Blake’s Advice Column
My talking parrot died a few months ago and as a pet lover, I replaced it with a dog. But here’s the problem with the dog. Even though it talks just as much as my parrot did, he insults me regularly and often says malicious things about my boyfriend when he’s not around. The dog is pretty nice when it is hungry or wants to go outside, but immediately after that, he’s usually mean and insensitive. Do you think I should get rid of it?
From Portland, Maine
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My condolences to you for the loss of your parrot. Unfortunately, with your new pet, you seem to have replaced Johnny Carson with Don Rickles. You didn’t specify the dog’s breed so I have a few questions. If it’s an English Cocker Spaniel, does it bark with a British accent? Does French Poodles always surrender to other dogs rather than fighting? And St. Bernards. Do they get vicious every time a priest gives an altar boy a double take? But here’s an idea that might get your problem resolved. Draw up a contract that informs your dog that if it continues to disrespect you in your household, he will be taken to the animal shelter to be “put down”. But before you have him sign it and/or put his paw print on it, get the opinion of the contract from an attorney, a paralegal, or a qualified therapist at a mental health facility. I hope this helps.