Dear Hope: I Really Want a Dog
I really want a dog, but my dad won’t let me. My mom is okay with it, but she just goes with whatever my dad says. He thinks that I’m not responsible enough, even though I try really hard and help out with chores around the house. He thinks that I’ll just get tired of the dog and make him take care of it, even though I’ve promised that I wouldn’t. I’ve tried telling him the benefits of having a dog but he won’t budge. What can I do to help convince him to get me a dog?
Dear Dog lover,
Dogs are awesome! I believe everyone should experience owning a dog at some point in their life. You may never convince him, but here are some things you can try.
Get prepared before you try talking to your dad again.
Find out all you can about owning a dog and ask yourself these questions.
1. Where would you get the dog?
2. Will it cost anything? (Do you have any money to contribute?)
3. What supplies do you need? Ex. bowl, food, collar, leash
4. Who will take the dog to the vet?
5. Are you willing to give the dog a bath?
Figure out as much info as you can. Parents find that stuff impressive. Maybe you can talk it all out with your mom and get her opinions on certain things. For example, she might be willing to help you with feeding and taking the dog to the vet.
Every kid tells their parents they will take care of a pet. They mean it 100%. The problem is it’s more work than you think (especially with school, homework, chores and friends).
Here’s a tip: When you talk to your dad, don’t try convincing him you are responsible enough. He already knows there might be a time when you need help. He knows that this dog will become a family thing and he will inevitably be involved somehow.
So instead, let him know you understand that. Don’t make promises you might not be able to keep. It will show him maturity. Tell him that you will do your absolute best. And if your mom is ok with this, tell him that she agreed to help you sometimes.
We are hoping at this point he says yes. Yes you can get a dog! But there is still a good chance he will say no. So here’s what to next. Don’t get angry. Don’t beg and whine. Keep calm. Remember your goal.
Ask him if there is a way to show him that you are responsible. Explain how you already try doing things to help out, but what other things would he like to see?
Find out if he is willing to have a trial period. Not with a real dog, but the idea of a dog. For example, you could fill a bowl of fresh water every day. Make time to go outside for ten minutes every morning and night like you were taking out the dog. Set aside time every day that you would play with the dog. You get the point.
Let your dad actually see that you would take care of the dog. It’s also good for you to get a feel for keeping up with everything. I know it’s not like having a real dog, but it still gives you an idea of the responsibility.
After the trial period is over, go back and talk to your dad. Your dad may not say yes at this point, but he will know how serious you are. Bonus, you handled the whole situation very maturely.
If your dad says yes, we would love to see pics!
Thank you for being brave and sending in your question.