Ask Emma: I want to get a dog

Do your homework before diving in; walk, take care of other dogs to gain experience



Dogs are great companions and deserve a forever home, but don’t get one if you can’t provide that.

EMMA LEDBETTER, Evergreen news editor

Dear Emma,

Everyone I know has a dog or is getting one. I really want one but am living at home and haven’t been able to convince my mom yet. I keep suggesting that I can take it back to school with me, but she still doesn’t like it. 

Any tips on how to show her this is a good idea?


Dogless in Spokane

Dear Dogless,

What a great question. I also love dogs and would jump on the adoption bandwagon if it wouldn’t make my current pup jealous. 

When I was a kid and wanted a dog, what sold my parents was that I took care of my neighbor’s dogs when he was out of town. I proved that I was responsible and could take care of a dog of my own. 

Hopefully by now, your mom knows that you are responsible and doesn’t need something like that to prove it — but, it couldn’t hurt. If you are able to get a side job walking dogs or caring for them while people are out of town, that could help your case. 

You could also do some research and make a presentation for your mom about what type of dog you would get, how much it would cost, where you would get veterinary care, etc. If you are prepared to care for a dog and have really thought it through, showing her that might help. 

Whitman County Humane Society could be a good place to get a dog, and if you wait just a few months you could get one there and wouldn’t have to ask your mom about keeping it at home. (Just an idea.)

I do want to point out that dogs seem especially desirable right now because we are all at home and (most of us) don’t have to leave for work or classes. Be sure you really think this through — I’ve heard a lot of sad stories about people who have gone back to work and underestimated how much time it takes to care for a dog. It just ends up with the dog back in the shelter or with the breeder and no one wants that.

So, the moral of the story is, practice with someone else’s dog (if you can), do your homework to make sure you know what you’re getting into and don’t go through with it if you won’t be able to care for the dog long-term. 

Your mom may have a point, so don’t just dismiss her concerns without talking to her about them. If you really think you are up for the challenge and can give a furry friend a forever home, then do it. Just be prepared for the work. 

I hope that helps! Be sure to send us pictures of your pup if you do end up getting one.

Take care,


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