What Would You Do?

TiffanyW TiffanyW
Here's my story.

about a year and a half ago, my sister and brother in law got orders to be transferred to Hawaii thanks to the military.

Her dog had a heart murmur and they were told the flight could kill him.

So she called me and asked me to take him for about 3 years. She said when she got back stateside, she'd take him back.

Here's my problem. I am completely and totally attached to this dog. I love him like family, and I don't want to let him go. She still says she will take him back when she can. I am heartbroken. I don't want to lose him. And my son is attached to him as well.

What would you do? I have about another year and a half to figure this all out
06/13/2013
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PropertyOfPotter PropertyOfPotter
Could you simply tell her your attachment and your son's and mention that you would love to keep caring for the dog?
06/13/2013
bratcat bratcat
Like PoP suggested, talk with your sister about your current attachment to the animal and how you're son also cares for him. But i really wouldnt expect that to change her mind in wanting to get her dog back.
You have to remember you did say you would foster the animal, and they we're attached enough to be sure that when they came home they would be able to take him back and care for him again opposed to giving the dog up for adoption. I know it can be very hard, especially when you have cared for the animal for so long, but i'm sure your sister cares for him just as much.
You can always set up play dates so you son can spend time with the dog, and if he shows responsibility for the animal maybe you could think of getting him his own dog from a shelter or rescue; or even considering doing fosters for rescues.

I've fostered many animals over the years, currently i'm fostering a friends cat whom we've had for close to a year now. I too love this animal like he's family and hate the idea of giving him up (especially since he's close in age to my own cat and they often play together), but i have to keep in mind that he is not my cat. i will be sad to let him go, but that just means i can then have an opening to foster another great animal, or even get another cat of my own.
06/13/2013
Wicked Wahine Wicked Wahine
Quote:
Originally posted by PropertyOfPotter
Could you simply tell her your attachment and your son's and mention that you would love to keep caring for the dog?
Exactly, bring up your son's emotional attachment to the dog, as well as your's. But people are often more soft-hearted towards children! If you have to, offer to get her another dog. But for someone who can be moved at a moments' notice, maybe she would be better without any dog, or one who is well enough to travel & this will force her to recognize it. Have you been paying for the upkeep of the dog? Regardless, you are a terrific sister to take on her responsibility for 3 years!

Of course, you're attached to him, he's undoubtedly just as attached to you & your son! Maybe you can ask the vet if the strain of having to move again would be bad for him? (Or, heck, I'd just say that's what the vet said, but that's me...) You never know, she may be secretly relieved that you want to keep him and then she would be free to get another dog that could travel with her. And it's not like she wouldn't see him again or know he's happy or not.

Maybe you can play dirty & have your son, (don't know his age), write or video a plea to let him keep his special friend? Dogs are pack animals & he now has his pack that he sees all the time & plays with a kid - what would could possibly make the dog happier than that & stability? I really think this dog would be happier with you & your son, but I don't know anything other than your side, so that's natural. You can also see how the dog reacts to seeing her again. Maybe he will be more excited to stay with her, it's a hard call. But, if she has to move again & can't take him, what's she going to do then?

You can always preface the request by mentioning things now, like: "I'm really worried about (son's name) He's so attached to the dog. So am I, but you know how important pets can be to children & 3 years is forever to a child." Planting the seed now, might help her come around and not have a knee jerk response of , "NO!"
06/13/2013
Cosmonaut Cosmonaut
It is truly heart wrenching for both parties.

How long did she have the dog before asking you to take care of him until she was back?

Since he was originally hers, I would give him back. He was her family, too. I am sure she was heartbroken having to leave him. She probably has been thinking about reuniting with him since having to leave him in your care. It's like having to send your kids to grandma's house for vacation knowing grandma is going to give them back once you return. Can you imagine if grandma said nope?

I know it's hard but I would give him back in a heart beat. Get a dog from a shelter or check the ads for puppies. Someone could be them giving away. It will help with the heartache.
06/13/2013
Ansley Ansley
My answer would depend entirely on how the dog reacted when he saw my sister. If it was indifference, then I would beg to keep the dog. If the dog bounces around like he's having a heart attack and can't contain his excitement, I would give the dog back. I believe moves can be just as traumatic for animals as they are for people. That's just my .02 on the matter.
06/13/2013
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by TiffanyW
Here's my story.

about a year and a half ago, my sister and brother in law got orders to be transferred to Hawaii thanks to the military.

Her dog had a heart murmur and they were told the flight could kill him.

So she ... More
If it were me and I were close to my sister I would definitely talk to my sister. You could arrange some sort of joint custody. The other solution is to get another dog that you will have a year to become equally attached to so the parting won't be as traumatic for your son...or for you!

I imagine if you talk to your sister she will be sympathetic to your concerns and if she sees her dog is happy and well cared for she might be inclined to allow him to stay. If he has a heart condition it is best for him to be with someone who won't be traveling with the military and in a stress free environment.

This is a tough issue and one I went through as a child as well. I wish you the best and I am sure you guys can work it out so that everyone is happy!
06/13/2013
tami tami
Quote:
Originally posted by TiffanyW
Here's my story.

about a year and a half ago, my sister and brother in law got orders to be transferred to Hawaii thanks to the military.

Her dog had a heart murmur and they were told the flight could kill him.

So she ... More
Tell her maybe she will let you keep him and she can visit him
06/13/2013
TiffanyW TiffanyW
Thank you all so much! I really appreciate it! We are unbelievably attached to Duke. And she's already gotten another dog... Ugh
06/14/2013
Total posts: 9
Unique posters: 8