Doggie Blackmail



Dear Dharma,

I love dogs. Our family has two of them and they are family members to me.

Recently we were contacted by a couple we are casual acquaintances with about taking in their dog. It’s a good dog that is well behaved. However, my wife says we can’t do it.

The owners are getting on in age and only want to see the dog go to someone they know and trust. They figure if they can’t place her where they feel most comfortable, they will put her down.

My wife feels emotionally blackmailed by this, and also feels that adding such a large breed to our home would be inconvenient and expensive.

I don’t want dollars and cents to matter at time like this. We are talking about the life or death of an innocent creature. My wife, on the other hand, thinks they are bluffing and should simply give the dog up to the pound.

She is being unreasonable. The dog’s life matters and we were the ones requested to take care of it. How can I make my wife see that taking this couple’s dog is the right thing to do?

Frustrated Wannabe Dog Owner

Dear FWDO (pronounced FI-DO),

There’s a lot – a lot – going on here.

Your wife has a right to feel emotionally blackmailed by this situation – because, really?  It’s either your home or lights out for this dog?  Like, there’s absolutely no middle ground here?  Come on.

Also, there’s a serious level of contradiction when you say these people are “casual acquaintances” but then say they “want to see the dog go to someone they know and trust”… and you, the casual acquaintances, are their only option?

Bringing this dog into your home when your wife is so against it is not the right thing.  For anyone.  It’s not right for the dog, for your wife, and in the end, it won’t be right for you, either.  Trust me on that one, my friend.

Putting the dog in the pound, as your wife suggests, is also not the right thing to do, so let’s just go ahead and take that one off the table.

So now that we’ve ruled out the two extremes, can we all start being reasonable about this (because your wife is not the only one earning that title here)?

Help this couple find a home for their dog.  A home that the current owners are comfortable with.  A home where this poor dog will be wanted, loved and will be treated well.  That is your middle ground.  Work diligently towards it.



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