Relationship Emotional Support Dog Separation During Isolation

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PenelopeB

Learning
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.



That makes a lot of sense! I hope that we can come to some common ground for the short-term as well as the long-term. I don't think I have ever asked him what would need to change for him to be okay with her right now so that is a very good point and place to start the conversation. Unfortunately the roommates in the household asked at the renewal of the lease if the landlord would change his mind on pets since they wanted cats and the answer was no. :/ Given the circumstances, I'm not sure if the landlord would make any exceptions but at the very least, I have been pretty adamant in asking my SO to find a place that is dog-friendly when the lease is up in a couple of months. Whether he follows through or not remains to be seen, but I have really tried to emphasize how important it is to me. While I've made statements like "your room" which he has corrected to "our room", it's really not "ours" unless he values my voice enough to accept what I need as well. Either way, I'd be happy to pay any pet fees/monthly expenses, but I just need him to try too!
 

Rainman8772

MyPTSD Pro
That makes a lot of sense! I hope that we can come to some common ground for the short-term as well as the long-term. I don't think I have ever asked him what would need to change for him to be okay with her right now so that is a very good point and place to start the conversation. Unfortunately the roommates in the household asked at the renewal of the lease if the landlord would change his mind on pets since they wanted cats and the answer was no. :/ Given the circumstances, I'm not sure if the landlord would make any exceptions but at the very least, I have been pretty adamant in asking my SO to find a place that is dog-friendly when the lease is up in a couple of months. Whether he follows through or not remains to be seen, but I have really tried to emphasize how important it is to me. While I've made statements like "your room" which he has corrected to "our room", it's really not "ours" unless he values my voice enough to accept what I need as well. Either way, I'd be happy to pay any pet fees/monthly expenses, but I just need him to try too!

Look up ESA and Fair Housing Act. Landlord has no choice if he has over 4 units
 

PenelopeB

Learning
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.


No worries! I NEVER use a crate for her and she definitely gets enough exercise. We have our routine and we start the day with a one plus mile walk (even in frigid weather) after which she usually naps while I study and then we follow up with some playtime and more time in the yard. She is usually perfectly fine at my place with just me and she doesn't have many behavioral issues. When she is with my parents, she is also on a farm, playing with her puppy sister and constantly in and out of the house all day plus another mile leash walk in the evening and another shorter walk before bed so while she is a high energy dog, it's not for lack of exercise! I think the bigger problem is that she has separation anxiety and acts out when I am not there. I never need to medicate her or anything like that when she's with me at my place (and I don't). She doesn't need it then. The issue is more when she's at my parents' place and I am not there. For the first few months of her life, my mom helped me raise her (I took a night shift when she was a puppy so I'd be home with her during the day then my mom would be with her at night). However, even though I trust my mom with her and she is very familiar with my mom, she just seems to really miss me when I'm not there and it equally breaks my heart to leave her. That is a good point with Fair Housing Act. I didn't think about that. It's a little tricky since I'm not technically on the lease, but maybe I'll bring that up to my fiance and look into it more. Thanks!
 

PenelopeB

Learning
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.


Surprisingly, he has mentioned getting another dog in the future. He just really wants it trained a certain way (ex. no dogs on furniture) and wants to be able to have a say in which puppy is picked, but that is a very valid point and part of my concern!
 

PenelopeB

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


OMG, if there was a heart button, I'd definitely heart that pic! So precious! What is her name? This is my girl. :)
 

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PenelopeB

Learning
I noticed you keep saying this 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?


When she is with me, we have our routine set and she is a good girl for the most part. She likes to sleep in but after my morning shower she FINALLY gets out of bed, I give her her breakfast then let her out while I'm getting breakfast. We then go for a mile plus walk and then she naps for a few hours while I study. We have some playtime a bit in the late afternoon when she wakes up from her nap, she gets her dinner, more playtime, then out again before bed. I admittedly probably could have trained her better, but on her schedule she's not so bad. Unfortunately, when my fiance interacts with her she tends to be a bit more excited to see him or she's with my parents where she is out of the normal routine so he normally sees the most hyperactive version of her instead of the more day-to-day pup I love. I think the other thing is that she is DEFINITELY a shadow dog and she follows me room to room. I honestly once had a guy over and it turned into a dangerous situation, which she sensed, so she has also been very protective of me since then. Although she's guy-shy, she was great with my fiance from the start and warmed up to him very quickly. However, because she is a shadow dog and is protective of me, she doesn't like it when we are in a room without her with the door shut. She also loves being the center of attention so it's a little hard for me to snuggle up with him without her batting at us and wanting to be a part of everything too. She's just used to having my full attention and doesn't like to share. I haven't asked him specifically what would make it easier for him to spend time of her but that is an excellent point! I will be sure to bring that up in my conversation with him and see if we can maybe meet halfway. Thank you!
 

Friday

Moderator
I admittedly probably could have trained her better, but on her schedule she's not so bad. Unfortunately, when my fiance interacts with her she tends to be a bit more excited to see him or she's with my parents where she is out of the normal routine so he normally sees the most hyperactive version of her instead of the more day-to-day pup I love.
That’s a really fantastic compromise/option to put on the table. :woot::D Joint/family training sessions. Better training, and all 3 of you will be able to speak the same language / know the same commands, and be able to come together as a team working towards the same goals.

As a vet2B? ...Depending on which kind of medicine you’re studying... that also gives you some stellar options not available to most people, and that would be a godsend for most starving students, to work out a deal in kind. Like trading volunteer hours with the K9 unit or SAR team or mounted Unit in exchange for training sessions. You don’t need your DVM to log some tech hours, and I have sooooo never met anyone who works with animals who has the budget they want for vets & techs. Granted, if you’re doing parakeets, tigers, or whales? That’s not exactly comparable? But prepping slides is prepping slides. Lab work and admin is pretty universal.

All this depends on his not being a dick you’re well rid of, of course, but I’m a closet romantic.
 
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PenelopeB

Learning
Update!

We talked and I followed everyone's suggestion of being firm, making clear that my pup is a non-negotiable and that if she wasn't allowed here I was not going to stay here, asking my fiance about his specific concerns about her and having her here, and talking about the longterm and whether it was an issue with my dog in particular or all dogs. Our state apparently has a lockdown exemption for transporting pets or caring for pets in another household so we came to the conclusion that my parents can let my pup out into the yard when I pull up and I can pick her up/drop her off from there while still isolating. We would then start with her spending the day and night at my fiance's place with me while he is on shift as well as the day after he gets off shift which means 2 nights and 4 days a week here. Her being here the day he gets home from his shift will also provide some opportunity for him to spend more time with her so that they can get more used to each other. My SO said that part of his concern is that the house is definitely not puppy-proofed and he fears that she will get into something she shouldn't and then I will be upset with him over it. We agreed to spend the next week puppy-proofing the house and rearranging his bedroom so that there is more space and it is safe for her. I also agreed to keep a careful eye on her and volunteered to make next weekend a trial run to make sure that I can keep her safe and that her needs are met as well as mine and his.

While I sent my partner several links for pet-friendly housing that he previously looked over, in our conversation he mentioned that part of his holding off on finding a place that is pet-friendly more immediately is that he is hoping to save up to be able to afford a single family rental home with a yard that my dog can play in versus just a tiny apartment. Today he applied for a second temporary job at his volunteer fire station (emergency hiring for the pandemic) to save up some additional money to help make this happen a little more quickly. He also acknowledged that he knows that it is important to me to have her with me, especially if he is going to be gone at work multiple days a week and I cannot spend more time with her at my family's place with everything going on but still need a routine to keep me sane and happy. In regards to discussing whether it was just her or all dogs he has an issue with, he admitted that at times he does find my dog annoying but that he doesn't hate her and that really if he did, there would be only two "fixes" - breaking up with me or getting rid of the dog - both of which he said (without my prompting) were completely off of the table and the latter of which he said would pretty much mean he is a psychopath (but he is not). In his own words, he recognized that she and I were a package deal and that she would not be going anywhere. He also recognized that dogs were always going to be a part of my life and that that is not going to change and he knew he was committing to that when he committed to me.

Definitely wasn't an easy or smooth conversation and there was some tearing up involved but I think we found a good compromise to start off with for the short-term and it was helpful to talk about the expectations for the long-term. Thank you guys for listening and for your extremely helpful advice on how to have this conversation! I feel like I had tunnel vision and maybe would not have been able to approach it so calmly without just turning it into an argument and not listening to what he had to say too. Thank you!!! :)
 

Truthful_Whispers

Not Active
I don't know about your relationship, but it sounds like you are pulling most of the weight. In my past relationships, I tended to do that while the other person took most of my actions for granted. I was always doing most of the favors, while all the while they were contemplating crawling back to the trash they were with before, or digging up some other festering turd behind my back. That's why I seem so angry and anti-female in some of my posts.
As for pets, I have cats, mostly rescues that would've been dead by now without my help, and they have become my children. They have given me love and acceptance when no human has. So, if a woman tries to make me choose, guess what.. she can go take it on the arches. My furbabies aren't going anywhere..
 

siniang

Not Active
I agree with Friday!

I was really really really suspcious after your first post. But your last.... maybe I'm naive and a hopeless romantic...but THIS IS GREAT. I believe he means what he says. And major kudos for you standing your ground. I do think you two made huge progress (more than you probably realize right now) and I think you actually had way overdue super important conversations.

A couple thoughts, both re dog being annyoing/bouncy as well as at night (because you mentioned her sleeping in the bed is a concern), I highly recommend kennel training her. I don't know how old she is but that in general is a super important skill to have for a dog, actually -- think vet necessities for example :) It may be a little harder if she's already way past puppy stage, but it's never too late for pups to learn stuff and you should have pleeeeenty of time now. And kennels will give her a "cool down" space if she hypers up.

As for puppy-proofing, I'm a BIG fan of those: Dead Link Removed (because yes, I have CATS who know how to open doors).

Also think baby/pet gates to close off off-limit areas/allow more control
 
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