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I was unprepared, now I'm anxious!

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Skye Light, Aug 13, 2018.


  1. Skye Light

    Skye Light PetForums Newbie

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    Hi. I'm a 15 year old who asked for a dog for their birthday, under one circumstance: It would have to be my responsibility.

    I said "sure, it'll be fine!" and delved deep into the internet, reading as much as I possibly could. I ended up finding a- wait for it- Siberian husky. Not only that, but he was a puppy. I fell in love, and immediately began preparing the home with basics. I had no idea just how much I would need to sacrifice. For one, I have autism, ADHD, depression and anxiety. I was used to horrendous sleep patterns (But still sleeping 12+ hours) and practically all the freedom in the world except the confines of my own mind. I dropped out of school in November 2016, however retain above average test results.

    When I brought this pup home, now named 'Scout,' I entirely focused on him. Potty break every 30-40 minutes, which he now signals when he needs, learning 'go pee/do your business,' has got sit, stay, and is learning 'lie down.' Seems great, right? Well... Not entirely. He has no interest in any toy for more than 30 seconds, only fattening treats which I try to save. I do not know how to burn off his excess energy- we run outside in the garden, train for 5 minutes, but there's no way to keep his attention on any toy or things like that. He's being taught not to bite or jump, however it's still sharp and I find it extremely difficult to control emotional impulses, so I feel there's a big danger in snapping when I don't mean to. I know that wouldn't help in the slightest.

    He will not poo outside or near me, which is really concerning as I try my best to be kind, patient, and understanding, rewarding when he used to poop outside. He cannot stand the crate being closed, even when I encourage him in, play games and feed in there, it has to be open. He won't sleep in it. He's completely relaxed sleeping on the floor in the bedroom where he's kept, however! He doesn't have any accidents in the bedroom unless he's forced by full bladder, which I'm so, so proud of him for.

    My parent has said that I must spend at least 6 months with him, which I am more than willing to do- ! But I worry. I throw up from the anxiety over him at night. I've barely had him a week, and everyone says it gets better, but a decade of responsibility is terrifying and I regret my decision. I feel it would be better for Scout and I if we rehomed him, but I'm scared of my family not letting me/everyone being angry, even if they have every right to be. I'm too scared of people being angry to tell anyone.

    I wasn't ready. Even if I can stay on top of things, there's no sense of achievement or love. Even if I manage him all throughout his life, the exhaustion and fatigue would wreck me. I'm so tired I don't even notice when someone is talking to me. I'm so anxious I sometimes think it would be better to kill myself than put everyone through this stress (Even though I KNOW that will not help and these are not true feelings.) All my muscles hurt, my brain hurts, I miss my freedom to draw and be with my cats, and I don't know whether I'm able to give it up. It's selfish, yes. But if it's more responsible and kind to rehome him, that's the way to go.

    Whatever is best to ensure Scout's safety and happiness.

    Perhaps I'm overthinking massively. It's only been a week. If I still hold these feelings months from now, I'll tell everyone. I'm just so scared and impatient and guilty.

    If I post this, please, I already know it was a stupid, naive, shallow decision to get him. I don't need reminders of that. Just. Whatever's better for the pup. Maybd reassurance. I don't know anymore.
     
  2. simplysardonic

    simplysardonic Moderator
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    And this is why I wish people would stop & engage their brains before buying a child a puppy (or any animal) :(

    'Puppy blues' is a normal part of bringing them home & we all go through it to a greater & lesser degree, & it does pass, but this is a worrying situation.

    That's not my concern here, I'm pretty stoic but I still had very shaky moments when I brought my pup home.

    My main concern is that your parents seem to have done little or no research into buying their child (and you are legally a child, ergo in the eyes of the law the adults in the household are the ones who are responsible for the dog) not only a puppy, but a husky puppy.

    They are not a breed recommended for novice dog owners, due to their independent (perceived as 'stubborn') tendencies, intelligence, energy & predatory drive.

    They are not particularly handler focused so will need to be kept onlead at all times (no matter how well trained you feel he is, his instinct is to run) unless in a secured, fenced area.

    You make no mention of walks, so I am assuming he is still too young, but you can carry him around so he becomes familiar with lots of external stimuli, until he's fully vaccinated.

    They are a dog that if under stimulated will make their own entertainment & they can be very destructive if bored.

    What are your plans with the puppy- as he's going to spend a lot of time onlead you might want to look into secure local fields or parks you can hire so he can go offlead safely, & some sort of harness sport to channel his energy.

    I'm not angry with you, not at all, but I do blame your parents for not thinking this through.
     
  3. kimthecat

    kimthecat PetForums VIP

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    Im so sorry you are in this position . :( Puppies and certainly huskies are very hard work .
    If it is causing you this much anxiety , it would be better to rehome now while he is a pup and a better chance of finding a home.
    Huskies are not suitable for beginners, even though I am an experienced dog owner I would never have one . You need to talk to your parents, I understand they will be annoyed but this situation is detrimental to you and perhaps the pup too.
     
  4. labradrk

    labradrk PetForums VIP

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    Are your parents giving you no support at all?

    What I would say is that these feelings are normal, and if you give it time you'll likely feel quite different about the situation. In fact the dog could very much help you. But it is whether you have to desire to continue through this rough patch is the question. I'm not going to lie and say you've chosen an easy breed of dog because you haven't. But try visualising forward......do you see yourself with a dog in 6+ months time, when hopefully you've got a decent routine going, and a lot of the puppy madness has been knocked on the head? I think it's very easy to focus on how challenging and difficult something is NOW, without seeing the long term benefits and how it gets easier.....(in some ways, teenage dogs are worse, but one step at a time aye LOL?).
     
  5. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel PetForums VIP

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    I have a sneeky suspicion that your parents will be overseeing this more than you realise @Skye Light!! I have a son with autism too - 19 now and sometimes us parents have to put you teens into positions of responsibility to 'help' you.

    Are you still in school? If so, your parents will be sharing responsibility there won't they? And my guess is you will live with them well into your adult years, same as my son will live with us.

    I think your parents know you very well indeed. Know you can do this. And ARE over seeing it.
    People on the autistic spectrum are often fantastic at taking responsibility and, as you say, over thinking things. And both autism and adhd contribute to anxiety.


    Show your parents what you have posted here and have them help you figure out some routines for your pup's day. Write them down.

    You are going to be fab!! Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. You will form a great bond with this dog, the burden of responsibility will lessen as you get in tune with him and this will all work out



    Trust your parents. They WILL know you can do this and us parents always look out for our kids. Even though it doesn't feel that way.
     
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  6. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel PetForums VIP

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    Just seen you dropped out of school. Still think your parents will be looking out for you!
     
    Skye Light likes this.
  7. Laney_Lemons

    Laney_Lemons PetForums Senior

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    I just want to firstly say this is not your fault... you are only 15 years old :) If your parents are supportive they will be very upset you are thinking so low, please take a deep breath.

    Im not sure a husky was the correct choice for you, i understand you done research which is fab however I feel another breed would have been a better choice... they are stubborn, need a great deal of exercise, high prey drive and cant be let off lead unless secure area - which im sure you are aware of due to your research. Never the less you have him now.

    From the start of the post, i thought you had this pup for months? however it only seems to be a only 1 week? if so, what you are feeling is totally normal and we nearly all go through puppy blues, your feelings are maybe more exaggerated with your autism but know we all feel 'what on earth have we done'.


    My only concern with everything you have mentioned it really all boils down to if your parents are helping you out? Can and will they step him for the pup when this gets all too much for you? can they run interference when you are at breaking point? Pups turn into a biting devlis, chew everything they can get their mitts on etc


    unfortunately if they are not on board then I would think you need to weigh up this pups future as especially huskies need good long exercise and cant get destructive when bored, he needs out and about (not meeting every dog or person) but seeing the world and getting socialised.
     
  8. simplysardonic

    simplysardonic Moderator
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    Sadly not all parents do look out for their kids, & I don't think animals should be used as a tool to teach responsibility, it's unfair on the animal & the fact that they've chosen a difficult breed for someone with no dog experience tells me they've done minimal research.

    Why wouldn't they sit down & discuss it in detail with their child, & do research themselves so they can offer support?

    One of our rabbits at work was a family's failed 'experiment' in teaching kids responsibility & the parents were charged with animal cruelty.

    The reality is there are animals up & down the country suffering in homes or dumped in rescue because parents don't think & their children become overwhelmed/lose interest.
     
  9. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    If you seriously think this is a mistake, it will be easier for everyone concerned to return him to the breeder now. Rehoming a six month old is far harder both for the dog, and for finding a suitable new home for him.

    That said, at being with you only a week I think you need to lower your expectations of him.

    Give him time, you are unlikely to have him housetrained in a week.

    You need to make sure he doesn't have a full bladder, even if that means setting your alarm to take him out overnight. And every 45 minutes or so in the day.

    Read this guide to crate training. Don't cut corners.

    https://m.facebook.com/notes/dog-tr...e-force-free-crate-trained-do/998780573470833
     
  10. Skye Light

    Skye Light PetForums Newbie

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    You lot are absolutely right; even though it was stated multiple times that huskies are not for newbies, I went ahead anyway. @simplysardonic , thank you for the response- and yes, he's currently getting well used to the lead and there are many secure fields nearby. I'm practicing walking with him throughout the space he's used to, and as soon as he's ready with all vaccinations and joints, I plan to walk him once or twice per day, scheduling it at regular times before meals. Following rule of 1-2 minutes per week of age. Playing in the field.

    When it comes to my parent, they are definitely not leaving me to fend entirely for myself! It is my fault, as I convinced them. They also lived with multiple alsatians growing up, and one husky-cross alsatian, so they believe it'll be fine... perhaps having too much faith, saying I'll do fine but I truthfully have not a clue what I'm doing. He's a living thing, that shouldn't be counted as a lesson, honestly.

    @JoanneF thank you! That is extremely helpful, and I'll be sure to follow the guide diligently. He has not had many accidents at all during the day, and even then, it's something to work on and get better! No full bladders.

    Parent will watch him when I go out (if we need to pick something up) but keeps themselves to themselves, mostly. Maybe I should.. actually ask instead of automatically assuming they won't help in any other way :/ smh
    It's more a part of having high expectations of both myself and him- now, with all your words, we'll focus and remember! There is no way we'll be giving up, that's for sure.
     
  11. NFC slave

    NFC slave PetForums Senior

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    Are your parents taking on the financial responsibility for vet care, feeding etc?
     
  12. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel PetForums VIP

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    I understand what everyone is saying on this thread about not using animals to teach responsibility and of course i fully agree with that.
    I am speaking as a parent of a young adult on the autistic spectrum (he has associated learning difficulties and has NO pets i hasten to add!!)

    However, knowing many many parents of teens with adhd and autism, I'd be willing to bet that the parents care very much and are very much there over seeing all this.
    I agree also that the breed choice maybe isn't the best either but i do think, when a young person comes onto a public forum with a communication difficulty (and ASD always carries communication difficulty by its very nature) then responses need to be thought out carefully with that in mind.

    I do not personally know of any parents with children on the spectrum who aren't there looking out for their children. And i have given my reply and thoughts with that in mind .
     
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  13. ellenlouisepascoe

    ellenlouisepascoe PetForums VIP

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    I tried to avoid logging in to comment on this but I really couldn't help myself after a friend shared it with me on facebook.
    I am the owner of 4 siberian huskies, 3 of which are rescues all coming from situations where their owners did not think through buying them and realised they can't cope.

    Sibes are not interested in you or what you want, are not handler dependant, normally couldn't care less about toys. You are not going to burn his energy off with 5 minutes in the garden, he's a working dog and not given a job to do he is going to make your life miserable.
    Mine are walked at least 6 miles (9km) per day and can still be a bunch of ... insert a cuss word here ... when they want to be. They are destructive, disobedient , loud and will completely rule your life.

    I must say I agree about the dog being rehomed. At least done now the dog is still in it's cute phase and will be easier to find a home for. I would look for another dog which is no so demanding.
     
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  14. Kittynanna

    Kittynanna PetForums Senior

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    I think from what you have said and how you feel the very best thing to do for this dog is to re-home.

    He is obviously not the dog for you and as the experienced owners have said will be too much for you to handle.

    Be brave and sit and explain your mistake to your parents, I am sure they will be proud of you for admitting your mistake than trying to muddle through, he will find another loving home that can give him the care, understanding and exercise he needs.
     
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  15. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    If you decide not to keep him, you must contact the Breeder, rather than rehome him.

    It would be better for him to go back to her.
     
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  16. shirleystarr

    shirleystarr PetForums VIP

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    I have to agree with all of this I would re home the dog now sounds harsh but I think its the best thing
     
  17. ellenlouisepascoe

    ellenlouisepascoe PetForums VIP

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    Agreed however I'm guessing the breeder isn't that reputable to rehome such a dog to these circumstances.
     
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  18. jamat

    jamat PetForums VIP

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    Hi there advice number one take a deep breath and count to 10 and breath out.

    This is not your fault, not your parents fault not the dogs fault. It's life.

    We nearly returned our dog after a few weeks but then with advice from people here we set up a routine and four years later we'd not be without him.

    Like everything in life learning to have a dog takes time. I'm glad to hear your parents are backing you, are being positive and have experience in having dogs.

    They have confidence in you .....you now need to learn to have confidence in yourself :Finger

    You sound to be doing most of the right things and the fact that you care and concerned about scout shows me you will make a great pair and a fantastic dog owner when you've bonded.

    Removed scout has been taken from his mum and is bewildered it's only a week or so and you are both trying to find your feet.

    Make a list of all the things you want him to learn. Take that list and put them into groups....things you need him to learn that are priority, toilet training, sit, stay etc and make sure you set up a routine that will teach him these things

    Then group the things that will be fun for him and you to learn together, fetch etc and teach those in a fun environment say the secure feild you can use.

    It's easier said than done but try not to let that little voice of doubt drawn out all the good things you've achieved with h so far.

    It will take time but he needs to feel safe with you and you need to feel safe with him.

    I really hope it works out for you you're heading in the right direction keep going in a few months you will look back and wonder what all the fuss was about :)
     
  19. Dogloverlou

    Dogloverlou PetForums VIP

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    If you explained to your parents that you're struggling I'm sure they would step in to help alleviate some of the responsibility.

    As already mentioned, puppy blues is normal. I cried for days, felt extreme guilt, and just felt very isolated and worried when I brought my youngest home and he was well planned! I didn't love him for a good 6 months or more. So my advice is to never judge what you're feeling now as your true feelings. But you do need to sit down with your parents and have a discussion about where to go from here whether that be ultimately rehoming him or coming to an agreement about his care.

    I dropped out of school for severe depression at around 14 years old and my parents a few months later rehomed a wonderful Lab x boy who was my absolute rock. I also was responsible for is care and even took on a PT weekend job to help pay for his upkeep! Sometimes a dog can be the making of us too :)
     
  20. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums VIP

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    Haven't read all the replies here as short on time and tolerance today.
    Take your puppy back to the breeder now, while he's still able to easily get another home, without too much damage having been done.
     
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