DEAR ABBY: I need advice with a problem I have regarding our basset hound, "Sherlock." I bought Sherlock for my husband, "Ken," a year and a half ago. Ken loves the dog, and so does my 18-year-old daughter, "Gretta," who lives with us.
When I bought Sherlock, the understanding was that he would be cared for by my husband and daughter. This is not what happened. I do 90 percent of the feeding, cleaning up after him, taking him to the groomer, the veterinarian, etc. We also have a cocker spaniel, "Lulu," we have had since our Gretta was 3. Lulu has also been my responsibility for the most part. Ken and Gretta play with the dogs, and I "get" to do almost everything else.
Abby, I am not a dog lover; I am a dog "liker." I feel used and resentful. I want to give Ken an ultimatum: Care for Sherlock or find another home for him. Am I being unreasonable? I feel guilty thinking about doing this, because Sherlock was a Christmas gift to my husband, but I just don't want to continue this way. Ken works full time, as do I, but he commutes two hours each day. Asking him and Gretta to share in the care of the dogs has done no good. Any advice would be appreciated. -- USED AND RESENTFUL IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
DEAR USED AND RESENTFUL: Stop feeling used and resentful and look in the mirror. Why did you buy a second dog after seeing that your husband and daughter didn't care for the one you already had? You put yourself in this pickle.
Please reconsider shrugging off the responsibility for Sherlock. There are alternatives to getting rid of him. A neighborhood teen could be hired to walk him. A pet service could provide transportation to the vet or the groomer. Finding another home for him should be only your last resort.
Focus on the bright side. Since you and your husband have full-time jobs, and your daughter is busy with her own schedule, it's just as well that you have two dogs because they have each other for companionship.