Ask Dog Lady: Enjoy your honeymoon; dog will be OK

Monica Collins

Dear Dog Lady,

I have a 1-year-old longhaired Chihuahua to whom I am very attached. I am newly married and have two stepchildren, but Brady is like my little boy.

My husband and I are taking our honeymoon in early August, and Brady will be staying at home with the stepkids and a family member for 10 days. I am worried about leaving him.

I have been with him every day for the last year, and we are very attached to each other. I am nervous that he might get sick or not eat while I am away. Do you have any suggestions on making this easy for both of us? Will he even care that I am gone? Will I miss him more than he will miss me?

-- Trish


Go have a great time. This is your new family. You’ve got to trust the stepchildren to care for your pet as if he belongs to them, too. Your dog is not solely yours anymore, and your absence will provide the ideal opportunity for the kids and Brady to bond.

Naturally, you must leave sheets of instructions and lots of provisions for the proper care and feeding of the dog. You know better than anyone what to feed Brady and when to walk him and all that. Control freak Dog Lady always feels better trying to micro-manage as much as possible whenever I leave my dog with someone else. Make sure you leave his food and post the veterinarian’s contact information.

Will Brady miss you? Of course your dog will notice your absence. Things won’t smell the same around the house. But you will pine for Brady more than your dog pines for you.

Try not to think about your dog too much. Enjoy your sojourn with your new spouse. Rest assured that when the two of you come back from the honeymoon, Brady will be over-the-moon to see you. The best possible scenario could unfold as the dog and the step-kids form their own happy brat pack – the Brady Bunch.

Dear Dog Lady,

I love my husband, I really do. But sometimes I prefer to be with the dog and take a walk alone. I sleep in the bed with the dog when my husband goes out of town on business and I’m content.

Is this crazy? I realize my husband is my true heart, but Millie, an English Springer spaniel, is my true companion. I sometimes enjoy spending time with her more than I do my spouse or even my grown kids who live nearby.

-- Helen

Dear Helen,

Because dogs can’t speak English, they don’t confront us emotionally. Their needs are basic: feed me, walk me, give me a belly rub, leave me alone and let me sleep. They do not stay up at night fretting because their birth mothers have disappeared from their lives or because the job they really wanted fell through. Their memories do stretch back for canine learning and repetition, but yesterday is so yesterday.

The beauty of dogs is simplicity. This quality is also beastly because Millie will never satisfy your deepest needs for emotional connection. Yet, as a wonderful distraction, an easy companion, a buddy in life’s journey, there is nothing like a dog.

Monica Collins offers advice on dogs, life and love. Her website is Contact her at