But I just read a random blog and could not keep quiet. I found it through a blog of a friend and because I have no idea who this person is, I did not feel it appropriate to comment on her page. She was discussing giving up her dog. She had many reasons that she was wrestling with (some valid, some not) and I have to say it was a bit upsetting to read.
I will preface with this: I don't have a baby so I have NO idea what it is like to juggle a baby and a dog...but when I do decide to have a baby you bet your ass I will take into consideration how this new baby will affect every part of my life..including my dog. So here goes.
-You made a commitment. You didn't get a dog and realize two days later that you were allergic in a life threatening way, you got a dog many years ago when it was a puppy and now it is pushing old age for its breed...and you wanna get rid of it now, really?
-What people don't seem to realize is that a dog is very similar to a child...you have to train it! A kid is not gonna walk up to a toilet one day and say "This is where I urinate, good luck to you diaper I now move on to my porcelain throne!"...just like a dog is not gonna stopping jumping on counters or people unless you train him not to. He's excited, he's hungry...he needs training! Some breeds in particular, it is not even a question that you need to put them in training the day you get them...and commit to it. Unlike kids...dogs do come with books! Read up on breeds before getting a dog...you may adore a particular kind of dog but maybe he's not the right breed for your lifestyle.
-Sometimes it is NOT that dog's fault. The dog keeps getting out of the fence? Get off your lazy butt and reinforce the fence or maybe you can't leave you dog unattended out in the yard..sorry. It's common sense!
-Crate training is imperative...and hard. My dog is not crate trained....therefore she is not completely housebroken...not her fault. I didn't stick with it. She whined once and I let her out. Because I am a dumbass. Dogs are den animals folks. They like it. They also like to be around you...you HAVE to be diligent, but I promise you, it is the best thing you can do for house-braking and general training of your dog.
-I don't think dog sharing is a good idea...dogs get confused, just like us. They don't understand why they are being crated around from one place to another with different people...they lose trust and they act out. (of course I've not done research on this)
-Train your kids. Do you like getting your hair pulled? Didn't think so. We teach children to be kind and courteous to the people around them so why the heck don't we teach them to be kind and courteous to the animals around them too!?
I apologize if I offend anyone with this post. I don't live your life, I have no idea what stressful choices you have to make on a day to day basis. (And certainly I realize that sometimes there are extenuating circumstances.) What I do know is that I worked in a shelter for almost 2 years and I saw the scared, heartbroken, confused look on a dog's face when he had to leave his home because he got too big or was too much to handle. The dog is a part of the family...at least mine is. She drives me bonkers when she pees on the carpet, gets into the garbage, and chews something she shouldn't. So we go back, we try again, like with any other love in your life, it is hard work but you don't give up.
Make good choices, please. If you are not willing to care for a dog for it's entire life...don't get one!