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Mel (& Paul)

A rather difficult decision

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So those of you who have been on the forum some time will know about the problems we have had with Minky - the shih-tzu (with the emphasis on the first sylable..........) that we "inherited" when Paul's mum died at the end of last year.


So far he has been to an animal behaviourist, been on various pills and potions (both traditional and homopathic) to try and calm him down and make him easier to live with.


He eats organic low protein food, gets two walks a day and lots of play and stimulation with our other two dogs.


However, he still insists that we dont need a full nights sleep.


The worst he has done was to wake us up barking, whining and crying at 1am and continuing to do so whatever we tried - end result I had to take a day off sick.............


We have had him in the study with our two dogs, in the hall by our bedroom, in our bedroom and NOTHING makes a difference.


I think much of his behaviour is learnt (he was a very spoilt lap dog before coming to us) and we have retrained him with much success - now obeys comands like sit, wait, leave it etc.


But we are sure that some of the other problems are because he is a top notch pedigree dog. and, to our mind is just a tad pyschotic.........



We now have to make a decision


Do we continue to try and find "cures" for him in the way of pills and potions

or do we rehome him.


We have been in contact with the shih-tzu rescue charity who say they could find a home for him and I think what he wants / needs is a retired parson / couple who would be able to give him the time he wants - and no other dogs = he used to be top dog and now he is bottom of three.


what to do :?


The hardest thing is the connection with Pauls parents - his dad died in January 2005 and his mum died December 2005, very unexpectedly whilst with us for Christmas. He is the last link to his parents.


someone make the decision for us




No I dont mean that, but I just needed to get this off my chest as part of me loves him and loves the friendly dog he has become since we have been training him and theother part is ready to rip his head off when we only get 4 or 5 hours sleep a night.


I just needed to share it with you guys asits probably the hardest decision of our lives and I wonder if we have failed him

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I don't think you've failed him or Paul's parents Mel, but as you say, he needs to be Top Dog and he isn't.


He probably would be happier being an only dog, perhaps with retired owners who can give him the attention he obviously needs.


You have no need to reproach yourselves - you've done far more than many people would have and there is a limit in the end to what you are able to offer.


A difficult decision for you both - you know you will make the best choice for him.

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We had to rehome our lovely Border Collie, Emma and it really is a hard decision Mel but it's the best decision we ever made. She was really demanding and highly strung. She was epileptic, clingy and would tiddle everywhere when she got excited and I couldn't cope with a toddler and a new born baby. We found a retired couple who had just lost their dog and were heartbroken. They fell in love with Emma immediately and gave her the most wonderful life where she was the centre of attention.


You've tried so hard with Minky and I'm sure Paul's parents wouldn't want you both going through all this agony with him.

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Mel, I echo Lesley


You took Minky in in very difficult circumstances.


His home before you was one where he had someone to give him all the time in the world and he really can't get used to not now having it from you and Paul.


This isn't something you take on lightly but think of Minky in this - is he really as happy as he could be - but with any animal we get close to them and a bond forms


Take your time to make your choice - this ain't an easy one







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My mother rehomed a German Shepherd a coiuple of years ago.


she had been persuaded (blackmailed!!) into "rescuing" the dog which had been a pub guard-dog - but was "too boisterous"!!


her friend told her that the dog would be put down otherwise - so she relented and took him on.


He was too much for her - so she rehomed him with the friend persuaded her to have it. She had moved to a big old farm - and he is now absolutely ion his element - and it couldn't have worked out better...



It sounds to me like you have put as much as you possibly could have into the care/retraining of this dog - and I suspect Lesley is right - he'd be much happier as an only dog...


as for letting go - that's the hard bit - not just of the dog, but of the associations. There are many ways that we hold onto loved ones who have died - and we let go over a long period of time - bit-by-bit.


if I've learned anything over many years of doing funerals and talking with those who have been bereaved, then it's this - that letting go of those ties - however difficult does not make our memory of that person any more distant (however much we fear it will...)


anyway - thinking of you as you make this decision - don't be hard on yourselves - the dog will get over it much quicker than you will..



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Oh Mel (& Paul), you poor things.

Sleep deprivation is horrible - now you know what it's like for all us parents :?


I think that you have done a great job in taking this doggy in & I really admire you for doing that.

I am sure you have tried everything possible & it sounds to me like you are now at the end of your respective tethers :?


I think you should consider rehoming him.He would probably be happier as an only dog,maybe with an older person who can pamper him 24/7.

He would make someone a lovely pet, & I am certain the right person can be found for this little chap.

Not only would he be happier,but you would be giving someone the oportunity to love him & thats a great thing to do :P


It will be tough for you (& Paul) but so long as you are certain of your decision & happy with his new home there is no need for you to feel like you could have done more :P


Good luck & a big hug xxx

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Oh dear Mel, I am so sorry :(


My thoughts are he is demanding attention and perhaps...just perhaps he could get that attention as the only dog in someones house. A home where he can be top dog with an older couple.


The tie to pauls parents as another thing entirely but I would imagine they would want you all to be happy, including Minky. Go with your heart.


I ddon't know who you saw re homoeopathy but unless it was a truely holisitc vet you could explore that avenue. Homoeopathy practiced in conventional veterinary medicine isn't anything like the homoeopathic veterianry surgeons approach. Need any help let me know.




Buff xxx

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What a tough decision :(


I can only echo what everyone else has said Mel.


We know you love Minky and the decision you and Paul make in the end will be the best one for all of you.

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What is (& Paul)'s gut reaction? I would think that since Minky was his parents' dog, you have to start and finish there. Talk through all the avenues and see how you and he both feel at the end. Don't do anything until you are absolutely happy with your decision.


:idea: Is there someone near you - a retired couple or something - who could take Minky? Then you could still have contact, but not the broken nights, and Minky would be happy too.

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Well, we've spoken to the rescue charity and they seem really switched on and terribly helpful.

Minky is now, of course, being on extra best behaviour (do you think he eavesdropped on my telephone conversation :roll: )

Paul is the one who wants to get rid of him more when he (mink) doesnt sleep.

What a hard thing to do :(

will think about it



Buff - the stuff we tried was valarian and skullcap from dorwest. We've also tried rescue remedy and bioforce for dogs - I was probably wrong saying homopathic but you know what I mean.


We have been asking around to see if there is someone locally who would be prepared to have him - but no joy (and I do keep asking you lot, but for some reason (and I really cant think why.........) you keep on refusing :wink:


if the rescue charity takes him they will rehome him out of the area. not sure whether that makes it easier or harder :roll:

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My first instinct in reading this, having followed the ups and downs over the months, is that a new home would be best for Minky, and for you & Paul (unless a Ginette says, Paul feels very strongly against this).

The two of you have tried your best, far beyond the call of duty, to give Minky a good home, and no one could have done more. But, with your own dogs, and the fact that Minky was used to one to one attention, it is such a different lifestyle.

I'm thinking what a comfort Minky must have been to MIL when she was bereaved, and perhaps Minky could be found a home where such constant companionship would be really appreciated. It could suit the new owner and Minky so well if the 24/7 devotion was reciprocated.

Then, you and Paul could get your lives back. If so, you know that you have honoured your parent in laws memory in giving Minky the best TLC, but also recognising the long term needs.

Best wishes whatever you decide. xx :)

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Do you have to take tablets to make you so wonderful or does it come naturally?

I cant get over how brilliant everyone is and what great advice they give.

The best I can do is give cyber hugs (but I am quite good at those!)

Thanks for all your support (and yes, it has been an up and down couple of years hasnt it :roll: - mind you would I want a simple life :?


























YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :lol:

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What a tough decision. I agree with Sheila that it is probably best for Minky to be re-homed. I had to re-home one of our cats last year because she was unhappy. She was OH cat and was just used to a childfree household and did not take to moving very well. We got in touch with the breeds rescue charity and they re-homed her with a much more suitable family.


Keep your chin up :wink:

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I'm so sorry that Minky hasn't settled for you.


My gut reaction reading this is that we all fight like a trooper to do the best we can for our pets but sometimes our lifestyles just aren't compatible for the needs of the animals involved.


I think you and Paul know in your heart of hearts what would be best for Minky and Minky's interests.

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Mel, we had to give away a dog 10 years ago. It broke our hearts. There's not a day goes past when I wonder whether we did the right thing, but I'm only thinking "Did we do the right thing for ourselves", as I still have huge guilt about "failing" him. In truth, our dog went to a better home for him . Simple as that.

Its the most sensible thing to do for all.

Horrible though.

Big hugs.


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Thanks guys

Minky is on his last last chance :roll:

have ordered skullcap and valarian to see if that works (if not perhaps a large plank of wood..........)

the shih-tzu rescue charity are ready to take him if we want.

We are going to give him a couple of weeks when we are back at work to see how our normal routine affects him

I'll keep you updated

Thanks again for all your support and encouragement

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Might be an idea to set a date on it Mel. I know how easy it is to let these things slip when you're trying to avoid them :?


From talking to you both at the weekend, I think it's the right decision. You'll both miss him (like a hole in the head :wink: ) at first, but if you let it go on he will run your lives and your marriage, and that's not fair on you and (& Paul).


It's a tough call, and I am thinking of you; call if you need to.


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Mel, what a difficult decision for you. All I can do is echo a lot of the sentiments that others have already expressed, but you (&Paul) have worked really hard at caring for Minky...... unfortunately because of your circumstances you simply can't give him the attention and status that he wants. There is absolutely no need for you to feel guilty about it, you've done your very best.

It's so hard when you add in the link with MIL, a really tough and emotional decision for you.

But I'd say that maybe it's time to look at Minky's needs, he's had the opportunity to settle down in your household, but hasn't been able to be properly happy there without loads of attention and only dog status, which is what he became used to. After MIL was bereaved he must have been such a source of comfort to her that she'd have had him as a constant companion. Hard for him to go from that position of privilege to simply being a member of a much loved pack. I'd say let him go, but only to a very good home where you know he'll get the love and attention he deserves.

Good luck with it Mel. Big hugs.

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