Ask Amy

Husband sends marriage to the dogs

Amy Dickinson
Amy Dickinson Chicago Tribune

Dear Amy: Shortly after my husband and I began dating, he bought a large-breed puppy. He took the dog everywhere he went. We then moved in together, we got another small, mixed-breed dog that we hoped would keep the large dog busy, since he was always demanding my husband’s attention.

One evening, the large dog snapped at me (he was 6 years old at this point). My husband was very upset, and he was going to put him down, for fear that he had “turned.”

I begged him not to. About four months later, the large dog growled at me, and my husband took him to the pen outside. While outside, the dog bit my husband several times, so he was put down.

My husband now wants to get another dog of the same breed from a breeder.

I have no desire for another dog.

He is determined to get one, regardless of how I feel about it (even though I’m always the one cleaning up after it and taking care of it), and I’m seriously at the point where I would rather not live in the house if another big dog is in it. I’m beside myself ... please help!

Upset Wife

Dear Upset: Your husband should not own any dog. He set up an exclusive relationship with his puppy, and didn’t train the dog to accept you into the family’s pack. His solution to his dog’s biting problem was to conclude that the dog had “turned” and then to kill the dog. No respectable shelter would let him adopt an animal, although there is nothing preventing him from purchasing one from an unscrupulous breeder.

Your husband seems to want a dog more than he wants you. This issue has brought you two to a crisis point in your marriage, and you should seek professional counseling and mediation to work this out.

Dear Amy: “Sad Mom” is a bipolar woman in a troubled relationship with her daughter, who is also bipolar.

Please point readers toward the National Institute of Mental Health for information and support.

Been There

Dear Been There: Definitely. Thank you. NIMH is an invaluable resource. Readers can get information on their website:

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