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Honest opinion needed

Discussion in 'Sheltie Chat' started by shelee, Apr 19, 2021.

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  1. shelee

    shelee Premium Member

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    I took Ella to my vet this morning for a well puppy visit. Dr Dally, has been my vet for my previous two Shelties and is familiar with me and my lifestyle. This is what he told me when I voiced my concern over her extreme fear. "Although I am not a behaviorist, in my opinion she is a full step beyond fear. I can tell she likes people as she will sit near my legs and is not in the farthest corner of the room for the most part. But, we have been in here for 25 mins, in a relatively quiet room, just the two of us, and she is trembling and shaking as much as when she first came in the room. She will not take a treat and I have the best treats. She will claw at the door to get away from me at times. She definitely will need alot of socialization, but even with than I am not sure this dog will be able to will walk without fear in public places. If you force me to give you a opinion, that I am hesitate to do, I would suggest you return her to the breeder."

    My head is spinning. I am so confused and disappointed. I could use some of your opinions to know what I should do.
     
  2. Sharon7

    Sharon7 Moderator

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    Oh no, I am so very sorry to hear this news. This is so sad for Ella. I wonder if some of the trouble is there are no other dogs in your home. NOT that I am suggesting you get another dog for her, just trying to think. Often really shy dogs will take cues from confident ones, so she may, for that reason, seem fine at the breeder's home.

    You must search your heart to know if you want to take on what sounds like a major project. It will require a long time and lots of patience on your part, and since you have been clear in what you want from a pet companion from the start, I think you could return her without beating yourself up. You have my complete sympathy for what is a really awful situation. :hugs
     
    Darren, Ann, ghggp and 1 other person like this.
  3. shelee

    shelee Premium Member

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    Thank you. I feel awful. I just don't know what to do. I need to make a decision. I am concerned though what the breeder will do with Ella?
     
  4. Sandy in CT

    Sandy in CT Premium Member

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    I seem to voice a vastly different opinion than most here, and it isn't well liked much of the time, but here goes....

    You and I have communicated a lot both publicly and privately. I know you are attached to your sweet Ella but I also know you have been having just a load of doubts and red flags flying everywhere. You did what you said you wanted to do; you took Ella to someone who knows you, has known you for years, and you asked for an honest opinion. Sweet or not, hard as it might be, I really think you need to follow your gut.

    I returned a dog - actually two - and that might make me out to be an even worse person, but it's honest and I am not ashamed of it.

    When our kids were young, we brought Buddy, a small standard doxie into our lives. I spent a ton of time checking out the breeder, talking to her, her to me. When we started having issues with Buddy, she was the one I turned to. Of our 3 kids, Buddy as this tiny pup of a thing, played alpha with our daughter and bit her and bit her and bit her and bit her. I was actually called into her preschool for the number of bites on her body. I worked with the breeder, we did everything she said. I finally told her we just couldn't keep him. She finally told me she had a friend coming through the area and if I could meet up with her, she would pick Buddy up. Crying, with 3 crying kids, yes, we turned over Buddy. I still have the letter I sent along with him. About 3 weeks later, I got up early one morning, drove 5 hours to Philly, met the friend, picked up Buddy and bought him home. During those weeks, I spent a ton of time on the phone with the breeder. She obviously trusted me in that she not only returned him to our care, she later sent another doxie our way, Kooper. We remained friends for years; she was totally supportive to us. Buddy changed a lot during his trip 'to the spa' as we called it and came home a new 'man'. He did bite later in his life, but he remained a part of our family until a ripe old age. Her friend that picked up Buddy, man that woman hated me and made it clear. Buddy ended up in the right place, we just needed a vacation from each other.

    In between Buddy and Kooper, Abby came into our lives. She was supposedly held as a show dog but didn't make the cut or so we were told, completely socialized or so we were told. She belonged to another breeder and my husband had her flown here as a surprise to me. Some surprise! She attached herself to me and got uber, uber attached to me - standing guard over me in case my husband or my kids came close. We brought her to the vet, she was in terrible shape; worms, giardia, double and some triple teeth that needed to be pulled, gum issues due to it. We addressed the health stuff - the personality stuff didn't go away as she stayed with us, it got worse. The breeder was no support, claimed all this stuff must have happened in our home because it absolutely did not occur under her care! She gave us a signed thing from her vet - later turned out to be her husband who had never seen the dog. Torn, we enlisted the help of our vet as you did. She spent her lunch hour one day just sitting and observing Abby, me, the kids. She wrote a letter, put it in writing, that it wasn't IF Abby would bite, it was WHEN Abby would bite. She actually wrote she was a danger to our children and also outlined all the ways Abby came to her; malnourished and in poor health. Now THAT breeder, WOW, she did take Abby back, but man, it wasn't smooth. Come to find out, Abby was raised in a different state, under a different person, who knows did her vet care but wow, it was a bad experience. Kooper came along later, he turns 13 this year.

    I know you have been torn, struggling. Not every dog is right for every home. And while I do believe that some dogs can be socialized at a much slower pace than the guidelines state, otherwise the whole rescue thing would be a totally lost cause.... you've gotten advice from someone who knows dogs.

    Another member here recently when through a similar struggle but it was health related, ended up keeping the puppy and the puppy is thriving. But there are no guarantees. Sometimes you simply have to call a time out, start over. I think you feel something you are deathly afraid to act on. From me, at least, I will continue to support you in any way I can. No action you take will be construed as a bad one. Sometimes something are not meant to be - it doesn't make you a failure or a bad person - it's just a bad situation.

    Whatever you do, your experience will help you help someone who crosses your path at some later date. You are not to blame - I do however blame the breeder who I feel has not been 100% forthcoming with you and definitely has not been supportive as she should have been.
     
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  5. GlennR

    GlennR Premium Member

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    I would take the vet's advice unless you're ready to deal with her fear in a difficult time for even normal puppies to get properly socialized. As far as what the breeder will do with Ella, I'm sure she'll try to find another home for her and work on her problem until she's successful. Returning Ella will be hard on you but, in my opinion, easier than struggling and worrying about her condition.
     
    Darren, Sharon7 and Sandy in CT like this.
  6. trini

    trini Premium Member

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    Honestly I am a little surprised at your vet taking this stance when Ella has had not even had 2+ weeks to get used to all the changes in her life. I have never had a Sheltie, even ones that are fine in public, want to take a treat while in my vet's office and the like my vet and are typically your standard Sheltie chow hounds anywhere but at the vet's.

    However, it is obvious that little Ella will need a lot of gentle, supportive socialization not to be so afraid of contact with the outside world. If you feel up to the work I suspect Ella will become a deeply devoted little girl who basically likes being a home body. I have had a couple of Shelties who came to me as rescues who never did learn to enjoy going places, but here at home they were happy playful and deeply devoted little ones and I loved them just as they were.

    Obviously whatever you decide has to be in line with what you want from Ella and what you feel comfortable handling...but don't let someone else make that decision for you.

    Trini
     
  7. shelee

    shelee Premium Member

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    Then you saying that you believe Ella can be socialized to a detail of not total terror of anything outside of her home?
     
    KarenCurtis likes this.
  8. shelee

    shelee Premium Member

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    Thank you for your honest opinion. I am going to take a day or so to think this over.
     
  9. shelee

    shelee Premium Member

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    I am wondering...... because a dog may be very fearful of the outside world and be a homebody like you suggested, do you think those dogs are more prone to separation anxiety? Although I am retired and basically a homebody, there are a few times a month I go out for the day 4-6 hrs and of course the pup needs to stay home.
     
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  10. GlennR

    GlennR Premium Member

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    I have no idea of what's causing Ella to be fearful and no idea if she'll ever be comfortable outside her home so I can't even guess about the odds of losing her fear. To be perfectly clear, if it was me, I would take the vet's advice and return Ella.
     
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