Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Puppy Owner Considering Letting Mom Adopt Him

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.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I was invited to a couple of black-tie events this season. When I dug out my dresses, I realized that most of my eveningwear is way too small. I don’t want to hold on to these dresses in hopes that they will fit next year because I seriously doubt that I will lose enough weight for that to happen. I also don’t want to toss them. I know a woman who may fit them perfectly. She is in one of my social clubs. Do you think it would be rude of me to offer for her to look at them and pay me a small fee if she wants to have them? One dress still has tags on it. I would charge only a small amount, but it would help me to be able to replace the ones that don’t fit. -- Sell Off

DEAR SELL OFF: You are smart to want to get rid of the dresses that you aren’t wearing and that do not fit. Making room in your closet for what fits you now is smart. There’s nothing wrong with selling them at a nominal price, either. Just know that this woman may not be interested. Be direct with her. Let her know that you thought of her as you pulled out these dresses and would like her to take a look. If she’s interested, let her know what you will charge as well as what the value of the dresses is.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)