View Full Version : Adopting for the first time

15th August 2007, 06:28 AM
Hello everyone!

I adopted Pickles two weeks ago. She is 7 months old... a tri colour little sweetie.

This is the first time in my adult life that I've adopted a doggie and I just wondered if anyone else felt a little -- shocked -- after they adopted.

I've wanted a cavalier for years. I'm just thrilled with her. She's lovely. However, for the first several days I was just overwhelmed and I felt stupid. I had to contend with my step children feeling jealous (I was surprised at THAT) and my cats feeling jealous and Pickles having separation anxiety and my husband's worries.

I became very anxious myself and started to feel very embattled. I even lost my appetite for a few days!!

I'm happy to report that everyone's ruffled feathers seemed to have smoothed. My appetite is back. Pickles is sleeping through the night and doesn't cry when left. Even the cats are sitting with us while we all watch TV in the evenings. They tolerate Pickles because she doesn't bother them at all.

I feel rather silly for being so unprepared for the stress of adjusting to a new dog. Maybe it's like having a baby -- you can never really be prepared for it because you don't know how things will actually play out.

Anyhow... that's a bit of my story. I'm feeling much less stressed these days. Pickles is darned near perfect, as far as I'm concerned. I'll post some photos as soon as I get my flickr account sorted.

15th August 2007, 10:22 AM
I think your experience is fairly common and IMHO it is much preferable to recognise those ups and downs and confusions than the types who just add in a dog with a certain level of indifference or pretend it's no big deal. It almost certainly should be a big deal -- each addition to my household, cat or dog, has been and is another responsibility. And each upsets the balance that exists -- and that all needs to be carefully watched, body language read, to make sure all settle over time, and the situation stays safe for everyone.

I don't think I have ever added a dog or cat to the house without wondering on and off whether I should have, regardless of how much I adore them -- each addition, from the very first pair of cats I got, and my first cavalier, required changes to routines and lifestyle, a greater financial commitment, and so on. That can be as disconcerting and scary as it is exciting and wonderful!

I think what most often happens is what you have seen -- the new addition settles in, the family, human and animal, makes room and resettles, and a great new expereice gets underway. :flwr:

Look forward to some pics!

15th August 2007, 11:45 AM
Having your new dog can be very unsettling indeed, in many ways it's a lot like bringing a new baby home, you have to adjust to each other and learn each others ways and routines, find your own levels so to speak, then it all clicks into place and it's suddenly as if they've always been there and you wonder what the fuss and the stress was all about!!

Glad to hear that Pickles has settled in well with you all, now you can start having some adventures together and telling us all about them, with plenty of :snap: of course!! :D

Scouty girl
15th August 2007, 12:15 PM
I agree with what Cathryn said. It can be very unsettling. The first few days, maybe even a week, after I brought Scout home I kept thinking, what the heck did I do? Do I really need another dog. I felt no attachment to her. But after a week or 10 days you coulnd't have ripped her out of my arms. I would never, ever part with her. Bringing a dog, or puppy into your home is a huge decision (at least for people who are and will be dedicated for life ) and to me it's like buying a car. You want a new car, you look at several and think long and hard about it. Decide it's finally time and when you are actually sitting at the dealers desk signing the papers you're thinking, what the heck am I doing, do I really need a new car? LOL

Cathy T
15th August 2007, 03:26 PM
I can so relate to your story!! Jake was my first dog in over 20 years. He absolutely wore me out and completely overwhelmed me. The 2nd week I had him my husband came home to find me in tears. I was sure I had made a mistake in getting him and didn't know what to do. Well....here we are 5 years later and it's all a vague memory! Good that you realize an adjustment period is needed and then things smooth out.

15th August 2007, 03:32 PM
I must admit to having had the "Puppy Blues" as well.

I was completely overwhelmed and didnt know if we had made the right decision. Took me a couple of weeks to get used to the whole situation but now, nearly a year later I cant imagine him not being around.

Unfortunately my husband was really poorly a week or so after getting Chester (he has Crohns disease) and there were times when I would just cry & cry and say I couldnt cope, now I just cry with laughter at the dopey things he does. He has brightened up my life no end.

15th August 2007, 04:05 PM
Its such a relief to hear from others that I am not the only person who's felt like this!! In the last 10 days since we brought Molly home I have, at times, felt completely overwhelmed with the responsibility she has brought and the changes I have had to make to everyday life. I absolutely adore her, and she has brought so much love and warmth into the house - but I have had fleeting moments of wondering whether we'd done the right thing :o There was even one day last week where I cried for about an hour because I felt so stressed out!!! I felt like such a fool!!! But reading this thread has made me realise its ok to feel like that as having a new puppy involves making huge adjustments to your lifestyle - almost like bringing a baby home. Thanks everyone, feel so much better :D

15th August 2007, 05:00 PM
I have felt guilty after bringing new dogs home ( responsability , expense etc) or that ive made a mistake.

my old charlie girl nearly went back to the breeders ( if it had been a nice place she'd definatly have gone back. she was really horrible in her youth )

I was awake all night before I brought my ruby home thinking it was a mistake , I had enough dogs & I should leave him were he was.

I've wanted a pup for the last 11 years but the thought of making the decision to actually get one terrifies me.

But i'm not good with any type of decision making & am a worrier anyway

Now it looks like the cav we had for a "holiday" is staying & i don't feel good about it. i'm even worrying about the extra funeral expenses! & she's only 4.

I even went to work an hour earlier than I had to yesterday just to get out of the dogs way ( other people are here to mind them when i'm out) She's very vocal & has a bad heart so I got in a bit of a panic thinking of the future.

But i'll settle down in a few weeks , I love them more than anything really

15th August 2007, 05:12 PM
I'm so grateful for all the responses! I was feeling really isolated last weekend. Now I'm almost afraid to say this because it might jinx things... but honestly... Pickles seems to have settled in really nicely. It only took her about 10 days or so to feel secure. (I think). We'll see.

But it's good to know that those "Oh. My. God." moments are very normal and everyone goes through them.

I've heard that there are relapses with puppies. They seem to make progress and then they regress on things. Children are like that ,too.

Thanks to everyone for your stories and responses.

I'll certainly let you know if we have any more hiccups.

15th August 2007, 05:38 PM
I think there are lots of us that can relate to your tell. People thought we were nuts to add a second dog to our household. My kids were sleeping the night and our older dog too. Libby came along and there I was standing in the backyard at 2am, just like when we had babies.

I even posted one night being so tired from getting up for two months and lots of people were there to give me great advice.

I wouldn't worry too much about them backsliding. If he does, just go back to potty training 101. Usually, it is because they get a little too much freedom or we don't watch them as closely.

Sounds like everything is going great!

15th August 2007, 06:03 PM
I even posted one night being so tired from getting up for two months and lots of people were there to give me great advice.

my dogs are adults & i'm still getting up in the night,lol