23 Feb
My Puppy is Lonely and I Feel Guilty

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

My husband and I purchased the cutest little mini schnauzer puppy. My husband had wanted a dog since we bought our home 3 years ago, but due to his hectic work schedule (2 full time jobs) and my 12 hour work day, this wasn’t an option. Unfortunately, he was laid off and has been for the past year and a half. So I finally decided having a puppy might be fun, so we went for it.

Well, the day before we bought the puppy, he tells me some story about how he got another job only working a few hours a week locally near our home. Not a big deal. Well, the truth came out after we got our puppy that he’s really back full time. The job is fabulous, and the money is better, but our new puppy now spends 11-13 hours alone depending on who makes it home first. Yes he has food, water and puppy pads, but who in the world wants to live like that? So now I feel awful for the little guy who’s only 8-weeks-old. He was doing his business outside fairly well until today when it became a free for all in our home.

Should I find our puppy a new home or let him hang out in our upstairs bedroom in a gated play area all day?

Signed,

Sad Puppy Mommy

_____________________________________________________

Dear S.P.M.,

You know what that dog needs? Marriage counseling. Oh, I mean, not the dog. I’ll get to that cute little 8-week-old pup in a moment. Just to clarify, your husband lied to you about his employment status (claiming he only had a part-time job and was free to be home with the puppy) and then changed his story once the dog was yours? Maybe I’m missing some details here but it sounds like you and your husband need to work on your communication skills. Because lying to your spouse to get what you want is not exactly a healthy foundation for a marriage. Perhaps some counseling might be a good idea. But unless your marriage counselor has a second career as a dog sitter, this will not solve your puppy problem.

I think it’s really unfair to leave most dogs (especially a puppy) alone for 11 to 13 hours a day. So you have a few options. Find the puppy a new home which will be incredibly sad but then probably a big relief. Another option is to find a dog walker to come spend time with your pooch every day. Or you can bring him to a doggy day care center where he can be around other dogs and people while you are at work. Sure, some of your friends might start calling you ooh la la fancy doggy pants for doing this but you won’t get any judgment from me. Of course, I used to have a personal trainer run my hyper kangaroo dog 5 miles a day so I say, go for it.

But if the elitist dog route isn’t for you, you could always acquire another dog to keep your current one company.   Of course, that will be double the amount of dog crap all over your house but on the bright side, less guilt!

Good luck with the dog. And the husband.

Signed,

Kelcey, TMH

13 Responses to “My Puppy is Lonely and I Feel Guilty”

02.23.11#1

Comment by Bean.

Agree, agree, agree about the marriage issues.

You might also want to look into crate training (plus the mid-day dog walker). I don’t know if you’ve checked craigslist lately, but hundreds of animals who need new homes are posted there EVERY DAY. Finding pooch a new home is not so easy.

Christen Reply:

Surrender the puppy to a rescue. Sure, it might cost you a little in a donation, but you have piece of mind. Reputable rescues do home checks and take on the dog for its LIFE. I adopted two rescued collies and if I wouldn’t be able to keep them, the rescue wants them BACK. Get your vet to recommend one and go for it. Pure bred puppies are easy to place, but you want to be sure he’s not going to a breeder / puppy mill. Rescues make sure that doesn’t happen. Also, it’s been my experience that dogs without enough interaction end up doing terrible things to your home. My cousin’s golden retriever ATE HER BATHTUB. My other cousin’s lab ATE THROUGH A KITCHEN WALL. Dogs just don’t like to be left alone for long periods of time. They are pack animals. Talk your husband into a couple of siamese instead, they are cats that act the most like dogs, but you need 2, because they don’t like to be alone either. Who does?

amy Reply:

I completely agree.

If you keep this pup you will have nothing but behavior problems in the future.

Give pup up to a breed rescue. They will find the perfect home for him. No doubt someone who is home most of the time.

I recently adopted a 4 month old pup and let me tell you if I were not home (even though I have another dog) he would become destructive and fast. As it is he needs regular walking and stimulation throughout the day and still at times gets nutso in the eves! Can only imagine what a crated or dog that was left in one room all day would do. Nothing but behavior problems in his future and so not fair to him.

Please give him up to a responsible rescue? They would be more than happy to help you all out.

Thinking too that the pup will be a thorn in your relationship and all naughty pup does will be blamed on hubby..

amy Reply:

Yes, many dogs out there needing homes but smaller dogs and purebreds snapped up quick in my part of the world (BC Canada).

This dog deserves a home… Not a crate 🙁

02.23.11#2

Comment by Leigh.

I say give it up now and let someone else enjoy (deal with) the puppy stage. I can’t stand when people give up their dog a year after they lose that cute puppiness.

02.23.11#3

Comment by Wendi.

I don’t have a dog, but I’m surrounded by people who leaves their dogs home alone to f*cking bark all day long. Please don’t be one of those people.

02.23.11#4

Comment by StephanieG.

I know this will be a pretty popular response, but I will say it anyway.

We have crate trained our dogs with total success. It gives them a place to feel safe and allows them to learn not to potty in the house. If you’re not able to come home at least once during the day, the dog walker is the way to go, because it is very unfair to your little guy to leave him crated all day.

You and your dog can be happy together. Give him nice long walks in the morning and in the evening, and plan for lots of together time on the weekend.

If you can’t commit to that much time with him, you really do need to consider letting him go to a home where he will get plenty of attention.

02.23.11#5

Comment by MommyTime.

Yes, you can crate train a puppy. And yes, bored dogs will eventually eat your furniture. But more to the point right now: your 8-week-old puppy is the equivalent of a human infant in terms of its ability to control its bladder and its need for stimulation and attention. 11-13 hours is waaaaay too long to expect a pup that age to “hold it” — hence the mess all over your house. A crate at this age will only help if you can come home at least twice in that 11-13 hour block to take the pup out for a walk and a pee break. Otherwise, it will upset itself by peeing in its crate because it can’t help it. If you and your husband can each come home once per day for a walk, playtime, etc for the pup, then you can probably effectively crate train it and socialize it. But if you are both going to be away all day for that amount of time, you really ought to give the pup up, for its own sake and yours. Those first few months are key for setting up the rules and boundaries, and if you can’t train the pup now (which you can’t if you aren’t home all day), then you’ll never be able to. A breed rescue is by far the best place to surrender the pup, as it will be placed with an experienced foster family, who will be able to train it, until it can be adopted out to a well-screened new owner. PLEASE give up this pup before it’s too late and you are all miserable. And then get another one some day if you have the time to devote to the training it needs.

02.23.11#6

Comment by Kimberly.

This is one of the saddest things I have ever read. The idea of a puppy being alone for that long because of a man’s selfishness makes my blood pressure boil. The time to do something about it is now, while he is still in puppyhood. It is easier to adopt out a puppy than an adult dog and more fair to the dog as well as the new family training him. It wouldn’t be something I would soon if ever forget, if my husband pulled that shit though. It’s the ultimate in selfish. It would definitely be topic #1 for a therapist. I just realized I’m so mad I just projected this onto my own husband LOL!

02.23.11#7

Comment by Mimzy Wimzy.

We got a puppy last January. It was a long process of talking about if it would be right for us. My Hubby works and I babysit in our home all day. When we first got out puppy even with me being home it was hard at times. We taught him within 2 days to ring a bell when he wanted/needed to go out. It was great except for when I was feeding a baby and he would ring like crazy! We got through it. He was crate trained. He sleeps in his crate at night and is in the crate when nobody is home. If we know we will be away for more than 6 hours we make arrangements for someone to come take him out for us. We actually have declined invites to do things knowing we would be away from him too long.
I honestly think if you can’t have someone play with and spend time with him you should consider giving him up. You are gone up to 13 hours a day. You are presumably asleep another 6-8 hours. When are you ever with the poor thing? Find the puppy a home where he will be able to thrive. Stick the selfish Hubby in a crate, alone for more than half the day, every day and see how he likes it!!!

GrandeMocha Reply:

I agree, stick the selfish Hubby in a crate!

03.02.11#8

Comment by SadPuppyMommy.

Thank you for all of your comments. You all will be happy to know that our little guy has been placed in a new home. He’s actually with a family member and doing absolutely fabulous!! He’s so happy with all of the attention he receives from their children and I couldn’t be happier about it. The husband, well, he’s not so happy with my decision, but he’s coming around. Really I didn’t care because it was his bad choice that put us in this situation. Thanks again everyone for all of your wonderful comments. Oh and yes, I would’ve loved to leave the hubby in a crate for 13 hours and see how he liked it. Have an fabulous day ladies 🙂

08.25.11#9

Comment by itali_69.

actually if u read a lot of dogs’ book state that if a pup isn’t given enough attention they will do things they shouldn’t just so that they do get attention.

ps. i hate it when my husband lies to me. makes me really angry. get your point across.

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