DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a puppy. I’m happy about it, but at the same time, I feel bad. I am in school, and I work almost every day. My puppy ends up staying in a kennel for 10 to 12 hours a day while I’m away. When I get home, he is so happy to see me. I spend some time with him, but I’m so tired I don’t really have the energy to play. Plus, I often go out at night. I’m 20 years old, and I have an active social life. I feel like I got my puppy before I was ready to accept responsibility for it.
My mom puppy-sits sometimes, and she offered to adopt my puppy the other day. She can see how he needs more attention than I have to give. I feel bad about this, but maybe it is best for the puppy to be in an environment that is more attentive. How can I feel better about making this tough decision? -- Adopt a Dog
DEAR ADOPT A DOG: Here’s a time when you should be filled with gratitude that you have a mother who is willing and able to take your puppy. As you are seeing, taking care of a puppy is a huge responsibility. Dogs are social creatures and do not enjoy being left alone all day and night. It’s not good for their psyches or their bodies. Just like people, they need to relieve themselves during the day.
Thank your mother for rescuing you and your puppy. Offer to help her in whatever ways you can. That may include helping to pay for dog food, coming by to visit the puppy and generally staying in contact with the dog.