Dear Barb—Doggy Dealings

Dear Barb:

Hi, my husband and I have a dilemma and I am hoping you can help us resolve it.  We have a cottage about 8 hours from where we live and we spend a lot of time there and have made good friends with nearby neighbors. 

Our next-door neighbor purchased a puppy at the end of summer last year.  We hadn’t seen the pup all winter and we were surprised to see that it has grown into a 65-pound ball of energy.  It is a friendly dog, but, like all puppies, it jumps up on people. 

We don’t mind the jumping as we can see that they are working on training the dog to stay down.  The problem is my mother is coming up to spend a week at the cottage and we will not be there the whole time.  My mother is in her eighties and not a very big woman.  I am afraid that the dog will knock her over.  I wanted to mention this to the owners, who are good friends of ours, but my husband doesn’t think we should.  He says that the owners will know enough to keep the dog away when mom is visiting.  What do you think?  I would feel awful if my mom was injured by a situation that could have easily been avoided. 

Thanks, Lucy. 

Hi Lucy:

Thank you for writing.  Nobody wants to have problems with their neighbours, so I understand your husband’s concern.  I also understand your concern for your mother’s safety, and that must take precedence.

My advice is to mention to your friends that your mother is coming for a visit and that she is older, and that you are concerned the pup will become excited and unintentionally knock her down.  I believe if your friends are reasonable people they will totally understand where you are coming from, and your husband’s fears will prove to be unfounded.

But I have a question for you.  Why would the dog be coming into your yard?  It should be on a leash or contained in its own yard.  If the dog is roaming free, it could cause a lot of problems, not only with you, but with other neighbors.  Also, it could be using your yard as a toilet.  Speaking to your neighbor about this issue should not lead to problems, but if it does, unfortunately they are not very considerate people, and you might want to rethink your relationship with them.

Hope this information helps resolve this issue between you and your husband.

Email your questions to Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.
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