Feeling sad about a dog and don't know why.

quasifish

I'm feeling really blue today and am not sure exactly why.


Yesterday when I was watering some plants in the front yard, I noticed a little dog sitting under a neighbor's tree. She looked very content and I remembered seeing her there, in that same place, about 8 months ago- she sat there for an hour or so (back then) and then left.


Yesterday she was there for a little longer, and at one point wandered over to our yard. I called her up to our entry way and she seemed a little uncertain, but sat on command and then rolled to show her belly. She wasn't clean, but not dirty either. Looked to have probably had a haircut not too long back. Teeth that I could see looked in nice shape, claws clipped, she was slender, but looked to have been having regular meals- her tummy looked good. She struck me as being someone's cared for pet though she wasn't wearing a collar.


I went to find a makeshift leash (haven't had a dog in 12 years) to figure out what to do with her, but in the few minutes I was gone, she went right back over to that tree and plunked herself down. Since she had been there in the past, and wasn't going near the street, I decided to leave her be since she seemed like she knew what she was doing.


Our neighbor came home (we have an awkward relationship with this neighbor, so don't interact much). They are dog people. I could see that they put the dog on a leash and one of their teen kids was playing with it. I don't know where the story goes from there. They may know who it belonged to and contacted them, or there's a possibility that they took her to the shelter- our local laws encourage (require?) that strays be turned over to animal control for a better chance at being reunited with family. She was so cute and sweet that even if she doesn't find her family, she will undoubtedly find a home.


Ever since interacting with her though, I keep getting really teary and feeling depressed and I don't know why. I think part of me really, really wants another dog- one like her, even though our dogs in the past have always been big dogs (I'm fighting myself watching the shelter site to see if she turns up there for adoption in a few days). Right now our lifestyle is more conducive to cats than to dogs- we are busy, have a lot of messes around the house (physically and psychologically), a cat who would not be happy, a yard that would need a little work to make more secure, etc. But I can't stop thinking about this dog and feeling really depressed. Why on earth am I feeling this way? And what do I do about it?


Thanks for listening. There's no one around here for me to talk to who understands and I know a lot of you are dog people and might understand.



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pudgeder

You have a big heart!

If you think they took her to a shelter, call the shelter.

If you want to know for sure, ask your neighbor.


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murraysmom Zone 6a OH

I'm sorry you are feeling down about this. It does sound like you are missing having a dog around. But I think you realize that maybe a dog is not right for you now. They do require so much from us. Besides love, they need exercise and lots of time from you.

When you were telling the story of the little dog, I wondered if maybe that dog had lived at that house at one time and was returning? But if it looked well cared for, it must have a home somewhere. You may never find out what the full story is.

As to what to do about it? That I don't have any real answer for. Do you have any other dogs in your life? Belonging to family or friends? Maybe spend some time with them? I would say to visit the shelter but you may end up taking one home! :) Only you can answer the question. Good luck and I hope you find the peace you are searching for.

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ldstarr

I understand. Your heart recognized something special in this little dog and you're mourning her, though she's not yours. You say you have an "awkward" relationship with this neighbor. Perhaps a gentle inquiry along the lines of "I've seen the little dog sitting by your tree before. Do you know to whom she belongs? If it happens again, I'd like to be able to return her to her family." She may actually belong to them and be getting loose from her containment or she may belong to a nearby family that they know. It is in her best interest for you to learn her status, in case she appears again. Meanwhile, your head is telling you the right answers, just give your heart a day or two to mourn the dog that you shouldn't have.

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ritaweeda

Is it possible that they have visitors and it belongs to them? Since you say your relationship with the neighbors is "awkward" I assume that you don't know much about their private business? In the meantime, check with the shelters - if nothing there ask the neighbor about the dog, if they come up with a sensible answer at least you'll know what the deal is if you ever see the dog there again.

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blfenton

It could also be that as you mourn not having a dog any longer, you realize that there may be a family missing this very sweet and adorable puppy. I do hope that the neighbours know who the dog belongs to.

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DawnInCal

It's possibly a combination of things - missing the dog(s) you no longer have, missing having a dog in general, wondering/worrying about what happened to this particular dog and wishing you could have done more.

Your brain realizes that this isn't a good time in your life for a dog, but your heart is telling you otherwise. Perhaps, once this feeling about the little dog passes, you might consider volunteering at an animal shelter. It's a good way to interact with dogs and do something worthwhile without actually making the commitment to owning one. Best of luck to you; I hope you feel better soon.

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quasifish

Thanks for the thoughts thus far.

We've been here for 20 years, so I know she never lived at that house. I suspect she lives either a couple houses up (with people who know the immediate neighbors), or on the next block over where there are a couple of families whose small dogs are often loose- in thinking about it, I may have seen her over there on the way back from DD's school a few months ago. The place where she sits by the tree is in line of sight with both locations. The other houses don't have the lush landscaping and shade that our neighbor's house does, so it makes sense she would pick a spot like that to relax.

The neighbors don't/won't communicate much with people they don't know (people from their church, but not much interest getting to know other neighbors), but they still seem reasonable enough from our past contact that I feel like they would do the right thing by the dog. There's probably not much point in trying to ask at this point. Might be a different story if she shows up again.

I don't think our lifestyle right now would be a good place to add a dog. Maybe that is why the grief hit so hard. I haven't felt this crummy since Dad died almost 2 years ago- I don't know what this opened up and why. When our dog died 12 years ago I often said that I didn't miss having a dog, I missed her. That dog yesterday maybe reminded me that I miss having a dog more than I miss her now?

Thanks again everybody for taking the time to help me organize my head a little better.

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marilyn_c

Personally, I would ask the neighbor about her. If she did go to the shelter, and you would like to have her....go get her, or at least speak for her, in case they are holding her to see if she will be claimed. It may be a lot different here than where you live, but here, there is no guarantee that a dog that isn't claimed won't be put down. This is puppy season and the shelters are over run with puppies. And generally speaking, whether good or bad...people seem to prefer to adopt puppies. Myself, I prefer older dogs.

Just yesterday, I was coming back from feeding cats....that's another story....and when I turned off the highway onto the road that my road is off of, I saw a little terrier mix dog, running down the road. Very few people live back here and I didn't recognize him. I got out and called him but he never slowed down. I believe someone dumped him out. This is a common spot for dumping dogs, because it is the first intersection you come to out in the country, after leaving "town". I have had four dogs come from that spot.

About the cats....I used to give cat food to an elderly lady who lived in Liverpool, the town itself. I live farther out. One of her neighbors called me and asked if something had happened to her, because her cats were now at their house. I went to see...no one home. I asked around and found out she had died about a week prior. So I have been feeding her cats, every day for the past 3 months. But, I will be moving soon, and I am going to be taking her cats with me. She has siblings...also elderly...who live in Oklahoma, but no one has been to clear out her house. I left a note on the door that I am feeding the cats, and will take them with me when I move, after July 19th.


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Lucille

But I can't stop thinking about this dog and feeling really depressed. Why on earth am I feeling this way? And what do I do about it?

Maybe you could foster a dog for a local shelter for a few weeks. That would help that particular dog, and perhaps also give you a way to clarify your feelings about your future and whether there might be room for a dog in it.

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

A small dog showed up in our yard just yesterday. He came up to my husband when he went out to see if it had a collar/tag and then to me when I took out a bowl of water. What a sweet face and personality!

We imagined what it would be like to have a dog again, even had a fence built in our minds, lol.

Luckily, a quick post on our Nextdoor site resulted in the owner coming forward to claim him, very gratefully.

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sleeperblues

I understand completely. You have a big heart. I can't get a dog I saw on facebook out of my mind. He is a senior, and was given up by his owners due to the death of one of them. I keep thinking I should get him, or at least foster him, but my husband would kill me and we already have 3 dogs, 2 of which are seniors.

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quasifish

Thanks everyone for letting me vent and sharing your thoughts and stories. I really needed that today :^(

The last couple of years I haven't been very emotional. This kind of came out of nowhere.

We have mandatory microchipping for dogs here (though many are found to not be microchipped), and strict spay/neuter laws, so the number of puppies and kittens has been greatly reduced, though there are still a lot of dogs that need homes. Against better judgment, I checked the county website. They put animals up online immediately, even if there is a stray hold period. She is not there. It appears she was not turned into the shelter, or if she was, she was reunited with her people already.

Funny thing I am taking away from this experience though is that when we are ready to adopt a dog, it will be an older one. Our last dog we got as a puppy and she grew old along with two cats and we went through so many health issues with all three of them at the same time as seniors. Back then I said if we got any animals they needed to be young so we could have time before problems (were likely to) set in. With the time that's passed, that doesn't matter so much anymore. My preference would be for an older dog, even if it were to have some health problems. Maybe that little dog was a lesson in disguise?

As far as fostering, that's probably out of the question right now too. Our cat is rather high strung when it comes to disruptions. Rather relaxed if everything is on a predictable path. He is just one of the reasons a dog would be a bad idea right now. Of course we could always make things work, but right now I'm leaning toward not adding any stress to the household. Hopefully there will be a right time at some point and we will just know when that is.

Thanks for helping so much.

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cooper8828

DH and I are in love with the neighbor's dog Lucy. Lucy is an escape artist and frequently comes to visit. She is young and high energy, is lovable, gets along with our cats, and would be the perfect dog for us. Our last one died about six years ago and the "right" one just hasn't crossed our paths since then. We also feel like the neighbor does not give the dog the attention she needs. The dog is young, neighbor is in her mid-80's.


Anyway, we have been pining away over this dog for months. Then she came into our back yard, killed a young squirrel we have been feeding, and broke our hearts. Love affair over.


PS If the neighbor needed to find a new home for her, we would still take her in a minute, but the honeymoon is definitely over. :)

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nannygoat18

As a successive dog owner, I find that I'm often in love with the idea of a dog, rather than a dog itself. After each dog, DD and I swear that we will never get another, but nature abhors a vacuum......

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nicole___

I agree with you...having a cat is enough for now. It would upset the household to bring in another pet. I had a GF over last week, said my house was dog friendly, she's welcome in the house. It was happy to chase my cat under the bed & howl the "got it cornered yowl". Not a well mannered pup....could have been a disaster. Never again!

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quasifish

Yeah, you all are probably right, I'm missing the idea of a dog and not the reality. Life's been kind of heavy here a lot the last few years. Interacting with that dog was so rewarding, even for as little time as it was.

Instincts and habits are a very real thing that sets in when the initial fun is over. Even our low maintenance cat brings his share of issues to the table that need to be dealt with on a regular basis. I've always been around cats, so they are relatively second nature for me to deal with. Dogs are a little less so and require much more energy.

Cooper, I'm so sorry about the little squirrel. That's the kind of thing I have to remember. Cute and charismatic as they seem on the surface, they also have instincts that take over and are still animals are heart.

Yesterday I asked teen DD if she ever thought we should get a dog. She was a hard no. Told me that if I want a dog that maybe that would be a good thing to do when she leaves for college, lol. Maybe she has a point. Still, I'm waiting for this sadness to pass and trying to convince myself to not look at the shelter website- if she didn't turn up there the last two days, and we've seen her here before, it's probably safe to say the neighbors knew where she belonged.

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maifleur01

qausifish just a suggestion if the dog shows up. Treat it like a good grand parent would and if it allows shower it with affection and perhaps a small goodie. I am a firm believer of pet goodies but each can do what they like. When you are ready to go in say goodbye and go in. You might eventually have a foster dog and your cat smelling it on you will have less objections. We obtained a cat in this manner.

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murraysmom Zone 6a OH

It's not at all easy to introduce an adult dog into a cat's house. Unless the cat was raised with dogs and even then it's iffy. Not saying it can't be done, but it's far from easy.

Nicole, I was unhappy when a niece showed up with her dog, a miniature dachshund, and she was on a leash. She brought her into my house and immediately she went after my cat (who was trusting of dogs having grown up with them). Because the dog was on a leash, she didn't get very far. And then I learned that my niece had invited her dog to go after every cat in their neighborhood as they took their walks. Never again.

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nicole___

murraysmom....this one was "off" the leash....and NOT leash trained. Wish I'd known. I'd invited the owner over to go walking. She yelled at the dog the entire time. It kept running into the street. Whatever happened to silent dog whistles....:0)

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wantoretire_did

I also am missing the idea of a dog but in reality, there’s no way we can have one IRL. We do have a wonderful rescued cat and she loves being the princess of the manse! She sure wouldn’t want any canine competition.

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DawnInCal

I miss having a dog too, but it wouldn't be fair to the dog(s). We travel a lot and are sometimes gone for weeks or months at a time. Bringing a dog is not an option. Plus, after we lost our last dog, we both decided that we don't want to go through losing another. It's too hard and too sad.

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quasifish

Thanks for sharing the wisdom and stories, and helping to ground me again. Hopefully good senses are returning for the moment, though sadness is still lingering. This whole thing threw me for a loop out of the blue.

I'd love to have a dog in theory, but assessing the reality of it in depth puts it in a different light. It's helpful to have other perspectives to help regain my own. The area in which we live has a lot of dog problems. A lot of experiences of the last 20 years have not been positive. I'd sort of forgotten the good side of dogs until this one showed up- which isn't to say that I don't realize a 5 minute interaction is long term reality :(

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