Just don't know what to do :(

Things are not good for me right now. After stopping my counselling course I've gone into a flare and am finding it very hard to cope. As some of you know I am on my own with my two teenagers and my four dogs. My counsellor has advised me to rest for about a month as my mental health is not good. I can't seem to cope with much at all I know you will all identify with this. I keep reading I need to reduce my stress levels but what do I do when it's my dogs that are causing it? I adore my dogs. I rehomed one last year as five was just too much and now I'm facing the fact that four is also too much. Three of them are dog reactive so every day walking them is stressful. I've had a few behaviourists in to try and help but I have been unable to physically do the training required. My kids don't really want to help,my eldest is snowed under with A level stuff and my son is more interested in his Xbox. We have talks and they promise to help but it always ends up with me doing it because I wanted the dogs and I feel it's my responsibility to keep them under control. My eldest dog also has dementia and in the evenings doesn't stop whining. I've tried her on a food supplement that is meant to help and it has stopped her running around the house but hasn't stopped the whining. My two small dogs also attack her every time she comes into the room. It's like a mad house. I am starting to think about rehoming my whippet lurcher,she is a beautiful dog,fit and strong and I just can't give her the exercise she needs. She is brilliant in the house but is fear aggressive with other dogs when we are out. I honestly feel with a stronger person she would do so much better. I am not a strong pack leader.

The rescue place I rehomed her from are not interested in taking her back,I asked them last year but they were so rude. They think everyone who gives their dogs up do it on a whim but I don't. I really miss my lovely boy I let go of last year but it was for the best and he has a fabulous home now. How am I ever going to get better with this constant stress? But my dogs are a huge part of my family,I've lost so much to this illness,do I have to keep loosing more and more?

6 Replies

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  • Maybe your vet could recommend someone who would foster your dogs until you're better?

    Just a thought.

    There's also the Dog's Trust (formerly Canine Defence League)

    dogstrust.org.uk

    If you contacted them and told them that because of ill health you need some temporary assistance with your dogs, they might be able to help.

    It seems a bit drastic to re-home them when you only need to get better!

    I do hope you find someone who will help you.

    Love Moffy x

  • I have three dogs, they are all small but the two oldest are on medication, which makes them feel hungry most of the time and one of them will bark and bark for food even when it's not feeding time. My third one is fear reactive to other dogs and people when out walking, he was a rescue. I now only walk him about 10 -15 mins per day and only around our block avoiding dogs and people, if I see dogs or people coming our way I have to cross the street or turn in the opposite direction, he is 8yrs old but still active and I sometimes feel guilty about our short walks.

    Now...the difference between mine and your situation. My dogs are small and getting old, I have my OH to help walk them three days a week. They sleep a lot of the time too. Also at the moment I can manage them. If there comes a day I can't my fear reactive rescue will have to be the first to go, and it would break my heart .He only does it when walking and is fine in the house with my other two dogs except for the very odd quick scuffle they get on well and if they do scuffle they are small so easy to handle.

    On my bad days I sometimes feel it's too much for me.If you feel it is too much for you then you have to do what is right for you and your health. I am a huge animal lover and treasure my dogs BUT if it came to my health I would have to do what is right for me and them.

    My advice to you would be to talk it over with your children tell them exactly how it is, see if they will really help and if they can't then when you are having a rare good day (things always seem worse when we are down) think hard about what you need to do and whatever you decide don't feel guilty, you didn't ask to be unwell and can only do so much.

    I hope this helps a bit xx.

  • I think Moffy has a good idea about temporary care, but then I also wonder what would happen if you have another flare and then are unable care for them again. As Mary says your health is important especially as you have children you are still responsible for. Yes you may have to try to rehome your dogs for your health and its going to be heartbreaking for you, but you need to be strong for you and do what is best for you and as you said your other dog has a wonderful home now think of it as a positive you are doing what is best for your dogs and yourself..... It's a positive step that you have identified what is causing your stress. Believe me once you are feeling yourself again you won't feel like this illness is taking your life away its just changing it .... Sometimes it seems for the worse but there are always positives.... And sometimes you have to make decisions just for yourself... It's not being selfish its making your life as easy as you can so that you can enjoy it again

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do and know that no one here will judge you we are here to support you

    VG x

  • Thank you for your replies. I looked into getting some temporary foster care last year but there was no one that could help as all the rescue centres are trying to cope with the homeless dogs and they are their priority. There's no way I could let all my dogs go,I would be completely devastated. I have three small ones and then there's Bambi my medium sized whippet lurcher. I do really struggle with her but I love them all enormously. This is so hard. Last year I had a dog walker come in to help out but it cost a fortune so it's not a long term solution. I can ask the kids but you know what teenagers are like although mine are pretty good they are snowed under with school work so it's not really viable either. Through counselling I've realised I've tried to be superwoman most of my life and its been my downfall. My mum always said I did far too much. I'm struggling on with the dogs because I love them but I can see its doing me no favours.

  • have you tried advertising in local shop windows etc for people to dog share where i live you quiet often hear of it because there are allot of flats and retirement apps. where they are not allowed dogs so to get round it they dog share ie they have the dog during the day while the owners at work therefore the dog is not a perminant fixture and the owner gets the dog back in the evening for company and cuddles .

  • My next door neighbour offers home care to dogs. She'll have dogs while their owners work. Maybe theres something like that in your area? You could at least get some respite that way ?

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