Monday, March 07, 2005

The Advice Columnist on Dog Ownership

I normally just write about me, me, me, because, being canine, I am very self-centered, but there was a great column by "Dear Abby" today regarding dog ownership (or pet guardianship as we say here in California).

Basically a dog owner wants to get rid of her dog because he is too much trouble. And Abby says the dog owner must step up to her responsibility. Dogs are not last year's fashion to be discarded when you want to move on.

Anway you can read it for yourself here.



I need advice with a problem I have regarding our basset hound, "Sherlock." I bought Sherlock for my husband, "Ken," a year and a half ago. Ken loves the dog, and so does my 18-year-old daughter, "Gretta," who lives with us.

When I bought Sherlock, the understanding was that he would be cared for by my husband and daughter. This is not what happened. I do 90 percent of the feeding, cleaning up after him, taking him to the groomer, the veterinarian, etc. We also have a cocker spaniel, "Lulu," we have had since our Gretta was 3. Lulu has also been my responsibility for the most part. Ken and Gretta play with the dogs, and I "get" to do almost everything else.

Abby, I am not a dog lover; I am a dog "liker." I feel used and resentful. I want to give Ken an ultimatum: Care for Sherlock or find another home for him. Am I being unreasonable? I feel guilty thinking about doing this, because Sherlock was a Christmas gift to my husband, but I just don't want to continue this way. Ken works full time, as do I, but he commutes two hours each day. Asking him and Gretta to share in the care of the dogs has done no good. Any advice would be appreciated.



Stop feeling used and resentful and look in the mirror. Why did you buy a second dog after seeing that your husband and daughter didn't care for the one you already had? You put yourself in this pickle.

Please reconsider shrugging off the responsibility for Sherlock. There are alternatives to getting rid of him. A neighborhood teen could be hired to walk him. A pet service could provide transportation to the vet or the groomer. Finding another home for him should be only your last resort.

Focus on the bright side. Since you and your husband have full-time jobs, and your daughter is busy with her own schedule, it's just as well that you have two dogs because they have each other for companionship.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips.


At 7:57 AM, Blogger Charlie barked...

Good answer from Abby! "Used" should get real - you don't give one of us to someone else unless you're prepared to take care of us yourself.

At 11:13 AM, Blogger Cal the Wonderdog barked...

I think Abby is missing a main point. Dogs should never be bought as a Christmas present. We are family members. Who would think of giving a human baby or adopted child as a "present".

The whole line of thinking is wrong and skewed to represent a life as a "thing" and not a sentient being with feelings and rights. With that kind of mentality, it comes as no surprise that humans like "Used" are thinking this way.

Humans like this need to reorient the way they're thinking about their canine family members.

At 12:14 PM, Blogger Splash barked...

Whoa, I agree with Cal. I'm a family member! We would never leave one of us behind, 'cause we all belong together. Even the puppy, although she is a little annoying sometimes.


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