• 3 weeks ago

I cannot wait for my husband’s dog to die.
She is not a bad dog, but she has severe separation anxiety and cannot go more than a few minutes without human contact before she has an accident in the house out of fear. This has meant that for the past five years, my husband and I have been unable to leave the house without making sure that someone is home to be in the room with our dog, or to accept that we will have to clean up dog pee or poo when we return. I have not had to deal with this directly for the bulk of this time, as our relationship was long-distance, but the dog has kept my husband more or less completely confined to his home, unable to go to doctor’s appointments, dentist visits, social outings, or even to the grocery store. Fortunately, he works from home, otherwise I think he would have had to rehome the dog a long time ago.
My husband loves this dog – while we were living apart, she was his primary social/emotional outlet and the only thing that forced him to get off his computer and do something else with his day. The dog is a relatively low-energy creature and will happily just lay somewhere comfortable and sleep all day, but it brings my husband great joy to get her excited about a toy or a treat and to play with her.
To me, however, she is primarily a responsibility and a burden – I derive very little joy from interacting with her, and I find myself resenting her for the limitations she puts on our lives. I can imagine circumstances under which she would be a “better” dog, but my husband is not willing to substantially change the way he interacts with her, and she has always been a very stubborn dog and not easy to train. We have tried over the past several years to get her to follow some “rules” in an effort to create a more structured environment for her, but the degree to which she complies with these rules is poor, even if we follow the same routine every day. My husband has expressed feelings of hopelessness around training her and does not believe that her behavior will improve, and while I have tried to remain optimistic, it is very frustrating to feel like she cannot learn or is willfully ignoring us.
Every time I watch my husband interact with this dog, I feel a pang of guilt, because I know once she is gone that he will feel a deep sense of loss and will miss her greatly. I know she is a very important emotional outlet for him, and I don’t know if I myself would be enough of a replacement once she passes. Yet, the experience of living with this dog has made me feel like I don’t want another dog, at least not right now while we’re supposed to be traveling, developing our careers, and making social connections.
I know some part of my husband will feel relieved once she passes, because she is a major burden on him, too – he has expressed to me that he feels like he’s been trapped at home with her, and he feels like he has missed a lot of experiences, social opportunities, and career connections while spending a year and a half living in what is otherwise a very active city. He has expressed worries to me about being similarly trapped for as many as eight more years, assuming our dog lives to be especially old, and I share that worry.
I feel terrible for these hopes, but part of me hopes that our dog gets cancer or something and we can just let her pass.

Simply Confess