Dear Crabby, My Son Wants A Dog and I Don’t!

Dear Crabby,

My son really wants a dog, and I am not sure I can hold him off anymore.  I have refused to get one because they stink and make messes, and I know I will be the only one that will take care of it.  What should I do?

Sincerely,  Joe Say No

Dear Mr. Say No,

Well, in keeping with your name, my first recommendation is that you just say no!  That would be the easiest short-term answer anyway.  Long-term, however, there will be all the counseling fees and emotional damage to contend with, and you’ll struggle with feelings of guilt that your kids didn’t get everything they ever wanted.  Of course, that goes away after a while too.  Around the time they become teenagers, the guilt of anything you ever did wrong starts to quickly go away as they continue to act out.  However, I remember well the conversations we had when my kids devised a plan to ask the missus and me for a dog.  They had seen some little puppies out in front of the local Kmart when we were driving by one day, and they leaned forward to ask if we could swing in for a quick stop.  When I asked them why, they replied that they wanted to get some supplies to help clean the house. I thought they must have finally listened to one of my lectures about earning their keep, so I turned right around.  Boy, had I been duped!  I hadn’t even gotten out of the car before both kids and the missus all started with their ooh’s and aah’s over these little varmints.  Before I could say “Trojan Horse,” the enemy was in my camp!  My wife had this little flea bag licking her face, and my daughter was scratching one on the tummy while its little leg was thumping.  I was thinking of an escape plan when IT happened!  This one little puppy had wandered over to me while I was thinking, circled around my legs a few times, and then piddled right on my foot!  That darn thing did it intentionally!  Just as I was ready to give this thing a swift kick, my daughter picked it up and said, “This is the one! We can call him Twinkle!”  Then, as if I was in a bad dream, the kind where everyone else is talking and you are unable to respond or interact, my wife agreed and my son snuggled up with him and took him back to the car.  I was left to pay the owners and was then sent to go find food and blankets for this mutt.  That whole day my kids told me they would feed and bathe and play with the thing.  That lasted about two weeks!  Over the years little Tinkle, as I affectionately called him, and I became amiable roommates.  The little runt used to sleep on my feet while I watched TV.  He even learned to go fetch the paper in the mornings for me.  After 15 years together, the little guy finally went home to doggy heaven, and I have to admit that I cried like a baby as I watched him take his last breath.  He was a good companion, and my life was that much better by having him be a part of it.  So, my advice is this – if you don’t want a dog, just say no!  But be ready to lose the battle as I did, and be willing to accept the possibility that it isn’t so bad after all.

Sincerely, Dear Crabby

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Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at

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