Dear Hope: I Really Want a Dog

Dear Hope,i 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?
Dog Lover

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.

Dear Hope


  • I really hope you get a dog cause they are just the best! (Little tip: if your dad says your not responsible enough maybe try the “but a dog would teach me responsibility” line)
    If you are going to get a dog, please consider adopting one from a shelter for multiple reasons:

    1. If you should be rescuing a dog from a high kill shelter (ever seen Hotel for Dogs or Lady and the Tramp? Those places really do exist and they do put animals down if they’re not adopted after a certain number of days and most dogs aren’t adopted) then you would be actually saving the dogs life.

    2. If your thinking “but I want a puppy” you can find puppies in high kill shelters almost as often as you can adults. We got our dogs from Bladen County Animal Shelter (and transport is easily available to any other state) and they just have the best temperaments.

    3. It’s been proven that mixed breed dogs usually have less medical issues than purebreds. (This of course is no guarantee only a percentage.) Plus mixed breed dogs are totally unique, there won’t be any other quite like it!

    If you are firm on the fact that you want a purebred dog, PLEASE do not get one from a puppy mill. Find a quality breeder who only breeds that one type of dog, and get references from your breeder. Make sure you see at least the mother of the puppies to see that she is healthy and has a good temperament. If your not going to adopt that’s ok but don’t get a puppy whose mother is kept in a cramped cage in a shed with a bunch of other dogs only to be bred to death. I guarantee you your puppy will be just full of medical problems if not now then definitely in the future. Do your research on the breeder and the breed.

    Remember, if your dad is already hesitant, than a puppy, as cute as they are, whose going to pee on the floor and chew everything up might not be the best idea. Consider a young adult that is already somewhat housetrained and has already gone through the chewing phase. This also might help convince your dad.
    Dogs are a 10-15 year commitment so please take a moment and picture yourself in 10-15 years time and make sure you’d still be willing to look after a dog. That’s how a lot of dogs end up in the shelter.
    The other reason a lot of dogs get in the shelter is because people don’t have them fixed so please spay/neuter your pets. It not only prevents puppies from winding up homeless but also prevents all sorts of behavioural problems and possibly future medical problems. Best of luck! #adoptdontshop

    Liked by 1 person


    Here’s a link to SOME of the dogs at the Bladen County Animal Shelter in Elizabethtown NC. Transport is very easily available. 3 years ago this shelter had a kill rate of 97% for dogs. They won’t put dogs to sleep unless they need room so help make room. Be the difference between life and death! There’s plenty of other shelters just like this one!

    Liked by 1 person

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