DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: My grandmother passed a few years ago, and last spring, the retriever she and my grandfather had since the dog was a pup also died. That left Grandpa all alone, which I don’t think he’s ever been in his whole life.
I want to get him another dog to keep him company, but my parents keep saying they don’t think it’s a good idea, because Grandpa is getting up there and taking care of a dog may not be the best thing for him. I disagree and think they would see how good it is for him if we got him a dog.
Who do you think is right here? --- GRANDPA NEEDS A BUDDY
DEAR GRANDPA NEEDS A BUDDY: It’s sometimes easy to over- or underestimate the abilities of our loved ones as they age.
Your parents may be aware of issues your grandfather is facing that might make pet ownership not in his best interest right now. Talk with them about the specifics of why they feel as they do.
Since you believe you have a valid argument for how much good a pet would be for your grandfather, perhaps together with your parents, you can come up with options, like a different kind of lower-maintenance pet; a dog beyond the demands of puppyhood; or, if practical, a dog specifically trained to be a companion for an older owner.
Finally, bring your grandfather into the discussion. He’ll have his own views on the subject, and you and your parents need to hear what he has to say.