Argh, I just deleted everything before I could hit 'reply.' I'll try to remember what I typed.
Basically, I just want to update everyone with my decision. After paying attention to them both the more they have been outside together (and inside), I have noticed Leela seems to steal every toy Axle picks up and steals every treat Axle works for with his treat ball. Sometimes it seems like he gets depressed about it, he'll leave her be and lay down while she is eating all the treats or playing with the toy he wanted first (I dont know if this is normal dog behaviour? But to me, he doesnt seem happy about it). Other times he will play tug of war with her and seems happy.
I have also noticed that she snarls (i guess thats how to describe what shes doing) at him sometimes. He doesn't react and he hasn't shown any signs of aggression since she's been here which is a relief, but I do worry about her. She is also reactive on a lead so I don't think I'd be able to walk them together until I try to get her out of it, and right now I feel I should be more focused on Axle's anxiety.
When both of them are outside, Axle still freaks out when we walk inside. He doesn't seem to do anything other than sit at the door until we walk back out there. It really does break my heart.
After discussing it with my partner over and over again (I swear he's sick of hearing it lol), he has mentioned that if we were to go away, he wouldn't want two dogs to come. If we were to go out to a dog friendly place on the weekends, even though it's rare we do, he wouldn't want to take two dogs. If only he told me this in the first place... I know Axle loves his car rides and his walks on his own and I feel bad taking this all from him if he isn't even happy with her being around.
So, I've decided that Leela will be moving back in with my in laws. As sad as I am to see her go, I think its for the best. I feel I need to work on Axle's separation anxiety now that it has gotten worse. He can still visit her on occasions, the in laws have agreed to doggysit him once a week to lessen the amount of time he is on his own during the week, with or without play time with Leela.
Just so people don't get the wrong idea.. I do realise an animal is forever. I saved her from ending up at the pound as it worried me she would get into the wrong hands if she wasnt desexed. As a young, gorgeous purebred staffy with papers, I really didn't want anyone to use and abuse her for breeding, so we offered to take her, desex her and find her a home. We were hoping that home was with us but unfortunately it hasn't worked out that way...
Your in-laws are obviously very keen to give her a permanent home, so no reason to feel bad about it.
And maybe when you've managed to do some work on Axle's co-dependence issues with his humans, you could always consider finding him another mate.
As I think I've mentioned before, being able to take my dog places is my main reason for not having two. I find it a big trade of. But one that maybe one day I'll be willing to make, we'll see.
I prefer to know my dog has a chum, or chums and if only 2, I favour the opposite sex, always desexed, but it means there is no sexual rivalry to worry about. If your little chap is rather angst ridden, why not visit with a few private rescuers, who have placid, laid back dogs, and see if your dog finds a bestie. Certainly, with very timid dogs, getting an outgoing, laid back friend can make life SO much easier. The timid one will do much more, happily tucked behind the cheery dog. One of the saddest sights, tho', is a gentle little soul who is dominated and bullied by a dog meant to be a friend. Heartbreaking. Take your little chap and let him show an interest or not. If I had something that might be suitable, I'd be more than happy for you to take it slow and choose slowly - as long as you realised that if a superb home came along and you weren't sure, you'd have to withdraw your interest. It may be that your little one can't relax and play, as YOU are the only thing that makes him feel sure of safety. That is too big a load to carry, as sometimes, you have to be away. Can you try him with the occasional play dates, with friends or professionals, so he understands that life can still be fun, when you are away? If I have a young dog, I like to find an easygoing, lazy dog. I call it the ANCHOR dog. Young one says, let's dig out!! Lazy dog goes, OR, lie in the shade... Young dog jumps fence, lazy dog says, Can you jump back, cos I'm never going to junp half that height...or, in truth, want to... Perhaps, if a local at home rescuer has a dog that seems to love yours, pay them $20 every 2nd day, to supervise the bonding and building friendship. If your dog doesn't fear the new dog is at his home to take over, he might just relax and enjoy a new buddy. Just as we would not expect to like everybody in a crowded room, nor should we expect to choose our dog's Bestie. We can only suggest - and with an anxious dog, he may like a little flirty feminine girl or a cheery, happy, bossy girl OR he may find he's happiest with a huge gentle male rotty or mastiff. I've seen it all.
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