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My biological father states that he loves his 6 y/o German Shepherd more than me or my stepmom. That's fine with us. I'm not an animal person since my kid went to college, and my stepmother is quite practical, so I doubt she cares too much what we do with this poor beast.


My father and his wife have ***NO MONEY***. The dog walker will be $17/visit x 7 days a week. The problem is, the animal is reacting badly to their stress. I found out that my stepmother was under-feeding it for years so that it didn't "get fat". It's 40 lbs underweight! I finally got it to a vet 3 days ago, who told her to double the food she gives it. The vet also found a LOT of health issues we're trying to resolve. ($1K so far!) The dog has lost much of its hair, bites itself and is bleeding from every joint because of a weird skin condition.


8 days ago, I moved them and the dog to my state and into a clean, well-appointed condo. They were in a filthy, dilapidated hovel in rural Missouri. They were letting the dog out X times per day into a poop-filled, disgusting little 12x12 yard they had built literally attached to their front door (You had to walk through poop to get to the cars!). No one told me that my father didn't have the strength to walk the dog, and my stepmother is so handicapped now that she can't either.


The dog has peed, pooped and vomited on the carpet numerous times every day since they got here. My father, who is more physically capable, sits and watches as his crippled wife gets down on her hands and knees to mop up urine with paper towels, then struggles painfully to use her walker to get back up. The carpets had been professionally cleaned 10 days ago. There was an oatmeal container in the middle of the floor when I arrived today. It was very heavy when I picked it up. It was...full of dog poop! That's where they're keeping the poop. It must have weight 6 lbs! Neither of them has the physical strength to carry a 6 lb canister of dog poop to the trash can 6' away. Really!


Since neither of them can manage the animal's needs, and since they cannot afford the vet bills, and since I cannot/will not manage the animal for them, and since they cannot afford the dog walker even once a day...I am not sure what to do. A friend suggested I take it for a walk and let it "run away", while secretly giving it to a German Shepherd rescue. I'm afraid that will kill my father! Another recommended I get it euthanized, which is equally traumatic for them and for me.


Here's the problem: My illogical father has told his wife and me that if the dog doesn't like the new home (it doesn't so far) then he's going to get a travel trailer and drive to a wooded lot that he will buy somewhere (where?) that is fenced (!?!?!) and live out his days in the woods, without power, water or plumbing. OR he's going to fly to Argentina (?!?!?) with the dog and live there. No one is sure how he plans to do these things, but this is what he tells us daily.


The dog needs to go. That's obvious. It's the biggest problem in their lives right now. They cannot afford this animal, they cannot care for it, and it is suffering in many ways. However, my father's suffering will be enormous if I take it away, especially if it is intentional. My father was crying on my shoulder (literally) tonight because he doesn't know where he will find a fenced wooden lot. He's happy enough to leave his wife in my care forever, but he doesn't want to leave the dog. What do I do? I've been their caregiver for 8 days. Help!


Help?

Take the dog and tell Dad to man up. Give it to a rescue organization if at all possible, although I'd argue even euthansia would be more merciful than it's life now.

Stop doing anything for him he can do for himself.

I really hope you're not paying for the condo, or paid the security deposit, their failure to plan is not your responsibility.

I'm sure Argentina or some random wooded lot would love to have him.
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SeniorStruggles Oct 14, 2020
We did buy them the condo. Now he told me he wants the carpet removed and it left as bare concrete so it's easier for her to clean up his dog's feces. OMG!
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Call Adult Protective Services and call the ASPCA.

This whole plan was ill-advised from the get-go.

Your father is mentally ill and both his wife and dog are suffering at his hands.

There is nothing you can do if you are not willing to pull the plug on this experiment.
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Please stop letting them control YOUR life! It’s your life. Not theirs. Your dad has made it this far. He will survive!

The dog deserves a better home than he is providing. It’s animal abuse leaving the dog in his hands. How would you like to be that dog?

Of course, your father matters but he is not capable of caring for an animal, period! Stop wrecking your head against his brick wall. You can’t reason with him.

You know this! You are hearing it from others. Just remove the dog and you will have peace about it.

You are going to have to do major repairs on that condo!
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SeniorStruggles Oct 14, 2020
It's been 9 days since they moved here. My father left when I was four and I barely know him. I worry that he is causing his poor wife too much trauma by making her clean up from this poor animal. I have arranged to have German Shepherd Rescue come in one week if the daily expensive dog walking service doesn't permanently resolve this issue.
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You are totally blind when it comes to your dad. I don’t mean to be harsh.

I was blind in the past too. You are very confused. Make an appointment to speak to a mentor health professional about this matter. I was greatly helped by a therapist. It’s worth every penny to speak to someone.

Will your dad grieve for his dog? Yes, but if he truly loves the dog he will be glad it is being cared for in a loving home.

I waited far too long to make important changes. I regret it terribly. You can end this now.

Trust me the sooner you that you FREE yourself from this INSANITY, the better.

You will look back and say, “What was I thinking?!”

Surely, you have heard of temporary insanity! This qualifies as a prime example of that.

Say to yourself, “I am smart! I will no longer allow this insanity to rule my life!”

Aren’t you angry? It’s perfectly fine to get upset and even angry when you are being manipulated and YES you are being MANIPULATED by dear old dad.

Sorry about the sarcasm. Just trying to get you to see his behavior! You can’t control his behavior but you can control yours.

Stop jumping through hoops for him. By the way, would he do it for you? Why do you feel that you owe him so much?

You owe him NOTHING! You have been more than generous and it’s never enough for him. Doesn’t that tell you that he is SELFISH or not in his right mind?

The only person that you owe something to in this situation is yourself. Pay yourself back by doing what is right to have peace in your life again. Trust me, it’s worth it!

Think about it. Come back and tell us that you made the right decision and we will congratulate you, be proud of you and share in your joy.
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NeedHelpWithMom Oct 14, 2020
typo, mental health not mentor. Stupid autocorrect gets me and I don’t always catch it. Grrrrr.
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OK, so this was answered on several other threads. And is answered AGAIN on this one. But basically ALL ANSWERS that are reasonable answers are shot down with the fact that your father will NOT give up the dog and you are afraid that forcing the issue will KILL HIM.
I myself find that unlikely. But to be frank, I would not allow that fact to have me keep an animal in this abusive situation.
I think that the problem of this poor animal is but the tip of the iceberg in what you have done by moving this couple to a condo by you. This was a huge mistake, and you have my absolute sympathy. I cannot imagine how you will address it all.
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SS, go back and read your previous posts in which you said you realized that you needed to step back and stop getting sucked in by these two.

The condo association is going to call APS and the ASPCA if you don't. Is the deed/mortgage in your name?

Stop throwing good money after bad.
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NeedHelpWithMom Oct 14, 2020
This is true! Condos have stipulations. This is a disaster waiting to happen. She must realize this.

Yet, she is making her dad the king of the universe by allowing this to continue. He is far from a king!

The innocent dog is a victim of his chaos.
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Get in touch with German Shepherd rescue - I agree with your friend that breed-specialist rescue is the way to go - and let their representative come and talk to your father about what's best for the dog. People who care about breeds *really* care about them but also understand owners' feelings. With any luck, they will be kind but firm. And, especially, convincing.

We had a situation during lock down where a recently widowed lady had fallen and injured herself (why we were there) and was desperately trying as well to care for her SIX dachshunds - she couldn't walk, let alone walk the dogs. I'm not going to describe the state of her house because you'll all wonder why we didn't arrange to have it burned down.

Nobody wanted to make her life even worse, everybody understood how emotional this was for her, but everybody *including her* wanted the dogs' welfare to come first. Last I heard, three of us workers, a social worker and (fortunately) a Dachs specialist rescue had all discussed adoption with her and plans were going forward to rehome them as far as possible with at least one other from the "pack."
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SeniorStruggles Oct 14, 2020
I reached out to them four days ago. I have made the decision to have them come to the home. Thank you.
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What do you do? About your dad crying? Let him cry. Let him cry on your shoulder for as long as he needs to. That's how you support him with his grief.

But please find a rescue and hand the dog over.

Tell him animal control comes and takes the dog because someone (the vet) reports the dog being neglected. You tried to convince them otherwise but wasn't successful. It wasn't your fault.
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SeniorStruggles - what are your goals when you ask what you should do?
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NeedHelpWithMom Oct 14, 2020
Good question!
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SS, I'm glad that you have made the decision to re-home the dog.

Regardless of whether you knew your parent or not, you need PROFESSIONAL, objective advice about what they need.

Your stepmother should not be kneeling to the floor to clean. The fact that "dad" thinks thatvthis is okay is indicative of mental illness, dementia or both.

You have to get a needs assessment from a local agency to determine their needs.
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