Dear Labby: advice for girl who is ready for a new dog

Dear Labby,

I got my first dog, Bear, when I was two years old. He had been a part of our lives until a little over two months ago when he had to be put to sleep. I am now seventeen and am very confused on what I should do. I am a private person by nature, and Bear was the only reason I learned to interact with others. Since his passing, I have been trying to find a new dog, not to take his place, but to help me remember Bear and to have animal companionship throughout my day.

My problem is that my mom and grandmother don’t want another dog. I don’t know whether to tell them everything that I’m feeling, or if I should keep to myself until I get a job and can pay the adoption fee and the other expenses of getting a new dog. Please give me advice, because I am at a loss as to what I should do.

Signed:

Dog Owner Grieving and Longing to Embrace Someone from a Shelter

Dear Dog Owner Grieving and Longing to Embrace Someone from a Shelter,

My condolences on the loss of Bear. I know how painful it is to lose such a treasured friend and family member.

Tell your family how you’re feeling, D.O.G.L.E.S.S. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. At the very least, you’ll get a clearer understanding about why your mom and grandma aren’t sold on bringing a new dog home right now. But just maybe, your family will learn what it would mean to you to adopt – and to provide care and comfort to a homeless animal.

As you alluded to in your letter, dogs are a big responsibility, financially and otherwise. But it sounds like you’ve already made the commitment to give a loving home to a dog in need, once you’re on your own. For that I commend you and wish you the best of luck.