Update: Well any thoughts of re-homing Kirby have been put on hold due to the move. I am in the process of moving from one place to another and he is not taking well to the idea. I have spent a few hours at the new place on both Saturday and Sunday and Kirby was so nervous and pacing/whinning pretty much the whole time we were at the new place. He peed and pooped inside the new house even though the door was open to the backyard, he has NEVER gone potty inside. He is continuing to whine/bark if I crate him at the new place as well. I crated him for about 15 minutes while I ran to the store really quick yesterday, I wanted to do a really short trip and have him crated at the new place to help him adjust to when he will be there full time. He was still whinning when I got back. And he has tried to destroy the blinds already when left alone for less than 2 minutes, and he began chewing the carpet when I was still inside with him. I'm not sure how long it will take him to adjust to the move, but now I worry a lot about re-homing since he has had such a severe reaction to the move. On a good note though, him and Franklin have begun to play again....A LOT! Its fabulous to see them getting along so well. Granted its only been 3 days but its a pretty big deal considering they hadn't played together in weeks without getting into fights. Then new place has a jack and jill type bathroom and a hall between the bedrooms and together this makes an excellent racing circuit for the dogs to run circles like crazy. Franklin was going bananas yesterday, I belatedly got out the camera, but was able to catch some fun. He's an old hat when it comes to moving so I'm hoping his mellow reaction to the move will help soothe Kirby. Frank is actually the one who instigated the most recent play sessions which is great.
Tomorrow it will be 4 months since I adopted Kirby. I didn't realize it had been so long. The last few weeks I have been thinking long and hard about whether I should re-home Kirby or continue to stick it out and see what kind of relationship between us develops. Lately I have really started leaning towards finding him a new home. I do have several people who I have talked to who are very interested in him and I think I may begin an interview process to re-home him. I know I'm going to catch a lot of sh#$ for this decision, but I really do think it is in HIS best interest, as well as my own. A few incidents have led me to this decision. First off, a client was wanting to get rid of his lab the other day and was trying to give it to me, my first thought was frustration that I had Kirby otherwise I'd take the lab in a heartbeat. I am ashamed to say this was my reaction. A few days later a good sam brought in a young corgi that she found wandering in her neighborhood, she dropped him off with us and we tried to find his owner, immediately I was more than willing to take him home and was joking about just re-homing Kirby. And now yesterday I was offered yet another adorable sweet lab, again I'm really wanting the lab and not Kirby. It was a big red flag to me at how easy,after four months of constant struggle and work, I can so easily think of re-homing Kirby. I don't feel all that sad about the thought, I don't feel very attached to him, yet after 4 months I should be completely head-over-heels for this dog. I have felt much more connection to some of my other fosters that I KNEW I only had for a short time, and way more connection to other rescues I have helped train, again when I knew I was not going to be able to adopt them.
The second big reason is my observations of his interactions with Franklin. At first I was really not even considering re-homing him because he and Franklin seemed to get along SO WELL. As Kirby's confidence increases, this doesn't seem to be the case. Kirby is an obnoxious, over-bearing, bully of a dog. He is not mean or aggressive in any way, he is just pushy and has zero manners when it comes to dog-to-dog interactions. I noticed this from the beginning and was hoping that Franklin would correct these behaviors and tech Kirby how to be a more well behaved canine citizen. Well the opposite is happening. Kirby is just getting worse and worse and Franklin is looking to me more and more to help "save" him from Kirby. He very rarely will correct Kirby for his obnoxious behaviors and in the last several weeks when Frank finally does decide enough is enough Kirby will retaliate and a fight will start. Franklin isn't a fighter so will often either back down or run to me for protection. If I correct Kirby for the behaviors it just results in me being the mean scary human and Kirby's trust in me and our relationship is negatively affected. Franklin seems to spend more time either stuck to my side like glue, hiding behind me, or up on my bed where Kirby can't get, than he does interacting in a positive manner with Kirby. I was hoping they would figure this out but it seems as time goes on Franklin can't wait for the minute I lock Kirby in his crate for the day.
Last off, I feel like the medications are starting to help a little bit, yet I feel no closer connection to Kirby. I was thinking maybe his anxiety, destructiveness, and the behaviors that followed resulted in me being so frustrated with him all the time that it has made it so I can't really connect with him. Well for the past several weeks Kirby has been great about going in his crate, I can now safely leave a bed in there and he won't destroy it, and he is much less anxious in the house. Yeah we've been dealing with the not eating thing, but that is more annoying than causing any real frustration on my part. Yet with this improvement in behavior I'm not feeling any increase in bond with him. He's just kinda there in my house. I pet him and play with him because I know he is very affectionate and wants the love, but I don't do it because I truly WANT to shower him with my affection. I feel really bad about this too. He is a very sweet and loving dog and its not fair to him that I don't feel that connection at all. I have just been thinking more and more about how much happier he would be in a home where somebody is home more often, maybe as an only dog so he can be the center of the universe, or with a more dominant dog than Franklin who would be willing to teach him manners.
I have had a serious discussion with my family, with his vet, and with some other close friends and done some serious soul searching. I think my own stubbornness has been what has been keeping me from considering re-homing him. I just can't stand the thought that I couldn't make it work and keep thinking it'll get so much better with more time. Just more time, energy, effort, etc and it'll work out fine. But really will it? Or will I be spending the next several months/years experiencing daily guilt that I don't love my dog, frequent frustration towards him when he is just being his crazy, independent self? Wish I could see into the future and see if it does end up working out with him or if its just months and years of me just tolerating him because I can't stand the thought of re-homing a dog who was supposed to be a forever member of my family.
I think you know what decision you need to take. :)
You must always act in the best interests of your first dog(s) when introducing another to the house. While Kirby does seem to have his moments with Franklin, and with you, it seems as if he is largely a pesky house-guest.
Now, I assume he must have recently caused additional problems to inspire you to make this post. But if that's not the case, then it's even more obvious what course of action you ought to pursue. Should you desire to rehome him, then do your damndest to make sure it's the perfect home for him. One that can deal with his anxiety, maybe one that won't need to crate him several hours a day during work hours, and maybe even one without other dogs. All of that is up to you.
It's not too late to be the saving grace that you wanted to be in Kirby's life. Finding him a home that suits him to a T could be the very best thing you do for this dog. He is a nervous wreck and a bully, but he relies wholly on his humans to provide for him. Be that good provider! :)
Thanks. There really wasn't any one thing he has done in the last few days, just me paying more attention to the interactions between him and Franklin. I can't even remember the last time they ran and played and had fun together and honestly I am afraid Kirby is going to hurt Franklin one of these days. Oddly they do great when there is a 3rd dog in the mix but with just the two of them I feel like there is more squabbling than actual play. Franklin gets along great with most dogs and was very bonded to my brother's dog when we lived together and absolutely LOVES my parents dog, but I don't see this bond between him and Kirby. Instead I see him attempting to distance himself from Kirby's obnoxious behavior and Kirby not getting the hint. Two of their fights now have resulted in blood even though neither was particularly violent, but they were actually biting and not just making a lot of noise like they did in the beginning. I don't think anybody is happy with our current situation.
It's unfortunate that tensions have come to that boiling point between the two. Like I said, always keep your first dog's best interests in mind. Do NOT feel like you've somehow failed Kirby's cause just because you may end up rehoming him, though. You can still do the best thing anyone's ever done for this dog by finding him the perfect home. :) We got your back!
Deciding he would be better off some where else is not a failure. I hope you can make your decision (whatever it is) and feel that you did the best for yourself, Franklin and Kirby. Best wishes!
Maybe you and Franklin are better off just having each other than adding another dog to the mix?????
Melissa, I think maybe your situation right now is best suited to having just one dog. It sounds like you don't really have the space to deal with behavior issues. When you bring in a second dog, there is no predicting how it will get on with the first. Yes there are dogs who live together who are great friends, but just as often they sort of just co-exist. I have in my life lived with dogs who hated each other and fought when in the same room, and we managed. We did not consider rehoming the dogs because 1) we could manage it and 2) we had multiple dogs to suit the family, not to have the dogs be friends with each other.
I agree that Kirby does not seem to be working for you and there is no shame in that. However, since this is the second dog in a short period that did not work for you, I think you might want to think for awhile about what you do need before going ahead and bringing in another. When breeders rehome adult dogs it's always on a trial, because there is the understanding that the dog may not fit in as well as planned in the new environment. Barring the opportunity to do that, you might want to rethink adding another dog. Two of the same sex is more likely to result in a conflict, too, so usually opposite sex works best for people who don't want to have to spend lots of time carefully controlling dog interactions.
I think if you do decide you want another dog, you probably want to wait til you can manage a puppy. I think I mentioned before that your list of requirements is very, very specific and usually that means a puppy from a breeder who can pick a good match and then you can have a hand in shaping behavior and socialization. We really, really lucked out when Maddie fell in our lap but that was a chance in a thousand and my original intent was to get a second puppy because we too have specific requirements for a dog and really need dogs who are pretty bomb-proof.
In 2 days I'm actually moving to quite a large place with a small yard that backs up to a 3 mile park and a river with endless miles of hiking trails. I had been keeping Kirby this long knowing I was moving into a bigger place, I thought it'd be sooner but it ended up taking longer than expected. Deep down I really don't think a bigger place will change how I feel about him though. As Anna has said, we just don't fit together. There is just something about his personality and behavior that makes it hard for me to really bond with him. I can't really put my finger on it, its just how he responds when I am training with him, how he seems to have ZERO desire to learn and obey and will only do what is asked if he is physically attached to me (i.e. by a leash). I've never had a dog so opposed to training in general. My rescued German Shepherd was a VERY difficult dog, destructive, neurotic, high prey drive (she killed one of my pet chickens), etc but even SHE took well to training and re-directing her energy and anxiety and loved having a job to do. She ended up becoming a very successful search and rescue dog. Kirby doesn't want a job, he wants to do what HE wants to do, which more often than not is the polar opposite of what I want and/or what he "should" be doing. My dogs and I tend to bond very strongly through play time and training sessions and Kirby has no desire to do either with me. If I am working with him 1 on 1 he has no interest in fetch or tug or anything like that and would rather lay and chew a squeaky alone than interact with me. If Franklin is around Kirby just wants to steal anything Franklin is interested in but has no desire to actually play with it, or he wants to just bash into, jump on, or herd Franklin until Franklin has no desire to attempt to play anymore. When training one on one with Kirby he will spend 90% of the training session looking everywhere but at me and telling me in no uncertain terms that he can't wait for the minute it is over, even with yummy high value treats, he just has no interest. A dog like that just doesn't fit well with my personality. I like to have a dog and handler team, one that wants to work together and interact and love each other. Kirby is a one man show, humans are just a source of food and occassional petting and cuddles but not useful for anything else. He can be quite affectionate but all that affection goes out the window the minute you start trying to set boundaries.
I think it just an odd coincidence that two dogs showed up right around the same time that ended up not working out. I had been looking for over a year, met several dogs, was in contact with several different rescues, and even took Franklin to meet a few dogs (all of which weren't corgis) and none of them seemed like a good match, then within a couple months of each other two dogs who seemed to be a good match showed up. I do agree with you though that perhaps a puppy or an adult from a breeder with a trial is a better option if/when I decide to add a 2nd dog to the house. It'd be nice if I could find something close that I could meet a few times before having to decide if I should take it on trail, both Kirby and Truck were from 6+ hours away so this wasn't an option, I had to just trust the breeder and the rescue that they were giving me accurate information about the dogs.
I agree with Jane. I was going to say the same thing. I would in no way, shape, or form, add another dog to your mix. All dogs look great in the beginning, but they come with baggage just like humans. It's like when you first meet someone- everything they do is great and funny and cute, but then after living with them some time, you realize that what drew you to them annoys the s*^@ out of you. I don't chastise you for trying, and I don't condemn you for your decision. I think finding him a new home is what he needs, especially if you find yourself despising him. But I wonder in your split decisions to do something noble to save a life, if you aren't harming yourself and the dog in the process. You should think long and hard about fostering or adopting. If you aren't willing to love the animal through their misgivings, then please don't make a rash decision of taking them on. It is not fair to the dog to keep rehoming them. No dog will ever learn to trust if they just start feeling at home and safe, and then get moved again. I don't mean to sound harsh, but you have to figure out your reasons for wanting another dog before taking one on.
Beth- I think the reasoning for me wanting 2 dogs is, I've always had 2 or more. Franklin grew up with another dog in the house and was never left alone. He seems to really like the company of a 2nd dog. I was always used to having 2 dogs around, its just how I grew up and what feels most comfortable to me. I do agree though that maybe rescue at this time in my life just isn't a reasonable option. I've always rescued but in the past didn't really have specific things I was looking for in a new pet. I think now that I have some different expectations in my future dog maybe a puppy is the way to go. I feel like a puppy would actually end up being LESS work than an adult rescue since a puppy doesn't have the baggage.
Jennifer- I just want to clear up that I in NO WAY rushed into any decisions to get a new dog. I had searched for well over a year for a good match and that was when I found the first corgi Truck. He was compeletely misrepresented by the breeder, but luckily she did agree to a trial and so he was able to go to a new more fitting home when it was clear it wasn't going to work. He was dog aggressive and that is absolutely something I will not deal with, especially when a dog is fear aggressive and attacks without warning. With Kirby I was taking a risk by adopting a rescue vs getting a puppy, but again it was in no way a split decision. I had been searching for a dog for over a year and if I had made a split decision I would have had a dog long before now because there were MANY "funny and cute" dogs along the way but I waited until I found one that fit close to the exact description I was looking for. Unfortunately I have had 2 bad experiences now. The rescue spoke to me for a long time about what I wanted and we sent long e-mails back and forth about Kirby and at no time did she mention his anxiety and how destructive he was, at no time did she mention his lack of training and/or boundaries, and at no time did she mention how completely out of control he was. I asked very specific questions and she gave me very specific answers. It would have been much more beneficial to Kirby had she simply said she didn't know the answers to my questions instead of responding with long detailed answers. I had no way of knowing until I adopted him that she actually did not know specifics about this dog and that she had only had him 1 week (according to the paperwork she gave me after I adopted him). She talked about him like she knew his personality and was confident in her answers. I guess I'm not sure what other steps I'm expect to take to make sure it works beyond trying the dog out in my home. I agree its not fair for the dog to be re-homed thats why I was so specific in my questions and what I was looking for in the first place. Had she told me how anxious he was and how it was clear he was probably just kept in somebody's backyard with no training or socialization, and how timid he was I probably wouldn't have adopted him since that was/is not what I want. Or if she had said she didn't know anything about him then I certainly wouldn't have adopted him because I didn't want a dog so young anyway but since she described him as close to exactly what I wanted I decided to take the chance with a younger dog.
I think you are very observant to your situation, as well as your conscious and subconscious feelings. I don't know you in person, but just through MyCorgi, I can tell you are a great dog parent. Franklin is your pride and joy. That's how it was with Murphy. We had temporary "custody" of a rotty puppy for a week before we added Maya, and I tried SO HARD to overlook his awful behaviour [not just puppy stuff, but ROTTEN puppy stuff.. and Murphy was absolutely TERRIFIED] and it didn't seem like something that would change. After giving him back, I cried for HOURS... mostly at the thought that I failed as a dog parent. But in retrospect, I succeeded in giving the puppy a chance with us, and making the grown up decision to protect my babies and give him a home where he wouldn't be resented. When we got Maya, she was a bit of a stinker, but it was NOTHING like the rotty was. I was hoping that Murphy would show her the way, but she grew into her independent / diva / bratty personality anyway. She was and is a pest, but they got along despite this. If they didn't, I would have been extremely emotional and upset, but would have rehomed Maya.
You gave Kirby a big chunk of your time, patience, love and energy, but if it's not the right fit, I would go with your gut and find Kirby a great home. If you already have people interested, I would interview them and if you get a good feeling about them having him, then maybe this is what his story is meant to be. All in all, you gave him a loving home for four months and that is an amazing thing to do. And who knows... maybe if you do rehome him and you decide to foster a pet in the hopes of it working out with Franklin, they'll be the best pals ever.
Whatever you decide to do, you are an honorable pet parent, and like you said, this is a very hard decision. Keep your chin up through all of this.
Melissa, no one can say you have not given this your all, but relationships are a two way street and if it's not working for you, you can be sure it's not working for him either. Just as you are not a good match to all people, you will not be a good match to all animals. Most people and dogs fall somewhere in the middle, a few are the ones where the connection is so strong you cannot imagine having lived without them, and then there are a few at the other extreme. After one of your first posts about him, I remember writing " ultimately this may not be the dog for you." No one can say you've not walked the extra mile.
Kirby may work in another situation/environment, with someone of a different nature and personality, willing to put in the time. I would look to see how he connects with anyone wanting to adopt him, he may be able to help you in the choice.
Many years ago I bought an Umbrella Cockatoo., his name was Astro. I had done extensive studying about them. He was just 1 yr. old and had no behavior problems. I planned to keep him for life and even made arrangements for where he would go if he survived me, as they are so long lived. Well, he never bonded with me and was a very demanding bird, as large parrots tend to be. I kept him for 1 yr., then we were moving across Country and I decided to find him a new home by putting an ad in the paper. Several people came who wanted to buy him, he liked none of them. Across Country he came with us, I just could not sell him to someone he did not like. I thought he would do better as he matured, but he could care less about me, or anyone in my home and my family members grew to dislike him. After another 8 months, I put again an ad in the paper. More people came that he did not like. Astro had been raised with a small Schnauzer before he came to me. If he did not like someone he would pull all his feathers in close to his body and start to pace saying " Hello, woof - hello, woof - hello, woof " and I would tell the people: "sorry, he does not like you..."
Finally a lady came that he instantly fell in love with. He went down from my knee and climbed onto hers and started looking at her with the most adoring eyes. I could hardly believe what I was seeing. I had her come back with the other family members (husband, mother and 2 kids), he liked them all. They bought him and I went to see hin after a period of adjustment. He was riding on the back of their St.Bernard... Finally, I was able to let go of my guilt.
I hope you find someone Kirby likes and seems responsible, this will give you all the best chance of success.
Did Kirby come from a rescue?