I have been feeling beyond overwhelmed lately, and it’s hard to get out of that funk.
With marital problems at the top of the list, which I won’t get into that. I am pretty sure it may be typical problems of new parents that have only been married a handful of years. But that’s not a story for today.
On top of that, we got a new dog a few weeks ago and the adjustment has been not so easy. It is just completely throwing everything off in the house, and it is just becoming more and more stressful. My son has been really interested in puppies, and we have two cats that he loves, but we decided to go ahead and get him a dog. We went to a shelter and checked out all the dogs, seeing how they reacted with my son and carefully read each of their information sheets. We wanted to make sure that it would be a perfect fit before we brought the dog into our home.
We found this one adorable five year old chihuahua terrier mix. We chose him because he so calm, all the others were so jumpy and startling my son, but this particular dog remained calm and on the floor. We brought him around my son, one on one, and they did really well. My son pet him, gave him kisses and still the dog accepted the love while remaining calm. Last step, cats. They cat tested him while we were there, and he wasn’t phased by the cats at all. That was it, he passed every test and we were so excited to give this foster dog a home.
Unfortunately, things changed once we got him into our home. For some reason, he won’t eat or drink any of his water unless no one is near him. I have tried putting him a separate room and then he just freaks out, which is understandable. I have been able to hold my son back and kept us far enough away to be able to let him eat comfortably, but he doesn’t eat that much. Not until bed time once I lay down with my son, then he is fully comfortable and he goes to town on his bowl of food.
Going into this adoption, I knew there were going to be a small handful of accidents around the house as we prepare to train him to understand where he is meant to go potty. But we have had more than a handful, he pees everywhere. I contacted a trainer to help with this, and he suggested some ideas such as soaking it up with a paper towel then putting it outside where he can sniff it out and notice his scent. This allows him to find the proper place to relieve himself. Well none of the suggestions have worked, I take him out every 2 hour and walk him around for about 15-20 minutes to allow him time. He just doesn’t go, I try helping and guiding him but he just stands there. The second we are back inside, he lifts the leg.
Because of this, my cats are acting out. We have a war between the cats and dog, not your typical fighting war. But instead, a war to see who can mark their territory. I have cleaned up more cat and dog pee as well as cat poop or hairballs in the past two weeks than I can even count. It’s unreal, they get along but not when it comes to scent. I am renting a carpet cleaner tomorrow because I just feel gross about my floors now.
The worst part, he nips at my son. He does is several times a day, which there are times when I do have to admit my 16 month old son does egg him on. But now my son is terrified of him and does not like the dog at all. He will look at the dog and just start yelling no, over and over again, he even tries to throw away anything of the dogs. I also spoke to the trainer about this, and he gave me some suggestions. He suggested I let my son nicely give him treats or his food, from a distance, so the dog can at least see. He still isn’t reacting well to my son, and I just feel like I am at a loss.
At what point to say, you tried? I feel terrible, I spoke with the foster mother and she understands and if it doesn’t work she will take him back into her care and possibly adopt him. He is such a sweet dog, and deserves an amazing home but he doesn’t seem happy here. I am doing everything I can, at least I feel I can but I am not sure what else to do. I am starting to believe that maybe he belongs in a home where there is no little child terrorizing him or other cats starting a war with him but a home where he has other puppies his size and age or just by himself to get the attention all to himself.
Am I a horrible human being because I can’t make this dog happy?
I am ending today, with being conflicted.