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.
Anna, that's a great story. So many times you hear that "the dog chose me." In the case of this parrot that was certainly the case. We can hope that that will be the case with Kriby, too.
We give people 30 days in which to return an animal to us for a full credit, and no blemish on their record. IMO, that isn't really enough time for the dog to fully adjust, but it's a good time limit for the owners, and for the dog to still be ready to try out a new home if they have to. Melissa, you gave it four months, and as you see, in those last months you saw more developments, particularly between the two dogs, that you wouldn't have seen sooner. We don't like seeing a dog or cat coming back in a day or two, cuz that shows that the owners didn't give it a chance, or we didn't do our jobs very well in counseling the adoption. But longer than that, yeah, we don't want our dogs in the wrong home, or people having the wrong dog.
Melissa, it happens. Don't beat yourself up.
A decision like this isn't easy to reach, Melissa, so I don't feel it would be right for myself or anyone else to give you a hard time about it. You've posted a lot about the struggles you've had with Kirby and it was fairly clear, right from the beginning, that this match didn't have a good chance at working out. Other have mentioned it and I agree that not all owners and dogs will get along. It was nothing that either you or Kirby did wrong, it's just two personalities that aren't mixing well. It has also been harder since you've been so busy with work and school.
I hope that Kirby is able to find his perfect match and settle in with a new owner. I know that you'll do a very thorough job when interviewing potential owners. And if you do get another dog in the future, maybe a happy-go-lucky lab, like what you wanted at the office, will suit you and Franklin better. :)
Thank you for being honest and documenting your journey with us, I really hope that people who've been through adding a 2nd dog or thinking about getting a 2nd dog can learn from this.
First of all, I think you should let a rescue to rehome Kirby, a well trained rescue person / foster home can do a fantastic job in matching Kirby with a forever home. I strongly discourage you from rehoming him yourself, pass on your information and your own experience to the rescue, let them do this for you. You are still a very green corgi owner, an experienced rescuer can give an honest assessment, separate the bias and rehome Kirby in his best interest as a dog.
Secondly, there is no shame in trying, if you've been on this site long enough, you'll see me time after time answering potential owners to read the FAQ before adding another corgi, at times I would even flat out telling the owners / potential owners NOT to get a corgi / another corgi (you have no idea how many angry emails I get for this). Please know that you are not the only one who is going through / gone through this, you are not being single out . I say this because it is not an age or maturity issue, but simply a lack in corgi ownership experience, experience like this only comes from owning / fostering / rehoming the breed for a long time, there is simply no fast track to this. No, I'll be the first one to admit that I am NOT the corgi guru, that's because I have seen the real deal, how my mentor foster and rehome this breed, I've learned that every corgi is different, what worked for others just simple don't apply to everyone. Always appreciate when someone cares enough to give you honest advise, even though it is not something you want to hear. Let's face it, who enjoys being told they're wrong? Know this, when you realize people stop challenging your thoughts, that means they have completely given up on you, It is a sad and lonely world that you don't want to be in. Please, give yourself several years before adopting / purchasing a new addition, focus on Franklin, you will continue to learn more and enjoy this amazing breed. Epic success comes from countless failures.
Thirdly, be a lifetime student, don't let age / career / seniority hinder you. The difference between a grown adult and a child is realizing your mistake, own up to your mistakes, learn from it, remember it, change course and swear that you will never repeat the same mistakes again. A lot of people can do parts of it but not everyone can do ALL of it. No, there is no magic age that suddenly you've gained all these experience, it is only through humility and honesty. Everyone makes mistakes, older experienced well educated people makes mistakes, what you do with a mistake is the key to making a difference. Digest this, refrain from defending yourself with excuses and apply it to other aspect of your life. You will go a long way.
4. Owning two + dogs is a different sport, I'm sure you really KNOW what I mean by now, Melissa, be glad that you went through this, even though the outcome may not be what you would have hoped, it is an experience that no one can take it away from you. You'll be able to counsel other members on why and why not to get another dog. It is only human nature that we want more of a good thing, it is only through experience that let us realize more is not necessary a good thing. You now know why it is highly irresponsible to say "it's like potato chips, you just can't have one". Every dog is different, what worked in the past with other dogs simply don't translate to others.
5. Anxiety / panic attack is something that really hits home for me. I've never publicly explain why I left 10+ years of medical career, yes, I still miss it and it still devastates me to revisit it. It is only through this painful experience that gave me a glimpse of what our furry friend goes through and how much harder it is to treat / manage this condition. Everyone enjoy / stay for the good times of dog ownership / marriage, it is the bad times that prove what you're really made of. No, it is not my intention to instill guilt on you, a wise commander knows when to retreats his troops. Rx is only part of the equation in solving panic attack, time, therapy, a good understanding and unconditional patience from your partner is not something that everyone signed up for. Let go and do what's best for your dog, it is what truly matters at the end of the day.
Please don't take this the wrong way, I'm not here to judge you, it is nothing personal, we are all here because of the love for this breed and the simple joy of dog ownership. We cheer and cry with you through this journey, it is what makes MyCorgi.com special. I wish you all the best with Kirby and we are here for you.
Thank you Sam for the input. I do think this has been quite a learning experience and eye opener. Maybe for me corgis are to be adored from afar (with the exception of Franklin of course) and not necessarily a dog I should have 2 or more of. Franklin is everything wonderful about the breed and he is my first corgi. I had previously just adored and played with client's dogs and read books, watched videos, and pursued this site before adding Franklin to my home. He was a result of 7 months of searching for the right breeder and the right dog and the time and energy spent in the pursuit really paid off. I've known all along there can never be another Franklin but I guess I didn't really realize how drastically different most corgis are in comparison. I know you can't compare dogs but traits I was looking for, and found in Franklin, just aren't as common as I thought they would be in the breed. I still get giddy whenever one comes into work and their little faces make me so happy, but maybe I am more suited to a life with the retriever mixes I grew up with who are born to please. Franklin has a herding dogs energy with a retrievers desire to please and be everyone's best friend.
I will consider allowing a rescue to re-home Kirby but I do have my hesitations on this. Going through a rescue is how I ended up with a dog like this to begin with. Rescues in my area are all about the turnover and I honestly don't think they'd take the time to get to know Kirby and provide an honest assessment of what he is like. He was pulled by a rescue from Animal Control and I have come to find that one day later that rescue wrote a 3 paragraph description about his "personality" and answered my barage of questions with very detailed answers. My worry is that a rescue will do the same thing again just to move the dog. I do have contact with a rescue about 7 hours away that I know is a great rescue and will keep him for at least a month so I will contact her as well. We do have a breed rescue about 4 hours away, I have tried contacting them about other things in the past and never received a response, but I will contact them again to see if they can help. They have had the same 3 dogs listed on their site since before I got Truck in January.
I have always had 2 dogs, but as you have said, 2 corgis is a different ballgame. Its not necessarily the extra work or money, its more the unexpected clashing of personalities as time progresses. In the first month or two I had Kirby I'd never imagine we would be where we are today with him pestering and pushing Frank around to the breaking point then causing a fight when Franklin reacts. I figured I'd see this kind of behavior in the first month or so and didn't even think about how it may progress to a bad situation as time went on. Luckily neither dog is really aggresssive or committed when the fights do occur so its mostly just a small cut or two as a result and they are quite easy to break up, I'm just worried it will progress as Kirby's confidence builds. As it is now Franklin can't do any sort of playing with me or toys while Kirby is around without the risk of a fight breaking out.
Anxiety at Kirby's level is definitely something that I don't know how to deal with, especially working full time. I just don't have the knowledge of how to fix a disorder like this and the 2 trainers I have worked with in the past 4 months haven't really been able to provide me with any more insight other than the prescription medications and working on crate training. Problem is his anxiety is all the time, not just when I'm gone and the only advice I've had to combat it is more exercise. He gets 1-2 hours a day already so I'm not sure if the "more exercise" idea is a valid one or what other steps I'm supposed to take to help him work through this anxiety.
Well said Sam.
OH MY GOSH Sam that was very well said... So insightful, so honest, im taking it to heart for myself... .No wonder your the founder of this site, I sure hope mocha is still having fun..
Thanks for the link. I have re-read it and you absolutely hit the nail on the head. Exactly what you were looking for in a dog is pretty much exactly what I am looking for. Franklin's breeder just totally spoiled me for corgis. I have met several of her puppies and they all have Franklin's same personality. Even his sister who can be bossy and independent still has a friendly, happy-go-lucky, outgoing nature, and deep down just wants to please. At the time I was first looking for a dog, size was an issue, so that's where corgis came in. Even more recently I was having to consider size but that is no longer a problem. I prefer larger dogs anyway so a gun-dog mix may fit the bill perfectly if/when I decided another dog is appropriate.
Melissa - deciding you and Kirby are not good for each other is not a failure - its a responsible pet owner decision that keeps everyone's best interest in mind. You are a great dog mom! I have read many of your posts over the past few years and I can tell that you have your dogs best interests in mind. Do what you feel is right. Don't be hard on yourself for it. Everyone else said all the other good stuff above so I won't waste your time writing another novel (see my reply to your weekend posts :) Its not like you didn't try everything you can think of. Your past few weeks of posts are evident of that. Keep your chin up and make your decision with a strong heart.
Thank you for your kind words. I have been feeling physically ill about this decision since I said it outloud. Its eating me up inside but I really do have to consider what is best for both Franklin and Kirby. I have spent the day close to tears thinking over and over about this but I really do think I need to listen to my gut and I think it is really what is best for everyone.
I will be thinking of you and hoping you find the right situation in which Kirby will fit, or a Rescue that will take the time to foster him properly before trying to place him. I am a firm believer in following your gut feelings. I worked in Rescue most of my adult life and, as they say on car stickers regarding fuel consumption " your mileage may varie". Too bad you experienced one of the well meaning poor ones.... I am sure there are many here that have adopted wonderful Corgis through Rescues or Shelters. I am one of those. Rescues that place difficult dogs without proper assessment and preliminary groundwork, end up giving Rescue a bad name and making people leery of adopting, which is a darn shame.