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Ask Dog Lady

Thursday Jun 22, 2017

Ask Dog Lady

Advice on Pets, Life, Love
Dear Dog Lady

I have a four-year-old male mutt Simba that I love to death. My boyfriend and I decided we wanted another dog. We bought a seven-week female mutt Jasmine that my boyfriend fell in love with. New puppy princess Jasmine follows Simba around and wants to play and cuddle with him. But Simba freaks out and runs away. When he is asleep, we pick up Jasmine and lay her next to him and Simba just gets up and moves away. The more attached Jasmine has gotten to Simba, the more she cries when she is not next to him and of course Simba runs away. What should I do? I love my babies very much and want them to get along.


Dear Ariel.

Simba doesn't want to mother the puppy but you force the role upon him. Puppies shouldn't leave the natal nest until they are at least eight weeks old. Ten weeks is optimum. You brought Jasmine home at seven weeks. She hadn't yet been fully weaned. She must have attached immediately to Simba in order to figure out how the world works. But he doesn't want to be bachelor father.

Stop imagining your dogs as babies. They are dogs and they will work it out if you leave them alone. Also make sure you give Simba whatever you did before the puppy joined the household. For starters, allow him to sleep undisturbed in his own place. You must trust your dogs will bond eventually. For now, their primary bond should be with you.

Dear Dog Lady,

I recently had to leave my Chihuahua Peanut with my sister and her family for the weekend, due to an increased work load. After picking him up, I found he had fleas. I was devastated; I never have gone through this. I immediately took him to the groomer to get shaven as well as bathed and treated for the fleas. How do I now deal with my sister and her family? I don't want to take Peanut over there for fear that he will get infested again. I am too embarrassed to tell my sister.

No Fleas on Me

Dear No Fleas on Me,

Fleas should not come between siblings. Fess up to your sister. Check with your veterinarian who will advise you on the proper flea and tick treatment for Peanut. A groomer is not the first line of defense against bugs. Anyway, you can't be sure the fleas came from your sister's. Maybe your home has a few bugs hopping around.

textDear Dog Lady,

I love dogs. In fact, I love dogs so much that I don't own one. I have a small apartment and I refuse to get a dog until I have a yard with space for him to enjoy his life. Unfortunately, you and many of your readers seem intent on having a dog whether it's good for the dog or not.

In your "Ask Dog Lady" column, you responded to a woman whose dog was chewing everything in the house. You advice was to keep the dog confined in a crate, in a room or behind a gate. You should have considered the quality of life for this dog designed by nature to run and roam free. He will be severely confined inside a crate or at best in a room, for the vast majority of his day, with at best an hour of exercise walking on a leash. This is a lifestyle we reserve for our worst criminals in solitary confinement.

Your advice is designed to force the poor animal into a completely unnatural lifestyle for the convenience of its owner, so the owner can benefit from the dog's loyalty and companionship.

If a person doesn't have the proper space for a dog, the answer is not to force the dog to behave like a hamster in a cage. The answer is to not have a dog. It's just that simple.


Dear Dennis,

Your well-reasoned letter makes perfect sense-for you and your non-existent dog. However, for other people and their real and beloved pets, your prison scenario rings false. Many dogs contained in crates or cages (the politically incorrect term for dog enclosures) are quite happy. Crates are not only the animals' safe houses but also serve as effective house-training tools.

In the "Ask Dog Lady" response to the woman whose dog chewed everything, you might have also seen the sharp finger wag. Someone who has a dog chewing indiscriminately should pick up whatever she doesn't want her dog to munch. We humans are responsible for our dogs' success. We train them to live with us. We are the dunces if they flunk.

You are to be complimented for deciding your lifestyle cannot support a dog. You have thought it all out and you have made a good decision-for you but not for anybody else.

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