I don't really expect or want anyone to read this. I wrote it mainly to try to organize my thoughts and try to calm myself enough to stop crying so that I can go to work. I only made it readable to others so that it would force me to own up to my thoughts and feelings, even though I still can't really express the guilty, remorse, fear, and sadness that I feel. Here goes.
I spent 2 months researching dogs and trying to figure out what kind I wanted. I'd fantasized being excited to come home and be home, that I'd leave work smiling, happy to arrive home to an eager, loving pet. I also thought that have a dog would teach me responsibility and love, two traits that I've felt I've been lacking. If I could take care of a dog, and make it love me, then maybe I'd be less socially crippled, have more confidence, and have a nice furry friend as a reward. I'd seen my neighbor get her pound puppy and fall in love. She frankly said one night at dinner that she'd just felt "complete", and I could see the love and appreciation in her eyes. I too wanted to feel so blessed. So, I got a puppy for Christmas.( Boring history of my experience with petsCollapse )
She was adorable, affectionate, and mine. She warmed everyone's hearts. I was really protective of her for the first couple of days. I soon learned that she was incredibly needy, though, and that she would cry or bark if she wasn't constantly touching someone, or if they went out of her sight. She frequently had accidents, even though I'd be outside with her 40 minutes at a time waiting for her to use the restroom. Thankfully I had my mom, stepdad, and the two dogs that lived there to help a bit with my responsibility, and things didn't seem too bad, so I was really hopefully when I brought Onyx home Saturday night.
Within the first hour of being home, she had two accidents, even though we'd gone outside 3 times. Despite her sweater, she absolutely hates the Albuquerque cold. I had her sleep in her crate next to my bed that night, and she woke me up 4-5 times that night, but when I'd carried her outside each time, she'd potty most of the times. The next day I noticed how truly clingy and needy Onyx is. She constantly had to be touching me or she'd freak out. I couldn't do anything productive because she'd be all over my feet or crying at me. Also, if I didn't watch her like a h awk, she would definitely go to the bathroom on my carpet any chance she got. That night, I slept on the couch to be closer to the door, and she woke me up every 40 minutes, but wouldn't leave her crate; she'd just been whining because she was upset to not be sleeping with me; at least she went when we went outside in the morning. However, in general when I take her outside, we'll be standing in the cold 10 minutes while she'd just cry and freak out and bark at me to go back inside, and then she'll usually have an accident.
My patience was worn through. Already an insomniac, I became more and more exhausted, and that translated into heightened frustration which my puppy could sense, therefore making her behavior worse. I'd cry in private, and my depression grew. Back at work, I'd tell my friends that I'd gotten a puppy for Christmas, but that I hated her because she was so annoying and needy (A lame attempt to try to disguise the fact that the problem is me being ashamed of not having the strength or emotional stability to handle my responsibility). I spent even more hours researching training techniques, and learning that Onyx felt she was the alpha dog in the house. I read up on how to assert myself to her, and came home after work determined to try to make this work. Onyx immediately noticed some sort of change, tried to challenge it, and gave up. I refused to let her sit on the couch with me, and so she played with her toys on the floor near my feet (finally, she was behaving semi-independently!). After awhile, I attached her leash to her to make sure she'd stay within eye-view to avoid accidents. She refused to go outside, and I literally had to drag her, and we spent a lot of time standing in the cold with her whining because she wouldn't use in the yard. Inside, she'd try to get my attention, I'd pet her for a bit, and then she'd get sad/upset, go into her crate, and pout and sigh.
So, I'm a horrible person because even though she's improving and trying to please me, it seems that I really don't care. It honestly feels like having her has made me feel like my life is over, and I ruminate on all the things that I can no longer do and enjoy (setting an exercise routine, working on art projects, traveling, relaxing). This poor dog loves me and is really trying to make me happy, and I'm apparently too cold-hearted to appreciate it. It bothers me that I fantasize about getting hurt or in an accident so that I won't have to come home and do all of this work. I've been crying a lot lately because of all the guilt and shame that I have for the situation, yet I don't know what to do, and I just keep feeling worse. I feel like a coward for wanting to just find her another home and have my freedom back. I should have never thought that I could take care of another creature, when I can hardly even take care of myself. Sure, except for her refusal to potty outside, her behavior is improving, but it doesn't change the fact that I feel incredibly depressed and suffocated, and that I can't imagine even surviving another week like this. I'm tired of having to pretend to people that I'm okay, or that I'm just a jerk that's constantly annoyed with her dog. The truth is that I'm not okay with myself, and this sad puppy is a victim of my neuroses. I have no emotion for her except guilt. It's not fair to her to have an owner that doesn't love her, and just thinks of her as a burden. Yet, that's what she has to deal with. My mom spent a ridiculous amount of money on Onyx and her bed and toys, and my entire family has predicted that I'd just fail/give up, so I feel stuck - like I have to keep her forever prove something, even though I honestly don't want to. Ugh, "forever", and I can't even handle the fact that I have to live in my house for 3 years. I have no idea how I convinced and deluded myself that I was more caring and patient than I really am, and that I could handle a dog. And now, I'm losing what little sense of self I have left.
I'm going to see my counselor tomorrow morning to talk about my issues with commitment and being unable to allow myself to love anything, but I don't think it's going to change the fact that I long for my old life and freedom. And It's definitely not going to ease the fact that I feel like a complete and utter failure and disappointment because I've let down the few people that I actually care about. So, I'm stuck living a robot life in which everything is done out of sense of duty rather than kindness or warmth. It's so funny that it took an animal to teach me that I've long ago lost my humanity. Lost is the most apt word. I have no idea what to do, and this isn't exactly the type of thing that anyone can really advise on. If I find Onyx a better home, I'll be letting the people I love down, yet if I keep her, I'll be letting the dog down because she won't have the kind of happy home she deserves.
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