SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

October 19, 2012

Resident worries about elderly neighbor's pup

Ask Dog Lady Monica Collins
The Salem News

---- — Q: I worry about the puppy, Blarney, that lives next door. He belongs to an elderly woman who would otherwise live alone. This dog never gets out for a walk. His leash is hooked on at the top of the stairs, and there is barely enough rope for him to get all the way down the stairs.

The dog is approximately 1 year old and has never been bathed, groomed or on a vet visit. I want to help this puppy, but I’m not sure of the best way to approach the situation. Please help.

A: Gather your courage and have a little chat with the elderly woman about Blarney’s care. Express your worry in a comforting tone. Offer to take the dog out for a walk. See how the woman reacts to your kindness. She needs a helping hand. She might also be grateful. Having this puppy is probably too much for her.

Dog Lady feels hopeful for Blarney because the dog has you, a concerned guardian angel neighbor.

You might offer to put the woman in touch with a humane society or shelter. Maybe you could engineer a switch and rescue the puppy while finding an older, calmer shelter dog for your neighbor.

All this sounds like a lot of volunteer work on your part, but, if your efforts are successful, the rewards will be great for all concerned — especially Blarney.

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Monica Collins offers advice on dogs, life and love. Her website is askdoglady.com or facebook.com/askdoglady. Contact her at askdoglady@gmail.com.