down the road from me :-)

    AND we all know really cats have all the answers and run this planet but aren't willing to share their wisdom, let them get on with

    You go and find a nice BIG jigsaw :-)

    BIG KISS and a HUG XX

  • You are so sweet Caroline. Thank-you. I am frazzled at the moment. I do believe in God. It feels He thinks I am stronger than I am sometimes. I am lucker now than I ever been because I have a kind and supportive boyfriend. Speaking of cats ruling the world- my boyfriend thinks so! He brags how he goes on hour long walks with cat on a leash. (Picture a man striding proudly down the street with his graceful cat leading the way!) but in reality it is him slumped in a lawn hair holding a leash to cat sleeping under a shrub! There always been rumours about cats planning world domination. I better get on the right team while I still have a chance!😋

  • Lol exactly and no cats going to be lead by a human, bless you BF is it that he longs for a

    You are a star Aspen, leave it all to the big man upstairs and remember you are doing your best which is MORE than good enough ...Lots of LOVE X

  • I wonder what medication you might be on that could alter your attitudes to things that used to be of huge importance.

    I knew I had to come off a pain medication when I found myself yelling at my cats and going away into another room and shutting the door. They were only asking to be fed !

    Don't think that you have changed. It may be just some element in your life that is different at the moment.

    How many pets do you have. ?

  • Thank-you for your reply. I have five pets. Three I would like to rehome but it will be so unlikely I ever could. I read a stat that 25% of people who purchased one of the thousands of dogs sold every year- end up bringing them to shelters in the first year. I had wrote a detailed rant on some the bad recent changes that happened lately but thought it was a bit hard to explain what I actually mean. Thank-you for your reply.'

  • Hi Aspen I too was like you many years ago and found myself in the position where I had 11 cats. I started with one who's owner had him from a kitten but could no longer care for him as in a wheelchair. Then I ended up with 2 cats from family members who couldn't cope. Then a mistreated stray who turned out to be pregnant and had 5 kittens that I could not part with. Eventually I found it too much and very costly with the vet bills. Over the years I lost some of them through illness but even though I loved all of them dearly found myself wishing I didn't have so many. When I married my husband knew about the cats because I had them beforehand and at first he was great. Over the years he began to resent them and we often had the argument ' either they go or I do'. I stayed firm and over a 20 year period, the cats went through age and illness. Every time the trip up the vet was painful. I now have one cat and am able to have that special relationship with her that I wasn't able to with the others. It's been a long hard lesson, I don't regret having any of them in my life but sometimes regret and feel guilty that they all didn't get the individual attention they deserved. Please don't beat yourself up if you think some of the animals would have a better life in another home. You have tried your best and sometimes it's not being selfish but in fact very unselfish to give them the opportunity of a new home. I think I was unhappy so tried to devote my life to my cats, in retrospect I'm not sure any of us benefitted from that really xx

  • Thank-you so much for such a loving and personal story. Everyone of your cats were lucky to had you care for them. Maybe because some people love their pets with a touch of maternal love. And rehoming them because you feel weary and resentful knowing all they never did anything wrong - just makes you feel like you must be a bad person. But if someone said a person was caring for and financially supporting with vetcare- 11 cats - I think nearly every pet lover would completely understand. I belong to different on-line groups and every so often someone says they have surrenders their pet to a sheltor. And some people offer support and others judge. The person I was three years ago would of hung on until death no questions asked. And me know thanks to support such as yourself see it may be best for everyone if I did rehome them. I spent this afternoon with two of my pets and I had a restful and playful time with them. The three others added to that never are a good mix because of size, strength and personalities. Thank-you so much. I hope I find the courage and opportunities to do the right thing.❤️

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