Home Forums Welcome Hello! Can a pet be 'clutter' in your life?

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    • #158357
      Loren
      Member

      We took in a dog as a favor because my friend couldn’t take care of him anymore. He is a sweet mostly well behaved dog. And I have enough time, money and space to take care of him, I’m glad we could be of help out a friend. But it looks like it going to be a permanent situation.
      He had some separation anxiety issues at first. So every time I left the house I was worried about what he is going to manage to destroy THIS time. But even as he’s gotten better about not eating my shoes when I’m away, I still find myself resenting my dog. Which makes me think he can’t have the best quality of life if I don’t ‘love’ him. My canine owning friends say that ‘picking up after my dog never feels like a chore’. But picking up after MY dog ALWAYS feels like a chore. He doesn’t seem to be bringing as much joy to my life as just irritation.
      It’s been almost four months and I feel the same. Is it time to consider ‘uncluttering’ him to a new home or is there something else I can do to learn to live with my dog.

    • #162610
      HappyDogs
      Member

      Can a pet be 'clutter' in your life?

      I would either begin working with a trainer immediately, or find a new home for the dog. A dog, like a child, or a new partner, will force you to make some adjustments in your life. It sounds like you are not ready for such adjustments. That’s too bad, but sometimes it just isn’t the right fit.

      I feel that when my dogs destroy something, they are talking to me. As the supposedly smarter one, it’s up to me to figure out what they are saying. But then, I’d rather have a dog than a husband — oh that’s right, I already uncluttered my life by rehoming HIM. πŸ˜‰

    • #162611
      narceo
      Member

      Can a pet be 'clutter' in your life?

      A pet can be clutter if it’s causing you stress and it feels like a chore to take care of him. For me, my pets are like children that I can’t live without. And sometimes taking care of them tires me out, but they don’t contribute to the stress in my life – they are more of a stress-reliever and great companions. If you feel your dog is causing stress, then it may be best for you and the dog if he is found another home, preferably with someone who can be home more often than not (to work on his separation anxiety).

    • #162617
      Abeline
      Member

      Can a pet be 'clutter' in your life?

      You mention that he destroys things while you’re away–are you not crating him? That can help a lot with anxiety. Dogs are den animals and a small cozy space comforts them.

    • #162624
      nellieb
      Member

      Can a pet be 'clutter' in your life?

      LMYBO, Happy Dogs! Love the way you unclutter!

      If your dog is causing too much stress, find another, loving home.

      My dog (my ex and I have co-custody of him) has been on doggie downers twice a day for 10 years. Otherwise, he destroys doors…and I kid you not, nothing is left but splinters! He was a rescue and has a major issue of separate anxiety.

      When he is with me, it’s 24/7, he goes everywhere with me! I have a wonderful vet clinic where I can day board him for $5 (if you live in Houston, Tx, check out Voss Animal Road Clinic) and everyone there loves him. He gets so much attention that he no longer minds spending his days at the vet!

      Loren, I admire you for begin honest about your feelings and for taking in this dog in the first place.

      If he is a purebred, you can contact your local or state dog rescue group. They often have volunteers who will take in dogs while looking for a permanent home in which to place the animal.

      Good luck and keep us posted!

    • #162625
      nellieb
      Member

      Can a pet be 'clutter' in your life?

      Oh, I forgot to mention…if you live near Cape Cod, MA, my mother is always willing to give a dog a home. I think she is down to 5 of them now and one cat, or maybe it’s 4. She usually has 6 or 7, is 80 years old, and I am positive the animals keep her in good health and busy!

    • #162634
      Vivace
      Member

      Can a pet be 'clutter' in your life?

      “I still find myself resenting my dog.”

      No, you find yourself resenting your friend’s dog that ended up with you. There’s a difference.

      It sounds like there’s a real chance that the dog would be happier in another home. Only you can really decide that, though.

    • #162641
      Nina
      Member

      Can a pet be 'clutter' in your life?

      As a lot of other posts on this forum show, things given to us by other people often end up to be clutter because they are not things we chose for US, but things THEY chose for use.
      It seems to me as if you never really wanted to have a dog and now you have one (as a favor to a friend) and that is not a good enought reason to have a pet. If you chose to have a pet I’m pretty sure you wouldnt see him as ‘clutter’. He is a living thing that deserves a loving home just like you deserve not to have to take care of an animal you didnt choose to have. Training might help the situation but from the way you are describing things it might be better to find him a new home.

    • #162643

      Can a pet be 'clutter' in your life?

      I’m inclined to agree with Vivace.

      Owning a pet is a considerable commitment. I feel that a lot of people underestimate how much pets demand from their owners. Pets require money, time and a lot of patience (though some are easier to handle than others). In any case, if you are living with a pet you did not choose, you may not have resentment towards the dog as much as being turned off by being tasked with the responsibility of an animal that has some very specific demands. I imagine this would be a different scenario had you picked the dog for yourself and made an active choice of caring for it in your own home, under your own care. This might explain why the people you talked to don’t consider their pets to be clutter, since any work they are doing in maintainance of the pet is compensated for by the calm feeling of caring for a creature they love.

    • #162644
      HelofaMess
      Member

      Can a pet be 'clutter' in your life?

      Yes a pet can be clutter. I have a dog that chews any paper, books or shoes left at a a reachable level (ie the sofa for paper or books and the floor for shoes) when we leave the house for long periods of time. I don’t actually blame her as I think she is talking to me as someone else said. I do also think it’s my fault for not tidying up after myself.

      We don’t crate but she has a small space that only she can climb into.

      I do think re home her if she’s unhappy but confirm with your friend that he wont be able to take the dog back first.

    • #162658
      Loren
      Member

      Can a pet be 'clutter' in your life?

      Thanks everyone. I feel a lot less guilty about looking for a new home for him now, I really try to take good care of him it’s just not a good fit for us. We were thinking of getting a dog when we took him in but he does cause me more stress than comfort I just thought maybe I was doing something ‘wrong’.
      We’ve tried crating him; if we are in the apartment he will sit quietly in the crate until we let him out. But, when we leave he either escapes (we’ve really no idea how the door will be shut and latched and he will be running around the house) or chews on the bars of his crate until he bends them out of shape even though there are a few chew toys in the crate. I’ve read that some dogs with separation anxiety can get worse in crates and I think he might be one of those… He has actually gotten much better about destroying things when we leave, I read some dog books and tried the things they suggested (hiding treats around the house, buying a Kong to fill with food in the morning, using a ‘cue word’ when we leave so he knows we’ll be back, making him heel on walks so he knows we are the ‘alpha’ pack members). I have been making an effort but training is still something of an issue, but he’s house broken, listens to most basic commands, and when we are home he is generally pretty good, and he is only left alone for an average of 5 hours a day. So I expected some of my resentment to go away when he stopped destroying things, but it hasn’t, that’s when I really started to worry.
      Thanks for the info about rescues, he is a boxer/dachshund/terrier mix, and we live in Kentucky so most of this info is incidental. But I’ve started actively asking my friends to help me find him a new home. If he doesn’t get re-homed in a few weeks I know some people who are involved in good animal rescue organizations that can help me locally.

    • #162666
      Gypsie
      Member

      Can a pet be 'clutter' in your life?

      You can also try freecycle to find him a new home. Sometimes, a little advertising is all it takes to find a new home.

    • #162685
      opadit
      Member

      Can a pet be 'clutter' in your life?

      Oh, absolutely, pets can be clutter. Even if the pet is yours and you obtained it on purpose!

      When my ex and I split, I “got custody” of the two cats because he’s allergic. (While he was OK with taking meds and vacuuming frequently when we were together, it just made more sense for me to take the cats when I left.) Now, 6 years later, one of the cats has since died — and, frankly, I’m just marking time until the other one goes, too.

      The cats were a lifestyle choice that made sense for me (us) when we got them. But now I’m a single adult running my household with no help, and cat care gets on my nerves. At least children learn how to clean up after themselves, and you can take them on vacation with you!

      All this to say, I hope you don’t feel guilty that you resent the presence of the dog in your life. Your feelings are your feelings. You made an error in judgment when you said “yes” to taking the dog, that’s all. Getting an unwanted pet out of your life is more problematic than cleaning up a cluttered basement — there’s no 1-800-GOT-UNWANTED-PETS — but yes, it’s de-cluttering and in a lot of ways it’s the same thing.

    • #162756
      angelicious
      Member

      Can a pet be 'clutter' in your life?

      Please do not feel bad! Some people are “dog people,” some people are not. I have a dog that I like a lot (a beagle) and two cats that I adore. I will happily clean up after the cats, even if I’m a bit irritated that my 16yo Liv is barfing *again.* When the beagle makes a mess, I find myself muttering under my breath. I am not a dog person, but the rest of my family is… so I just deal with it. If I didn’t have them, I wouldn’t have a dog.

      If the pooch isn’t fitting into your family, and you find yourself resenting her, a new home might be the best choice for both of you. I was foster-mom to my friend’s dog while they had a remodel (an unplanned remodel – pipe freeze destroyed a good portion of their house) and, while I loved the sweet little pooch, she wasn’t mine and I didn’t have that connection. It was a relief when they took her back. So good on you for being a pooch foster mom; when she finds the right home, she’ll have been treated well and will (believe it or not, our canine friends are very sensitive!) appreciate it.

      (BTW, I offer zero apologies for not being a dog person. I live in dog lover central – Portland OR – where everyone has a dog and even takes them into grocery stores. I just grew up with cats and like them better. Doesn’t mean I’m a lesser person or dog lover is a better person, or vice-versa. It just means different strokes for different folks! πŸ™‚

    • #163459
      terriok
      Member

      Can a pet be 'clutter' in your life?

      No one will love you as much as your critter does.

    • #163470
      HappyDogs
      Member

      Can a pet be 'clutter' in your life?

      The sad truth is, there are only so many homes who can take an unwanted dog. In this economy, well-loved dogs are being dropped off at shelters everywhere. Sometimes, an adequate home is the better alternative, when the only other alternative is death.

      Sorry to be such a downer, but this is the hard truth.

      — the dog trainer

    • #163489
      nellieb
      Member

      Can a pet be 'clutter' in your life?

      Hi, Loren,

      As an avid animal lover and rescuer (I never meant to end up with 8 cats, 4 of which arrived in less than one year, LOL!), I am adding my two cents worth!

      There are rescue groups who will help you even if you are out of state. The Internet is full of animal rescue groups and many will respond with even more suggestions than you have received so far from this forum.

      I also agree about calling your local SPCA, not to take the dog there as they often put animals to sleep (a polite way to put it) when they are not adopted quickly.

      Best Friends Animal Society in Utah is a wonderful organization that does not euthenize animals. http://www.bestfriends.org They often have community ties and I would start by contacting them for help. Another group to contact is Fetch Pet Care. They are a franchise that provides pet sitting and care. See if there is a franchisee in your area as they may know of a family who would be willing to give a good home to your dog. The one near me will rescue and foster until she can place the animal in a good home.

      In Kentucky, you can find a list of “no kill” shelters at: http://www.nokillnetwork.org/d/Kentucky.

      Here’s another Kentucky resource where they foster the animals (or ask you to) until the animal is placed (and they are a no kill group, too): Pet Lovers United, Inc.
      PO Box 1701
      madisonville, Kentucky 42431
      Phone: 270-825-4267
      Email: [email protected]
      Website: http://www.petfinder.org/shelters/KY97.html

      And since I do not know where in Kentucky you are, here’s another resource for you:

      http://shelbycohumanesociety.com/

      The Shelby County Humane Society is a non-profit, no-kill shelter located in Shelbyville, Kentucky. “No-kill” means animals stay with us or in foster homes until they are adopted. No animal is euthanized unless it is medically necessary

      Please consider the downside of placing an advertisement, particularly in free listing services. Unfortunately, there are people who scour ads for animals to be used in laboratory experiments or who plan to do harm to them.

      Best of luck to you!

    • #163606
      Gil
      Member

      Can a pet be 'clutter' in your life?

      Nope..I never consider my pets ‘clutter’ and frankly, they are a treasured extension of our familiy. I will NEVER give them away and the only thing that will separate us is death.

      I do respect those who aren’t pet people and we are all different in that regard.

    • #165899
      Patch
      Member

      Can a pet be 'clutter' in your life?

      First off, I 2nd the recommendation of “Best Friends.” I’ve been to the Utah sanctuary in person, even donated a carload of stuff, leftover from when my dog was alive — I think, no, I know that she would approve. Anyway, Best Friends carefully screens and follows-up on the animals that they place in “forever homes”; those they can’t place stay there as long as needed, even for the rest of the animal’s natural life. There may even be a BF affiliate near you: http://network.bestfriends.org/GoLocal/Default.aspx

      Secondly, my third cat (shhhh, according to my landlord I only have two) I got from a person I was supposedly doing a favor for by taking. The cat is 5 years younger, bigger, and more aggressive than my other two so at first I sort of regretted having taken him in. But in the five years since I have had him, he’s settled down quite a bit and all three manage to co-exist without bloodshed, which I consider a success.

      And when I thought about it, the persons whom I got this 3rd cat from are thankfully long gone from my life, but the three cats and my purse (and myself) are the only things in my home that I could not easily replace or live without, so win/win for me. πŸ™‚

      My only problem now is how to be a minimalist with three cats…is it possible? Not to hijack your thread, but I’d appreciate any follow-up leads/links anyone.

    • #165901
      terriok
      Member

      Can a pet be 'clutter' in your life?

      Animals are precious.

    • #165904
      djk
      Member

      Can a pet be 'clutter' in your life?

      my green-eyed monster, who mocks the meat she feeds on, (with apologies to Othello) is a queen in this house and will be until the sad day she dies. She will never be clutter. Her shedding, and litter box, on the other hand, is not so loved. But she? adored and petted unapologetically.

    • #165905
      chacha1
      Member

      Can a pet be 'clutter' in your life?

      My cats are decor, not clutter. πŸ™‚ But then, they were both very much wanted. I like dogs, but if I had to take one in, in our current living situation, I would feel imposed-upon no matter how much I cared for the person who needed help. Is there any update from Loren?

    • #165906
      JuliaJayne
      Member

      Can a pet be 'clutter' in your life?

      You can minimize the animal clutter by getting rid of old collars, expired tags, toys they don’t play with.

      If you have the space, those plastic storage drawers are great for sorting supplies.
      Grooming in one, toys in another, etc. The food dish can be washed and put away, but the water has to stay out. A simple yet stylish water dish on a tray can look good.
      The litter box – I struggled with this when I had cats. I too had 3 at one time. There furniture that you can buy to hid the box, but that doesn’t solve the problem of where to put it.

    • #165917
      Kamakazi
      Member

      Can a pet be 'clutter' in your life?

      We had a pet at one time then decided to get rid of it for a variety of reasons. We actually found a friend who wanted it in a few months when she moved, so we just held onto it until then and then gave her most of the stuff that went along with the pet, the stuff she didn’t want we either threw away or put on a Craigslist. I realize that this most definitely doesn’t work for everybody, I guess we just got lucky.

    • #165921
      bandicoot
      Member

      Can a pet be 'clutter' in your life?

      we’ve got six cats. and room for more.
      we joke about being cat hoarders all the time.
      we love our cats…they aren’t clutter, they are family!

    • #165924
      ceduke
      Member

      Can a pet be 'clutter' in your life?

      I have seven pets (a dog, two cats, four snakes) and plans to add another dog and a few more scalies once we’re moved. They’re my friends and family, not clutter!

    • #165927
      ArtGal
      Member

      Can a pet be 'clutter' in your life?

      I think animals can sense what you are feeling about them and this probably escalates the bad behavior while you are away…you shouldn’t feel wrong in finding this dog a new home…you will both be better off and rid of the tension between you πŸ™‚

    • #166531
      lucy1965
      Member

      Can a pet be 'clutter' in your life?

      We have three cats and adopted all of them before we had confirmation of how allergic DH is (note to the group: when someone you love is undergoing allergy testing, the correct response to a noticeable reaction is NOT “Oh, wow, dude, this lump is the size of a quarter!” He’s forgiven me for it. *grin*); while he’s two years into an immunotherapy program, we’ve decided that we won’t adopt any more cats after these three die, but will donate the amount we pay in annual vet bills to a local group affiliated with Best Friends.

      It’s been a hard decision to come to: we love the furry little lumps, and he’s getting these injections — sometimes twice a week! — because he refuses to give them up. But compromising his health (he’s also asthmatic) isn’t an effective way to help assure that every companion animal has a loving home. πŸ™

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