I have heard of people that literally cut their door off at upper 1/3 and attach a permanent gate there. I got a gate that was the same height as my door was wide, and super long. I used metal ties to keep it from close, the put the eye nails and snapped it into it. I am not sure if that is even sturdy enough. You can have metal gates made to your specification to latch onto the door frame.
I'm not against flying, but if someone wanted my puppy and was only 12 hours away, and not willing to come get it, I'd consider a new home. It's not that big to drive to the pup, get a good night sleep, then drive home with it bonding. Or get a friend to go with you. If driving is particularly hard for you, then flying with pup in coach would be 2nd option.
I drove nearly 15 hours to take a baby pig, a rottie puppy and my 4 yr old child from GA to NJ to my sister.
I can’t imagine he lives happily with such anxiety.
I know for myself, I’ll never get another dog as I feel I’ve failed my commitment and responsibility...but it can sometimes be too much. I still treat him and give him the best everyday and love him endlessly but I know my own value as well.
You did NOT FAIL. You didn't create his issues, they are probably genetic/biologic-based and you have done more than most on earth would do. There is a question of quality of life. Not one person on earth but you get to decide. You earned that right because you didn't fail in responsibility or commitment. As for another dog... may the right dog walk into your life and change your mind. One that gives and receives the joy that you deserve.
People are going to judge. It is human nature. Positive or negative, folks have opinions about what others do. I cannot imagine living your life, the dedication you have put into it. But I hope whatever you decide, you don't let others make you feel bad. You have done all you can and far more than most would ever have done.
Doing rescue, most of us rarely see your kind of dedication. I wish it were harder on some for whom getting rid of a pet is so easy. It's not just the US, take a look at even France, Germany and Italy and the stats on getting pets then putting out on the road at vacation time. Public media has helped, but how could anyone be okay with that? From getting new carpeting and the dog hair stands out to having a dog for 12 years but now having a baby and no time for the dog, to you name it. So no, I don't think giving up a dog is that hard for many people.
When someone wants to place a dog and is trying to do it responsibly, like the OP, then yes, we need to not judge. But I do think if someone posts on a public forum saying they are only trying to place the dog because of concern for the dog's happiness, then they should expect, in fact want, to be asked about options that would allow them to keep an older dog, because it is so hard on the animal and if they can be supported to find a way, then suggestions are not judging but trying to offer options. If the OP really is concerned about the dog's welfare, they can say the breeder is not an option, and suggestions won't work for their situation. Nothing was asked here that a responsible rescue won't also ask.
As for your situation, you make your own decisions about what is best. But it is heartbreaking that you suffer taking care of Oakley at such an expense to your own happiness. You need to take care of yourself too. (( Hugs ))
First B had an obsession with squeaky toys. She would sit and just squeak it for up to 20 minutes at a time. She also played fetch indoors, not out. But her fave toy was chewing on my poor Rottie like he was a yak milk bone. Then we got the 2nd basenji. Her joy in life was gutting toys. I spent a lot of time restuffing toys, checking for new holes etc.Chew bones were okay. Third basenji plays fetch inside, likes to ball you put treats into, and that's it. All three loved the lunging whip. We tied a scarf or something to the end and they ran until they were exhausted. I tried putting up little jumps but none would do them. Cara's favorite toy is the Samoyed. She loves to butt bump him, rear, twist and go nuts. I'm sure she knows we got him just for her.