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My wife wants to get rid of the dog against my will...
Old 10-16-2008, 11:10 PM   #1
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My wife wants to get rid of the dog against my will...

So the other day, somewhat out of the blue,my wife tells me she found a perfect home for our dog.

Me: "What"

Her: "I'm sick and tired of cleaning up her hair, washing her after she rolls in poo,the flea fights, the irritable skin, etc etc. I CANT take it any more. I know it makes me horrible, but she needs a better family. One that walks her often, plays with her daily, brushes her regularly,etc"


We do neglect our dog somewhat. She's a 4.5 yr old sheppard mix. She gets out to run around maybe 3/week with the kids. She isn't 'walked' but once every 3 months or so. We do hook her to a run every week or so. She is not brushed regularly (thus the influx of hair), she gets yelled at a lot for stuff around the house....trivial things....mainly our irrational responses to normal dog behavior. But the consensus is that we truly do love her and she's a good, well mannered dog.

But my WIFE, on the other hand...she's the problem. Shehas a mild case of self-diagnosed OCD. She vacuums 4-5 times/day due to dog hair alone. She wont let the dog on certain rugs the kids play on. She rarely even touches her. The wife and I have seen her 'problem' get worse over the last year. I feel its a self-fulfilling prophecy...if she didnt always say that she was OCD, it wouldnt become so evident in her behavior.

Anyway, she is fed up with the dog's lack of cleanliness...and it shows in her attitude. She is getting harder to deal with and she realizes it. So the main REASON she wants to get rid of the dog is the cleanliness. Her secondary argument is that someone else could offer a better and more active life for the dog.

I feel that getting rid of the dog is the LAST option.... AFTER we take the proper steps to fix our end of the deal...more walks, more exercise, more attention, more brushing. But I KNOW, deep down, that 2,3, maybe 6 months down the road we will be slacking again. EVEN SO, who's to say she'll be better off with the next guy? We can screen all we want, but 6 months down the road when he's working 80 hrs/week and cant spend time with her (the dog) ,she's in the same boat.

We have discussed and discussed for hours about this, and she is ADAMANT about getting rid of the dog...even had a guy come over today to see her!!!! I think she may actually get rid of or dog while I'm gone...she's that fed up. No need to mention my reaction toward her in that situation :-(


I dont know how to get thru to her. she acknowledges that this dog is part of the family, is a great security guard, awesome with the kids, well mannered etc. It boils down to the dog hair, really. The lack of attention is just her 'backup argument'. I think she needs to seek help for this self proclaimed OCD...she knows it's an issue, but wont see anyone.


Any advice on how to break thru? This is becoming a barrier in OUR relationship. I'm tempted to give in because I care more for her than the dog, BUT that dog is so sentimental to me I CANT.
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Old 10-16-2008, 11:54 PM   #2
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If you are the one who really wants to keep the dog, why is your wife the one who has to clean up after it?

If your wife's symptoms are pretty mild she might get some relief using one of the self-help books for people with OCD. But really it would probably be better if she would at least talk to her doctor about it and make sure her self-diagnosis is correct before trying anything along those lines.
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Old 10-16-2008, 11:58 PM   #3
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Try this simple test:
Lock your wife and your dog in the trunk of your car for an hour.
When you open it, which one is happy to see you?
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Old 10-17-2008, 12:16 AM   #4
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I feel that getting rid of the dog is the LAST option....
Certainly for me, getting rid of the dog(s) would be the last option - not surprisingly, I am divorced (with dogs).

Perhaps a maid would be cheaper than 2 divorce lawyers or the anguish of giving up the dog.
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Old 10-17-2008, 12:21 AM   #5
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Sounds like you need to get your wife under control. Get rid of the dog, seesh.

Seriously though, i know where your coming from. My wife has some OCD issues and absolutely "hates" our dogs. She voices her opinion of that fact constantly. She also gates up many areas of the house to keep them confined as we move throughout the house so that they can't get where she doesn't want them to go. Its sad really.

If she ever mentioned getting rid of them though, it'd be over.
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Old 10-17-2008, 12:36 AM   #6
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Your wife needs some real help.

The dog stays and should be cared for properly by you and the children.

A member of the family is just that. What message would getting rid of a family pet send your children? When you get old or make a mess where do you get sent? When she gets old or makes a mess where do the kids get rid of her?
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Old 10-17-2008, 12:36 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by CybrMike View Post
Sounds like you need to get your wife under control. Get rid of the dog, seesh.

Seriously though, i know where your coming from. My wife has some OCD issues and absolutely "hates" our dogs. She voices her opinion of that fact constantly. She also gates up many areas of the house to keep them confined as we move throughout the house so that they can't get where she doesn't want them to go. Its sad really.

If she ever mentioned getting rid of them though, it'd be over.

ooooh, there's gates......
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Old 10-17-2008, 12:46 AM   #8
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Wow...tough situation. I don't think I could ever get rid of our dog and give it to a complete stranger.I feel sorry for your kids when they realize that mommy got rid of the dog...seriously. Kids have great memories... BTW, why get a dog if you know you don't have time to give it the attention it deserves? Our dog gets walked EVERY day for at least 45 min. (sun, rain, snow, blizzards, etc). It's the least they deserve for the unconditional love they show.
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Old 10-17-2008, 01:33 AM   #9
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This should be a good thread. The Fed you have some unique threads
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Old 10-17-2008, 02:38 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by thefed View Post

Any advice on how to break thru?
Get rid of the dog

Or better yet, I'll send you my DW's dog as a companion.
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Old 10-17-2008, 03:34 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by thefed View Post
Her: "I'm sick and tired of cleaning up her hair, washing her after she rolls in poo,the flea fights, the irritable skin, etc etc. I CANT take it any more. I know it makes me horrible, but she needs a better family. One that walks her often, plays with her daily, brushes her regularly,etc"


We do neglect our dog somewhat. She's a 4.5 yr old sheppard mix. She gets out to run around maybe 3/week with the kids. She isn't 'walked' but once every 3 months or so. We do hook her to a run every week or so. She is not brushed regularly (thus the influx of hair), she gets yelled at a lot for stuff around the house....trivial things....mainly our irrational responses to normal dog behavior. But the consensus is that we truly do love her and she's a good, well mannered dog.

Anyway, she is fed up with the dog's lack of cleanliness...and it shows in her attitude. She is getting harder to deal with and she realizes it. So the main REASON she wants to get rid of the dog is the cleanliness. Her secondary argument is that someone else could offer a better and more active life for the dog.



Any advice on how to break thru?

Seems to me that this is your dog and your wife is doing all the work, from your description you do nothing, no walks,no grooming,no cleaning up,if you want to keep that dog i'd suggest getting off your butt and start taking a bit of responsibility as a pet owner or i'd agree with your wife and get the dog to a more active home.
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Old 10-17-2008, 04:58 AM   #12
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Fed, seems you and your DW fight about a lot of things...If I fought with my DW as much as you fight with yours, it woudn't be the dog sleeping in the doghouse. Just saying...

BTW, ever consider keeping the dog outside instead of inside? We ended up doing that some time ago with our dog (had to give him up to a good home when we moved to asia). He slept in a nice bed in the garage at night, and was outside most days. He stayed in the house in bad weather though. Just a thought.

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Old 10-17-2008, 07:17 AM   #13
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To answer some questions: yes, it was originally my dog. yes, i need to spend more time with her, but i w*rk 70 hrs a week at times and put my kids #1 on the list when i get home, followed by eating, showering, wife, paperwork, then the dog. unfortunately that's the way it is right now. the wife is home all day with the dog...she doesnt work int he traditional sense of the word.

i plan on taking a more active approach, unfortunately it had to come to this to realize i was slacking

wife suggested we make her an outside dog, but that to me is even worse than her situation now...not cool.

connie: that is my exact argument with her! It's not what our family is about. quitting because of our own faults in unacceptable and not a tendency i want to pass on to the kids. we need to be sure we're doing everything in our power first before considering other option



thanks for the input, keep it comin'! I'm sure ive got a good one coming from one of you crazy dog people out there....and i deserve it
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Old 10-17-2008, 07:23 AM   #14
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I think I saw some pictures of your dog here on the forum some months back.

Good luck , I think I remember her being a cool looking dog.

Yes part of the family, OCD, Again good luck with that.
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Old 10-17-2008, 08:00 AM   #15
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Have you tried restricting the dog to outside, or one or two rooms in the home?

Have you discussed this with the kids?

Is the dog well trained? If not train it! Nothing you can do about hair, but rolling in poo can be broken.

To me taking on a dog is like having children. You don't get rid of your kids just because they don't brush their teeth. If the dog has a mean streak, bites and such there is a reason to find another home. However, dogs shed, and kids are messy, it is something you take on when you decide to have either. Getting rid of the dog is not fair to either. You have another 9 years or so to go. All that being said, I would not pick a dog over a family, but if it were my wife, it would be a sacrifice she would never be allowed to forget!
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Old 10-17-2008, 08:41 AM   #16
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Get rid of the wife.
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Old 10-17-2008, 08:42 AM   #17
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If you are the one who really wants to keep the dog, why is your wife the one who has to clean up after it?
Exactly - - and I would venture a guess that this question has come up many times before in TheFed's household. This is just so unfair to his wife, IMO, and hopefully he is deeply grateful to her for putting up with the situation for 4.5 years before finally being pushed to this point.

My suggestions are to get rid of the dog, and get rid of the "poor me" thoughts that you are having right now! Just let it go. Either that, or get a divorce.

Bear in mind that I myself am divorced! I don't have a pet because (as much as I love animals) I don't have the time at this point in my life to really care for or spend time with a pet. To me, the responsible thing is to wait until ER when I do have the time to give an animal love, attention, and care. So maybe I am not as understanding as others about your attitude, but it is not meant personally! It is just a reflection of my own situation and decisions.
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Old 10-17-2008, 08:46 AM   #18
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This is a difficult situation. Perhaps you should consider a family meeting to discuss the dog. After all, having a pet should be a family decision and everyone should take repsonsibility for the pet's care. I don't know how old your kids are, but even if they are very young, they can help with grooming, feeding, and playing with the dog. One other tip - if you really want to tug at your wife's heartstrings, rent the movie My Dog Skip. A real tear jerker of a flick which focuses on how great dogs are for kids.
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Old 10-17-2008, 09:09 AM   #19
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Whatever you do, I am against having the dog be an outside dog. Dogs are social animals. They need to be with the pack. Better to give it another home.
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Old 10-17-2008, 09:16 AM   #20
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I do not think that you or your wife want to instill in your children the idea that pets are disposable. Rather you would want them to understand that being responsible for another being (this would include animals and children of their own one day) are an enormous commitment worthy of serious contemplation prior to actually owning/having them.

You should outline the specific duties associated with pet ownership and share them out within the household. The kids are certainly old enough to make sure doggie has water in her bowl (even if they can't fill it) and food twice a day. If they are bigger, they can take her on short walks (even just around the back yard). Little girls usually love to brush dogs and dress them up in baby clothes. A grooming appointment a couple of times a month would also improve the dog hair situation as well.

The OCD is another problem, for which the focus on the dog hair is merely a symptom. She needs treatment. And you both need couple therapy to talk through your problems and communicate better. But you knew that already.

I would not consider a relationship with someone who put housekeeping above the love and companionship of animals. Those sad, sterile houses hold no joy or interest for me.
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