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Aerie

Hi everyone. Can I get some advice?

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As a good many of you know, I'm going through a divorce. It's gotten pretty intense and we've not finalized anything, but I have agreed to let the soon to be ex-husband have Combat. Combat loves Mike and Mike loves the dog, and he's promised me to take good care of him. I'm still hesitant, but...I've got his word that if he should ever decide he can't handle the dog, he'll send Combat back to me.

 

Now for my real problem. With the help of my father, i'm going to be returning to school in the Spring. For the next 3 years I'll be living in a small apartment with no real yard (there's a park close by). I can only have one pet in the apartment, so either Sage or Recon has to stay here with my mother.

 

My mother is disabled and unable to really do anything physical. She can throw the ball for Recon a few times but that's about her limit. However, Recon would have plenty of room to run and a bigger house to live in and lots of attention throughout the day.

 

If I take Recon with me, she won't have as much attention during the day (she'd be alone while I'm in class and at work) and she won't have as much space to run (except for when I am able to take her to the park and on daily walks). However, when I am home I'd be able to spend a lot of one on one time with her. She does best with a lot of mental stimulation.

 

So, my question is...do I leave Recon with Mom? Or do I leave Sage with Mom and take Recon? Is it cruel to even think of cooping her up in a tiny apartment? I'm trying to do what is best for the dog. Neither solution is the best option. Should I think of re-homing her? I do -not- want to give her up.

 

What I want is to bring her with me. I know she won't have as much time outside as I'd like her to have, and I won't be at home as much as I'd like to be with her, but she'd be there with me and I know I will be able to make the time for her. Daily walks aren't a problem. Play time isn't a problem. I'm only really concerned about the amount of time she'd be alone and the lack of free-roaming space that she loves so much.

 

I hate this whole situation. I'd like to choke my husband even more for doing this.

 

And I don't even want to think about how crushed the dogs are going to be when we separate them. Do you even think that is wise? I'm so confused!!

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I'm so sorry you're having to deal with all of this. If it makes you feel any better we'd do the same thing, if we were ever to seperate (god forbid) - he'd take Zeeke and I'd take Zoe. Though they are obviously bonded to their respective owners.

 

My gut reaction would be to bring Recon with you. Being cooped up while you're in class can be dealt with - I know many people work full time, several live in apartments. It's the quality time and what you do with it that matters. (How far away from your mom will you be?)

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Leave the little dog with your mother and take Recon. I work full time with two Border Collies and live in an apartment with no yard. It takes more work than it would if I were at home all the time and had a yard, but my dogs get exercise and stimulation and they are happy Border Collies. If you are determined to make it work it will work.

 

While you are at school, you can check the classifieds for apartment listings and perhaps after your lease is up the first year you will be able to find an apartment that will allow more than one dog, and you can then retrieve Sage from your mother (if your mother would prefer that). It is not impossible to find multi-dog rentals -- if I could find one in San Francisco, that took three dogs, no less, there must be some available where you are moving to.

 

I am sorry you are going through this and wish you the best.

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Yeah, I'm thinking the best bet is to take Recon with me. I can't bear the thought of having to find her a new home and I just don't think Mom can handle the strain. Mom and Sage get along rather well, and Sage requires -much- less physical activity. Mom is willing to care for her for however long is necessary, thank goodness. And...Mom only lives 45 mins away from the college.

 

The problem with the apartments in Hattiesburg is that it's a college town...and a rather small one at that. All of the affordable student housing (which is what I need) have a one pet limit IF they even allow one pet. The more expensive places will allow 2-3.

 

The manager at this apartment complex has said that once I've been there 6 months and they do an inspection, if Recon hasn't torn anything to bits, I can then add Sage. So...I guess it's just a matter of waiting.

 

The stress of it all is just getting to me. Too many decisions to make.

 

I'm willing to do what needs to be done for Recon to keep her active and happy, but GOSH I hate the thought of having to keep her kenneled during the day.

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I think it is wise to take Recon with you and leave Sage with your mom. I think Recon (and you) would be happier that way.

 

You can become really creative and make safe doggie areas out of an entire room in your apartment, or create a "room" with several x-pens or something like that. Just block off whatever she is not allowed to go near. :rolleyes: Then she is not in a box all day, if that is your concern.

 

But also keep in mind that the vast majority of dogs will just hang out and sleep while the people are gone. Sleep in the crate, sleep on the floor, sleep on the kitchen counter--it is all the same.

 

Also, I can understand how upsetting it is to give up Combat, but if he is going to KEEP Combat and take very good care of him, and if Combat likes him, then I think it will be fine. Especially if you have him sign something in all that paperwork indicating that the dog is to come to you if anything comes up. This, to me, is a far better alternative than selling all the dogs and splitting the money or whatever other crazy thing it was. If you are at all on speaking terms when it is all over, then the dogs might enjoy playdates...???

 

What a mess. I am sorry you are having to go through this.

 

Allie + Tess & Kipp

http://weebordercollie.com

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Hi Aerie, I'm so sorry that you have to make any of these decisions, but I'm with the rest..take Recon, and leave Sage with your mom. 45 minutes away, is nothing really...I'm on the road for 2 hours a day to get to work so I'm sure you'll get to opportunities to visit. It sounds like your landlord is a reasonable fellow and before you know it, your 6 months will be up and Sage will be with you too.

As for Combat, if he is bonded to your soon to be ex...and if you trust that he will do what is best for Combat, then as hard as it might be, Combat should be with him.

It sounds like you've been given an opportunity to start a 'new' life...so try to make the most of it. Life's a funny thing...when one door closes, another one opens..you just need to see it. (speaking from experience..but I won't bore anyone with the details!) suffice to say, my life's MUCH better now

Hang in there, and good luck with your studies....and don't forget that we're all your family. Please let us know how you're doing!

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Hi,

 

I'm not sure what the town is like where you'll go to school, but what about buying a house?

 

I stupidly lived in apartments for the first 17 years of my adult life, simply because I didn't know how easy/cheap it was to buy a house (at least in medium sized cities in the Midwest). Even after leaving my prof. career to go to grad school, I moved my two very active dogs into a 5th-floor walkup apartment. I was under the impression I would need $20k+ saved before I would qualify for a loan.

 

Now that I am a home owner, I have HUGE regrets of all the money I wasted on apartments. All through the 90's I was paying $600/month for a 1-bedroom apt. in the drug-dealing area of a college town--the only place I could find to rent with two dogs.

 

I am now a home owner on 10 acres just outside the city limits of Columbia, MO--the home of University of Missouri. I bought this house for a $2000 downpayment, and could easily have bought it for no downpayment.

 

My co-workers all have houses in the suburbs with large fenced yards and typically have $400-500/month mortgages.

 

Once I found how easy and inexpensive it was to get a house, I could have kicked myself for living in apartments so long! Not only was a house cheaper and more convenient (not having to walk the dogs for miles in the rain), but I lost $122,400 in rent rather than investing in a home of my own. I have since discovered that many college students are buying houses instead of renting, just for this reason.

 

A duplex in my city costs only marginally more than a single house ($110k vs. $90k), and you can live in your half and rent out the other half. I realize that buying a house is not feasible in expensive areas (Chicago, NYC, California), but it might be worth it to choose a school located somewhere that you could actually afford a house. The market is on your side right now, with housing prices waaaaay down, and interest rates staying pretty level.

 

Good luck!

 

Columbia, MO

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Hi Aerie...its great hearing from you!! Here's a few suggestions off the top of my head, hopefully it will give you something to think about: Not sure how familiar you are w/ the Hattiesburg and surrounding areas. What school will you be attending? If its PRCC-Hattiesburg campus, is it possible to attend the Poplarville campus?!?! (If you just want to be "right there" near the school) If its William Carey or USM try finding a house in Poplarville, Lumberton, Purvis or one of the other smaller towns around there. Lots of space because they aren't too densely poplulated but still within a short distance to Hattiesburg and still easy access to 49 straight to Gulfport for a trip home. Rent will be cheaper also in those areas and probably easier to find a place that allows more than one dog. Hope this helps some, but I would definitely keep Recon w/ you if possible.

 

Its good to hear that you are going to school. Have you decided what your majoring in yet? If you decide to take some of my suggestions on relocating to a smaller town and need help finding one, just let me know and I will be more than happy to help! Best wishes to you, Recon, Sage and even Combat!!

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Hi

I rarely weigh in on much on these boards b/c I am relatively new dog owner so this is a learning place for me.

 

However on the subject of stress I know that one well...

you said:

"The manager at this apartment complex has said that once I've been there 6 months and they do an inspection, if Recon hasn't torn anything to bits, I can then add Sage. So...I guess it's just a matter of waiting.

 

The stress of it all is just getting to me. Too many decisions to make."

 

I am coming from the perspective that I prefer 'all my ducks in a row' which is never how life goes. I work all the time to try and accept the gray areas and understand the temporary nature of things.

 

I am so sorry you are going thru this divorce and the decisions must seem endless and overwhelming. There are positives already tho within this enormous change; having the option to leave Sage with your mom who is only 45 min away and having Recon be with you. Combat will be taken care of too. Hopefully, once you see how Recon adjusts, Sage will follow and you all will be together. It is great you are going to school. While it may hurt for a while, the changes that open the doors KrisK referenced, are truly all in front of you.

 

While a few things may be permanent, some of your decisions are temporary. Perhaps after being in this initial situation for a year you'll meet new people, scope out other oppurtunites and find a totally different solution. Right now it seems easier if you take it in small bits. First things first and that is, all your dogs have a caring home even if it's not perfect, and you get yourself in school and feeling okay. Then, reassess and make a new plan.

 

Don't know if I got my point across but there it is...

My heart goes out to you and please let us know how you are.

 

Kim

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I've been down this road to and I have been following your posts.

A while back you mentioned that you were in a difficult situation with your horse. How did that go?

 

Hugs from someone who has been through horse, dog, child and sheep custody woes. It will get better, this is a tough stage of life.

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Thanks, everyeone, for the replies. I'm feeling slightly less frazzled now. As I said, I can't bear to part with my Recon (it's hard enough to let Combat go with Mike), so...I'll be taking her with me. I guess that was my decision all along, I just felt so awful about having her stuck in an apartment.

 

I'll miss my Sage dog, but I'll be visiting nearly every weekend so I'll see her a lot.

 

And as for Chips (my horse), so far so good on her. Though it came down to "I won't ask for this from you if you don't ask for that from me." I had the good luck of discovering that my dear sweet soon to be ex husband is buying an airplane. As soon as he found out I knew about the plane, he said to me "I won't do anything about the horse if you don't touch the plane." Sounds fair to me. And as long as he never knows that the horse is worth much more than what the plane is, we're all good.

 

Chips is also staying at Mom's. My parents have been great through all of this. I couldn't have done it alone.

 

And I expect it'll be up to another 6 months before I'm actually divorced - I refuse to sign until the divorce papers say what I want them to say.

 

It's all a big mess and some days I just really feel like I'm going insane. It gets easier every day, though.

 

And I thank God I have my pups and horse to focus on, otherwise I just don't know if I could stay even remotely level-headed.

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Don't know how long you've been married or anything.

 

Our daughter was married for about 3 years - had lived with the guy for about 2 years before that. We were nice to him and all. Heck - he took her out of our house. I say I was pregnant with her twice: once for 9 months before she was born, and once for 9 months after she graduated college and eventually decided what she wanted to do for a living - and needed a free room to start doing it (day care - long happy story). However, we were never what you might call "thrilled" about DH *1.

 

Proof is that his parents paid for the (quite low key but nice) wedding. We paid for the divorce.

 

Two years later (she rented from friends), she moved in as a sort of week-end nanny for a park ranger. Strictly a business arrangement - he was a non-custodial parent of a 2-year-old. Brought him to visit once, then brough him and his daughter to visit. We told him that he was welcome with or without our daughterr - he was just a neat guy.

 

Two years after that, they married; a year later, they produced the most wonderful granddaughter in the world. And this guy is definitely a keeper.

 

When my kid split with #1, she had to leave the 2 cats. But he could afford the apartment and feed the cats; and she took a room in a friend's house. That was the toughest part for her. But she didn't even want to tell us and wanted to take care of herself at that point. It all worked out OK.

 

At least you get to keep most of what is most important.

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]I refuse to sign until the divorce papers say what I want them to say.
Good for you! I work as a paralegal in a family law firm so I deal with divorces all of the time and the best advice to a client is not to sign anything until it says exactly what you want it to say.

 

I'm glad you've worked it out so that you can keep the pets that mean the most to you - even if you have leave Combat with your ex.

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Think only good thoughts and hug your Recon as often as possible and you'll be better in the long run.

 

I lived in a 3 room apartment for 9 years with my BC and a cat and she was no worse for wear. As long as we had our walks and she had her swim every day, she was the happiest dog and I was a happy BC Mom. You do what needs to be done and they will adapt.

 

Good luck and hang in there.

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Don't worry too much about splitting the dogs up. I once had two GSD's, littermates, who'd been together their entire lives. When the BF and I split up, he took one and I took the other. I thought Axl would be lost without his big brother, who was the dominant one, but as it turned out he was sort of happy to be the center of attention for once.

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You're all great. This is just the kind of pep talk I needed to forge ahead.

 

And yeah...Recon probably will do better, actually, when I can focus more on just her. Combat is the more dominant dog so she gets pushed around a bit by him.

 

I've passed the bump of being overwhelmed and now that the decision is made and final and stuff, I'm -so- excited.

 

Now I'm just waiting on the final acceptance letter from the University and I'm all set. Whooo! Time to take Reeree to PetsMart and celebrate with new doggie stuff.

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Glad to hear that you've made peace about your decision to keep Recon. Here's well wishes on getting your acceptance letter and getting started soon. Keep in touch and let us know how things are going.

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Originally posted by Columbia MO:

Hi,

 

I'm not sure what the town is like where you'll go to school, but what about buying a house?

Sorry to hear about what you are having to go through. Hopefully it will all work out for you in the long run!

 

I really think this is GREAT advice. I wish I would have bought the place I lived in in college. At the least... buy a place and get 1 decent roomate! Everyone wins!

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