So, it’s come to this – even though you never ever thought this day would come. From the moment you met eyes with your dog, you knew it would be forever. And then life happened. Your dog is sick and you don’t have money to pay for a vet. Or maybe you went through a break-up and can’t find a dog-friendly apartment, let alone an affordable one.
Personally, I went through all of the above. I tried keeping my pooch as long as possible. Even with a steady income, it was too difficult. My ex was the breadwinner and without a two income household I could hardly take care of myself and my Hugo. I moved around a few times to get the best deal on living expenses. Then one day, I couldn’t afford to take Hugo to a vet. And then, since I was always working just to feed us both and give us a home, I didn’t have the time for him. As much as I resisted the idea, I knew it was time for me to look for a home that could take better care of Hugo than I could.
Giving up Hugo was the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do, but I do know I did the right thing.
If life is making it hard for you to give your dog the best life possible, rehoming may be something to consider. Although I hope you never have to use these tips, here are three pointers to help you find a home that you know will take better care of your pooch than even you can:
One of the best things you can do that will secure your pup a great new home is proper training. Being housebroken is a must and, if possible, take the time to teach basic commands. I was lucky on this one – Hugo was 5 and was a very obedient dog. I trained him off leash and with hand signals to make sure he would find a home that looked for these types of things. The homes that did meant they were “dog” people and enjoyed the outdoors – a must for my Hugo! Training also means a better chance at your pup not facing adoption again.
It’s all about who you know – I cannot stress this enough! By having reliable, honest, dog-loving people in my life, Hugo found the home I always wanted to give him, but couldn’t. My dog sitters loved Hugo so much they took him in and found the perfect place for him. If you aren’t able to home your pup until he is adopted by another family, try to find someone who will care for your dog as your own. Ask who they know and go down the line until you find a rescue organization or a no-kill shelter. You want your pup to be in good hands even long before adoption. The right people will know what’s best for your pup. I gave my dog sitters a list of traits and things I wanted for his new home:
- A big yard
- Outdoor lifestyle
- Another dog
- Someone who works at home (because that’s what Hugo was used to)
In a month, my sitters called and told me they found the perfect family – they matched the list to a T! Even better, they use my dog sitters, so Hugo still had normalcy in his everyday life even after I was out of the picture.
Giving up your pup is easily one of the most heart wrenching things you will ever have to do. That’s why you need to face the facts and make decisions logically. It’s tempting to go by your emotions and resist offers and homes, but if you feel in your heart this is right for your dog, try not to be selfish. Ease yourself into a dog-free life by limiting your time with your pooch. This will help you and your dog transition. I brought Hugo to a sitter once a month for a day to a week. I happened to be traveling a lot at the time, but I think it played a huge role in Hugo adapting well to a different home. He was used to me being gone and my absence allowed him to bond with new people.
I know it’s hard, but giving your companion a new home and new family is always the right thing if it means your pooch can be healthier and happier. And no matter how much guilt you may feel, nothing says you’re a good dog owner more than putting your wants aside to do the best thing for your fur pal. I promise, he will thank you.