A Real Dilemma. Advice needed!

As I write, I am genuinely in need of some sound advice. Here is what has happened. On November 16th, I drove to work and as usual said goodbye to all the dogs in our neighbourhood. I live in the countryside and we know the local dogs fairly well, in fact my wife and I feed some of them. The morning of the 16th was slightly different though as I noticed a golden retriever sitting outside the gate of one of the houses. Later that night, the neighbour, whose house he had been sitting outside, came round and knocked on our door asking if we would foster this golden retriever. My wife answered the door and then came inside to discuss with me. She had been wanting a dog for a long time and knew I was not keen. I am a cat person, know nothing about dogs and am even slightly scared of them. When I said, we could keep him temporarily, she was naturally very surprised. That was three or four days ago…Since then, we have learnt a lot about this dog. He is exceedingly well trained. He can sit, walk and even wo shou (shake hands) on command. He is extremely obedient, does not bark at all, and is playful when we have time to spend with him. With such a wonderful dog, and being animal lovers ourselves, we naturally assumed that he was lost. We have taken good care of him and already spent thousands of dollars on him getting him showered and buying equipment. In the meantime, we have been looking for his owner. He has no chip and any vet we have visited naturally assumes he has been abanodoned like the thousands of other dogs in Taiwan. Anyone who has met the dog in person seems to think there is someone out there who is heartbroken and looking for him. Our search for a good permanent home has involved many emails and other contacts. I think a couple of them may eventually prove successful and indeed a couple has apparently come and knocked on our door to enquire. When my wife told me the news, I was relieved, but also in the pit of my stomach, saddened. In the last three days, I have grown very fond of “Benny” and am now emotionally attached. But that is part of the problem, is it just me being “emotional” at the thought of him not being around. A few days ago, I was so anxious that we would have to live with this dog for the next fifteen or so years, now I am having major doubts as to whether to give him up.
Practically speaking, my wife and I travel quite a few times a year. We will not stay in Taiwan forever, certainly not for Benny’s lifetime. There could well be a move back to Europe (the UK) in the next few years and that fills me with dread, in terms of taking our cat back.
So a simple question to you all…and I’m looking for advice from all rational animal lovers!!! what should I do? Keep him or give him a new life with another family who I’m fairly sure will also provide him with a good life.

Read up on the procedure to take your animals back to your home country. For some countries, it is very straightforward and affordable. For others, it is more complicated and costly. But doable.
Good luck with your decision.

You can ask StrayDog about how much it costs to take a dog to the UK. The cat would be cheaper. Only keep Benny if you are going to take him with you. It is really hard for dogs to be placed in one home, just to be taken away again.

I personally got involved in a golden retriever rehoming(he was being kept tied with a bicycle lock for a year, so I asked the owner to hand him over to me) I found him a wonderful new home, only to have his new owner skip the country without telling anyone! So my friends fostered him, but have been unable to find him a home for over a year. Now someone is interested…but the dog has gotten so attached to them.

My friends who are fostering him have also gotten so attached to him, and tried to raise the NT130 000 it will cost to take him back to SA (SA is very expensive) but hasnt gotten any money.(they also have 3 other dogs)


Either find him a home as soon as possible, or stick with him and find out the facts about taking him abroad. Find out if dogs are allowed in apartments in the UK. I know in SA even if you own a home on the ground floor of a complex of town houses, sometimes you may not keep one.

good luck!

I also understand how you feel about the dog. A few years ago, a couple of friends and I started TaichungPAWS to work with Animals Taiwan and rescue cats, dogs, and rabbits in the Taichung area. We have found homes for more than a hundred animals and have sent many pets abroad to the USA, Canada, and Germany.

When I began this, I had 2 cats. Now I have 7. Each time I add one more to the family, there is always a reason. Somebody thought Patticake was ugly; Mary is deaf; Orin G. cried for a week when he went to his new home and bothered the neighbors; Nari was too skittish; O-bei was on his way to the gas chamber…

On the other hand, over the past 3 years there have been a lot of successful rehomings. I have kept in touch with many and there have been relatively few failures. But if you are careful and interview the adoption family and get a good feeling from the adopters, then it’s best to let go. Perhaps the animal will be better off with the adoption family.

If you are going to Europe, it is possible to take the dog and your cat with you. We have had several passengers take animals to Germany (one passenger can usually take 5 animals). England is complicated, but possible. Plan ahead. The Netherlands should be similar to Germany, as we have had friends take 5 animals per passenger as well. But all of this costs money and you really need to plan ahead and work out the details.

Try to find a good family. Keeping in touch by visits or e-mailed pics is a great way to ease the pain.