, Salem, MA


January 25, 2013

Hardworking couple find puppy hard to resist

Q: After college, I met my boyfriend. When we got engaged, I moved from Boston to New York to be with him. He works in banking, and I am in hospital administration. We plan to be married later this year. We live in a cramped Upper East Side apartment. Every day on my way to work, I walk past a trendy puppy store. I say trendy because they only sell breeds. I am smitten by an adorable black schnauzer I see in the window. This puppy looks so forlorn and lonely. I asked my fiance if we could buy him even though we both work more than 10 hours a day. He’s still thinking about it. We’ve dropped by the puppy store a few times to see the dog we call Puddles for no particular reason. What do you think?

A: The store window filled with puppy breath is a brute to resist, but please do. You and your fiance work too many hours to give the time Puddles deserves. This pet store progeny probably needs a lot more training and attention than a dog weaned in a healthier environment. Puddles could come from a puppy mill. You don’t know. And, to be honest, you don’t want to know.

You can’t save the world one puppy at a time. So avoid the puppy store for a while. Walk on a different block, the opposite side of the street. New York offers lots of possibilities to take a path away from the pups. Hope in your heart that Puddles finds a home, but know in your heart that you did the right thing. You and your fiance have your whole lives ahead of you — many dogs, no regrets.

Q: We are in sorrow in our family for we just lost our beloved Chihuahua (“Tiny”). On Christmas Day, he walked out while in the backyard (he hadn’t done this in three years). We noticed his absence upon returning home in the afternoon.

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