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Good letters - good answers?

badger
January 10th, 2008, 01:58 PM
From today's Slate webzine

Dear Prudence,
Once again, my boyfriend and I had a fight over my dog. I have a mini dachshund-chihuahua mix that is my baby. I'm not weird about it; she doesn't eat from a dinner plate or accompany me on trips to the mall, but she is allowed to sit on the sofa and sleep at the foot of my bed. My boyfriend is pretty much repulsed by this, and my dog, in return, is terrified of him. Last night, she was sitting by me on the sofa and I petted her head. A few minutes later, I playfully reached out to rub my boyfriend's head and he got really upset, said my hand smelled like the dog, how disgusting that was, etc. He routinely terrorizes her by growling at her when he comes in the door and pinching her on the nose. He's 48 and I'm 45, so neither of us is going to change our ways, but I wish he could learn to accept that I love my dog and am not going to change just to satisfy him. This has come to the point of almost breaking us up more than once, even though our relationship is otherwise very good. We can't even consider living together because of this one issue! What's the compromise here, so that we're both happy?

—Pooch Lover

Dear Pooch,
Not enjoying the antics of darling little Fifi is one thing. Terrorizing and abusing her is something else. This is not just a matter of your boyfriend's disinterest in your "baby"; he's a brute whose behavior is over the line. Unless he has bubble-boy tendencies about noncanine germs, I don't even really buy that he's disgusted if you touch him after you touch the dog. It sounds more like he's just trying to control you. Does he really hate dogs that much, or is the issue that he resents that your affections are not exclusive to him? There is no compromise here except to insist that he behave kindly to your pup. If he can't, once he's out of your life, you'd be surprised how little you and Fifi miss him.

—Prudie

Dear Prudence,
Two and a half years ago, after much pleading with my husband, he agreed to allow me to adopt a rescue dog. I knew rescuing a dog would bring challenges, but our dog has been more than challenging. He has severe separation anxiety and a host of other neuroses far too long to list. While I can put up with these things, as they are part of the baggage that comes with a dog whose early life was less than ideal, my husband declares daily that the dog must go. The rescue organization made us sign an agreement saying if we ever had to get rid of the dog, we would return him to them. My husband says this is the clear thing to do, but the decision is ultimately mine, because he would never just up and get rid of "my dog." Just as I would never get rid of a child who turned out to be less than my ideal, I would never do that with a pet. However, my husband's daily declarations of his disgust with the dog are making my life miserable. He even says I'm choosing the dog over him. This is totally not the case, but I feel torn over my convictions of doing what's right for a helpless, albeit neurotic, little dog and the man I share my home with.

—Terribly Conflicted

Dear Conflicted,
I'm not dogmatic, so I have a different reaction to your situation than to the woman in the letter above. Your husband reluctantly agreed to a dog, but the one you got would obviously try the patience of even the most ardent dog lover. If your husband was getting the adoring looks, the companionable strolls, the warm body napping next to him on the couch that a well-adjusted dog provides, you'd surely both be happy with your choice. Instead, you've got a neurotic bundle he gets nothing out of and that you are pouring endless energy into with no real effect. I'm with your husband that a dog is not a child. However, before you give up, you should make an investment in major behavior modification. Ask around for a trainer who has success in treating doggie head-cases—you may need to try more than one. Talk to your vet about medications that can calm your dog's anxiety. Get the videos and the book of Cesar Millan. And if, after a concentrated six months of effort, there is still no improvement, then it's fair to tell the rescue organization that you did everything you could, but you couldn't make it work.

—Prudie

amatazes
January 10th, 2008, 02:12 PM
I totally understand these women:

My boyfriend and I fight about Bruno, yorkie we've house sitting for 7 months, all the time. We've almost broken up over it a couple times as well. He hits if he doesn't go on his wee-wee pads and scares it for no reason other than a laugh. Ultimately I think he's jealous, not that he may come second to bruno but that bruno doesn't care for him the way he cares for me.
He tries to buy his affection with treats and after a couple days if the dog isn't in love with him he freaks out on it.
I love my boyfriend but worry about what kind of person he may be.:confused:

SARAH
January 10th, 2008, 02:17 PM
LOL, well I can relate to the first letter :laughing: how many times did I hear from my ex that I loved the animals more than him and the kids (and he said that in front of the kids so they ended up believing him :mad: ) well, I found someone who will comfort a scared dog before me, even if I almost had a heart attack from a sudden howl from the smoke-alarm :laughing: (I did get a bit upset at that, I must admit, but it was because I really got spooked when it went off rith over my head).

What I don't get though ... she must have known he was like this before they moved in together? I didn't, we got the animals a year after, but it sounds like she had her dog when they met.

14+kitties
January 10th, 2008, 02:23 PM
I totally understand these women:

My boyfriend and I fight about Bruno, yorkie we've house sitting for 7 months, all the time. We've almost broken up over it a couple times as well. He hits if he doesn't go on his wee-wee pads and scares it for no reason other than a laugh. Ultimately I think he's jealous, not that he may come second to bruno but that bruno doesn't care for him the way he cares for me.
He tries to buy his affection with treats and after a couple days if the dog isn't in love with him he freaks out on it.
I love my boyfriend but worry about what kind of person he may be.:confused:


:offtopic: but...... your boyfriend HITS? Ummmmm, why do you still have the boyfriend??????? Animals do not ever deserve to be hit. If it was me the man would be kicked to the curb. If he doesn't love animals that he can't love me.

SARAH
January 10th, 2008, 02:31 PM
Hmm, that reminds me of an "old" song that was on the Top of the Pops back in 1975 (UK) "Love Me Love My Dog" ... never heard it since, and I have no clue who sang that either ...

chico2
January 10th, 2008, 02:55 PM
If I was ever in the market for a new man,which i am not:laughing:he would have to be at least 99,9% as devoted to all animals like I am,or I would not ever fall in love with him.
If he ever hit my cat/dog that would be it,suitcases would be packed.
I've been married for 43 years and although hubby is not quiet as nutty as I am,he loves our cats and other animals,birds included.
I'll never forget when we were in a park in Myrtle Beach,we heard this cry from a garbage can.
It was the cry of a frog,slowly beeing devoured by a snake,hubby tried desperatly to pull the frog out,but to no avail:sad:
I guess,beeing related to froggies:laughing:(he's from France)he really had to try to save that poor froggie.

t.pettet
January 10th, 2008, 07:53 PM
Any woman who puts up with jealous infantile tantrums from 'boyfriend or husband' over the attention a dog is getting doesn't value herself very much. These guys have the maturity level of a 3 yr. old. I would rather be alone than not be loved and respected for who I am - an animal lover. It always amazes me how much crap women take from their 'men':frustrated:

Love4himies
January 11th, 2008, 07:14 AM
Any woman who puts up with jealous infantile tantrums from 'boyfriend or husband' over the attention a dog is getting doesn't value herself very much. These guys have the maturity level of a 3 yr. old. I would rather be alone than not be loved and respected for who I am - an animal lover. It always amazes me how much crap women take from their 'men':frustrated:

You are right, such behaviour reminds me of a toddler, not of a grown man that is suppose to be able to reason.

Any man that hits a dog will also hit a child and a woman. They are bullies and give themselves permission to be violent because they feel they are justified.

happycats
January 11th, 2008, 07:52 AM
Any woman who puts up with jealous infantile tantrums from 'boyfriend or husband' over the attention a dog is getting doesn't value herself very much. These guys have the maturity level of a 3 yr. old. I would rather be alone than not be loved and respected for who I am - an animal lover. It always amazes me how much crap women take from their 'men':frustrated:

I agree, accept when my son was 3, even he knew better then to strike any animal!!

Thankfully my DH loves animals as much (somtimes I think more) than I do, that's what attracted me to him in the first place:lovestruck:

I would dump, or never have been with any man that was abusive to any animal.

aslan
January 11th, 2008, 09:14 AM
I truly can't remember the last time my spouse and i cuddled alone on the couch or in bed. One or both of the dogs is either ontop of or inbetween us cuddling too. I can't imagine being with someone who didn't like pets, let alone hit one. I believe the saying " Let your pets pick your friends". If they don't like someone there is usually a good reason. My sister-inlaws bf was here at christmas and Quincy growled at him the entire time. Quincy is a golden retriever, I've never seen him growl at anybody. We found our afterwards that the bf had been smacking sis around. Hmm smart dog.