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Sunday Confessional: I Got My Boyfriend a Puppy

Dear Sugar,

I've been with my boyfriend for almost three years. He owned a dog that he got many years before he met me, and unfortunately, she was recently diagnosed with cancer and passed away. My boyfriend has understandably been devastated, and acts really depressed. In the beginning, he openly cried to me and talked about all the memories he had with her. He said someday he'd definitely want to get another dog, but he wanted to wait a little while.

It's been about two months since she passed on, and I got the idea to surprise him for Christmas and get him a puppy. A coworker and friend of mine owns a Chocolate Lab (the same breed of the dog he lost), and she recently had puppies. She wanted to give him one since she knows what he's gone through. The puppy was ready to come home with me this week, so on Thursday night, I brought her home with a big red bow tied around her collar.

When he saw her he just burst into tears. He thanked me for the kind gesture, but said that he just wasn't ready to invite a new dog into his life, and that he wouldn't be able to keep her. He also said that he couldn't believe I would make that kind of decision without him, that a dog is a huge responsibility and a personal decision. Now he seems even more upset than before. I was only trying to help, should I be forgiven for my actions?.


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bransugar79 bransugar79 9 years
I have to agree with asia 84 on this one. You were obviously trying to help him out. And while two months is not long enough to get over your spouse passing away it is long enough to get over your dog dying. Especially when the dog was already ill. My dog was poisoned last year and I loved him so much he was my favorite dog ever and I spoiled him rotten but after a while I got over it. Because it was a dog, not a person. This guy seems like a jerk. And while I can understand the people who say you shouldn't give a pet as a present we're not talking about a 6 year old here this guy is an adult who was perfectly capable of taking care of a dog as proven with the other pet. Besides the issue here is not whether she was a responsible pet owner, it's whether or not she was being a good girlfriend. Obvioulsy she was trying to make things better for him because she cares. She just wanted to cheer him up and that is completely admirable
puffaroo puffaroo 9 years
Oh, sorry. I forgot to say that I worked at an Humane Society animal shelter in central NJ, and as far as I know, a dog who is not claimed within a certain amount of time will be euthanized. Maybe you should talk to the people you got the puppy from.
puffaroo puffaroo 9 years
Aw. You meant well, but anyone who's had a long-term relationship (I can't thnk of a better word, sorry!) with a beloved animal knows how special they are to us, and how deeply we can bond. I have a 6.5 year old female yellow Lab who has been my comfort so many times over the years when things have gone wrong in my life. She just knows when I'm sad and leans her head against my knee. No one will ever replace her in my heart, and I hope she has many years ahead of her. But we did get another Lab pup in July, and raising her is not always easy. My older dog was so good for so long, I had forgotten all the the mess and mischief that puppies entail. They are definitely not for people with low emotional energy, as you boyfriend might be experiencing. Puppies can be destructive (especially Labs, who will bite and try to eat anything that isn't bolted down). I hate the thought of the animal going to a shelter. Can you raise it? There are Lab rescue groups you can find on the Net and maybe they can help you. But I hope your heart is soothed, because you acted out of love.
lilxmissxmolly lilxmissxmolly 9 years
I own two dogs and two horses and keep them all at my house and do all the work myself. I understand responsibility, and I also understand how close you are to your pets. HOWEVER, IMO you were completely in the right and your boyfriend is acting kind of wimpy. I'm sure he's a great guy, and im sure he was close to his pet, but it had been two months and he CRIED when you gave him the new dog? You were doing some thoughtful and nice, and he got upset at you? if one of my dogs died, i would get a new dog the very next day if i could. As for giving animals as pets, i think that if someone has never had pets or if someone already has some pets, that its not a good idea unless you ask them what their opinion. But if someone has a pet that recently died i think its a good idea (although maybe you should hint around and make sure it would be okay) Whew! Long comment! Out of curiosity, whats going to happen to the puppy?
This situation was just on October Road last week. You should be forgiven because you did it with good intentions, not to make him cry. Sometimes, it is insulting for people to think that they can just simply replace your dog, because they are seen like members of te family. Kinda like if your sister moved across the country and brought you home a new friend to replace her with. Actually, it's worse than that, but I don't want to be too morbid.
irisamelia irisamelia 9 years
As many agree--right intentions, bad idea. He should understand you were only trying to help. But it must be said that pets are one of the worst gifts to give someone for Christmas. (Though I'm sure the puppy must have been really, really cute.)
LuvLeoDiCaprio LuvLeoDiCaprio 9 years
I say forgive you had great intentions but like probably didn't know giving a pet is a bad idea. I think he slightly overreacted and should have seen that you were just trying to be thoughtful.
Jennifer777 Jennifer777 9 years
I agree with the other is never a good idea to get another adult a pet, no matter how well you know them. I voted forgive because you did have the best of intentions but you should have listened to him when he said that it would be awhile before he was ready for another dog. Now he needs to see where you were soming from and forgive you too. Good luck!
Beaner Beaner 9 years
I's obvious that the guy wasn't ready. No offense, but you shold have asked him first instead of trying to surprise him with something as personal as a pet. Now what are you going to do with the poor puppy?
Jinx Jinx 9 years
As been said, you never buy a person a pet for a present. Usually pet stores, and humane societies feel the same way. This is your fault.
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
Have you ever lost a loved one? It seems to be that you haven't and especially with how upset he was over the loss of his dog, two months is not enough time to get over that! It would definitely have to be a huge conversation between you two, so I can see why he would be upset. As long as you see what you did wrong in this situation, forgive is okay. Really the issue is everytime he looks at the puppy, he'll think about the other dog. And he'll never love the puppy as much as the other dog and may even resent it some how. For some, it is easier to get attached to an animal than a person, so I don't think it's weird for him to be so upset over the loss of his pet.
Knight-Who-Says-Ni Knight-Who-Says-Ni 9 years
I was given a pet for my birthday once. I still have him and I love him very much, but I was, and still am, upset that I was just handed this responsibility. It's expensive, takes a lot of work, and I can't travel without extra expense and hassle - what to do with the pet? How much more will it cost to board him? How long can I be away for? The traveling problem is the worst part, for me. Having a pet means that you have to change your life to be able to take care of it, and you can't make that decision for someone else.
NadiaPotter NadiaPotter 9 years
forgive of course that was only a moment reaction. I think later he will call "where's my puppy?" of course it is a real responsibility, but he already had that responsibility, so I must assume he's a good father of dogs.
julieulie julieulie 9 years
Jlana, that is an EXCELLENT point about it being a puppy. If the dog was older, which we assume it was since he had had the dog a while, the dog has already been trained, can make it through a day at work without having to be taken out, etc etc. Replacing the dog with an unexpected puppy is not remotely similar in terms of the work that needs to go into the dog. Puppies do need to be taken out during the day -- can the boyfriend who received the puppy just up and leave his job twice a day to return home? Or does he have friends who work from home who can take care of it? My MIL is thinking of getting a dog to replace the beloved family dog who passed away several months ago, but she knows that she can't take the time off of work right now to let the puppy out frequently enough. That is a HUGE factor! Unless the puppy came with a coupon stating that the girlfriend would accept all care and she would take the dog out every 2-3 hours, the gift was clearly not thought through.
cubadog cubadog 9 years
I said forgive however, you should have asked him first. People handle grief differently and I do not think he was being a diva over the whole thing I would be absolutely devestated if something happened to my dog Cuba. This is why you never give any kind of pet as a gift. BTW nowhere does it say that he is mad just upset I take that to mean a little more depressed.
jlana jlana 9 years
@CaterpillarGirl: I couldn't agree more. And for the commenters who said her boyfriend was overreacting and being dramatic, you obviously have no idea how much energy, money, and dedication it takes to receive a pet in you home, especially dogs. Dogs need to be given their vaccinations, supplied with chew toys so they don't wreck your furniture (which they will at some point anyway). During their first few months they need to be taken outside to pee and poo every 2 hours or so (this means getting up at 4AM to take them out). They need to be taught how to obey commands such as sit,come, down, off, no bite,etc. They must learn to walk with you without tugging on the leash. They need to be supplied with a crate for their first few months of life as well, so as to keep them out of trouble and also to provide them with a den where they will feel secure and comfortable while you are not there to monitor their activities. They will always need at least an hour of exercise per day, so that means YOU or someone you pay to do so will have to walk the pup. Rain or shine. There's also grooming costs, pet insurance, obedience classes, etc. How dare you commenters think that accepting this responsibility is a non-issue for the boyfriend, simply because the girlfriend had "good intentions"? That matters squat when you've made a truly stupid error. Rule #1 with animals: Never give them as gifts. I've worked in animal shelters and I've seen the flood of animals being dumped there post-Christmas (puppies), and post-easter (bunnies). Common sense goes a lot further than good intentions.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
what a frikkin idiot! A dog isnt a tie, or a back massage, its a living breathing child! He has every right to be angry and upset at you! His dog died, and that is devestating for you to be so callous as to think that a new puppy who looks like his dead one would make him feel better ! Would you suggest to a person who lost a kid to just get pregnant and hopefully the new baby will look just like the one that died...No, because that is crude and unfeeling. You are the person who the shelters are talking about when they tell me that "someone bought this puppy for someone who didnt want it and they didnt want it either" and now its on the chopping block. what happened to the puppy?
nicachica nicachica 9 years
i think the comments about the boyfriend being a wuss are a bit harsh! if this were a guy talking about his girlfriend's reaction, i doubt the criticism would be there... yes, your intentions were well-placed but they were poorly executed. apologize profusely to your boyfriend and try and find a good home for the puppy. you meant well but it wasn't appropriate.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Your intentions were good and your heart was in the right place, forgive of course!
Kristinh1012 Kristinh1012 9 years
As it was said, it's never really a good idea to give someone a pet as a gift. It's just assuming and pushing responsibility on someone. I know you had nothing but good intentions though. At least you were trying to help. If anything I would be a little more concerned that a grown man is THIS upset still about losing his dog. Hurt, sad, maybe still a tad depressed, but bursting out crying?
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
I think he should forgive you... I mena if my boyfriend did the same I would forgive him, it's an honest mistake and you didn't mean to hurt him.
marthalilian126 marthalilian126 9 years
While it is never okay to give a pet as a gift without some kind of prior discussion/decision, I definitely think that you should be forgiven. After all, your actions were coming from the right place and you did not mean any harm. You were trying your best to make him happy. I think that not only should you be forgiven, but that he had no real reason to get mad at you in the first place.
sabrinaBee sabrinaBee 9 years
I voted Forgive. you were only trying to be nice...your intentions where good
Asia84 Asia84 9 years
wow. how sensitive . . . you same ppl will be writing about wanting to break up, and you guys will say you should talk it out, whan whan whan . . . how old is everyone on here?? 16??? suck that crap up. be glad that she even though about it. maybe it wasn't the best choice, but it's not like she kicked a puppy infront of him, or told him to get over it. what a waste of time . . . take the puppy back, get your money back. appologize. move on. if he dwells on it, then that tells you that he's a weenie . . .and if this is true, i'm sorry you wasted 3 years on a weenie. you meant well, but it was a mistake. now can we get a reall story, with some real adult situations . know, infidelity, sucky mother in laws . . .etc.
foxie foxie 9 years
I'm undecided. I get that your intentions were good, but your actions are a HUGE indicator as to how you may deal with future issues in a relationship. If it happened to me, I'd have to step back and take a good look at this person, who is capable of making such an insensitive decision but being so truly clueless about it. It really displays a lack of understanding for your partner and his emotions, and also a lack of respect. Hmm... tricky.
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