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James asked in PetsDogs · 2 months ago

Our last dog has passed, is it ok to say no to more dogs?

My wife and I have had 5 dogs total over our 28  year marriage.  I  have quietly not contested, but after our first dog passed away I didn't want another and she knew that.  The dogs have cost us money in the way of cancer treatments, $200 a month in medicine, doggie therapist, $15,000 in destruction to our home, all the vets, all the food, all the toys....  My wife has always treated the dog better than anybody else in the house.  I have loved each dog and continue to love dogs, but I just don't want to have one in the house.  I did at least 90% of the dog care including baths, feedings, walks, medicine, nail, vet visits, pool cleaning and doggie messes; I am at the point in my life that I do not want to do these things anymore.  Also, we couldn't go anywhere for the day, and many a vacation was cancelled because family couldn't watch our dogs...NO kennels for our babies.  Truthfully our marriage isn't sunshine and rainbows to begin with.  Lastly, I have recently undergone several back surgeries, I just don't need the added pain.  Thoughts?  Am I selfish?  Heartless?  A bad husband?  I am daily referred to as all of these.

11 Answers

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  • 2 months ago

    Your wants and needs are just as important as hers. There's no need for the toxicity of name calling on either parts. (But I feel like that's a whole different topic in itself.) She should respect your wishes of not wanting anymore animals. Marriage is always a compromise. It's honestly heartbreaking to loose an animal. I think it's perfectly fine to not want anymore animals especially as we get older, they can tend to be a lot like childern. Especially the antics of a mischievous puppy. I don't think it's selfish to express your wants, or concerns. If she makes you feel that expressing your wants/ concerns is making you selfish I feel like that might be something that you need to express in couples therapy. Or to each other.  So in conclusion yes, it's perfectly okay to not want anymore dogs.

  • Amber
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    Sorry to hear about your dog. I lost my eighteen year old lurcher in December and it broke my heart. I decided on no more dog's for now, no matter how much I get moaned at. My luxury is I live alone and it's my decision only. 90% ha! I did 100% of my dog's care.

    Your reasons are valid and should be voiced. If she doesn't like it it's an awkward place. I lived with my Mum and paid my rent as a teen. She wanted another dog, we had 2 all ready that I mostly looked after - and they were meant to be hers. I said it didn't want another dog to walk 3 times a day and I said, since I do most of the work, if you get a third I'll stop taking care of them and you can do it for all three. She ignored me and got another one. She didn't enjoy getting up a 7am to walk all three! I moved out. Amazing how three dogs became none within a year.

    It's very easy to own a dog when someone else does 90% of the work. When you live alone and do 100% you learn what owning a dog is really like. If she wants the dog that much, let her have it and let her do all the work.

  • 2 months ago

    I do not think you are unreasonable.  Your reasons for not wanting a dog are valid.

    I would advise being open to a compromise.   If she's the kind of person who wants a pet, it may be time to move away from dogs and compromise on a smaller, less maintenance pet.   A cat, for example, won't need walked, bathed or kennelled.   A pair of caged guinea pigs won't destroy the home...  Etc

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    This goes way beyond whether or not to get another dog. This is marriage counseling, borderline talks of getting a separation and divorce. Sounds to me like your wife has never respected your input or decisions and simply does as she wishes, everyone else be damned. 

  • *****
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Is it okay? Sure. No one is required to continue owning dogs if they no longer want to, and a dog shouldn't be brought into a home where not everyone wants them. 

    But, the agreement of strangers that it's okay if you don't want another dog doesn't mean it's not going to cause issues with your wife and marriage when you disagree with each other over a pretty major issue. You really have a marriage problem, not a dog problem. And if you can't both discuss this and come to some sort of agreement without insulting each other just because you have different opinions, maybe couple's counseling is a good place to start, assuming you want to save your marriage, which you also don't sound all that enthusiastic about. 

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    This isn't about a dog.  This is about not being able to talk to each other.  Get to a counsellor or walk away.

  • 2 months ago

    Sounds like you (plural) need to see a counselor or marriage therapist on this matter.... AND a whole lot more.  NO, you do not seem selfish or heartless and I am a dog lover/owner.  You have cow-towed (through agreeing to 5 dogs over 28 years) and YOU have done a lot (the majority, of work and clean-up) if you are being truthful => and I suspect you are.

    Many of my friends have gotten to the age, state of life (if kids are now out of the home and they CAN travel) or state of health (lack thereof) - they do not WANT a dog, any longer.  Many also do not want a cat or anything else.

    I do not think you can simply say - well, you will be the sole caretaker.  She might say yes, but her behavior pattern of the last 28 years says OTHERWISE.  She needs to see the reality of the situation and as of now, refuses.  I do not know if you can compromise on a less care-reliant pet or not  Separation might be an option, then she will have to be the sole caretaker of any new pet, and you will not have to hear any more complaints, about anything.

  • 2 months ago

    You could let the wife have another dog & you can refuse to do anything in helping her care for the dog.  Owning a dog comes with all the responsibilities of being a good dog owner.  If you don't have what it takes anymore, just refuse to help her with her dog.  It would strictly be her dog, her responsibility 100%.

    Owning dogs/animals just comes natural to me & I have had many many many dogs & other animals as pets.  It is just second nature to care for them. I have done it all my life & I do not feel they are a burden in any way.

    Dogs can go with you on vacations & not have to leave them behind.  Yes, dogs have health problems just like we do.  Not all dogs are destructive in the home.  Proper training can cure any of the destructiveness.

    Due to my age I only have one dog now.  I am used to having about 5 at most any given time for the last 50 yrs or so.  I took in the large or bigger dogs cause most people didn't want them.  As a Canine Behaviorist I cannot imagine not having a dog or two.  It is in my blood.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Well I think being dog free is best for you because no mutt can replace your other mutt.

    I say be dog free and enjoy life. 

    Plus your house will smell better. 

    Good luck. 

  • 2 months ago

    I don't really know why you are on here asking about something ONLY you and your wife can hopefully reach an agreement over.  

    I would say that having lost one of our last two, after years and years having a lot of hounds with all that went with that, and yes, including no holidays other than when going to shows (mainly because with our lot, it would have come down to boarding them and staying home - because of the cost) I am noticing an improvement in cash flow.   If only because our old boy was always with the vet and costing us a lot.   His food cost me a lot more than my Whippet costs given how little needs to eat compared to him.

    It's just as well I've had a very hard time finding an older rescue and unlike the Queen who has just taken on 2 puppy Corgis!!, I decided it was going to be no more puppies for us (if I could remotely afford the prices being asked for any puppy at the moment).  Over the months since we lost our second last, I have almost decided to give her the time she has left without being bothered with an incomer.

    But just as it is with you and your wife, whether you have another dog IS something only you two can decide.   Just done bring another in, and have it end up between a huge fight going on.

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