, Salem, MA


November 1, 2013

Ask Dog Lady: Dog's health a cause for concern


Dear Dog Lady,

My dog, Spooky, has seen my beaus come and go. My current (for the past year) beau got along smashingly with my pooch for about six months. Then, Spooky began to act destructive while he was staying with my guy at his home while I was traveling for work. Trash cans overturned, bathrooms wrecked and even urinating on his couch. It became such a problem that Spooky no longer stays with my fellow while I travel, but with a friend (female and no problems). I love this guy, and he tolerates the dog despite the bad behavior. Any ideas on how to correct the problem and keep both of the loves of my life in the same picture?

A: You have to be part of this picture too. When Spook wreaked havoc the first time, you should have immediately stepped up to make things right with your beau by reimbursing for damages and cleaning — no matter if he gamely insisted the animal antics were OK. You should never have allowed the dog to bunk with him again. Staying with your female friend seems a more successful strategy. Still, don’t tax your intimates. Friends don’t let friends mind the dog.

When you leave town, arrange for reliable, professional dog care and pay for the service. Ask at your veterinarian’s office, the local dog store, or neighborhood dog walkers for referrals to pet sitters. On the Internet, go to, the website of Pet Sitters International, a professional organization. You can search, via ZIP code, for a referral to a Spooky sitter.


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