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OK. I feel like I'm having pre-wedding jitters. SO MANY DOGS. Having to make a choice of a single dog is leaving me feeling overwhelmed and a bit panicked.

 

I know I'm overthinking this. I do that.

 

There is a beautiful herding-mix girl in a breed rescue some distance from me. I'm <this close> to choosing her and giving up my search. But suddenly I'm panicked about getting a dog I've never met. (I didn't know any of my previous dogs when I brought them home, and I loved them all, and they all became the light of my life!)

 

Talk me off the ledge, people. Talk me off the ledge. Has anyone else ever felt this overwhelmed by the endless possibilities? I feel like I'm getting brain freeze, where I don't dare to just make a decision!

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Every time I have added another dog into the house I have had some sort of "what if" thoughts. This includes puppies that I bred myself. I think your reservations are a natural feeling which quite frankly is, in my opinion, a good thing. Means you are thinking it through rather than just acting impulsively.

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I think it's normal to get that no matter how you choose a dog. I waited 21/2 years for the right bitch that a breeder I knew had. The bitch missed twice before she "took." I went to look at the litter. I had pick of the litter because I'd been waiting so long. A 41/2 weeks I knew which was my dog. Went back at 12 weeks to take him home. In the car on the drive back I found myself thinking, "Oh shit! What have I done?" It went away quickly and he was one of the best dogs I ever had.

 

On the other hand, the dog I have now was a Petfinder's puppy. (7 mos. old - not the 12-week old I saw pictures of 2 weeks before) I looked at this scrawny creature who I'd fallen in love with online, took a deep breath and never looked back. She is the best dog I've ever had.

 

The first one was the easiest dog I ever raised, my current one was the hardest. But they were both perfect.

 

I'm not saying that a person should rush blindly into taking responsibility for another life. I'm just saying it can be hard on the nerves for some of us, no matter how it comes down - no matter how prepared you are. Good luck - whichever way you choose.

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Lyka was a petfinder puppy. I actually saw both her and her siblings online and originally wanted her sister, but her sister had already been adopted by the time I got to the shelter and that's when I noticed Lyka. The online picture of her did not do the poor girl justice as it was at an awkward angle with bad lighting (I'm sure it wasn't intentional, but the consequence of photographing a wiggly puppy). But in person she won us over in a matter of seconds, so I wouldn't necessarily commit to a picture until I had seen them in person. Also be careful not to overlook a dog with a not so pretty picture.

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I went on Petfinder one night and fell in love with a little BC that looked just like my own dog. I waited three and a half weeks before putting in my application to adopt her and another couple of weeks for the rescue to check my references. I talked to the foster mom on the phone and exchanged photos and emails for a couple of weeks (she was out of state) and I was so excited to finally get to meet this little dog that I had been thinking about for weeks! Until the night before. What if I didn't like her? What if I didn't love her as much as my other BC? What if it didn't work out?

 

I didn't need to worry. Mattie is perfect for our family and we love her dearly. Notice that I didn't say she was perfect just perfect for us and I hope she feels we are perfect for her.

 

Getting a dog is a huge, life changing, decision. I think if you didn't have the jitters THAT would be something to worry about.

 

Good luck with your search!

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When I met Aed at 5 1/2 weeks, there was no aha moment. No "he's the one". I talked to the breeder, found out what each of the litter's personality was like, and then watched them for a while. I had spent months waiting to see this litter and I had imagined my pup so many times I felt like I knew him already. I was so nervous that I wasn't going to pick the "right" one of the litter, the dog that would be "the one". When we chose Aed, I was definitely unsure, there just didn't seem to be enough things that set him apart from the rest as the best choice. But when we went to pick him up at 8 weeks, all of that worry was gone. Because he had become MY dog, not just some dog I was picking out. There was a link between us in my mind and I was immediately connected to him just for that. We didn't bond instantly, it took time for sure, but I could never imagine having picked any other dog. And I would almost certainly feel the same way regardless of which one I picked. It's not about who they are before they're yours. It's more about who you become together.

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I basically just got the first dog I looked at. lol After saying I wouldn't do just that. I saw his picture on petfinder and 45 minutes later he was in my car coming home... Not going to suggest that but....

 

Anyways, it worked out great! ;) that helps, right?

 

Day 2 of them being home is when the 'what have I done?' starts.

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Thanks so much! Hearing your stories of also having "what did I do!?" moments makes me feel much better. :)

 

(My own story: the first morning I had Buddy, he woke up and was so happy to find himself not in the shelter that he spun insane zoomy circles in my living room for about 5 minutes. I think I actually said out loud, "Oh, no, what have I DONE!?")

 

Sometimes I think the process should go like this: the dog-stork knocks at your door, passes you a leash, and says, "This is the dog you get. Do your best!" It'd work out more or less the same, in the long run.

 

Anyone else who has a story of a "what have I done?" dog decision that ended up with a beloved companion, I'd love to hear them.

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I had moments of "what have i done" for the first 3 months with Tess. They wheren't bad moments, more like a joke between us, but still, she was so... lively :blink: She would wake up and be insanely full of energy. Turns out I love that, can use it for our benefit, it makes her really easy to train and overall she's perfect for me. I've loved all my dogs but she's so special, I sometimes almost cry with joy when I look at her. Having doubts is healthy and normal.

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I had "what have I done" moments after getting both Kipp and Kenzi. Like 2 weeks after the fact.

 

But by that point the commitment was made!

 

With Kolt, I second guessed myself a lot beforehand. Mostly wondering if the timing was right as I lost Kipp. And also since I found him one week and committed to getting him a week later. But I knew I needed something happy and Kolt fit my "what I want in a pup" list to a T. All the doubts totally went away when I saw that pup in person.

 

So yeah, nothing abnormal about it!

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Levi was a free to good home off of craigslist. He was on the way home from a road trip to Nashville. No kidding. I had been looking for over a year and couldn't find anything. So I started looking on CL and knew we were driving through a lot of rural Ohio soon to get to and from Nashville so I thought I might find a dog there. I saw his listing and their farm was just minutes off the thruway. It seemed meant to be. Almost five years later I could not imagine life without him. He is my soul dog.

 

Only on the five hour drive home with a smelly dog who had never been off the farm, never lived inside, had no training, and was now climbing over our heads in the car, did I have a "oh no" feeling. Once home I just felt, " what do I do now with this dog?" feeling.

 

About three weeks ago we brought home a new puppy. For the first two weeks I kind of thought I had made a mistake as I am not a puppy person and it just felt weird. A year+ of searching for a dog and I now had a puppy?! I thought I must have lost my mind. Now I am starting to see her personality and she is becoming apart of the household. I know my husband was head over heels for her since day one though. I can't wait to see what she will become. Our next dog though in the far future will be another needs-a-good-home dog situation and those are typically sight unseen. You just get a feeling and have to go with it sometimes.

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I've had that "OMG! What have I done?" feeling for 3 years with Tansy, my lurcher.

 

Tilly was getting older (though she's still here!) so I'd been looking for another dog, but she was a surprise. Went to Bodhi's rescue reunion and there was this gorgeous puppy being walked by one of the rescue's volunteers. Turns out she'd been brought in from a shelter for a specific adopter just the day before, taken to meet the adopter that morning and she didn't want her (said she'd be too big) and was brought to the reunion because no one had had time to take her anywhere else. So I offered to take her for the afternoon so they could do what they needed to do.

 

I was looking for another therapy prospect and she seemed perfect. She was so calm and friendly with people of all ages and all the other dogs. She looked like a border collie, which is of course what I was looking for, and with that wonderful temperament I adopted her on the spot.

 

Brought her home and she immediately turned into a whirling dervish. She was hilarious but oh, so naughty! But I figured that's not too unusual for a 6 month old border collie puppy, right?

 

Well, she started growing taller and I quickly realized she was a mix, which I was prepared for since she's sable (and she had wonky ears that didn't look quite right for even 6 m.o. border collie wonky ears). It took a while to start seeing the sighthound characteristics. But it was the intensity I wasn't prepared for. I've had border collies for 35 years. I know how intense they can be. But she's different. With three years of training (she's 3 1/2 now) she still struggles minute by minute every single day with impulse control. And while she's as smart as any border collie I've ever known, she uses those smarts to try to manipulate her world. Big difference from the border collie biddability. None of her training went like it did with any other dogs I've ever had.

 

She still loves all people but can't control her impulses to jump on the adults, though she's great with kids. She became dog reactive at a little over a year old, which we're s-l-o-w-l-y making some progress with. But therapy dogs can't be reactive, so there's another fly in the Tansy ointment.

 

She's lucky she's as sweet as she is frustrating. I can't tell you how many times I considered sending her back to the rescue the first couple years. But she's my best snuggler and she makes me laugh every single day, so I guess she's here to stay. :rolleyes:

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I really think it was easier to pick a dog before I knew anything about dogs. Which sounds weird, but I didn’t have all of the anxiety over making “the wrong choice”. One of the first dogs I adopted that was “mine” became highly reactive and fearful towards dogs when she hit adolescence. She also taught me a ton. I even ended up assisting with dog training classes for years and met some great friends doing so. She was my heart dog, but now I over analyze every choice. I look for their issues- what if they are this or that.

 

Adopting my current dog, Cricket, was a bit of an impulse, and I broke every rule I had. I didn’t want a female. I didn’t want a puppy. I didn’t want to potty train a puppy during winter in Wisconsin!

 

Oh I had been looking for a dog, but it seemed like I was a second too late for every dog I was interested in, and I was getting frustrated. She popped up online late on a Thursday, 30 minutes before the shelter was closing, and I raced down to put in an application. She would be spayed Friday, picked up Saturday, so not much time to be rational about things. Medically she was a mess. I kept telling myself I should not be getting this messed up puppy… and she was listed as a BC mix to boot! I have owned and trained several dogs, but I had never owned a border collie. I lurked on this board reading everyone’s horror stories, thinking what in the world am I doing!? But I took her home. I knew I wanted a recue dog, and a puppy was going to be a bit of a crap shoot anyway.

 

Fast forward 7 months later and I am glad I did. I definitely thought about returning that teething, bitey, monster puppy a few times. But we have gotten through some tough times, and though we have a long way to go, and a lot to learn, I can also see that glimmer of what a great dog she will be (and is).

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"What have I done?" The worry I had on the way to the shelter to pick up a dog they were going to put down due to dog aggression. We already had two dogs...but I knew this dog and felt it did not deserve to die. The meet and greet went okay, I paid for the dog ( something that still amazes me since they were putting her down) and we went from a two dog family to three. Miss Gracie felt a kinship with the border collie Cody, and he felt it was his job to make the world not a scary place for her. He would block other dogs from her, allowing her to let her fear of dogs go and walk calmly without a care in the world. Her paperwork said she was turned in because she kept on running away. She was the most Velcro dog ever. Four months later she even accepted a Pyrenees/ BC making us a four dog house. She passed in March from cancer, after being with us 5 years. We didn't pick her...we weren't even looking for a dog. Her death is so incredibly painful, she is so missed. I am so glad that the doubts, worries, etc about adding her to our family were ignored.....I try to keep on remembering that such great pain is only a reflection of knowing such great love. Good luck on your petfinder hunt...looking forward to the pics.

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I tend to be obsessive once I start doing a task in that I need to finish it, so I combed through hundreds of Petfinder pages when I was looking to adopt. I'm talking so far in the search that the dogs were located way on the other side of the country and not really plausible for me to be looking at. I don't think I even really put in that many applications - I just spammed my friends with "what do you think of this dog?"

 

At the time, I was looking for a small, mellow, older, and female dog. I happened to see Kieran at an adoption event. Talk about complete 180. He was bigger, hyper, younger, and male! I had the opportunity to adopt the dog I had originally been there to see (everything I had "wanted"), but something made me choose Kieran over her. To this day, I still don't even know why I did that. The first two weeks were horrible. I cried on the phone to my mom and contemplated returning him to the rescue in exchange for the other dog. While I was crying, he came up to me and started licking my face, then laid down next to me. I knew right away that the feeling would pass and I couldn't break the commitment I made to him when I adopted him. I feel very lucky to have him and I know that no matter how many dogs I may have in the future, he's always going to be that one dog to me.

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Mary, I sense that you'll end up with a dog you love, after all the over-thinking. I'm looking forward to seeing who you end with and hearing the story. Meanwhile, I am really feeling moved by the adoption stories that members are contributing!

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My "what have we done story" is about Bandit our first border collie. There was no petfinder yet but our local shelter had a pretty snazzy website for 1998, and I kept going back to look at him again and again his face would peer out of the monitor at me. My husband was shore crew that year for a round the world sailboat race and was not home much, but for about 4 months he would come home and I would show him Bandit. Finally we went to meet him and after meeting Jester the next day he came home with us, that night I took Dave to the airport to fly to Brazil, Bandit was in our enclosed back porch, Jester our GSDx in the house. I came home Bandit wanted in the house and Jester looked like she wanted to rip his head off.... And then I had my first what I have done moment, the second came the following night when I put Bandit back on the porch for the night and he started howling and then crying, so I let him hoping that Jester would be true to her usual non-aggressive personality, he curled up on the floor beside me and went to sleep, madam slept on the bed. He spent the next 10 years of his life sleeping in that location and died in his sleep right there. It took us 2 years to admit that our tri-color blue eyed dog was not a mix but a border collie, but we never looked back, he was my husbands partner in crime and introduced us to the breed. My first major internet purchase!

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Here's my "what have I done?" story.

I wanted a female border collie and had been working for months with the rescue group and going to their events and helping out so that they would know me. I went to a play day and meet-and-greet to meet a female I had seen. I had talked to her foster person on the phone, and thought I wanted her. When I arrived, the foster person said, "You can meet the female dog, but really I think that you should look at this male I have. I think he would be a good fit for you and your lifestyle." I met the male dog and, while I did feel a little stirring in my heart, I was Very unsure. I hung out with him all day, and could not say yes and could not say no. He wouldn't look at me, would not take a treat from me, and wanted nothing to do with me. Every time I let go of the leash he ran away from me back to the foster as fast as he could.

People kept coming up to me and saying, "Do you want that dog? Because if you don't, I might like to adopt him..."

I still couldn't say yes and couldn't say no.

The whole day went by. Everyone else had already adopted other dogs, or not adopted a dog, and had gone home. There I was, still holding the leash of a dog I didn't know if I wanted or not, and who clearly did not want me. One of the rescue organizers was passing out big dog biscuits. She was asking everyone who was left how many dogs they had and giving them that many biscuits. She came up to me and said (knowing full well that I did not have a dog), "How many dogs do you have?"

I opened my mouth, and to my shock what came out was, "Well, I am taking this one home."

I had had no intention of saying that. The woman called to the foster, "Quick! Get the contract! She's going to take him!" And the next thing I knew I had a dog. On the 2.5 hour drive home he panicked and nearly tore up my truck and me until he finally fell asleep from sheer exhaustion. All the way home I thought, "What the hell have I DONE?" I called a friend who talked me all the way home.

Well, that is how I got Jester. He was just barely 2 years old then. He is 14 now. He has been everywhere with me, gone through everything with me. I don't know what I will ever do without him.

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We got Thud on New Year's eve (or day? I don't quite remember) when my stepfather told us there was a puppy near dead at the local trash dump. We found him eating spoiled food that had frozen to the ground, hypothermic and just... not in good shape. We picked him up and took him to the e-vet, then home. The whole way home we were saying we didn't want a puppy right now, didn't want a dog who was going to be that big and just... didn't want.


But he took a while to get better, and by the time we could have adopted him out my husband and kids had fallen.


I didn't stop asking what the HECK I had done until he was at least 18 months old, and didn't stop half regretting it until 6 months ago (when he was about 2.) I dunno. He's a horrible fit for our personalities and households. He's nothing I like or want in a dog. I NEVER, and I mean NEVER, want to own another dog like him. He is the worst case scenario in a Pyr/GSD cross - sharp, likes to bite, high energy, high drive, protective, stubborn, independent, and massive.

 

But I am so, so crazy in love with that dog that the only way for someone else to get him from me is to pry him out of my cold, dead, hands. I don't want to do it again and don't think i COULD pull it off again as I age, but he's mine and we get each other (now) and he is utterly devoted to and trusting in me. Not easy to live with, no, but he makes me work and makes me laugh and he loves me a pretty astonishing amount given that it took me until he was a year and a half old to even *like* him.

 

Ironic: Kids and husband fell for him and wanted to keep him and pushed me to. In turn he fell for me and refused to give up on me or let ME go. He could not care less about the other human members of my family, but lives glued to my hip.


Things tend to work out.

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