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In the Doghouse

Very recently we lost our dog, and it was devastating to us. Adopting him was the first real thing we did together as a couple. The problem is that my husband wants to replace him immediately and I just can’t even think about it without tearing up.

I’m so sorry for your loss. Mourning isn’t easy but it’s necessary. Your husband’s heart is in the right place because he most likely thinks getting a puppy now will alleviate the sadness you both feel. He can’t be faulted for that whatsoever. Tell your husband you really need a moment to take it all in, feel the feelings and process the loss. Explain that a little time will allow you to move forward to a new adventure with a new puppy. He’ll get it and time will be good for him too.

My partner and I recently moved in together and I really want to get a dog. I knew he wasn’t thrilled with pets before we moved in together but he said he would “suffer gladly” for me. Now he’s backpedaling.

Now that you’re living as a couple, there are decisions that you need to make as a couple- getting a dog is one of them. Allowing your partner to feel part of the process is a good place to start. Together, determine a target date to adopt and together select a puppy. The more he feels part of the decision the sooner he will get on board. And when he’s alone and looking into those puppy eyes, both his trepidation and his heart will melt away.

My girlfriend’s dog hates me. Help!

Assuming that you’re being friendly to the dog, the best plan of action might be old-fashioned bribery. When you visit him, bring him a treat or a toy. After a couple attempts, bring a toy that integrates you into the play, like a ball, Frisbee or a pull toy. Once he realizes you’re not trying to take his place and that you value his, he'll warm up to you.

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