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Ask Amy: Loved dog leaves a legacy of guilt behind

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Dogless: My recent adoption of the world’s cutest terrier has given me some personal insight into what you are describing. The guilt of not being able to make every single day The Best Dog Day Ever is intense, and that legendary unconditional canine love can actually make the guilt-burden seem heavier.

You entered the marriage with a dog in hand/paw, but I wonder if the dynamic would be different if this time around your husband adopted the dog and took primary responsibility for its feeding, care, exercise, and entertainment.

Children eventually graduate from the household, while your dog’s needs increase with time. A dog’s health and happiness is completely dependent on you until the end. And the end, as you know, can be heartbreaking.

If you were the backup parent, you might feel the burden differently. And understand that the rookie mistakes you made last time (and which you still feel guilty over) would not be a factor now.

I hope you will be brave enough to be totally frank with your husband about this and that you will both take ample time to think this over carefully.

If your husband feels very strongly about this, he might want to foster a dog for a few weeks to basically test the waters for both of you.

 

Dear Amy: I met my biological father only two times, both times briefly, when he came to visit me.

About two years ago, I texted his wife to ask about him. She never replied back.

My mother never told me of him nor talked about him.

I know nothing about myself other than my place of birth.

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