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Well, there is a thread in Lab chat that I think everyone has read by now but it got me thinking about when I was a much younger dog owner. I always had a dog growing up but my parents were outside only pet people. My dog growing up was tied to a chain and rarely visited or played with and never had regular vet visits. When I got my first dog of my own I was 18. She was a pound dog and wonderful, I paid 30 bucks for her....I remember that because it was the last money in my pocket at the time. :)

I took this dog everywhere. She lived inside with me, slept with me, watched tv with me, went to the boyfriends with me, ate with me, went to taco bell with me every day. I loved that dog. I played with her and loved on her and she and I were happy.

Then one day my boyfriend inherited a great dane puppy but could not have pets at his apartment. I gladly took the g.d. in and accepted him as mine. It was fun at first but I had no idea how to care for a puppy. He pooped and peed everywhere. He ruined my apartment because I couldn't figure out how to housebreak him. (this was before I knew about crate training) He grew so fast I had no idea how I was going to keep feeding him. Finally after the neighbors started to complain and I got tired of cleaning up poop everyday from the bedroom I decided I couldn't keep him anymore. I dumped him one night at the humane society. I didn't even leave my name or any info about him. :'(

I still remember that dog and I am still heartbroken about what I did. It was a terrible thing for that poor pup. My only hope was that he was still young enough that someone adopted him. I went back one time, about a month later, to see if he was there at the H.S. but he wasn't. It is strange that I would still think of him and I only had him for a few months. But it made me a better dog owner the next time around. I educated myself before I got my next puppy...of course it was a few years later but I knew I didn't want to repeat my mistake.

I think my mistake was mostly being young but I wanted to be educated and I learned how to be a great dog owner. There are many people who get a dog and think it will be easy to care for...all you have to do is feed and water, right? I think if you really want to have a great dog and be a good owner you need to be open and willing to learn from your mistakes.
 

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Canula2000 said:
I think if you really want to have a great dog and be a good owner you need to be open and willing to learn from your mistakes.
The original poster in Lab Chat has the resources of this board at her disposal. Something you probably didn't have with your Great Dane. With all the great advice given, there is no excuse for that person to not at least make an attempt to give her dog a better life. She needs to get back to that thread and let people help her, rather than ignore all the good advice given.
 

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kaisdad said:
Canula2000 said:
I think if you really want to have a great dog and be a good owner you need to be open and willing to learn from your mistakes.
The original poster in Lab Chat has the resources of this board at her disposal. Something you probably didn't have with your Great Dane. With all the great advice given, there is no excuse for that person to not at least make an attempt to give her dog a better life. She needs to get back to that thread and let people help her, rather than ignore all the good advice given.

Amen Brudda
 

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In 1978 there was no Lab forum,I don't recall daycare or dog parks. Our local pet store didn't have obedience classes. I do recall making mistakes. What I know now didn't entirely come from this forum, but what a resource this is. I bet if you asked around,you'll find quite a few people made mistakes with their first puppies. I did and she was wonderful friend and companion.
 

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I think many of us made mistakes with our first pets. But I like to think that we were responsible enough to face those mistakes and work on fixing them, instead of ignoring the problem. (taking in your g.d. puppy may have been a "mistake", but knowing you weren't doing the best for him and making the hard choice to surrender him was taking responsiblity - in fact, the "guilt" you feel now tells me that you cared enough about that dogs welfare to do something, even if you view that as a mistake in itself)

I know when I was younger I read books on how to care for my pets, as I took a genuine interest in their care and well being. (but that said, I was raised by a family who did care about animals, the environment and many other issues, and I was raised knowing that animals deserved to be treated well and fairly, nothing less)

I was taught that when you take on the responsiblity of pet ownership, you also take on putting their needs and health BEFORE your own. To me, that is just so simple and such a no brainer.
 

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we didn't have dogs growing up because my Dad felt we didn't have the time to care for a dog. We had cats and they were very well cared for. When we went away, neighbors always came into feed them and check on them. I loved cats but always wished I could have a dog.
We were taught very young that animals required attention, love and that it was a big commitment. I guess because of that, I never even considered getting a dog until we owned a home, I was no longer working full time and had financial resources to have a dog sitter for emergencies and for midday let outs.
Sadly even when we had all that, and I announced that we were getting a dog, my father still told me that I shouldn't get a dog and it was too much responsibility. I remember being so angry that at 34 years old that my dad couldn't see that indeed I did have the perfect life to welcome a dog into our lives.
My dad made me so nervous that I would make a mistake and he would be right, I read every book I could on Labs, training, care and found the Forum and asked every question I could before even getting a puppy.
So I am fortunate in some ways that I made just minor goofs with Lucy. Nothing I feel bad about.
I can thank my Dad in some ways for being such a worrywart and making me hyper-responsible...in other ways I have resented it because we never felt confident in my abilities. Looking back I could have easily handled a dog much earlier in my life..late 20's.
 

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I grew up on a farm with a bunch of different animals. I've been taking care of them since I could walk, so I guess I'm lucky in that aspect. It's a second nature to me since I've known it my entire life. Not to say mistakes weren't made - dogs were fed chicken bones, grapes, etc... because no one knew the effects of it. I can't think of a time period more than a few weeks that I've been without a puppy/dog around (and that was just last year from when we lost our sheepdog until we got Brees). I went several years without a pet cat (just feral cats running around), but my husband and I got one when we got married - they're pretty much self sufficient though. I can't imagine life without a cat or a dog in it now. :)
 

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If you only knew how many times I have had these same thoughts. :'(

Our dogs growing up were like yours - outside only. It breaks my heart to think of how infrequently they were visited, and how frequently we found other homes for puppies who "weren't working out." :'( My parents still swear to this day that they really DID find good homes for them. But it does haunt me.

I have terrible regrets about so many of them. One puppy, Nicholas, a Siberian Husky, was the runt of the litter and very sickly. He had some sort of stomach problem (I was very young, so not sure what exactly it was). We had to feed him a special food for a long time, a wet food. Finally the vet gave the OK to put him on dry. After his second meal of dry food, we found him outside, gone. He had choked. We weren't even watching him while he ate. :'(

We did so many things wrong with so many. We just didn't know. I loved puppies, all animals, always, but I was a kid and didn't know how to take responsibility for them. It was the early 70's, and most people we knew didn't have inside dogs. My mom was never a dog person and certainly wouldn't have let us have them inside. She was/is not a bad or mean person...it's just how it was. :-[

The first puppy we had that I really made a genuine, good effort with was Kong. He was my pick from a litter of GSD/Golden/Collie mix pups. I adored Kong and spent so much time with him. Every day I would train with him, and he was SO smart. I had a book about obedience training - that's when I first became interested. I was about 12 or 13. Kong learned everything I could teach him, up to and including some of the Utility exercises. He was doing directed jumping over a picnic table bench turned on its side. :angel: What an amazing little puppy he was.

When he was about five months old, he disappeared from our backyard. :'( I was crushed. I cried for days, combing the neighborhood, calling his name. We never found him. They think someone stole him, though I'm not sure why someone would do that.

Anyway, I didn't want another dog ever after that. Losing him broke my heart. And I didn't have another dog for almost 20 years, when I got married and had my own home. That was Crash. :angel: The reason I picked Crash was because he reminded me of Kong - a brown dog with a black mask.

I tried so hard to make up for all the wrong things I had done with other dogs by how I treated Crash. God I loved him so much, still do. But even then I didn't know as much as I do know, and I still have regrets. I didn't feed him right, I let him get too heavy, etc.

So, with the boys, I try even harder to make up for things I wish I'd done differently with Crash. Each generation has it better than the last, I guess.
 

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As a child, we had no pets... I had a horse, but boarded so that doesn't count! My first dog, in my twenties, was an outside dog too -- that's how it was in the rural area we lived in. I think Mischa was happy given the circumstances, since we walked her every day down rural roads, and with the kids (3 boys), we were outside a lot. Also ( :-[ ) she was loose much of the time, and did her circuit of the local fields and woods. But I feel bad about that now, she was a sweet-tempered lab-cross, and would have been happier as an inside dog. We did spay her, we knew that much!

The 3 dogs I've had since have all been indoor dogs and part of the family. Miranda, April, and Corby were crate trained, went to dog obedience classes, and ate quality food. Pretty standard things to do now, but 25 years ago to a novice dog-owner, not so obvious!
 
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