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#980039 02/26/02 11:06 AM
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What a mess.<p>I am really at a loss about what to do.<p>You may recall that I was left with our two small dogs when my W moved out in Aug. 2000. The first was a gift to our now-deceased son during his recovery from his second bone marrow transplant in March 1999. He died in August 1999. The second dog was brought home by my W in April 2000 under the pretense that it was intended for her mother after we get it house trained. Actually, she intended to keep it and knew I'd veto if I knew the truth. (Her mother soon got a different dog on her own - stating she didn't know about my W's plans.) Her affair with her best friends H started soon thereafter. I could speculate about the psychology of how all of this fit into my W's frame of mind in the aftermath of losing our son, but this is not about her, her affair, or me. It's about one of the consequences of what has happened and how I should handle it.<p>In hopes of reconciliation, I have kept the dogs since my W moved out. Our remaining son, now 13, shuttles back and forth 50-50 between my W's apartment and our family home, which I have also kept. My W says she cannot share in the care of the dogs (she will not take them when our son is with her) because she cannot afford the increase in rent to have animals. In classic affair logic, she reasons that because I chose NOT to move out, I thus chose to take complete responsibility for the dogs. Of course, the same logic does not apply to our other family belongings nor pertain to custody of our surviving son. She is a medical professional and makes real good money. She claims she cannot move to a cheaper place because <son> may not be as "safe" in a lesser environment. (Note: OM lives within walking distance.) She also claims that if she had to spend extra for the dogs, she "couldn't eat" nor feed <son>. However, she also claims to be able to afford half of the $20,000/year tuition for the private high school she wants <son> to go to starting next year. <p>The care of the dogs has been all my responsibility since Aug. 2000, with a little help from my son and au pairs (the au pairs cannot be directly tasked to caring for the dogs, but understandably, they have helped as family members). They are crated whenever no one is home but have managed to ruin my carpets because they are not walked often enough and I do not have a fenced in yard to allow them to be out unattended. I walk them every morning before I go to work and every time I come home. I buy their food and pay any vet costs. Once, with the help of an au pair's visiting sister, I actually saved the life of the original dog after it was stung by wasps and went into anaphylatic shock by injecting a guessed dose of epinephrine (drugs and syringes left over from our deceased son's medical supplies). But, I simply cannot, nor desire to, care for them any longer all by myself once our current au pair leaves. They deserve a better home and someone who genuinely wants to have them.<p>In anticipation of the departure of our au pair in May, whom will not be replaced, I have recently found someone who takes in abandoned animals and finds homes for them. Because these two dogs are spayed pure-breds, they will be adopted quickly. As expected, my son is adamantly opposed to getting rid of the dogs. He has made threats to go live with Mom permanently if I follow thru with my intentions. Although I don't believe this will happen, he is clearly distraught. I have been planning this with the knowledge and guidance of <son's> counselor. At times, I thought he was accepting of the no-win situation we are in, but at other times, he has lashed out at me because I will not help his mother pay for the increase in rent if she agreed to take them. Even if I did, I don't think she would do it and the fundamental problem would still exist - the dogs deserve a better environment. <Son> has also claimed that the first dog has tremendous sentimental value, represents the best memory of his brother, and losing this dog would be like losing his brother all over again. I too, genuinely like this dog and I do not look forward to this decision because of the link to my lost son. At the same time, my surviving son doesn't seem to miss them when he's at W's apartment and he pays little attention to them when he's at home. My W has appealed to me to try to "find it in my heart" to keep the original dog, at least. She argues that this will be yet another devastating loss for our son (but does not seem to recognize that her decisions have already created far more of a loss).<p>I have explored the obvious alternatives like seeing if friends or neighbors can adopt the dogs to no avail. I am convinced that the dogs will be placed in good homes if I continue my plan, but I am also convinced that my son will be adversely affected to some unknown degree and that I will bear the total blame for his unhappiness about this - however great or small. I know his threats to "hold this against" me for "the rest of your life" are probably normal, pre-teen reactions. But I also understand that he has sustained more losses than many adults and that this will not help. I do suspect he overplays this somewhat.<p>I'm willing to consider any suggestions. I feel that I have done the right things so far by continuing to care for the dogs essentially by myself since August 2000. Soon, my divorce will be final and I have no reason to expect reconciliation. In trying to move on I have planned many activities and several vacations with <son> and having dogs just does not fit. From both a practical and emotional standpoint I cannot continue to care for them and, foremost, they should be treated better.<p>My current plans are to continue working with <son's> counselor, take <son> to visit the "adoption agency", and allow him to participate as much as he wants in the process in order to satisfy himself the dogs will be fine. <p>My close friends advise me that I have been the responsible parent so far and I'll have to be responsible enough to make the tough decisions. The dogs are just additional victims of divorce. Sure, <son> will be angry, but he'll get over it. He claims he'll hate me, but he won't. Since I've started this process, backing down will only lessen <son's> respect for me, and by following thru, he'll respect me a lot more in the future for doing the tough, right things.<p>Advice?

#980040 02/26/02 11:22 AM
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Dave,<p>I hope you know I ask this as your friend. You have stated your arguments so very logically but are you sure that the reason you want to get rid of the dogs is just not to get back at your W? Sorry, but that is what always comes across to me when you talk about the dogs. As your son's counselor is helping you with this problem, you are most likely doing the right thing. Sounds as if you have good steps to handle it.<p>I know your son isn't with you always but does he care for them at all, could that be made a condition of keeping them or the 1st one. <p>How is your son doing otherwise? Are ya'll starting baseball soon? However teenage yrs, beware! I have another 3 yrs before YS reaches that milestone. And for the most part OS is reaching a more even knell.<p>Enjoy your trips.<p>You sound as if you are doing so well. You are a success story.

#980041 02/26/02 11:29 AM
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hm...maybe this is a neutral enough topic replying is ok, and actually have a similar circumstance here....we have a cat, won't use the cat box, kids (15-23) claim hate us forever if we get rid of her in any way, yet won't clean up after her (mostly falls on w, who is soooooooo tired of this, on top of all our other travails).... so we do nothing, but is so unfair to w...anyways back to you<p>geez dave, your post has got it covered, the analysis pretty much airtight, done all the right stuff, your w is being very unfair, she should either shoulder some of the burden, or stand united with you in other dispositions, really sucks (for the record I wouldn't do that, all we ws are not the same).<p>Ultimately the default choice is clear, continue to keep the dogs and suffer the consequences, or remove the dogs and deal with the consequences. It was unclear, but have you really got down eyeball to eyeball with son and had him put himself in your shoes? (I know not easy, or even a gaurantee of seeing your side). If so, have you tried a negotiation with him, giving him more responsibility with the understanding if he finds it burdensome he reconsider finding a good home...like for example, when he is at moms, she brings him by to walk and play with the dogs daily? As well as the usual, spending time with them and doing doggy chores when he is with you. Our oldest child has reversed her position on the animals, having gotten part of the duty (there is an issue with a dog too as well)... if you continue emphasizing the alternative...finding a good home, might son not come to agree with that...and what about saying you will try to work it so he can visit whoever new owner is (and as one can predict, that will happen a couple times, as dog fades into memory in the natural way we do such things)...try to avoid at all costs being forceful and just accepting the bad guy role, that is must not fair..... but be firm, this is a family issue, son you and wife, and they are not pulling their weight, and this is just uneeded and unhealthy stress for you....good luck.

#980042 02/26/02 11:32 AM
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Hi, WAT,
Your son is, what, 13yo now? Plenty old enough to assume full care of the dogs!<p> So, if you are willing to compromise, put it to him like this: <p>"OK, Son, you want to keep the dogs, right? Well, then, since I don't have the time or inclination to continue taking full care of them, then you will have to assume ALL the responsibility if you want to keep them. That means that you will be responsible for making sure they have plenty of food and water. You will have to make sure they don't do their business inside the house, so that means that you MUST get up in time to walk them first thing every morning and you MUST come straight home from school to walk them in the afternoon, plus you will have to walk them before bedtime. When you are home and they are not crated, you will have to keep an eye on them so that they don't have accidents on the carpet. If they do have accidents, you will be expected to clean it up properly. It will also be your responsibility to arrange for their care for when you are at your mothers. I simply do not have the time or inclination to take care of them, so whether we keep the dogs or not depends on how well you take care of them. If you don't take care of them, we will find new homes for them....no IFs, ANDs, or BUTs!"<p>I appreciate your concern for your son's emotional well-being, but be aware that, even though he genuinely grieves for his brother and the absence of his mom from your home, he may milk your concern for all it's worth. This is just something that kids do. Our daughter played on the fact that due to the loss of her baby sisters, we especially treasured our remaining children and would go to great lengths to make them happy. This led to quite a number of problems with her behavior, but fortunately, we woke up and toughened up on our kids. They are grown up now, and we are immensely proud of the people they have become.<p>Regards,
LC

#980043 02/26/02 11:52 AM
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Worthatry~<p>What a terrible dilemma. [img]images/icons/frown.gif" border="0[/img] Your doggies are victims in all of this, too.<p>Hhhhmmmmmm......I can certainly understand your son's sense of loss if you get rid of the dogs. From my standpoint....and what little I know of your situation....it seems to me that the dogs are the only stability your son now has. They were there before his life started to change so drastically and they are a familiarity for him now. One was there before his brother's death (I'm terribly sorry to hear this, I didn't know you lost a son [img]images/icons/frown.gif" border="0[/img] , I cannot even imagine your loss), and also has been there through your wife moving out and the divorce proceedings.<p>How about striking a deal with your son? Give him a time frame to work with.......<p>"For the next month we will gauge your desire to keep the dogs. You will be responsible to taking them for walks, responsible for cleaning up any accidents on the floor, responsible for feeding them, and so on. Keeping the dogs is up to you and how much work you want to put into it." You can divide the responsibility inasmuch as you so choose. Say, you walk them in the morning and he walks them any other time they need to go out (unless he isn't there).<p>You never wanted the dogs, right? Or at least the last one. But, now they are there. It is not your son's fault they are there and neither is it the dogs fault they are there.<p>Why not ask your wife...."if I decide to pay the extra fee at your apartment, can the dogs come over when our <son> is there?" Can you afford the fee? I don't see this as doing something (so much) for the dogs or your wife as it is doing something for your son.<p>I sense resentment on your part about the dogs.....and rightfully so. Can you put it aside so that you can make a decision based on what is best for everyone involved....including the dogs? How long have the two dogs been together? Depending on the length of time, I think this would be traumatic for them to not only lose the family they have been with but also lose each other. It's a loss for them as well.<p>I say you put the ball in your son's court at this point. This is a great way to teach him responsibility for other living creatures. Maybe give him chores to earn money to help pay for their boarding while the two of you are on vacation.<p>If you can't provide a good environment (affection, nurture, meeting their basic needs for companionship) for the dogs, is there some way they could be adopted together so they will still have each other?<p>Just curious, what breed are your dogs?<p>selket

#980044 02/27/02 12:11 AM
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Worthatry - I am an animal lover, take care of most of the animals here. H is suppose to take care of the pet bird (Blue front amazon), if it wasn't for me she would of hung upside down in her cage and dropped to her death. He wants this bird so much, I offered to find a home for it, a good home, and he said no. But once again, he doesn't on a regular basis, take care of it, Make sure she has water and food, doesn't clean her cage, doesn't make sure she isn't somewhere destroying cable wires, doesn't clean the poopie paper under her cage door where she usually sits a lot, wires, guniea pig cages, she has chewed on windowsills, good furniture, etc. But the bird is here, and I feel sympathy for her as well as the rest of our animals. The bird actually like me a lot, and I like her.<p>If we live close by, you could bring the dogs here to stay, we have 2 1/2 acres to run, and I take the 4 dogs we have on regular runs in the fields and the woods, and down to the stream! I think your 2 dogs would love it [img]images/icons/smile.gif" border="0[/img] . <p>We have 2 cats, one cat doesn't use her potty box all the time for urine. I end up cleaning up the mess. She seems to sit in the box with her butt hanging out or something, cause she urinates just outside the box by the opening. We have 2 kitty boxes, one upstairs in the upstairs bathroom, and one downstairs in the laundry room. I clean the boxes, cause when we split up the chores, no one wanted to do it. So me being me, said I will do it.<p>Your son sounds like he is at a loss for family unity. Your wife evidently sees the OM quite often, hate to say this but might have him over as an overnight guest. Son sees you at home as the caretaker of what was once the unity of a family, and doesn't want that to change. Sure the dog probably represents his dear brother and the loss of his sibling. Since he is an only child now. Your son sounds like to me wants the old family back, wants to keep these dogs, hoping that mom and dad will be together. I recognize something in what you said in your post. A long time ago,I felt the pain of a friend of mine when I was a preteen, her parents were separating. Dad was staying in the house by me, and the mother was moving upnorth with the friends other sister. Cause they had a cottage up north, and I went to the cottage with my friend once. They had a collie dog, the mother didn't want the dog - taking care of the sister was already too much, so the dog was to stay down here with the father, since he had a big back yard, and the dog was already around 10yrs. old I think. His name was 'King'. Julie was my friends name, and her sister (can't remember her name). What happened here in her family before separation, was they (the girls) were at the front gate of our house. We lived on a paved road. Julie and I were talking at the gate and her sister (younger) was going across the road. Back and forth. The road was busy, a rural paved road, but busy. This was my day to make my holy communion. I remember her name now, Lucy. Her older sister told Lucy to stop going across the road and the younger sister wouldn't listen. Will Julie told Lucy she was going to go tell mom. Lucy, was on the other side, and started to run across the road, and a car hit her, I remember seeing this body fly up in the air, she had yellow blond hair and long and all I could see was this body with yellow flying. Of course after the sister went through surgery, rehab, etc. She was mentally impaired. This caused so much heartache in the family, and of course Julie felt responsible for the accident.<p>Things were not right in the family since the accident. I now recognize all the aspects of what was going on. Julie was hurting, cried to me a lot, and their dad was a genuinely nice guy. I remember he went bike riding with me and Julie. He fixed my bike once when it broke, cause my dad wasn't going to be home till later. <p>You have experienced a great loss in your family. I feel your wife is running away from being any where near the house where her son was. She doesn't want to take care of the family unity that she once remembered. There is too much pain for her, she feels bad for her son, but maybe she just can't handle anything like that right now. I would yes, find a good home for the dogs. They deserve to be taken care of and loved by someone who really wants them. Your son doesn't want to take care of the dogs, then have him help with the adoption process. Have you ever thought of moving out of that house? Maybe get something with a little back yard, that your son could come over and maybe the two of you could get a small dog, or cat, that would be your little family unit? Something to think about. Your son has lost the closet connection to him (his brother). Yes you two have lost someone you created out of love. This is so hard to read and try to visualize the pain you and your wife are experiencing, and the pain of your son. Good luck. Don't know what else to say.

#980045 02/27/02 12:31 AM
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Lady Clueless......<p>I have to disagree with you on the point that the son should assume ALL responsibility for the dogs. If Worthatry decides to keep the dogs, then he, himself, is also assuming some responsibility for the animals.<p>I think there should be a compromise and if WAT takes the tactic of....."Okay, you will have to make arrangements to have the dogs walked while you are at your mothers on the weekends....and even though I may be here and perfectly capable of walking them....it is YOUR responsibility to do so and I am not going to help you in any way"....it is only going to breed resentment on both of their parts and the dogs will end up the victims in all of this.<p>If a compromise is reached....I think it should be with WAT and his son both giving. WAT's son giving more energy to the responsibility of his pets and WAT also realizing that with the compromise that he will also have to give his energy to the pets. I think that rearranging the responsibility so that WAT's son assumes MORE of the responsibility AND with WAT realizing that if he does decide to keep the dogs that owning them will require giving from him as well is a good compromise. Just washing his hands of the dogs even though they are still in the house and absolving any responsibility towards them is unfair to his son and the dogs.<p>The question is.....does he want anything to do with the dogs at all? If not, does he want to risk the possible outcome (how it will affect his son)? And if so....just how much is he willing to give? <p>My parents got rid of one of my dogs (when I was about 13) and I still remember the hurt I felt and I still remember the injustice of it all. I didn't have a choice in the decision and I wasn't given a compromise or even a chance to compromise. I can remember how unfair I felt all of it was. <p>selket

#980046 02/27/02 12:45 AM
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Wat,<p> Just wanted to say that one of the worst times in my life as a kid was when an older brother gave me his dog when he moved away from home. A year later he came back and took the dog when I was at school. The dog then promptly got ran over and died.<p> I was crushed. I loved that dog. I have never forgiven him for that.<p> jd

#980047 02/26/02 02:17 PM
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Well Dave, even if your W was home, care for the dogs or eventually relocating then might have still been an issue and your son would still be going through this angry phase. The difference is that he might give a 'different threat'. <p>Howz about this? If your son does not want to give up the dogs but you need to, tell him to convince his mom to take the dog(s) for your son's sake. Let your son participate on reviewing the options. This will take you out of the 'bad guy' mode and put your W in the real position of being the one as to why this is even having to be considered at this point. Let your son know that you have given this enough time and now the onis is on him and his mom to use their options to make it work. <p>Really Dave, your son and W need to know that you can not make all happen if they are choosing not to cooperate. <p>By the way, i have 3 apple snails, 2 african frogs and 2 fan tail gold fish + 1 siamese cat. Are you interested?!?!? LOL! [img]images/icons/smile.gif" border="0[/img] <p>L.

#980048 02/26/02 05:37 PM
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Thanks all for the helpful and sincere suggestions/comments.<p>sing - Thanks for your honest observation that I might just be trying to "get back" at my W. If it appears that way to you, it may appear that way to her, I imagine, but that isn't the case. If it was, I'd have done it a long time ago because, as you know, I've been contemplating this for a long time. That said, I do have a very strong bias towards people taking responsibility for their actions, even if it's involuntarily forced upon them. Play the role, pay the toll. Otherwise, baseball starts soon, however, I'm not a head coach this time.<p>snl - about the eyeball-to-eyeball, yea I've tried and am still trying. Similar to reasoning with W, his wall goes up real quick. I, too, had thought of the visiting plan and will pursue this if the final owners are agreeable.<p>LC - yea, the milking machine may be fully actuated. Regardless, I've specified already the taking extra responsibility directions for providing care in hopes he'll understand how much is needed, but he may be just trying to demonstrate he's willing to do his part when he's here. I don't think it's reasonable to dictate he has to have his Mom or Taz (au pair) bring him over before school each morning to walk the dogs if he was with Mom for the night. But, the overall idea to require him to provide the needed care is sound.<p>selket - they're a mini wire haired dachsund and a shi tsu, both spayed females. Good thoughts and ideas. The stability thing is a valid point I hadn't thought of. I did think of calling her bluff and offering to pay for the extra rent, but this doesn't solve the fundamental problem that the dogs would still not have the environment they deserve. They'd still be crated all day and not have easy access to outside. But, I haven't totally discounted this compromise. Boarding dogs around here for vacations is very expensive and in the long run, probably more expensive than paying her extra rent. Somehow, I think she would still not go for this.
thinker - I'll bring them right over! [img]images/icons/smile.gif" border="0[/img] I do plan to sell this house, but not soon. I can't get anything near as nice for my current mortgage. I'm planning to stay until <son> goes off to college then realize my dream to buy a live-aboard boat.<p>jd - I won't forget your statement.<p>L - if my family was still together, yes, we'd still have some of the same problems, but we'd be working togther to solve them. We would probably have already moved and yard space, etc. would have been in the mix for choosing where we moved to. We could have easily afforded a fence and we'd probably be taking family trips to include the dogs some. I plan on working with his counselor to attempt exactly what you suggest to work together on a reasoned solution.<p>WAT

#980049 02/26/02 05:53 PM
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WAT,<p>There are really no good solutions when it comes to pets in this situation. But, I do have an alternative to part of the issue.<p>You mentioned that your yard is not fenced so the dogs really cannot be out. Have you considered an "electronic fence"? We have one and it works great. Our dog stays in the yard with no real problems. Just put the collar on him, string the wire and bury it and plug it in.<p>Even if that is a viable solution, I do think your son needs to take more responsibility for the dogs. So does your W. She can get her tush up and come take care of them as well especially when she has your son and you may be on travel or decide to do something else.<p>So consider the electronic fence as an option if you don't really want to fence the yard. Oh Yeah, your son gets to install it with you. [img]images/icons/smile.gif" border="0[/img] <p>Hope this helps.<p>God Bless,<p>JL

#980050 02/26/02 06:01 PM
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No one ever thinks about the pets being divorce victims until they become a hassle. My ex-ws chased me from the home to my mother's house and then tried to foist our three cats care onto me knowing full well I had no home and my mother had two cats of her own in a small apartment. I was able to save one but he had the other two put to sleep without telling me because precious OW was allergic to them and couldn't spend the night with them there. I really shouldn't have read this post, I'm crying at work, thank God I'm only person left in the office.<p>WAT-do what you have to. You sound like a compassionate man and if you can find your dogs a loving home that's what you should do. Your son will be angry initially but he'll come to understand and tell your WS that she has no right to have any input on this since she's done zero to help you.

#980051 02/26/02 10:32 PM
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WAT.....<p>Okay, you've twisted my arm.... I'll take her! I have a male mini-doxie (Cosmo) that is my Baby BOY (you would think I'm the one that whelped him, not that I look like a weenie dog, mind you) and I've been looking for a female. Doxies...gotta love 'em!!! Nothing like a little *weenie* curling up next to you in the bed at night! [img]images/icons/blush.gif" border="0[/img] (did I just say that?!?!?!) I don't know that much about shi tsu's. Once you have a weenie (doggie) you just can't go back. (my Goodness, what has gotten into me this evening??? [img]images/icons/grin.gif" border="0[/img] ) I've just fallen in love with the breed. <p>Okay, I know that still doesn't solve the problem you have......and you are right. If someone can't take them out at some point during the day, it's pretty sad for them to be locked up so much. You have to look at what is best for ALL of you....dogs included. I didn't know what your motives were for getting rid of them (IOW's, if you had accepted them in the past and now didn't want to deal with them). I have a better understanding now.<p>Please let me know what you decide about the adoption. I can promise you that I'm the person all the strays come to when they want to eat, drink and party! Heck, Chewie the Pug would even come to my house every day and knock on my door to come in and play with Cosmo. I'm in the SouthEast, just in case you live in this area and decide to adopt out your doxie....although I do hate to see the two of them (the dogs) seperated.<p>What does your son say to you other than he doesn't want you to get rid of them? Is he trying to bargain with you in any of this? Maybe you could explain the situation to him from the dogs point of view...."Do you think you would like it to be locked up all day and not be able to go pee when you need to? How about being locked up all day and getting lonely but not being able to get out of a cage?" Just explain it to him on a level he an understand. I hate to see him lose a childhood buddy (doggies)....but sometimes there just isn't any other way to handle things. Whatever you decide...don't leave him out of the process.<p>selket<p>[ February 26, 2002: Message edited by: selket ]</p>

#980052 02/27/02 12:05 AM
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It's me again. I've been thinking about Selket's disagreeing with me on your not taking care of the dogs while your son is with his mother.<p>My purpose in saying that was mainly based on the idea that if your son thought the dogs were going to be more trouble than he was willing to handle, he might agree to help find the dogs a new home.<p>So...maybe you could agree to take care of the dogs when he is staying with his mother IF he demonstrates responsibility for their care when he's at home.<p>How would that go over?

#980053 02/27/02 12:27 AM
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Hi WAT,<p>I can understand your dilemma...you want to keep your son happy, yet he needs to accept responsibility for his pets. But, it truly is the pets that are suffering here. May I suggest that you hire a petsitter to come and walk the dogs daily...perhaps you would be eligible for a discount since you have two dogs. You could encourage your son to tag along, if he is home, while the dogs are being walked and exercised, and he might be willing to take advice from a "pro" about how to properly care for his companions. Maybe the ex would go halves on the cost here since she does think separating the dogs and your son would be an emotional upset to him...and i do agree with that.<p>The other option is to adopt them out to another home. There are purebred rescue groups (check out the internet) that would gladly take them and find loving homes for them. But, they are different breeds, so they would most likely be separated. Whatever you do, don't send them to a local pound or rescue group that doesn't guarentee adoption. Otherwise, they may end up being euthanized. Just advice from a veterinary professional [img]images/icons/wink.gif" border="0[/img]

#980054 02/27/02 12:35 AM
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Hi again WAT,<p>I happen to personally know a wonderful rescue group that would be able to place both pets...possibly together...if that is the decision you come to with this. Their adoption rate is very good, and potential owners are thoroughly screened! One owner actually drove 13 hours to adopt her new friend from this group. I will leave you the email addy for them if you are interested...I know the terrific ladies well who manage this group...one of them is my mom! [img]images/icons/grin.gif" border="0[/img] <p>sandhillsanimals@yahoo.com

#980055 02/27/02 03:24 AM
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Hi Dave,
Sometimes we try to protect our kids from the inevitable and we simply cannot. One day, the doggies will die and he would have to deal with sadness regardless.<p>Maybe I'm hardnosed, but if you have to get rid of the dogs, you're the parent. Get rid of the dogs. There IS no other choice. If you keep the dogs, there will be more misery than if you get rid of the dogs while they are still healthy. Because you are tired of taking care of them...<p>Don't be afraid of your son's reaction. Maybe you could get him a lower-maintenance type of pet? A fish or something?<p>My son brought home a guinea pig a few years ago... Well, guess whose pet it is now????? Yep, you guessed it, it's mine all mine, I take care of it and it lives in my office and I pay for supplies and I clean up all its poop and pee and I feed it and hold it and ALL OF THE ABOVE. That's seemingly the way it usually goes with kids and "their" pets.<p>If you can't take good care of the dogs any more, then it's simply not the best situation for the dogs. Period. That's how I see it. There is nothing left to argue over. Regardless... BTW these are good words to use when they keep coming up with reasons to keep the doggies (regardless & nevertheless)...<p>Perhaps if you could get your son to disassociate the loss of his brother with the loss of the dog. Maybe that could help him deal with it better?

#980056 02/27/02 11:01 AM
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Dave,<p>Glad you understood what I meant about it sounds as if you are trying to "get back at your W". I didn't think you were, knowing the dog history but after hearing how she reacts to things I wouldn't count her not thinking the same or telling your son that this is why you are doing it.<p>I hope things work out for the best for you, son and the dogs. Your W, well the LB Fairie would still like to pay her a visit. [img]images/icons/grin.gif" border="0[/img] <p>Of course, if someone wanted to drop in & have a go at the STBX, that would be nice also.<p>OFF this topic, I had a chance to go back & read my posts of last yr. Thanks for being there. It is amazing what a difference a yr makes. I maybe poorer but I am more at peace & I think happier.

#980057 02/27/02 11:20 AM
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Hi, WAT~<p>One other thing that has me curious........the increase in your wife's rent.<p>Every apartment I've ever lived in requires a pet deposit and it's usually a one time fee. I've never heard of increasing the entire monthly rent because one owns a pet. Does your wife have her information correct?....That her rent will go up as opposed to a one time fee? Maybe she is just telling you that as an excuse?<p>I don't know how relevant the answer is, but she may be misinformed or confused about the financial aspect of letting the dogs come to her place.<p>selket

#980058 02/27/02 10:46 PM
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WAT,<p>Sorry I'm late. Haven't been on in awhile. Perhaps you've tried this already, but can the counsellor incorporate discussion about the dogs and your desire to give them a good home, into talks with your son?<p>I know the background, so I understand your dilemma, and don't have any earth shattering advice. But perhaps your son can take more responsibility with caring for them if he wants them to stay.<p>I would think he'll get over them leaving, but I can only imagine how it makes you feel to be pressured into keeping them based on what you are being told.<p>I think you'll make the sound and logical decision on what to do, not that that helps you at all. Good luck.

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