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Monday, February 8, 2010

I'm Conflicted

As a rule, I take to things very slowly, very deliberately. I research, I plan, I prepare, so that when I make a change, I'm comfortable with it, I'm ready. Back in April of 2007, long after most of the online group I chatted with had gone to high speed internet and updated computers, I was still running Windows 98 on dial up. For years I looked at a small SUV, and thought it would be something I liked. Every so often, people in chat would ask if I'd gone out looking for that car yet, and I'd say, no, I'm not ready. After my old car which worked like a real charm was 10 years old, I was finally ready and in 2004 I bought my Rav4. The move to my condo was even more deliberate -- something I'd worked on for 11 years. Yet within a matter of a year or possibly less, I've made a decision that has profoundly changed my life -- and I don't think I'm ready for this.

It's been just over a week since I've brought Rainy into my life and especially in the last few days I've wondered if I have let my heart overrule my head. I read about pugs, I followed many pug blogs, I had some idea what to expect, but it feels as if I'd known with my heart but not knowing with my head, too. The first few days I had her here I was trying to get a potty routine down since I knew that was the issue with her and we've seemed to have succeeded on that front. But now I want to live my life, do the things I used to do that I haven't done for at least the last couple of weeks, in getting the things I needed for Rainy and in bringing her home and having her here for the first week. I want to go out to the library for hours and read and do research. I want to run my errands and not worry that I'll be stuck in traffic and get home late. I want to go away on weekends and not have it cost a bloody fortune to travel and have someone take care of her. I want to be able to drive to Florida and not worry about leaving her in the car when I have to make a bathroom stop. I want the option of laying in bed and getting up whenever I feel like it at least a couple days a week. I had thought out being a pug mom with my heart, but not with my head. I didn't plan and get ready for the reality of what she would bring. And I don't think I'm ready for this.

So I'm conflicted. And I don't know what to do. I know other people can do this, but as my family knows, I'm not always "other people." Mostly yesterday and this morning, I've been thinking about what to do and feeling very unsure about my life as it now stands. Is it possible to live my life, the way it was, the way I want it to be, with her here? And if not, do I admit defeat and return her? My head says I'm so not ready for this, that I really hadn't thought this out very well, that I've made a major mistake. And at the same time, my heart says Rainy deserves better than to be returned yet again, she deserves her forever home and if I returned her now, there would be a hole, because she would take a little piece of me with her.

I'm not asking for advice, because every situation is different. I just wanted to get this down, to get my feelings written out so that maybe in the coming week I can look at them, and dig deep inside to try to figure out what to do, what's right for me and what's right for Rainy. I talked to a family member in Florida last night and I felt momentarily better - I think it's hard trying to do this on my own, without the support here of family and friends and that is only adding to my apprehension and anxiety. I only know I have to live my life, even if it means crating Rainy when I'm gone and not worrying about it, because it's not healthy for me to have my life revolve around her so completely. Maybe I did the wrong thing in getting a pug. Maybe a less velcro dog would have been better. All I know for sure is that it feels like I made a mistake, that I got in over my head. I am trying to tell myself that it's only been a week, that she's made major strides in just this week, especially with potty. But right now I'm conflicted, I don't know how I feel, I don't know what to do and I was unsure about even posting this. I guess for now I will have to try to get parts of my life back, pray on this for guidance and try to live with this for now as best I can.


Pearl said...

Oh DW, I am so sorry that you're dealing with all of these feelings.
I know you aren't seeking advice, but I do want to reassure you that this adjustment period is VERY hard. My first few weeks, maybe even months with Pearl were very difficult. She completely ruled my life. I am not sure if that has changed, truthfully, or if I have just come to love her so much that adjusting my lifestyle to suit her needs only feels natural to me.
I do remember, in the beginning, having to force myself to carry on with my routine, leave the house, etc... she was so needy and it was hard for me to leave. But it was GREAT for my sanity. You CAN do the things you want to do, within reason, and still give Rainy all the attention that she deserves.
Whatever decision you make, we will all be here to support you. You're in my thoughts!

Pearl and her momma

Pug(s) and Bugg said...

DW, I wish I could give you a hug. I am SO THERE with you. We went from having no pets to TWO pugs who were not potty trained. I told Brian I wanted to return them. It took a while to adjust. Our life is not the same as it was before- we cannot be gone for hours and hours, or go on trips last-minute without a pugsitter. BUT our lives are so much BETTER! It took mega getting used to an adjusting- for them and for us. The potty training was long and hard but paid off! I cannot imagine my life without them now (thus adding the 3rd pug... which I also thought was a horrible idea, how can this work, I can't believe we did this, we need to return him, etc etc) And now everything, while hectic at times, is perfect. It can be really overwhelming to bring a new doggie into your life but you'll both get into a routine. And the bloggers are all there for you!!!!!

Stick it out for a while longer. You both need to continue adjusting. If you can't handle it, then at least you will know you tried!!!! Hang in there!!!


agent99 said...

Mom tells me that's EXACTLY how she felt after bringing home my big sister Elaina (of the human kind that is.) She prepared for years to be a human mom, and then when her wish finally came true, she was pretty sure she'd made a humongous mistake. In fact, for a few weeks she was kind of terrified. But then things started to get better....and soon it was OK. Mistakes were made, poops happened, even some throw up, I think.
We would sure love to have Rainy come visit us for a while if you even need a break!

Love Gen & the Foo

Stubby said...

Hi dw! I see that everypug has jumped in with hugs and that's just what us pugs do. I don't remember a whole lot about what my parents went through when I was little so I asked Mom to tell me about it.

First off, Mom had Dad which makes a difference. It's hard (but not impossible) to take on the full responsibility of caring for another life by yourself, especially one that is so needy.

I don't think Mom and Dad ever questioned bringing me home but I was a 10 week old puppy so they were starting at ground zero with me. Rainy has been in other homes and the adjustment period is going to take longer than it would with a new puppy.

You need to take care of yourself and do the things you used to or you will resent Rainy. She is not a ball and chain but a charm. You can still go to library for hours and research (you sound like Mom!) because Rainy will sleep when you're gone.

You can still go away on weekends. You simply need to line up some pug sitters no so that you have options when you feel the need to get away.

You will eventually be able to sleep in late but that what be for a while. I used to wake Mom and Dad up with the sun because I loved to get an early start on the day.

I'm glad you took the time to get your thoughts down so you can look back on them later. If you decide you made a mistake then so be it. Don't hate yourself for doing so.

Please know that we are here for you to vent to, to cry to, and to hug. Take baby steps and continue to follow your heart.

Stubby xoxo

Yoda & Brutus said...

We agree with what everyone else has said. Give it some more time - Mom & Dad still have a life away from us pugs and they do leave us for hours to spend time with friends and/or family. We usually just sleep while they are gone.

Glad you could get your thoughts out and know that whatever decision you make, we will be here to support you!

Pugs & Kisses,

Yoda & Brutus

Salinger The Pug said...

((((BIG HUG))))
First off....I think every PugMom will agree that they've felt the same way at some point or another. You're NOT alone and you're not wrong, but I think this is all part of the "process".

Rainy sounds like she's adjusting wonderfully and I think you will too in time. You're both still learning the ropes and I really think things will fall into place before you know it!

I've found that most puggies and people are more resiliant than we seem to think. Try not to make yourself crazy with it and just do the best you can for YOU.

Seek out other nearby pug/dog parents and build your own network of support (kind of like all of us here in Indy seem to have done without even realizing it!)

We're with Gen and The Foo....poops/pees and puke will happen, but will eventually will get better and soon you'll wonder HOW you lived without sweet Rainy.

Please keep us all posted and know that we're all behind you!!!

Lex said...

Oh no, I am sorry that you are having all these doubts and misgivings about bringing Rainy home.
I went through that with Gus, for the first little while I dreaded going home to see what he had done or ruined. It was hard becuase I was so close to sending him back to the breeders but I let my heart rule me and I have a giant pug that still pees on the floor that I love very much.

Ues traveling with or without them can be a pain in the ass but it can be done. I am lucky that most places we go I can take them with me or drop them off at my friends who is willing to let them stay with her for as many days as we need.

Most days Gus and Indy are home by them selves for about 8 hours. There has been days where unfortunatley it has been alot longer then that (i once had to leave indy home for 11 hours due to work and school, I felt alwful about it but she survived just fine).

We are planning a trip to Oregon for April and Gus and Indy will be going with us, it is easier just to pack them up and the house that is being rented (by our friends) is pet friendly. There has been many times we have been able to pack up and go with the dogs, all it really takes is double checking the hotel and possibly 10$ extra a day.

I agree it is hard but hold on a little longer so you and Rainy can get over the whole initial phase and see where it goes from there.
However it turns out, we are here to support you.

Schwang said...

As everyone said, the first week or so will be a huge adjustment period. It's also hard for Rainy and she's likely acting in ways she may not act as she's adjusting. I sometimes thought I made a mistake too when I first adopted Miss M. I also have to say don't feel like you have to force something to work that's not working. We had a dog living with us, who we intended to adopt, before we got Mr. B. We really wanted it to work, his foster family wanted it to work, the organization wanted it to work...but we realized the commitment for this specific dog would alter our lives in ways we didn't want to change. It was really hard at the moment to say no, but in the end we all realized it was the right decision. Good Luck!

Sequoia & Petunia said...

Its so hard and I felt the exact same way when I got Sequoia. I had just moved 3000 miles from any family and I got Sequoia the third day after I moved. It was overlaod. I moved to a new state, I had to get a new job and now I got a freaking puppy, really what was I thinking! But she is the best little girl (after A LOT of training) and best friend. She is always there for you happy or sad and she greets you everytime you come home with so much love!

Have you looked into a small dog meet up group or pug meet up group in your area? They could offer help when watching her when you go on trips, I know people in our group are very nice about that kind of stuff. We just want to send you a hug while you think things over!

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Dear DW
Please do not feel guilty for sharing your heart felt feelings.
You will find the answers.

Arlo the Pug said...

Oh! Poor DW. I'm also not trying to give you advice or anything...but I just wanted to let you know that I know how you feel and it's good to know that you're not alone. You're not alone! The first few weeks after I brought arlo home, I thought I'd made a HUGE mistake! I was in tears, it was so overwhelming! I didn't know what else to do, so I started concentrating on the good things and pretty soon they started to outweigh the bad...and it got better. Not just better but it got fun! It's rough at first, but it will get better. I hope I helped....Love, Arlo's mom.

Sandra y Coco said...

Hi DW I just read that you got our V-day's card! I read this but didn't find a chance to sit and write my thoughts until now. I am sure your desicion will be the best for both of you; I really admire you for being so organized with your planning, I am not like that at all, I am very impulsive with my desicions, except for the ones that involve "big changes", which I mainly avoid - I.e. getting married, getting a new car, getting a dog, being a mother... well, as much as I tried to avoid those, they came to my life and I managed to make the best of each situation (specially my marriage, which was a truly disaster for the first 4+ years). Anyway, back to the subject: my experience with my pug is kind of different because he has a disease. His first year with me was a nightmare and I thought he was going to die anytime. We both survived and I can say he has almost a "normal" life now. That is: he sleeps ALL DAY. I don't feel sad for leaving him for hours anymore because he really enjoys being along to rest. The few hours he is awake and we are home, he gives us a 100% of his energy and excitement, mostly trying to get more food or treats. We take him out quicky to do his business (no fenced yard) and IF I can, I walk him a little bit also. I think he leads a fullfilled puggy life. But his presence also enriches mine in ways other humans or loneliness wouldn't. (Note: I am a loner). Now, the baby that's on her way, that is freaking me out! I hope all goes well, I am just getting used to the whole idea of "motherhood".