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Old 01-19-2013, 06:24 PM
Catsi Catsi is offline
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Default Missing my girls plus a dilemma - pity party warning...

Hi there - just a warning that this may be a bit of pity party. No apologies for this though because I'm feeling a little wretched at the moment.

I have just moved about 10 hours away from my home town for a new job in my field of study. This is very exciting and I'm still pinching myself - this is my first job in the area and I still have a year to go of study. Am I lucky or what? It's a great opportunity in a great little town. I'm really liking the place so far, Iíve moved into my new rental and am enjoying setting up home - so everything on that front is pretty good. I've been speaking to family/friends often so I'm not really too homesick. I am, however, missing the dogs a lot. I saw an older, grey faced Stafford the other day and cried and when I talk to mum about them (which is quite often) I get all teary. As someone who isnít used to being all that emotionalÖ itís a bit strange.

The dogs arenít with me at the moment because I tend to stress a lot and I wanted to settle in without them to spare them the upheaval and me being a stress case at the same time. I plan to build a dog run and attach it to the outside area which is perfect for them for when Iím at work and they can have the whole rest of the fenced yard/house when Iím at home. I also didnít want to move them straight in in case the house was completely unsuitable or I had neighbours from hell. My tentative plan is to get them at the end of March, because I will traveling south for uni anyway and itís only an extra three hours to my trip Ė the other option is to nick down on a long weekend and grab them.

They are with my parents at the moment Ė getting spoiled no doubt. They are not the types to fret (thank God) so they are carrying on like nothing has happened. Grace is actually my parents dog, but they have decided to let me take her with Abby because they are so attached and so good for each other. Grace is a calming influence on Abby who has a nervous disposition and is reactive and Abby, who is an active little dog, helps to keep Grace young and fit. I am honoured and oh so happy that mum and dad entrust me with Graceís care, especially in her twilight years. However, now that Iím here, Iím having doubts about whether Iím being selfish to the dogs or whether Iím doing the right thing.

Mum and dad both work, but they donít work full time at the same time, so someone is mostly always home and if not, the dogs are only by themselves usually for 3 or 4 hours max. Even that is rather rare. When they come here, itís just me and itís an 8 Ė 5pm position. Of course, my time outside of work will be, and always has been, mainly devoted to them. Training, exercise and just doing stuff together. Iím not a hugely social person ĖI may go out to dinner once/twice a month, but Iíd rather entertain at home or go on a picnic at a park (with dogs lol). I will be wanting to explore this area of Australia while Iím up here which will me a couple of kennel stays for them a year Ė between 3-4 days and up to a week. Iím not completely happy about thatÖ I know Grace will be fine, Abby is a different kettle of fish, but Iíll cross that bridge when we come to it. Of course, theyíd be in the best kennel in the region and I plan to inspect and get opinions etc well before putting them in any kennel.

Mum and dad would keep them in a heartbeat Ė Grace is theirs and they adore Abby. Am I being fair uprooting them? If Abby were a Ďnormalí dog Iíd probably be less anxious. And Grace Ė is it fair to move her at this age. Sheís only ever known home. I know I may be just fretting at the moment, but I seriously just want to do the right thing by them. I love them so dearly.

Have any of you ever been away from your dogs for an extended period of time? How did you cope? I was ok in the first week because I was so busy with the move and organising the house Ė I was falling into bed exhausted every night and waking up early to do it all over again. Itís only been the last few days that have been difficult.
So, am I doing the right thing? Would I be doing the wrong thing leaving them? Can you help me weigh up the pros and cons? Or am I making problems where there are none?

I hate this sudden feeling of insecurity - is it just homesickness rearing it's ugly head?

Iíll leave you with a photo of my gorgeous girls Ė best mates.
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:52 PM
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Lizmo Lizmo is offline
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I recently went through alot of the same thoughts your having. Am I being selfish for wanting my dog with me, is this fair to him, will he be okay without me if he stays, etc questions running through my mind till I moved. I understand, it's a hard mess to deal with, I'd never wish it on anyone. In fact when my younger siblings mention wanting to get their own dog before they leave for college, I tell them don't - it's so hard.

In the end, I decided to take Blaze with me and leave Lizzie at home. Lizzie wouldn't handle an apartment setting well, so that was the main factor for why she stayed.

Blaze, well, we both rely on each other. He's less antsy with me, eats regularly, and just generally does better when I'm around. And I am a much happier person when he's around, he helps calm me, and brings so much joy to my life.

While I love both my dogs equally, and I barely can leave them for a few days without wanting to go home, it's easier with Lizzie for some reason.

In fact, bringing Blaze has been better than I hoped. We get out each day, no matter how tired I am after class, and we go walk a couple miles. No matter what's going on in my life, every single time I feel so much better.

I guess what I'm saying is no one can really tell you what to do. It's such a hard, complicated process that you have to think through every detail of. And the nice thing about your situation, I think is, that if it didn't work out, they could always go back to your parents.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:16 PM
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Laurelin Laurelin is offline
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I ended up leaving Nikki at home while I was in college. She was getting on up there in age and she was a very stubborn, set in her ways dog. That plus her health problems, I just didn't think it was fair. I missed having her those 3 years though. I ended up getting Summer while Nik still lived with my parents. It was hard but in the end, it was the best thing for her, even though she was my girl through and through.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:31 PM
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Grab Grab is offline
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When I moved to AZ from IL, I flew here with my cat, but left my (at the time) two dogs, bird and rats with family until I could drive back, since I did not want to fly all of them. It was about four months until we had enough days off to fly back and then rent a car to drive back here.

Even though they'd had someone home with them most of the time there, they did perfectly fine here, where we both worked a normal work day. Dogs are extremely adaptable, it's generally their humans who get stressed about that kind of thing. Usually needlessly so.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:33 PM
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Yeah my two transitioned from my college schedule where I was off a lot more frequently to full time work days just fine. We just make sure to have some quality time every day before and after and several fun outings a week.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:11 PM
Catsi Catsi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizmo View Post

I guess what I'm saying is no one can really tell you what to do. It's such a hard, complicated process that you have to think through every detail of. And the nice thing about your situation, I think is, that if it didn't work out, they could always go back to your parents.
This is all very, very true. And it is a nice situation to be in, knowing that they have two homes - that should at least ease my fears for when I get them here. I probably wouldn't be quite so worried if Abby weren't a 'problem child'. Grace is getting older, sure - but she is definitely a more resilient dog. It would be surprising I guess if she were to have trouble coping with the new arrangement.

I'm really glad having Blaze with you worked out better than you expected. That is really comforting to hear. And all around it sounds like you made the right decisions for both Blaze and Lizzie. I guess these things are rarely cut and dry.

Grab - you are definitely right - it is usually the owners that stress out and usually for no good reason. If for whatever reason it doesn't work, we can make other arrangements, thankfully.

Laurelin, thanks for sharing. Sorry about Nikki, but it really sounds like you did the right thing for her in that situation.
Thanks for sharing everyone. I'm feeling more optimistic about it - still lots to think about!
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