Blog » News

Ask Dog Lady

Friday Jun 19, 2020

This article is from the June 18, 2020 issue of South End News.

Ask Dog Lady

Dear Dog Lady,
I just split with my boyfriend after two years. We had 2 dogs together, he took the older dog with him and I have the 10-month-old puppy, Winston. Will my puppy be OK? I worry not just because my boyfriend is gone but, most importantly, because of the other dog leaving.

Dear Marie,
The loss of your boyfriend probably won't impact your dog at all. The loss of your boyfriend's dog is the big deal because your dog is used to being part of a pack. Make sure Winston has a lot of social interaction with other dogs. Dog love us but they love other dogs more. If things are civil, you might also ask your ex if you can get the two dogs together from time to time.

Dear Dog Lady,
We have been social distancing long enough and soon my family will be able to go to my parents' lake cabin in New Hampshire on most weekends with our two little dogs. We will be there along with my sister's family and their little dog. My parents also have a medium-sized dog. In all, there are four dogs, six adults, two teenagers, and a nine-month-old baby. Most of the time this is absolute bliss.
However, my parents' rescue dog can become very aggressive and has attacked all three of the other dogs multiple times unprovoked, to the point of drawing blood. He's also attacked the humans—me several times, both of my teenage sons many times, and even my mother, his owner, a few times.
Nonetheless, my parents have made the decision to keep him. I understand this is their right to do but I don't feel safe having my children or animals at the lake anymore. I find it so disappointing because this causes a divide in our family. I do not understand why my parents continue to take risks and jeopardize the safety and well-being of their family. I find it so hurtful.
My sister's family is more understanding and tolerant of the dog. I have to wonder if I am the one out of line here. Is there something I'm missing? I know how much they love their dog and. I love my dogs like my children, so I understand. But I also see my parents as not taking steps to do the things they know would make us safe, like keeping their dog on a leash at all times, etc. They talk about it, but it just becomes more and more lax. Any suggestions or thoughts on things I am missing?

Dear Lori,
You're missing parents who are shirk their responsibility to protect your family from a violent dog. Dog Lady understands why this is so disappointing and sad for you.
Enlist the help of your sister in an effort to convince your parents to protect other dogs and humans by hiring a trainer to create a training regimen and evaluate their dog's aggressive behavior. A behaviorist could also be the one to advise your parents whether there is hope for this dog. If they don't want to do that, they must keep their dog restrained in the home so it cannot attack freely. If you and your sister are a united front on this, you will have more strength to convince your parents to do the right thing — for the entire family, which includes their dog.