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Puppy Problems

goldengoat's picture

I'm finding FSS18 to be kinda awkward to type so often, so I'm just gonna go with Guzzlord (it's a Pokemon reference) since that's what I jokingly call him in my head, anyway.  *biggrin*

We've had our puppy, River, for almost a year now.  We picked him up when he was 9 weeks old after an old friend back home pulled an irresponsible-pet-owner move and wound up with a litter.  I was planning a trip to visit, anyway, and the timing worked out just right.  

I didn't make the decision lightly, nor in a vacuum.  I spoke to DF and Guzzlord at length.  DF wasn't really keen on it, but FSS seemed to love the idea, and I may or may not have used my DF being a push-over when it comes to the kid to my advantage because I really wanted River, and of course DF adores him now and spoils him worse than I do.  

I did explain to FSS that if we're getting the puppy during our visit down, he has to agree that he'll help out with walks, spend some play-time each day, refill empty water bowls when he sees them, etc.  He agreed enthusiastically, and I was kinda excited because I thought maybe with my guidance and a new doggo friend, we could get him thinking more responsibly and show him that putting in effort leads to happy things in life.  I thought that because I am naïve AF.  

At first he wanted to walk him constantly (I think in some way he just wanted to be seen around the condos walking a dog?) but it wasn't long before it became a chore that was apparently keeping him away from his Xbox for way too much of his day.  Not a big deal in the grand scheme, as I'm more than happy to walk River most of the time, and if I'm too busy with something else and he needs to go, that's when I ask DF.  DF isn't working remotely anymore, though, so now I sometimes have to bother Guzzlord, which I absolutely hate because he always has to groan and lately has developed a habit of trying to wait until I just do it myself.  That whole situation does nothing but piss me off, and while I avoidance isn't a healthy way to deal with things, that's where I am.  

The real issue, though, is that DF recently had a really bad rib-sprain, and he doesn't want River sleeping in our room any more because when he inevitably moves from his own little bed and into ours, it really hurts DFs injured ribs.  So we've been having Guzzlord keep him downstairs at night, and I swear I am about to absolutely lose my shit.  The 1st night we had him sleep downstairs, we told him distinctly that he'd need another walk at around 9:45 and asked if he was good with doing that.  Guzzlord says, "Yeah, no problem, you guys go to bed!"  I had my doubts, so I put the harness and leash in a very specific spot and sure enough it was exactly as I left it when got up.  I went downstairs and let River come up and we went for a nice, long walk.  Confronted the kid the next day and he swore up and down that he had absolutely walked him at exactly 9:45.  

The next night I didn't even bother asking.  I walked the dog and then brought him down to Guzzlord afterwards.  That's been the routine regarding his bedtime walk ever since.  

So, yesterday I get up to a text from my boss that there's something he needs urgently, right now, it can't wait, and I have to call him right away to get details and then get started.  The call lasted nearly 2 hours (much to my dismay), and I realized it's almost 10:30 AM and they're still down in the basement.  As soon as I hung up with my boss I spent about 30 minutes getting set up to start working and at 11, still no Guzzlord and River.  

So I go into the kitchen and listen, and I hear my puppy whining like crazy because there is no way he doesn't need to go outside urgently at this point, and Guzzlord down there shushing him and being like, "God, shut up, go back to sleep!"  So I marched down there loudly and opened River's kennel loudly and shut Guzzlord's door loudly on my way out. 

I'm still livid.  

The cherry on top, though, is that last night DF and I decided we were both exhausted and we picked up 2 pizzas instead of cooking.  I had a slice, DF had 2, and Guzzlord finished off the rest of a large freaking pizza.  Like, ate all but the smallest possible slice and then asked us if he could "just have it".  Then the little... darling... got up at 8:00AM this morning and sighed with huge disappointment when he saw me in the kitchen and asked how much pizza he could have for breakfast.  I told him it was too early and later he may have 2.  He waited until I left the room and had the 2 slices plus one of the frozen lunches we keep around for his literal snacks.  

I really, really, really wish he'd move out.  When I hit 18, moving out from under my parents was the 1st thing I did.  I couldn't wait to do my own thing and be my own person without their nosiness and weird demands and BS.  But I have a feeling that as long as DF is going out of his way to only rarely criticize (and when he does there's a huge apology-fest after and the kid learns nothing except "Dad is soft") and to always make sure he has his Xbox and all the games he wants, etc., there's never going to be any real interest in that sort of thing.  I have a feeling we'll end up with Guzzlord, some randome girlfriend / wife, and whatever kids they pop out living in the basement for the rest of our lives.    


Harry's picture

I understood that I was going to care of said dog. Never believing SK would help. If they did it was a + .  Bigger issue is DF nonsense about his ribs and dog sleeping in your bed. Think DF wants you to himself.  I guest if his ribs are so bad that a dog effect him. There no sex going on in that bed.? 
Just make sure that there an exit plan in place for FSS 18.  Get something in writing, ( because people forget really fast when it comes to kids)  When FSS will be out of your home.  As he works for a year, must rent/ save $400 a month ,  So in one year he will have $4800 and you two will give him $2000. So he has rent, money, and furniture money. Household money, cleaning supply's dishes ect.

or you can get him stuff for a year set of dishes, glasses, clean supply's, mop, vacuum, when on sale, 


goldengoat's picture

Yeah, I wanted the doggo anyway and deep down I knew SS would only be enamored with him briefly before the call of the Xbox lured him back to his old habits.  

River not sleeping in bed is only temporary until DF's ribs are better.  But no, we don't have a lot of physical intimacy these days.  He's always worried about SS overhearing or walking (which is why doors have locks, but whatevs).  We both were honest going in that we don't have huge drives, but it has gotten ridiculous, if I'm being honest.  I think it has more to do with DF being a very light sleeper, but he can only stretch this rib sprain out for so long before I'll either get a small bed and sleep in the office with my dog or DF will get over it and let him sleep in our room again.  

Thanks so much for the ideas on getting SS launched!

Really good plan!  

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

have a conversation about the responsiblities of having a dog with both DF and SS before getting him, I do agree with Harry that at the end of the day it isn't SS's responsibility and there is a HUGE possibility of you being the one to provide all the care for the puppy. If SS moves out like you want him to, then he won't be there to assist in the care of the dog whatsoever.

Why doesn't your puppy sleep in the kennel in your room so he can't move to your bed, but then you don't have to go into SS's lair for the dog. We have a 10 month old puppy and since we live in an apartment he sleeps in a kennel next to our bed. We have a week long cruise in May and a couple day trip in August so we are keeping the pups routine of sleeping in his kennel until after August then try transitioning him into his own bed in our room. 

goldengoat's picture

That's absolutely fair.  At the end of the day, I knew it would mostly come down to me, anyway.  It's more the principle that frustrates me... that and I feel silly for thinking SS would ever actually care about something more than his Xbox.  Overall, River is an easy-going doggo and I don't have any real trouble sorting him.  It would certainly be nice if I didn't always have to stop what I'm doing to tend to him, especially if I'm in the middle of a shower or cooking dinner, but it only rarely happens that way, anyhow.  He's not hard to look after.  

Great idea about the kennel!  I don't know how I didn't think of that!

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

we have a 10 month old large breed puppy, a cat, and another dog. Plus this week I also have SD home with me. Since her spring break does not align with the spring break here, all the spring break camps are a totally different week and we haven't found a sitter or someone yet to assist when we need it. In May we have a week long cruise and we both agreed it would be better for him to use his time off for that not for spring break when I work from home.

Luckily, DH and I thought ahead and got SD a bunch of activities for SD to do throughout the week that occupy her for a while, plus she has sat with me and worked on the iPad on ABCMouse and today she will do the virtual application her teacher sent for her to do, so she is mostly occupied throughout the day by the routine we set up for her while I work, but towards the end of the day she gets a bit restless and that is when I sit her in front of a movie so I can finish up my day. DH does get to come home for an hour for a lunch break though and that is both helpful and nice for SD.

I have had many days with just the puppy alone it was frustrating to stop what I was doing to attend to his needs while I am in the middle of something else. Which is exactly why I told DH it was either last summer we were getting a puppy or after we have a baby and it is a year old because puppies are a lot of work without everything else.

Not a problem, I hope it helps and makes things better for you!

goldengoat's picture

Ooo, I'm jelly you have so many pets!  lol  We had 2 ratties before we got the doggo, but they passed from old age during this winter and I decided to hold off any more short-lived pets, at least for a while.  DF drew the line at cats, though, which is unfortunate because I kind want one pretty bad.  My goal, though, is to get an African Gray parrot in the next couple of years.  

I feel you as far as working from home.  I'm loving it, on the one hand, because I'm very introverted and way more comfy in my own space and without the extra people.  Luckily I don't have a lot of trouble with the dog during the day and my job doesn't mind at all if I take breaks for walks and stuff.  But would for sure be nice if SS was more willing to participate in the general household.  lol

caninelover's picture

I realize in generations past 18 was considered adulthood but kids mature slower nowadays.  Its more like early 20s or so, or even later for some.  

The dog is your responsibility, period.  FSS is immature and may do things at first but can't stick to them.  You can try things like paying him $5 or so but only if the dog is walked on time, etc but that likely won't work either because the kid is lazy.  So, I would plan to walk the dog each night and move the dog's kennel to your room so you always have access.

The bigger issue is FSS has no real life plan and therefore is in danger of failing to launch at all.  You need to have a serious talk with your SO about setting some expectations and reasonable timelines for this kid to move out in the next couple/few years.

goldengoat's picture

I think you're definitely right there.  That's why I've been pretty patient and am still willing to give it a little more time and effort.  I feel like 25 is when our brains are basically done physically forming and that's pretty much my cutoff, though I think the goal should really be closer to 22.  In the grand scheme, we've started making kids drive later and drink later, etc., and I think it's because for the most part we realize that generally easier lives than generations past have slowed down the growing-up process just a bit.  I don't necessarily think it's a bad thing, to be honest.  

I agree about the doggo.  I kinda realized that going in, but part of me very naively hoped that it would be a fun and effective way to show the kid that responsibilities can be fun and really enrich our lives, at least some of the time.  A couple of folks have mentioned just moving the kennel to my bedroom, and I feel kinda silly for not having thought of it myself.  lol  That's definitely the solution to the problem.  

I'll definitely be trying to sort a timeline with DF as far as getting the kiddo launched.  I think that's probably the best idea, because if I try to push, "We have to put him out / take his things / etc.," DF will balk and we'll never get anything accomplished.  Harmony in the home is definitely a priority, but getting SS moving forward in his life is the priority at the end of the day.  

caninelover's picture

Is the bricks that the road to steph*ll is laid with.  Most of us hoped that we could share some of our experiences and have a good relationship with SKs.  Reality can be different and we have to learn to accept that.

22/23 is reasonable but if the kid isn't in college there needs to be a plan for work that will get him earning enough (unless your SO makes enough to support him with $) to afford rent in a small or shared apartment.  But SO really needs to drive that bus with SS - you can tell him your concerns and expectations that SS does launch but he has to do the rest.

24 years as a SM's picture

Your biggest issue is not SS, it's your FH. He is a lazy Disney parent and from what I have read, he hasn't parented at all. He needs to take his balls back from the SS, TELL this dropout that is 18, he is considered an adult, therefore it is time to get off the games and go out and get a job. Don't care if it's flipping burgers or being a greeter at Wally World. Rent is $400 a month, internet service is $40 a month for limited use, continue to eat like a pig, he will need to contribute half for the household grocery bills. 

Now getting your DF to do this will not happen, because he is afraid to hurt his poor little boys feelings. Well, Dude, welcome to the real world, no one is going to think that SS is a special snowflake and will not put up with this lazy crap all through life. Lazy parents or Disney parent ruin these skids to launch in a timely manner. Be prepared to have a 35 year old couch potato living with you.

Life is too short to have to live with your SS being a couch potato living life through his stupid games.

goldengoat's picture

I absolutely agree.  SS wasn't responsible for his own upbringing, and both his parents kinda failed him.  I think DF did his best as a single parent with no assistance for so many years, but I also think he made things harder on himself by not just keeping his kid in school, maybe getting him on a learning program or tutoring or something, and making the effort get him graduated.  I feel like he gave up before exploring all his options and unintentionally did SS (and himself) a huge disservice.  

I'm not at the point of giving up on SS, though, at all.  He's a lazy, over-eating pain in the arse, but he's not exactly a horrible person and I think there's still hope that he'll find some inspiration in the outside world and decide to be a part of it all, or at least decide he'd like his independence. 

If not, I'm prepared to show myself the door when the time comes.  

24 years as a SM's picture

My son, DS44 raised his two boys as a single parent, but he had DAH(Dumb A$$ Husband) and I to help out when needed. My son was the other end of the spectrum as a single father, he was super strict with the boys and cracked down on them for any little thing. But they both turned out pretty good. Oldest GS20, working full time and taking college classes online, youngest GS18, has Asperger, graduated high school last June, on a Friday and started a job with his brother the following Monday. He's also taking college classes online, but is not sure if he likes his classes. Smile

I think with single parenting, it depends if the other parent is a threat to taking the kid, on how the parenting style is set and done. With my DS44, his ex wanted nothing to do with the boys, she preferred her drugs over the boys, so my son never had to be worried about the boys going to live with the her.