Dear Dáithí: My sister bought me a new pup for company – now I’m the baddie for not wanting it

I wouldn’t mind an outside perspective on this, I’m going around in circles. 

My sister bought me a pup a few weeks ago. I live (happy out) on my own and my own dog died two weeks to the day before she landed with the new pup. 

She meant well, but I don’t want a new dog. The old fella knew my routine, was great company, sure, but he was an old dog, had a grand life and now he’s gone, I wasn’t planning to replace him. 

I’m going mad the sister made this big decision without checking with me, as if I was a child she has to make feel better. 

I never said to anyone in the family that I was upset or had any desire for a new dog. 

To make things worse, I don’t have any meas in this new fella. 

It’s a small yappy thing, it makes a mess everywhere and is barking at night and keeping me awake. 

It’s a hassle and a headache and I don’t want it. Just because I’m a man of a certain age who lives on his own doesn’t mean I automatically need another living thing around. 

No-one in the family will take the pup and my niece gave out to me for being ungrateful and upsetting her mother. I didn’t do anything wrong, surely? It’s she should be apologising to me.

Can I start off this week by saying that there is nothing worse in this world than a person who sticks their nose in where it’s not wanted, their snout in this case.

There was a way of dealing with these people years ago, but because this is 2023, we must take a different approach. 

First of all, you were right to send the question in because issues like these can be knocking around in your head for a long time and never get resolved.

Now there are different levels when it comes to sticking your nose in. 

I love the people who check in on you when you’re a bit off and not yourself, we all have these days. These people don’t hang around. 

Others can read the room and send a text message and know that’s enough. Then there are others and I’ll get to them soon.

It can be very tough when you lose a dog, I remember losing our own dog ‘Charlie’ named after Charlie Haughey when I was young and everyone in the house was very sad. 

Now you live alone, and I’d imagine ‘the old fella’ was a great friend and companion to you for years. So, I’m sorry for your loss.

If I said that a few years ago people might think it was an odd thing to say, but these days we have a better understanding of what our pets mean to us.

Now on to your sister, WTF was she at? If she thinks you’re that lonely, why doesn’t she come over for tea a few times a week with an apple pie? 

No, she brings you a pup, not even a grown dog, a fecking pup who p*sses all over the place!

It’s not the dog’s fault by the way. We know who to blame here. 

You say she means well; she does in my arse. This is a person so full of her own importance, she’s probably down in the gastro pub saying ‘Poor Pat is so lonely I went off and bought him a dog, I’m such a great person, fair play to me!’

There might be more than one pup in this story. Your niece calling you ungrateful! What comes out of a crow’s egg but a crow! 

She shouldn’t have said that to you, but your niece has only heard her mother’s side of the story, so the next time you see her call her to the side and explain what exactly happened and tell her you didn’t want any dog and she might change her tune. 

If she doesn’t, if you remember a few weeks ago I was talking about wills, I wouldn’t be leaving her anything.

Folks, you might think I’m in a bad mood this week but I’m not. Issues like this really p*ss me off. 

Here we have a single man getting on with life, sadly losing his dog and certain people in his family are just making things harder for him. Jesus, life can be hard enough.

We also need to think of the poor dog in this situation, you don’t want the pup around and that is fair enough and I know you’ll treat the dog well until this is sorted. 

It’s not fair to the dog because I’m sure he can pick up on the mood of the house. Especially a pup so young. 

Getting a dog is such a huge decision, as the TV ad goes ‘a dog is not just for Christmas’, and we hear stories of them being abandoned all the time.

To answer your question, you didn’t do anything wrong and yes, she should apologise. 

She should do even more and take the pup back, but you say nobody in the family wants it.

I think you need to get tough here and put the foot down. I’d give her a month and say in a month’s time, I’m coming over to your house with this pup and leaving him with you.

She has a month to sort out this mess on her side, that is plenty of time for her to sort out a proper place for this poor pup. 

She might not be so fast to arrive at your door with a dog or pup again.

She created the problem, let her sort it out. You are not being mean or out of order here, you’re being practical and it’s in the best interest of the dog too.

I really hope this gets sorted and you move on. Approach your sister too after time, don’t let this fester on your side, be the bigger person even though she was in the wrong. 

The other young pup might learn something from you!

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