Wow, I didn’t expect to get any replies and there are so many of you! Thank you so much, it makes me feel better just reading your support. I also read a few comments that seemed very angry. I wish those commenters would not jump to conclusions without understanding the complexities of our situation.
I was in the middle of tears yesterday and I feel like I didn’t show my fiance in a fair light. Despite the fact that he doesn’t like my dog (and he has reason not to, just read on), he has bent over backwards to try and help me keep my dog. I have to move in with him, because my job will not support us both. We’re living in Marietta, OH temporarily until we can find jobs in Raleigh, NC (we have both committed to a non-profit project down there), so we have no idea if there would even be enough time for him to switch jobs to move to my place, and his line of work isn’t even available in my area because it’s such a specific field. Also, we have no idea how long “temporary” will be. It could be a few months or a few years. In addition to looking for rentals, he has been looking for a cheap house we could buy and make work until we move again. We found one, it was a medicare home (being sold by the government to pay for the ower’s nursing home care). There were so many hoops to jump through, executors, lawyers, judges, medicare, etc. My Fiance kept trying to work with them, but in the end, even though the executor accepted our offer, the lawyers wouldn’t, they thought it was too low. The house needs way too much work (mold, etc.), the cost of which prohibits us from paying any more than we offered, and everything fell through yesterday. He’s talked to landlords all around the area, we’ve both scoured Craigslist, websites, and more. We’ve looked at both apartments and rental homes. We’ve looked way outside of Marietta, up to an hour communte for my Fiance. We’ve even looked at the top end of what we could possibly afford. We do have a realtor who’s been searching with us. It’s a small area, no major cities, and so there aren’t a lot of options.
The problem is my dog’s size. Even though there are several places listed as dog friendly, when we talked to the landlords, none of them would allow a dog over 20lb. I have no idea how I could lie about this because a lot of the landlords are asking to meet the dog first. My dog is a vizsla, and his behavior problems include fear biting (he was attacked by another dog when he was a puppy and this changed his behavior), being afraid of children and being unpredictable around them, over excitement around strangers, and being destructive. I’m a distance trail runner and I take him on runs with me, so he gets plenty of exercise. We play hide and seek at home, fetch, and I teach him tricks, so he gets plenty of mental stimulation. These things have pretty much solved the destructiveness, and there hasn’t been an incident in a long time. He’s great with other dogs, so I take him to the dog park to try and socialize him more. At the dog park, he’s great with people and children. Outside of the dog park, it’s hit and miss. He’s great with me 99% of the time, but there are times when he acts out and I don’t know why. The fear biting is so unpredictable. The dog that attacked him bit him on the neck and slung him, so randomly, he’ll bite when his collar is held. He’s never bit me so hard that I bleed, but he did bite my fiance once and drew a little blood. He’s afraid when strangers come up to him too quickly, and children, naturally, will run to a dog. I’ve noticed that children who are used to big dogs, don’t scare him as easily because they know how to act. At any rate, Luke, my dog, doesn’t know how to be gentle with children, and so I’m way too afraid to try and socialize him around other people’s children. He’s always great for the people at the various boarding kennels, and vet clinics I’ve taken him to, even new ones where he’s surrounded by strangers. He’s great with other runners and bikers we meet on the trails. But then sometimes when he’s in a new environment he’ll get kind of crazy and fearful. I really can’t pinpoint his exact triggers because it’s so random.
So I understand why my fiance doen’t like him…he bit him and we both want children within the next 1-2yrs and Luke is just too unpredictable around children, it really could be a dangerous situation. At any rate, this isn’t why I can’t keep him right now, it has just been a stress factor for me and my Fiance.
I don’t have to worry about who I’m giving him to. My breeders live on a large farm and only breed their 2 dogs once a year. It’s a hobby rather than a business, which is why I chose them. I know he will be well cared for and worked with to overcome his behavior problems. I’m just so attached to my dog that it hurts to think I might not ever see him again. This has just been an impossible situation.
I also want to emphasize that my dog WILL NOT EVER go to a shelter, or to anyone who I have the slightest worry would ever put him in a shelter. My number 1 priority is making sure he is happy and well taken care of.
I know some of you have suggested living apart from my fiance, but it comes down to what I am willing to do to keep my dog, versus what I am willing to do to make my marriage work. I am marrying an amazing man. One who has helped me become a better person, one who is committed to making a marriage work even through the hard stuff, and one who I trust to be the father of my children (which is a big thing for me). If I weren’t so sure of his merits, if we both didn’t love each other so much, I would definitely end it rather than lose my dog. We already live apart, and it’s so hard. To continue that after we are married would put a strain on our marriage. While I absolutely love my dog, I love my fiance too and since he is going to be my husband, this relationship has to come before my relationship with my dog. I would not do this for a boyfriend, or anyone else. Think about it, would you want your fiance/husband to dump you because he loves his dog more?
I am still looking for apartments and homes to rent, but we only have a few weeks. Nothing has come up in the entire time we’ve been looking, and the likelihood that something will in the next couple weeks is low. My Fiance is currently homeless because he moved out of his old apartment and in with friends so that he could save money and search for a dog friendly place. I can’t ask him to live out of boxes any more. Who knows, after we are able to buy a house in North Carolina, I may be able to buy him back from my breeders.
I’m sorry if my original post upset some of you. I am truly an animal lover and I know if I were you all I would be mad reading about this situation too, and I would have trouble understanding it. Yesterday, I was feeling such a confusing mix of sadness, frustration, and anger, that I didn’t know what to do other than post this thread. Your responses have helped and I thank you all 🙂