Arts & Leisure

Dear Mari: Keep the dog, drop the girl

IT WAS HER idea to get the dog, but now the work load is falling more on him ….

Dear Marilyn,

Let me start out by telling you that I love dogs. That said, my girlfriend and I, who live together, have had an argument that lasted about a year. She really wanted for us to get a dog. I was against it. I felt that we could not afford it, and that we really don’t have the space for one.

   Finally, I gave in. We now have enough money saved for any vet costs that may come up, and we decided on a small dog, that doesn’t need so much room. I was very clear at the time that the dog would be her responsibility. I told her that I have neither the time nor the patience to take care of the dog. Right now, I am very busy with school and work.

She agreed at the time. Now, we are a few months into it. More and more frequently she is asking me to help her with the dog. At first she would just occasionally ask me to feed it. Now, it seems like I am feeding it more and more. Also, I have given the dog several baths, and taken it to be groomed.

I thought that there was absolutely no question that if we bought this dog that she would have complete responsibility for it. Am I wrong to remind her of our agreement? By the way, I really do like the dog.

Signed, Upset and Unhappy

Dear Upset and Unhappy,

   No, you are not wrong to remind her of the agreement. After begging you for a year to get the dog, it is really kind of surprising that she is not holding up her end of the bargain.

   Let her know that your feelings have not changed. Even though you like the dog, remind her that you really still have the same obligations that you did before.

   However, two things have changed. One is that you actually have the dog now. The second is that she knows that you will care for it.

   So, she may feel like even though you aren’t really happy about the situation, you will help her.

   This means that you have to make a decision. Would you really give up the dog now? My suspicion is that you would not. She probably figures that to be the case as well.

   One final thought. She is not treating your relationship as if you are equal partners. She is acting very much like a child who begs her parents for a dog, with the condition that the child will take care of it. Many times, it is the parent who ends up caring for the dog.

   Does that situation sound familiar to you? Think about this relationship long and hard. This behavior may be indicative of other things that may happen in the future.

   You may want to keep the dog and dump the girl.

Dear Marilyn,

My boyfriend is always telling me silly little lies. He lies about where he was when he was out with his friends.

He lies about where he will be going. He lies about who he has been with. He even lies about when he has to go to work.

When I catch him in his lies, he laughs it off, as if it was not big deal. Or, he puts the blame on me, saying that he didn’t want me to be upset.

What gives? Why can’t he just tell me the truth? If he lies about such trivial things, how can I trust him to tell me the truth about the really important stuff?

Signed, Worried


Dear Worried,

   You can’t. This guy is nothing but trouble, and the sooner that you end this relationship, the better off you will be.

   The question shouldn’t be why he lies to you. The better question is why you are willing to put up with it!

   You are a person of value and worth. You have no reason to be treated in such a fashion. Don’t allow anyone to treat you this way.

   I wouldn’t even recommend that you give him another chance. He’s a loser, and not worthy of you.


Dear Readers, please send your questions to Remember to put “Dear Marilyn” in the subject line.



Leave a Reply