Dear Brandon,Pure Puppy Love
HELP!! I am in DESPERATE need of a puppy!! I’ve promised to COMPLETELY take care of it, but my parents keep saying no. I think they don’t trust that I can take care of a dog, but I’m very responsible. I always do my homework, get good grades, and keep my room clean. I even babysit my sister and trust me—a puppy would be ten times easier. It’s totally unfair! What can I do to change their minds?
What’s Up Pure Puppy Love,
Okay, well this problem is right up my alley since I live with my grandparents who run an awesome animal shelter called Fuzzy Friends. First of all, it stinks that your parents won’t let you get a puppy. Puppies are the best!
But… here’s the thing: owning a dog is a BIG responsibility. We’ve actually had people return dogs that they adopted, because it was too much work for them—so I understand your how your parents feel (not that I’m taking their side). Puppies need lots of love, attention, and exercise.
Here’s a question: have you thought about who might be taking care of the puppy when you’re not around? Maybe your mom and dad aren’t worried at all about your ability to look after the puppy… maybe they’re worried that THEY’LL have to look after it. And that might make them really hesitant because they’re not ready to do that.
So now that we’ve got all that hard-truth business out of the way, I also get that you REALLY want a dog, and I want to help!
Dogs are proven to help people emotionally. You could always remind your parents of that. And making a difference in the life of a dog is very rewarding! When I’ve had a hard day at school (or when I’m confused about how Nikki feels about me), it always makes me feel better to be around the puppies at Fuzzy Friends. At least I KNOW they like me a lot (just kidding).
Here are some other things I’d recommend:
- Keep doing a great job at school and with your chores. The more responsible you are with that, the more they’ll see that you’re a mature kid, capable of being a really great pet owner.
- If possible, try to volunteer at a dog rescue home or veterinary clinic. Also, if someone in your neighborhood has a dog, offer to take it on walks (with your parents’ permission). Your parents will see your interest and dedication, and it might change their minds. You can try to see if your area has a local Animal Rescue League or Humane Society.
- Use that awesome brain of yours to come up with a detailed plan of how you would be able to take care of the dog. Include a realistic schedule that includes training time and costs.
- Speaking of costs, do research on how much money will be needed per month to maintain the dog’s health (you’ll need food, supplies, medicine and any veterinary costs). Try to think of ways that you could personally help to pay for the dog—ways you can pitch in, like saving your allowance and birthday money or offering to babysit.
- Speaking of lists, make a pros and cons list, showing that the benefits of your family owning a dog outweigh the cons.
- Have a serious conversation with your parents. Use all of your research and lists. I bet they’ll respect all the work you’ve done, they’ll listen, and maybe they’ll even change their minds.
Here are a couple of extra resources that might help with your research:
Good luck with your puppy quest!
Have you ever wanted something really badly that your parents wouldn’t let you have? What did you do about it? Tell us in the comments!