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  #1  
Old 02-06-2005, 10:48 PM
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CreatureTeacher CreatureTeacher is offline
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Default Need some advice...I wasn't sure where to post.

I wasn't sure where to put this, so I hope this is an okay spot. I need some advice on human behavior. I've got dogs down, but people are tougher....

Here's the reason I put this in this forum. Growing up, my best friend was an enormous red Doberman named Nikki. She was beautiful and brilliant and I miss her desperately even though she died almost 10 years ago. She had been in training to be a police dog, but she was afraid of guns and wouldn't bite people, so they had to give her away. We were lucky enough to get her. I believe very strongly that every person has the chance to come in contact with "the one", that occasional very special dog that comes along and changes your life. Nikki was mine. My heart didn't just break when she died, it shattered. She was really my sister; more so than my real sister is. I think about her often. One of the most painful things about her death is that when I was young we were very poor and didn't have a camera (this was before the disposable ones), and so I have no pictures of Nikki at all. I haven't forgotten her face, but I feel like I've never really been able to heal because I have to make such an effort to remember her all the time. And I feel guilty in a way for not making more of an effort to get her picture taken. I have thought long and hard about getting another Dobe; I understand that I can't replace Nikki and that I can't expect to get the same dog twice, but I also feel that having another individual with those goofy Dobe mannerisms (crossing the front legs, putting the butt up on the stairs, moaning, etc.) would help me to reconcile with Nikki's death. I've known many Dobes, and I have fallen completely in love with most of them.

I have had a live-in S.O. (significant other--"boyfriend" seems inappropriate somehow) for almost 6 years now. We might as well be married, we're just too lazy to go and do it. (Besides, I want all the bridesmaids to be dogs, and he's having trouble with that.) He's not crazy for all things canine like I am. He's very accepting of my dog obsession, and he's enjoyed the company of our dogs. But he has a problem with Dobes. We've never had one because he has had that stupid sociatal bias against them implanted in his brain. It's not that he's frightened of them (he trusts my training and behavior instincts and is himself a biologist), it's that he's worried a Dobe would bite someone and we'd have to pay for it, with money and possibly with our dog's life. None of my dogs have ever bitten anyone, but it's that prejudice that people have against these particular breeds that's planted this idea in his head and made him so apprehensive about getting a Dobe.

He's never had that "one" dog, so he doesn't really understand what it's like to share your heart with an animal in that way. So I don't think he understands quite how badly the loss of Nikki wounded me, and how it would help me to have another, different dog of the same breed.

I'm tempted to just say, "Screw you" and go rescue myself a Dobe, but I certainly don't want to jeopardize our relationship. I would love to take him to meet some Dobes, but there isn't a rescue near us, and it isn't exactly appropriate to bring him along when I train one. We have had many wonderful dogs grace our lives, but he still hasn't met "the one" and can't understand what I'm after. I really want him to experience that sort of relationship. Has anyone else had a similar problem? Why is he scared to have a Dobe when we've had several Pit Bull mixes and even a Rotty with no problems? Does anyone have any advice for bringing him round? Should I even try, or should I respect his apprehension and not push it? I'd sure appreciate any thoughts.
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Old 02-06-2005, 11:15 PM
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That's what happens until one becomes a "certified dog lover". He has learned to appreciate them but he hasn't really gone around the bend yet.

I would suggest printing off a copy of what you posted here (minus the 1st sentence of the last paragraph ) and giving it to him to read. I have a funny idea he will then really understand just how important it is to you.

Now on the other hand, even tho my hubby was always one for saying "NO", I was always stubborn enough that I would just go ahead and either get a furpal without telling him first or I would just ignore the "no". Then after he realized we had a new furpal I'd have to listen to him moan & groan for about 1/2 hr and very soon thereafter he'd be smitten and one would think it was actually his idea!

I hope you are successful and able to realize your dream!
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Old 02-06-2005, 11:36 PM
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Amen to everything you said about your dobe....and even though you can't pull up a visual, I bet if you close your eyes, you can feel the weight of his head on your hand, the feel of his nudge, the weight of his body when he leans on you..the silkiness of his coat. I will bet when you close your eyes you can feel him in motion when he runs and just about almost but not quite hear his bark.
I have been blessed by he heavens to have had three "ones". Bronki wasn't just my dog,or even my best friend, he was a large part of Me the best part as far as i was concerned. I had a significant other for 12 years...he was always jealous of my affection for Bronki. Jim wanted to be my "one"..he didn't understand that the closeness I had with my dog I could never have with a human. I trusted Bronki with my whole heart. I could never do that with a people, especially a man..maybe you of all people can understand what I mean. I dated two other men after Jim passed away and they reacted the same way. Apparently because he was my "special" they felt threatened and had to act like they liked Mary more and would shun Bronki when he came around. It was so **** stupid because he didn't understand it at all why they didn't like him. They just didn't understand that i could love them as my man, but never as my dog. It is just different. One doe not decrease the other.
I hope that this makes sense because I don't really know how to put it in words. I do believe that you cannot make that "one" come to you, you will be found by that "one". Somehow somewhere there will be a dog that calls to your soul and you will come and the two of you will walk down the road together. If an animal chooses me, I am very superstitious because two of my three did things to get my,and my alone, attention. Keep your eyes open and I hope this happens really soon. I don't know if it is karma or destiny. I don't know what to believe in this world except that I haven't a clue. I can only follow what feels right in my heart.
I was lucky with bronki because i had him from the second he was born. Vic looks so different, and at first I didn't know how to "read" him.He was hyperactive, didn't like to cuddle or be held, seemed to have a on and off switch. Running around like crazy or asleep. I wanted him to be like Bronk and nothing could be further from the truth, but 6 months down the road I am learning that Vic has many layers and it was me that had to clear my head to see what this dog is made of. We had to get past all the damage done by spending two of his first 5 months in the pound or rescue kennel. Maybe, just maybe the heavens have smiled again on me...we will see but I am beginning to see that i have more to learn and i think Vic is going to teach me what I need to know. Time will tell.
i think you especially deserve to have the one that shines.
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Old 02-06-2005, 11:48 PM
Thea Thea is offline
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First, I'm so very sorry for the loss of your good, good friend. Losing them is SO incredibly hard, and I think that you need to do something to give yourself some closure on her loss...what about planting a bush in memory of her, and then, during the growing time when it blooms you will know that perhaps you're friend has taken another form, and can still fill your heart? They can, you know. And they do. I really do believe that. I also believe that the beings we share our lives with today, bring us to the beings that will share our lives tomorrow, and YOU are meant to have another Dobe.

As far as the SO goes, I would think that once you meet the next one, he'll relent. Because it was meant to be...

Thea
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Old 02-07-2005, 12:26 AM
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You are all so sweet!

You probably all know me well enough by now to know that I don't and won't mince words; I've told The Boy exactly what I've told you. I think true "dog love" just can't really be explained to people who don't know it for themselves.

Since I began my training business, lots of dogs have passed in and out of our home. We've had three unwanted senior dogs that I brought home at the ages of 10, 13, and 14, all of whom passed on within a year of coming to us. (I see part of my mission as being a "doggy hospice" to give those who need it all the love and happy living they can stand in the last months of their lives.) Circumstances give us unwanted, abused, or neglected dogs. I work with them and butter them up until they are good kids, then someone or some family always comes along who needs them more than I do. I'm just sort of a pooch halfway house. So I don't blame the S.O. for not getting attached to them, because they are never with us for long. And when they first come to us, they aren't typically pillars of canine virtue. What I'd like to do is go out and purposefully adopt a Dobe to be my dog. Maybe I just will!

PS - He's a cat person...I should've known there was something wrong with him!
Thanks to everyone for listening, and for the encouragement and advice.
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Old 02-07-2005, 12:57 AM
Saje Saje is offline
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LOL There is nothing wrong with cat people! Of course I'm an all-round animal person. My special dog was a horse. Her tragic death broke my heart.

Have you ever just said something like: this is something I really need to do for myself to help me come to terms with the loss of Nikki. I will understand if you are adamant about not getting a dobe but I've had my heart set on it for a long time. I've thought it through. Is there any way you can support me?

Who could say no? LOL

My opinion is that you have probably already brought him around as much as you can. Ask him what he'd do if you came home with a Dobe one day. If he says he'd be long gone- well than you'll have to think about that.

What about fostering one if that's possible?

That's about as useful as I can be on this subject.

I'm really sorry you lost your dog and really happy you had her for the time that you did.

Saje
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Old 02-07-2005, 01:22 AM
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Now don't get me wrong, I love my horses tons and tons, and I...tolerate...my cats. (They have been very rotten lately!) But I can really carry on a conversation with dogs. The best I can seem to get across to my horses is, "Gosh you're pretty. Want a cookie? Let's play!" and I seem to be accidentally telling my cats, "Please scream all night and keep me awake. I sure like it when you launch off my chest onto the dresser while I'm sleeping! It's important to me that you hit my terrified dog every chance you get!" But I really do love every animal I meet. I had a fabulous lizard once, and after him a very intelligent praying mantis. But nothing quite gets me like dogs do, and no dog quite gets me like a really smart Dobe. (More than anything, I value intelligence in a dog. And man are Dobes smart!)
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Old 02-07-2005, 01:28 AM
Saje Saje is offline
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Ha ha ha. When I first got my dog Maverick I only had Mini my little cat. She was the boss of the house and wasn't going to let that change. She tuned Mav into the rules right away. Of course, he was a slow learner as he was a puppy and wanted to play with the nice kitty (they are almost the same age). I had to get her a cat tree so she could teach him the rules from a more elevated position. He learned. To this day he won't push past her in the hall. I've seen him stuck between two cats and my bf will have to go and 'rescue' him so he can come back into the kitchen. What a goof. Mikey's the opposite. He and Mini will probably never decide who's boss. She's queen bee over all the other beasts though. LOL Including us I think.
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Old 02-07-2005, 02:55 AM
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I sympathyse with you.

I've had more animals than I can count in my life. A black lab, 5 Rotties, a Golden, a small Terrier X, a Husky, 6 cats, an albino rattlesnake, an iguana, 5 lizards, 2 birds, 3 scorpions, a guinea pig, countless fish, and of course Dutch. Yet there was only one animal I ever connected with as it sounds like you connected with Nikki, and he wasn't even officially mine.

Some of you have probably heard this story already, but I'm going to tell it again, mostly because it makes me smile to remember him ...

When I first started at the shelter last year, there was one dog who caught my eye. Trevor. Trevor was a magnificent German Shep X, just over 2 years old at the time. He had been in the shelter since he was about 6 months old. He was an absolute maddog in the cage. Spinning and snarling at anyone who walked by (including me). My reaction was quite simple, I stood infront of him and barked back. I have no idea why I did it, just seemed right at the time. And what amazed me (and my coworkers who saw this) was that he stopped. All of a sudden he was completely silent, head cocked to one side, looking at me with a mix of "you must be crazy", and "please get me out of here" in his eyes. I was in love.

Trevor and I were inseperable from that moment on. Whenever I had a spare minute, I was with him. My lunch hours were spend running in the outside pen, taking long walks, eating pizza in the grass (no one knew about that one). After a few months, I decided I was ready for a dog in my new appartment, and I prepared myself to bring him home. The guy I was seeing at the time (James) was completely against me addopting him. I believe Trevor scared him, though he never told me that. Whatever the reason, he put up a heck of a fight. And in the end, I succomed. Dutch came down with Parvo, and I ended up taking him home instead. But at work, Trevor and I never missed a beat. A few more months passed, and I still couldn't get over the feeling that I needed this dog to be mine.

I had distanced myself a bit from James ever since the Trevor/Dutch argument. He likes dogs, but I wouldn't call him a "dog person". We don't agree on training methods, and he couldn't understand why I would wan't a dog with "problems" like Dutch. So you can immagine how well it went over when I told him that I was bringing Trevor home. To appease him, I arranged to foster Trevor, with plans to adopt. I had him for a month. It was the most wonderful month of my life.

Then, on Dec. 24th, Trevor was due back at the shelter for a routine check-up. He bit one of my coworkers while he was there. (I'm skipping all the depressing details here). He was put to sleep the next week.

James still dosen't understand what that dog meant to me. He was comforting afterwards, listening to me scream and whiping my tears, but he didn't quite see what was so special about Trevor. He was upset because "you loved that dog more than me". I've never been able to explain the difference to him, I'm not sure the feeling when you find the "one" can be put into words, weather it's a dog OR a person.

Well, now that I've written a novel, I guess I'll get to the point. My oppinion is, if you feel like you need to get another Dobe, then do it. It sounds like your SO stands behind you in what you do, so perhaps he will be ok with the idea, even if he isn't overjoyed. I wouldn't give back that month with Trevor for anything. If James had threatened to leave me over it, I would have let him walk away. Sometimes in life, there are things you just need to do, and if it's meant to be, then you and your SO will get through it together.

*Sorry for the long post*
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  #10  
Old 02-07-2005, 12:49 PM
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have you read the book about the lady that trained search and rescue dogs? I don't remember the title of course, but she knew what she was looking for. She tried one that she got in the states, and though it was a perfectly nice dog, it wasn't the "one" she went to Germany next. I found her honestly about the one not being right open and fair. I think everyone is right..you need your dobe..maybe he/she is calling you and that is why it is so prominent in your mind.
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