I really feel bad for my older sister but I can't tell her why

Her dog that she had for 15 years died just about 6 or 7 months ago. I loved her dog, she was cute and friendly and affectionate and full of energy.

My sister grieved for awhile but she got a new dog about 4 months ago. This new dog is nothing like my sisters old dog. My sister is cute and outgoing and bubbly and young looking even at age 61. And so her and her old dog were a perfect match. This poor new dog is frightened of everybody. He is friendly to my sister and maybe loving but I’ve been seeing him for four months now and he is scared of me and the rest of the family and strangers.

I have never showed anything but friendliness and patience with the new dog but every time I see him he just cowers and never wags his tail. It’s obvious that he was mistreated by someone down the line but this is the most dog-loving family you will meet and no one had been anything but kind to him.

I am housesitting now and it’s a small apartment and he is cowering in the corner by himself even though I have gone out of my way to be kind and non-threatening. He is so unlike my sisters previous dog. but the family can’t say anything. My sister sees how he is around us but she is in denial and thinks he will get better but after zero change for 4 months it’s obvious he will not get better and my sister is committed to keeping him.

So she might have him for the next 10 or 15 years. I go out of my way to be friendly and pet him and put him at ease but I am tired of walking on eggshells around him to make sure I don’t scare him.

To me, the whole purpose of dogs are to be friendly and be there to be petted and played with. There is none of those things in him. I’m not trying to be mean or heartless but my sister will never give him up because they have a bond but I can see this situation could cause trouble in the family.


Dogs can become very hurt and damaged just like people. Good on your sister for not giving him up.

Even damaged beings need love and a home. In fact they probably need it the most.

I wouldnt give up my dogs for that reason, ever.


I feel for you @77nick77. My ex’s dog caused friction between my ex and I, so I know what you mean.

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Yeah when we got a new cat she was not people-based and friendly like our old Smokette. This new cat, Chloe, didn’t even act like she recognized my mom when she visited from CA (she used to own the cat when she lived in VA). In fact the cat was so averse to her even getting close that she just let our grandmother keep the cat permanently. To say the cat was a disappointment would be an understatement, but my grandmother seems to like her.

She’s timid and scares easy and only attaches to one person at a time. By contrast our old cat was like a therapy pet, she’d go around the house and hop on different people’s laps and pur and bat at their hands playfully, and spend time with everybody in the house. She’d also pay me nightly visits when I laid down on my mattress, to be petted and then to swat at my feet before leaving. I miss her a lot.

I guess it’s worth mentioning that we had the first one from birth and the second one was a rescue.


My problem with that @77nick77 is that the new dog is acting very much like we szs - frightened easily, tense, suspicious, antisocial, etc. and getting disappointed looks from people who want him to be someone he’s not. So, look in the mirror, @77nick77 and see who you are.


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