We got a pandemic puppy and it was a mistake. Now what?

Caroline Moss is an author and host of the podcast "Gee Thanks, Just Bought It," which helps people find the products they need to make life easier, better and more productive. Now with this column, "Asking for a Friend," she's helping people with the advice they need to make life easier, better and more productive. To submit a question, email us at [email protected] .Hi Caroline,

We got a pandemic puppy back in March and, I hate to say it, but it was a major mistake. My partner and I ended up breaking up. He moved out and now the puppy is my full responsibility. I just can’t handle it anymore ... it’s so much work, and not much reward right now. I don’t know what to do. I know I am opening myself up for a “tsk tsk” lecture but, like, literally I need to know logistically: What do I do?


Panic Puppy Girl

Dear Panic Puppy Girl,

Well ... gah. I am really sorry to hear about your breakup, first of all. I am going to go out on a limb and guess that maybe the puppy was a last chance to make things work? If so, then yeah, usually the puppy, the baby, the wedding, the new house — those things are just temporary distractions from the bigger underlying issues that still need to be dealt with. I do hope that ending your relationship was the healthiest choice for you both, but hm, yes, now you have a puppy .

Make Yourself the Funnest Thing in the World for a Reliable Recall. When training your dog to “come here” make sure you’re giving out a lot of praise & treats. The goal is to make coming back to you the best decision they could have made, if not your dog is likely going to decide that whatever he was chasing/sniffing is more interesting.

I will spare you the lecture and help direct you toward helpful resources, like this starter info from PetFinder. Rehoming is encouraged when the dog is a danger to the residents of your home but there’s not a ton of information for those who have just decided they’ve changed their mind. That kind of research will likely be a little difficult for you to read as it seems you are sensitive to criticism of your choice.

If I may give my advice, and I believe I can since you wrote to me (!), but maybe try to find someone in your life who is ready for a dog and wants one. Pick someone you trust who will take on the responsibility and care for this dog, so that the dog can move from one home to another and hopefully never have to move again.

The lecture I will spare you is the obvious one — puppies, humans, houses are all big responsibilities and should not be purchased without a plan (and a plan B and a plan C). Wishing you and your pup all the best.

Do you have a question for Caroline? Email us at [email protected] .