Relationship Emotional Support Dog Separation During Isolation

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siniang

Not Active
Tell him it will be either you AND your dog staying at his or you won't be staying and he won't see you for who knows how long. Ask him what you CAN do to help him with this - but keep in mind, you already offered a lot and yet he was unwilling to even think about it.

I told him that she wouldn't have to be on the bed, I'd keep an eye on her, I'd take her out discreetly, I'd keep her quiet (she's used to apartment life already anyway), and I'd give her her previously-prescribed anxiety medication to keep her quiet and calm.

You say he says he knows you come with pets for your future life together. I honestly don't think he actually understands this nor has accepted it. My feelings is he's secretly hoping the "problem" will resolve on its own...
 

Deanna

MyPTSD Pro
Not to hurt your feelings Penelope.. But this really isn't a PTSD question.... But we're glad to be here for you anyway!!! Someone that takes interest in you will be there for you! Don't forget that, you smart girl!

If you're thinking we are trying to back you in a corner or something... Make reservations, for you and yours, to ride horses on a trail. Let's see what the other half will do! If he makes excuses.. Will you let us know.? Thank-you ?????
 
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PenelopeB

Learning
I’m kind of shocked that’s “the plan”, having read everything else. Have the two of you actually sat down and explicitly discussed the dog living with you when you move in AND he’s agreed? And you believe him? Because (actions speaking louder than words) not being willing to spend even a night with the dog on a regular basis, nor keep him with you during an emergency lockdown... you could knock me over with a feather if he’s onboard for the dog to live with the 2 of you full time at any future date, when every present situation is a hard no.

Get solid with yourself, first.

My dog was “just” a dog... and where I went? He went. Work, school, snowboarding, to the beach, camping, sailing, and most of my travels. (Not quick trips abroad, where he’d be in quarantine the whole time -or longer- but anywhere I’d be awhile.) I had my Jeep set up with a K-9 unit (temperature control for when the engine was off), and his soft sided travel crate all den’d up for him... so I didn’t need public access anywhere. If they allowed dogs? He came. If they didn’t? He chilled in the Jeep & I’d go out on my breaks and we’d tear around for a spell. The only exception to all of that was when my kid was in the PICU/children’s hospital for apx 6mo. Then, my parents took him, although I had a badass kennel on hot standby if they needed a break. Especially once it became clear we were going to be in the hospital for awhile, and wasn’t a short term thing I was asking of them.

There was never any question of convincing anyone “why” I needed my dog with me, at almost all times... because it wasn’t up for negotiation. It was happening.

I didn’t bring him inside other people’s homes, if they didn’t want him there. It’s their home. Their say. End of story. I just also wouldn’t be spending that much time inside their home, myself. Which also doesn’t mean “no” time ;) Just not long periods of uninterrupted time. I could sleep there, or spend the day there. But my dog, my responsibility. If I was awake? I was going to be going out to walk/pee/water/play every 2 hours. If I was asleep? The last thing I would do before going to sleep and the first thing I did on waking.

So, when I say to get solid with yourself first, before talking with him? Is to come to an understanding on how much say you’re willing to give anyone else on how much you’re “allowed” to be with your dog. And if you really want to give anyone that kind of power over your life.

Don’t get me wrong.... I can tooooootally see how this situation has developed very naturally/organically/byproduct of a long distance relationship. But in my opinion? If you’re looking at living with him, for a short time or forever? It’s time to fish or cut bait. Is your dog something he’s willing to have in his life, does something need to happen in order for him to be willing, or are you willing to give up your dog for him? <<< That’s how I would approach it / have approached it when it’s been broached to me. “How do we solve the dog problem?” I just entered into those conversations absolutely unwilling to negotiate getting rid of my dog. I didn’t enter into it looking for their permission to keep my dog, or attempting to justify why they should allow me to keep my dog. I was keeping my dog. So how do we solve that problem, so you’re happy?



Thank you so much! That makes a lot of sense. It sounds like your relationship with your dog is very much like mine when I'm at my own place. Usually she comes most places with me and if she can't come, it's generally not something I'm interested in spending my free time on. I've definitely had discussions where the exact words I have used have been "If it's a choice between you and her, it's going to be her. She was here first" but that has been more focused on the long-term and not really the short-term since we haven't been in the same place for the vast majority of the time that we have been thinking about committing to each other on a deeper level. However, I have made very clear to him that if we get married and move in together, she IS going to be there and that he needs to get over whatever dislike he has for her. He seems to accept that and knows that I would sooner divorce than give her up if ever put in that situation. I think he just is hoping that she is a little more mellow by then since she will be older. However, you make some excellent points about non-negotiation and not asking him for permission to spend time with my own dog. I will try to be just as firm when I talk to him about it and if he's not onboard, I maybe should consider trying to make my way back to her if I can and he will just have to accept that as the consequence and respect my choice if he has made his. Thank you for your advice and encouragement!
 

PenelopeB

Learning
Just quoting this because I have a feeling you needs to really hear it and actually listen.



He has you doing a lot. What is he doing? Not what does he say he’s doing, or what he’s going to do
What is he actually doing. You’re paying two rents? Some of the time. Paying a fortune and cost in time driving to him. He
Won’t let you take your dog?



Oh well if he says he’s gonna. Honey I wouldn’t hold my breath.




That’s not giving anything up. He should WANT to be in the same area code as you. That would be the easiest thing in the world.

You are a god damn catch, start behaving like it.

This isn’t PTSD or cPTSD this is something men have suffered with for hundreds of years. Selfishness and a thought that the partners in their lives should bend and mould into their lifestyle. They shouldn’t give up anything and you should be their everything.

Even if you’re right (you’re not) and it is his cPTSD. You can’t pour from an empty cup, you absolutely must take care of yourself first before you can help anyone else. Put on your own oxygen mask before helping anyone else put theirs on.


Thank you! That is sometimes how I feel and something I've struggled with a lot. It seems unfair of him sometimes to ask me to make the drive because he can't (or won't) come to me and then on top of that to ask me to leave my dog at my parents' place because he can't (or won't) find a place that is dog-friendly. Sometimes I feel like I'm giving up a lot more but then there are other times that he feels like he is giving up a lot more and it just becomes this war where it's keeping tallies of who has sacrificed more when realistically we have each given up things in different ways. I don't necessarily blame him for not moving with me to where my school is since he has found a career job relatively close to my family and I plan to return to the area. Plus, vet school is just long enough to build rapport in an area but too short to really start a career job and I wouldn't want him asking me to put my career on hold for that long so I won't ask him to hold off that long either. But I do see your point on not bending and that maybe it will take me giving up time with him to make him realize that I am not going to bend on this issue. Thanks!
 

PenelopeB

Learning
Tell him it will be either you AND your dog staying at his or you won't be staying and he won't see you for who knows how long. Ask him what you CAN do to help him with this - but keep in mind, you already offered a lot and yet he was unwilling to even think about it.



You say he says he knows you come with pets for your future life together. I honestly don't think he actually understands this nor has accepted it. My feelings is he's secretly hoping the "problem" will resolve on its own...

Yeah, that's what I kind of feel like sometimes too. In my previous discussions with him when I've asked him why he thinks later would be different in terms of accepting her (because she certainly isn't going anywhere!), he has expressed that when we are at that point, she will be older and more mellow (8 years old so not SO old but old enough to maybe not have quite as much puppy energy). Being back with him for 5 months so soon was something that was unexpected. However, I don't want that to mean that I cannot see her so if he is unwilling to budge on this, as much as I want to spend the time with him (and maybe not lose my freedom quite as much as I would by being at my parents' place), maybe that is what I need to do to show him that what I beed matters too.
 

PenelopeB

Learning
Yes, that's true. He is closed off and has a hard time sometimes with people, that have dogs, because he hasn't been through that kind of relationship with an animal yet. I was the same way!! I just got a cat a couple of yeArs ago and no one could take her away from me now.. But I have that strong bond with her. Your boyfriend hasn't been thru that, yet. That's why he can't relate.


Yeah, it's a discussion that we have had multiple times as well. He has had family dogs but never any dogs that were HIS dogs or that he was particular close to. I think the one he was closest to actually died very suddenly and unexpectedly and so my SO is often concerned that given how much of my happiness I place in my dog, if something similar were to happen, it would be very hard for me to recover. It is going to happen one day regardless, and he gets scared that my well-being is so tied to hers when inevitably the day will come when she's not okay and I won't be either.
 

PenelopeB

Learning
Not to hurt your feelings Penelope.. But this really isn't a PTSD question.... But we're glad to be here for you anyway!!! Someone that takes interest in you will be there for you! Don't forget that, you smart girl!

If you're thinking we are trying to back you in a corner or something... Make reservations, for you and yours, to ride horses on a trail. Let's see what the other half will do! If he makes excuses.. Will you let us know.? Thank-you ?????


No worries, it was not taken that way at all! I appreciate you guys holding me and my SO accountable and in keeping me honest :)
 

Friday

Moderator
"If it's a choice between you and her, it's going to be her.
I’d also be open to the possibility that he may surprise you.

It’s one of those things that you can head into with really strong boundaries, without being aggressive or afraid of the worst, either. Prepared for it? Certainly. Which is always sad when you care about someone, that there may not be a compromise available, where it’s a win/win you’re happy and he’s happy. But going in solid in your own self, & what you’re not willing to negotiate? Also leaves a whole lot of room for being willing to negotiate, as well.

Case in point? I have a reeeeally sensitive nose. Most people’s dogs smell absolutely foul to me, because they don’t bathe them frequently, if at all. Once a week baths kept my own dog smelling awesome to ME, but if my best friend and I were going road tripping? She wanted him bathed every day, or every other day, at the most. Aaaaaand thoroughly dried. Before we got in the car. No problem. He’s a water dog. Hence he makes a LOT of oil, which smells rather strongly. And sheds like a husky, because he had a double coat designed for swimming in ice flows. Bathing once a week he just smelled like a dog to me, but he still smelled disgusting to her. So upping the baths and brushing was step one. But Further? I could (and did) change out his bedding to cedar, and make sure that all of the fabric/upholstery had been freshly steam cleaned & deodorized before we left, and then make far more of an effort than I usually did once we were on the road. Ditto, expect that the increased baths might need some oil replacement for his fur, so I snagged her to go out shopping so we could “sniff test” what different oils/conditioners smelt like... on him. My bestie’s brother? Goes to the same sort of concentrated effort above & beyond his normal when he’s visiting. And our 2 dogs are the ONLY ones she gets all jump around / bend over / bounce off “Let’s play!” :woot: with. Because they don’t smell like freshly expressed anal glands to her :sick: Everyone else’s dogs, she’s pulling back from, and refusing to be around. Not because she doesn’t like dogs. Because she’s got a really sensitive nose. And that’s a durn good reason, ya know? Even if I can’t smell it, I can smell things other people can’t, and it’s not all roses! ?

Another common one with first responders? Ordinary people can break a lease, or take a hit on their credit score, or any of a thousand minor things... and it’s no big deal. But First responders can lose their jobs over it. Or get a mark in their record that permanently f*cks up their ability to get promotions or take their career in the direction they want. Now, breaking a no pets clause has an easy fix to it... you get an addendum on the lease that doesn’t allow pets for an exception. Voila. Job protected. Doggo nice and legal. But it also means meeting with the landlord (which may mean taking a sick day, right when things are busier than a one legged man in an ass kicking contest), and shelling out up to 1 months rent as a non-refundable pet deposit. So your boyo could just as easily be protecting his job & trying to save both of you an unnecessary expense... as tryin to wriggle out of something.

Et cetera. In a big way. Because I don’t know either of you. Or the details of the situation beyond what you’re struggling with. From his actions so far? You could knock me over with a feather if he’s super excited about having a dog in his life. But his actions could ALSO have some very real justification backing them up... that’s easily sorted once the 2 of you sit down and hash things out.

So my 2.02 ;) (I’m in novel mode this week) is be solid in yourself, before you talk to him / know and understand your own boundaries & what’s negotiable and what’s not... but also be willing to hear him out / open to finding solutions to the dog-problem... that suit both of you right down to the ground.
 

NoWhereKnowWhere

MyPTSD Pro
I noticed you keep saying this
he has expressed that when we are at that point, she will be older and more mellow
does she have behaviour issues?

Cause that’s a really easy fix. I’m just wondering out loud here but is it because she’s very boisterous? That’s a real easy fix just up the exercise (obviously easier when lockdown is over). Training and exercise? I understand about not wanting her on the bed (not from personal experience haha) some people don’t like it. She could be more mellow now (well once lockdown is over). If she’s young I’m assuming she has some bad manners that can easily be corrected. I could be totally off here.

Have you asked him what would make it easier for him to spend time with her? Or had he said any specific reasons?
 

Deanna

MyPTSD Pro
This is my furbaby. She's asleep in her chair here. She's worn out because I played with her all day
 

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siniang

Not Active
Never - NEVER - count on any pet mellowing down. Many do, some don't.

If this is the expectation, you're in for future trouble. Because....thinking longterm. At some point in the future you'll get another dog. Maybe even a puppy? And you're at square one.
 

Rainman8772

MyPTSD Pro
First off I will apologize if this lets my inner a-hole out. If you train and exercise that dog it will calm down most likely just like a child you have to keep them busy, not locked up in a crate. My service dog is crate trained but seldom if ever do I put her in it. Like right now she is on the couch sleeping on her back with her head in my lap snoring but I also walked her 8 miles in the woods today like every other day rain or shine or even corona virus won’t stop that. They are much easier to train after you get most of the pent up energy out of them. As for BF/GF or whatever floats your boat, they don’t accept my dog they got to go. That’s my opinion and I have PTSD. Even an ESA is covered under the Fair Housing Act. That’s as simple as getting a doctor to write a letter and, asking for a reasonable accommodation in writing no extra deposit by law for apartments if they have over 4 rental units. However, you are held responsible for any damage.
 
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