NEWS

Ask Dog Lady: Is it OK to visit dog that I gave up?

Monica Collins

Dear Dog Lady,

It really wasn’t my fault when I had to give up my dog. The recession hit me badly and I had to work harder than ever before. I took a second job. I had no extra money for any luxuries and could barely afford my own food, much less buy for the dog. I asked around and finally found friends of friends who were looking for a dog. I surrendered my 20-pound cockapoo to them. They renamed her Angel and from what I hear they adore her. I really miss the dog. Do you think I can call them and ask to visit (they live on the other side of my city)?

Deb

Be on the side of the angels. Resist the temptation to request a visitation with Angel. She’s not your piece of heaven anymore. You gave up the dog and you must accept the finality of the arrangement and all those consequences. Break cleanly with the past -- better for every person and pet involved.

By the way, surrendering your dog to a no-kill shelter or rescue organization is a wiser course than personal adoption (or private re-homing, as it is known in the dog world). An individual deal such as the one you made keeps you inevitably connected, even if you decide you don’t care to be. Through your friends, you will continue to hear about Angel. A shelter, on the other hand, maintains confidentiality about the conditions of the transfer of animals.

Use the time you might have spent going across town to see Angel to volunteer at a local shelter. The folks who care for homeless dogs can always use the help. Right now, there’s a glut owing to the same financial conditions that forced you to give up the cockapoo.

Dear Dog Lady,

I am looking for a unique Halloween costume for my English bulldog. I would even take her to be fitted for a custom-made creation. If you know of any sites or dog costume makers, please let me know.

Patrick

Sorry to throw a wet blanket on your plans to dress up your bulldog for the spooky holiday, but Dog Lady makes no recommendations for costume-makers. She believes your pet will be happiest going as – boo! – a naked English bulldog. Dogs don’t like clothes or costumes. Put a dog in a dress and the dog wants to find the fastest way to undress. Dogs are natural creatures. Their hair or fur is a comfortable outer garment. Their pads and toenails are all the shoes they need.

Dog Lady understands, however, the devilish desire by doting dog keepers to dress up their pets for Halloween. Here’s a suggestion: Put a tie on it. If you really must dress your bulldog in a costume, neckwear is the best wear for dogs. Put on a little black bowtie. There are catalogue companies that sell special collars for dogs, such as bow-ties or colorful harlequin arrangements.

Attach a sign with creepy lettering that reads “Gooood Eeeeevening.” Your dog could pass as the jowly canine reincarnation of Alfred Hitchcock, the late macabre film master whose bulldog countenance is as immortal as his movies such as “The Birds” and “North By Northwest.”

Monica Collins offers advice on dogs, life and love. Follow the “Ask Dog Lady” fan page on Facebook and “like.” Write your questions or send to askdoglady@gmail.com.