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So, I’ve been with my bf for 3 years. We’ve been living at home and saving to move out. We have looked at a few places and know where the area we want to live in. The thing is— i feel stuck. I’m torn. Over the summer I mainly stayed at my parents to care for our ailing chocolate lab who passed away over the summer. I was fortune enough to have the summer off of work, and never would have been able to live with myself if I wasn’t there for our family dog. We have another family dog, she’s almost 12– she was affected by his passing too. They were best friends for 11 years.

My brother has some mental health issues that are severely neglected, and my parents severely enable him. It’s made living here unbearable and I told my bf that I can’t live here anymore and we need to get a place now. He agreed. To be clear, I’ve been physically assaulted several times, had my life threatened, and don’t feel safe anymore. My parents refuse to do anything out of fear of my brother and I just honestly feel like it’s too much for them to deal with, so they don’t do anything. My mom has witnessed the physical assaults and does nothing. She says, “Oh. He didn’t mean to hit you. Stop crying. You’re ok.” Yeah, seriously. My parents know I was in an awful physically abusive relationship from 18-22.

 

The thing is...I feel heartbroken even thinking about leaving Jane. She has anxiety and has bonded to me and I can do things and pick her up— and no one else has this relationship with her. I don’t want to leave her. If I could take her, I don’t know if she’d like it. We’d be living in a busy city and she’s been in a quiet, wooded suburb for her life. She’s my best friend. I want to be with her for however long she has left— she’s still very active.

 

Thoughts?

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What exactly do you mean by living in a busy city? Like 1BR apartment, no backyard or nearby dog park? It's pretty cruel to cram working breeds like labs into such conditions, even if they're coming up on or are in their senior years. If you were to take her, it'd be on you as a responsible owner to eat a commute finding a place in the outskirts or the burbs to accommodate her. Otherwise, if she truly is the family dog and not specifically yours, she's used to the home and the people. Despite whatever extent to which you feel she and you are cross-species soulmates, if it's the case you couldn't come up with a suitable home to share with her inside or near the city, she'd likely fare better mentally not being uprooted to live in what would be very unnatural conditions for her.

 

Sorry that you're facing this difficult situation. Sometimes what's best for our animals is what's more difficult for us.

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It would be outside of inner city Boston. She does not like parks— doesn’t like going for walks because the sound of cars scares her. My parents have a fenced in acre where she roams freely.

I feel like she’d be mentally better there. I just don’t know how to deal with “leaving” her. She has always slept in my room. She only feels safe when I bring her to the vet, etc.

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Sounds like you know the home she's in is what's best for her. It's admirable you're taking the animal's best interests to heart ahead of your own.

 

It's of course not easy. And it shouldn't be easy. You love her, and it'll take time to process and fully accept. But just as you're looking out for what's best for her, getting out of the house is what's best for you. It would also be very unfair to the dog to essentially hold her responsible for your inaction.

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Yes, all very good but what does your bf think about having a dog? Is he allergic or any issues? Keep in mind that if you're renting or looking for rentals, most rentals won't take pets (specifically dogs and for good reason). Lack of care or neglect can be devastating on property. The dog is an added liability to any landlord and is the dog being left alone all day while you're working? Be realistic about that and don't let your emotions get ahead of you moving forward.

 

Here's what I would do: speak with your bf, get settled in your new city in a building that allows dogs, speak to the landlord and be honest. IF you get that far and are able to secure somewhere to live and a stable job where a dog can be accommodated, get settled for about 2-3 months and then move the dog over in an established home. I would not roam around a new city with a dog looking for a place to live and looking for a job.

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  • 3 weeks later...
You should't uproot the dog. That would not be fair.

 

Did you get help for your abusive relationship?

 

Does your brother hit your parents or others? It is scary that they are not dealing with this issue.

 

agree with you

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