Press-Republican

Columns

September 14, 2013

Dog suggested as therapy

Dear Dog Lady,

During a recent weekend visit with my former college roommate, she and I stayed up much too late quaffing cheap Chianti and hashing over her troubled marriage.

She described how her husband had been keeping to himself, watching too much TV, forsaking his regular exercise routine and stuffing himself with junk food. A funk has settled on their empty-nest household. My friend seemed at wits end. I told her to get a dog.

The next morning, I found her poring over the pet page in the newspaper. She told me she was cheered by the idea of a canine addition to the household. She planned to surprise her husband. As I packed up to leave, she was calling the local shelter.

Did I overstep my bounds? After all, I put the therapy-dog idea in her head. I had no clue she’d jump on it like a puppy with a rope bone.

—Fiona

A: Surprise dogs are not a great idea. Your friend must be totally willing to take care of the dog herself if her husband shuns the pet. Yet, even if he rejects the dog at first, Dog Lady supposes the animal will win him over eventually.

Dogs do wonders for the human mind, body and spirit. They take our minds off ourselves. Despite your Chianti haze when you made the suggestion, you were clearly thinking on your feet.

Dog Lady knows of a wife who brought home a Jack Russell terrier after her husband finished chemotherapy treatments and was in a gulch of despair. Initially, the husband was annoyed by the pet ambush. He ignored the dog — or pretended to. He kept threatening to give the dog away. The dog stayed because the wife had made the commitment to take care of it. That was five years ago.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg Easter with doubters and the 'nones'

    Should more pastors ask this blunt question: "Do you really believe Jesus was raised from the dead?" wonders religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadiens are Canada's team

    The National Hockey League playoffs are underway, and for Canadiens fans, many of whom likely reside in the Montreal "suburb" of Plattsburgh, it is a time of hope and joy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • little_mug.jpg There's no saw like an old saw Kaye and I laughed ourselves silly the other day as we tried to top each other with our own sayings from childhood, columnist Gordie Little writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Denenberg_Stu1.jpg Privacy concerns make a comeback

    There's a growing concern amongst the millennials, columnist Stu Denenberg writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • paul_grasso.jpg Several options exist for downtown

    Pedestrian mall just one idea that could be good for city's economic future, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Government can't create success on its own

    It takes a grass-roots community effort of people working together to assure future accomplishment, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hagar_mug1.jpg Farmers strive for sustainability

    Conserving the land and assuring long-term profitability are two of the key goals for farmers these days, according to columnist Peter Hagar.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Big shift in Quebec vote

    Being a man of science, Philippe Couillard, premier-designate of Quebec, chose to use a geological term (though his field is actually medicine) to describe what happened in Monday's election, writes Canadian columnist Peter Black.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg A monastery in the Hebrides, after 1,000 years

    Before Father Seraphim Aldea can build a monastery on Scotland's Mull Island, he needs to have a working septic system, writes religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tobias_Sue_012914.jpg Old movies offer more than entertaining TV

    Columnist Susan Tobias and her husband, Toby, are reminded of simple childhood memories while watching an old black-and-white movie.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension
Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns
Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice

Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk

Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time