Who’s that dog in my bed?

How to tell girl­friend Lab isn’t wel­come

Chicago Sun-Times - - METRO QT - BY MON­ICA COLLINS

ASK DOG LADY

Dear Dog Lady: I re­cently started dat­ing a won­der­ful girl who lives about an hour from me. Her dog, Macy, a choco­late Labrador re­triever, has been her furry com­pan­ion through the last eight years and ob­vi­ously means the world to her. I’ve only known her for a month, but she con­tin­u­ally in­sists Macy must sleep on the bed. When Macy is closed out of the room, she whines and scratches the door un­til she is let in.

I slept over for the first time the other night and didn’t re­quest any changes in their pat­tern be­cause I’m new to scene. But I’m weary of dogs in the bed­room. My ex had two that were rest­less and would chew, lick, clean and snore through­out the night. I don’t own a dog but firmly be­lieve a dog’s place is in its own bed and out of my main sleep­ing quar­ters.

I like this wo­man and don’t think the dog sit­u­a­tion is the deal-breaker but would like to ex­press that I can’t sleep with the dog in the same room. She will be com­ing to my house in a few weeks for a night or two and wants to bring Macy. Hav­ing the dog sleep on my bed is not go­ing to fly in my house. How do I ad­dress my con­cerns with­out scaring her off?

Chris, Naperville

Dear Chris: You think about your bud­ding re­la­tion­ship in a very sane, prac­ti­cal way, al­though, in Dog Lady’s humbly chaste opin­ion, you jumped into the sheets too soon. You should have dis­cussed all this be­fore leap­ing. Now is the time to speak up be­fore you jour­ney too far down the road to ro­mance.

You must trust your won­der­ful girl to lis­ten to your hon­est feel­ings about Macy in the bed­room. Your rea- sons are all per­fectly un­der­stand­able. The trick will be to ex­press th­ese thoughts in a can­did, hon­est way that won’t be re­ceived as an­gry or con­fronta­tional. This tough con­ver­sa­tion, straight from the heart, can cause the two of you to bond in­stead of break up — if the re­la­tion­ship is meant to be.

In her own home, your lady cer­tainly has the right to al­low Macy in the bed, and you must deal with it. In your home, you draw a dif­fer­ent line. For her and Macy’s visit, in­vest in a real dog bed to put in an­other room. Your thought­ful­ness might move her to un­der­stand you’re think­ing in a sen­si­tive — and de­lib­er­ate — di­rec­tion.

Dear Dog Lady: I re­cently vis­ited the West Coast, where I saw a dog groom­ing par­lor and bou­tique called “High Main­te­nance - - - - - (rhymes with ‘witch’).” I was dis­heart­ened be­cause the ti­tle of this store con­veyed such need­lessly in-your-face coarse lan­guage. I would hate to think the b-word is get­ting wide ac­cep­tance in fe­male dog dis­guise. I’m the most lib­eral, free­thinker in the world, but this of­fends me. And you?

Jes­sica, Chicago

Dear Jes­sica: Good­ness, you bet­ter not go to a pro­fes­sional dog show where all one hears is the b-word and crass phrases in the eu­gen­ics par­lance such as “breed­ing part­ners.” Even Dog Lady was a mite sur­prised to hear a West­min­ster Ken­nel Club com­men­ta­tor (a mumbly ter­rier ex­pert) wax on about “fine bitches” on na­tional TV.

The pro­pri­etor of the place you men­tioned tries to cap­i­tal­ize on a snooty im­age that has noth­ing to do with dogs and ev­ery­thing to do with im­age and mar­ket­ing.

The store’s name will, un­doubt­edly, turn off many po­ten­tial pa­trons be­cause the rude derog­a­tive pan­ders to peo­ple who think it’s cool to paint claws red and pierce furry ears. Th­ese un-dog­like ex­cesses of­fend Dog Lady more than any­thing else.

Dog dilem­mas? Peo­ple/ dog in­del­i­ca­cies? Write [email protected]

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