April 13, 2013

Trainer can help dog with behavioral problems


Until you have your dog evaluated, you should keep him away from all children. Adopting two shelter dogs was a wonderful act of kindness. However, as you found out, you also assume responsibility for the behavioral backstory of canine fears.


Dear Dog Lady,

When my nephew and his fiancée went on vacation, they left their pet parrot, Maya, with me. They said it would be easy-as-pie to take care of this bird, but it’s been terrible for me and for Sherman, my west highland white terrier. I believe Maya’s squawks torment Sherman because he follows me around constantly with his ears at half-mast. He tried climbing up to swat the cage, and I had to move it higher. Also, the bird has disrupted my life. I gave a dinner party last weekend, and the screeching bird drove us all crazy. My nephew seems to think I will take care of chatterbox Maya whenever he and his fiancée are out of town. I’m the only relative nearby. I am going to have to tell him “no.” Do I blame it on the dog? —Patrick

A: The dog will never know what’s fair and fowl. So, sure, blame the dear dog. Why not do the brave thing and blame it on yourself? Tell your nephew you love him, he’s family, but Maya disrupts your household, and you must ask him to find another place to park the bird.


Monica Collins offers advice on dogs, life and love. To ask a question or make a comment, visit, or email her at

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