Dear Prudence: I have a 9-year-old cocker spaniel. I've raised him since he was a puppy, and I think of him as my four-legged son.
However, my boyfriend of 10 months is allergic to dogs. He also dislikes them. He was attacked by one as a child and now won't go near dogs at all. As such, he almost never comes to my place.
We are committed to each other and wish to get married soon. But I can't give my beloved dog away to another family. He has medical problems related to age and the vet has told me he will probably live two years or so, although nobody knows for sure.
I've asked my boyfriend if we could delay our marriage until my dog dies, and he thinks I'm crazy. We both want to have kids soon, but considering I'm 34 and he's 40, my boyfriend doesn't want to wait two more years.
Am I really nuts?
Prudence says: If I were you, I'd like more confirmation that your boyfriend is actually allergic to dogs. If he was attacked as a child and has avoided them for the rest of his life, I'm wondering if "allergies" are just a more convincing way of keeping dogs at bay than saying he was traumatized as a kid and has never gotten over it.
However, your plan to wait until your beloved pooch dies before you move on is ill-conceived. You'd be astounded, with medical advances and the potential of large veterinary bills, how much life can be eked out of an ailing, aging dog -- and 9 is not that old
Perhaps if you move in together, your dog can be limited to certain areas of the house. Possibly your boyfriend can investigate allergy shots (if he really is allergic). He owes you the opportunity to have it all -- his love, your children and your short-timer of a cocker spaniel.
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