Ask Amy: Loved dog leaves a legacy of guilt behind
Dear Amy: The dog I had for over 10 years recently had to be euthanized.
I loved my dog, but being a pet owner often made me feel guilty. I often felt that I had to choose between being with our dog or being a good mother to my kids.
I realize that I was not ready to own a pet when I first got her. I made many blunders that I still regret to this day.
My husband also loved our dog, but I believed that what he loved most was having a dog — any dog. I had this dog before we got married (over a decade ago), and I think I presented myself as a dog person, when actually I was only a "that dog" person.
He has brought up getting another dog for his birthday in a few months, and has been looking at local animal shelters. He said he didn't enjoy living in a house without a dog in it.
Amy, I loved my little dog, and if I could have her back, healthy and happy, I would. But I honestly don't think I will ever want another dog, due to the guilt that comes with it.
I believe that if I said I didn't want other dogs, I would be asking him to make a big lifestyle change, and maybe even change who he is as a person.
Just thinking about getting another dog stresses me out, and thinking about telling him stresses me out.