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Hi Family & Friends. Welcome back to Coffee with Clare on Thursdays!  I am delighted that you are here!

Dear Clare:

I live with my boyfriend, Danny, and we just moved into a bigger apartment.  I love dogs, and I really want one.  I have been “whining” about it since we started living together two years ago.  Danny isn’t wild about pets, but he said he would “consider” it when we moved into a bigger place.  This apartment complex does allow for pets, but now Danny doesn’t want one.  He feels like a dog is going to be too much work, tie us down, and make the apartment smell.   I grew up with dogs and love them!  What can I do?  I want a dog… and I want one now!

Signed – In the Doghouse


Dear In the Doghouse:

Take your time and don’t nag!  See if Danny will visit the local “pound” and pet stores with you and discuss what breeds and types of dogs you really want.   Do your research – learn about the breeds you like the best – as well as the pros and cons of each breed.

And maybe consider adopting an older dog who is already fixed and potty trained.  This may be the way to go.

Realistically, decide what to do with the dog all day while you are at work.  Leave him in a blocked off area?  If he goes outside, do you have a fence and shelter?  Or will you need to walk your dog on a leash every time it needs to go outside?  Is “doggy daycare” an option while you are working?  Is there a reputable dog boarding place for when you and Danny want to travel without Fido?  Check into all of this before your next “dog conversation” with Danny.

I would not get a dog until Danny is on the same page with you.  If you get a dog while he is still adamantly against it, then that is just going to cause resentment and will probably negatively affect your relationship for sure.  And, it is possible he may never want a dog, too.  But just bringing home “Bud”, a big Irish Setter, without any warning to Danny would not be the way to go – it would be unfair to Danny as well as the dog!

A final thought, you might get Danny to agree to pet sit a friend’s dog for a weekend and see how it goes.  Just make sure that you choose a friend with a well-behaved dog.  This will give both you and Danny an idea of what dog ownership looks like for your relationship.


Readers – any suggestions for “In The Doghouse”?

Thank you for stopping in today!  I invite you to email your questions, problems and “life challenges” directly to me at:   I would love to hear from you!  Please remember, your inquiries and identity remain confidential!

Until next time~



Clare is a 57-year-old fun loving Italian-American self-proclaimed “Jersey Girl” who believes, “Life ain’t easy street. Life is one of those crazy little city streets, complete with potholes that could swallow your car.” With one foot planted in fun and the other planted firmly in her Christian faith, Clare enjoys making people laugh while helping them navigate life’s “crazy little city streets”. Clare has raised two girls (now grown young adults) with her husband, Michial, Clare is ready to take on the challenges of making new friends through her blog, Life Ain’t Easy Street. With an aim to entertain while addressing topics important to women, Clare’s focus on the positive power of good stories, good friends, inspiring women, and strong faith will have you looking forward to reading the next post. Clare is a freelance writer who lives a real life in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

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Coffee With Clare




  • GiGi Eats says:

    My 2 cents in this – think about the dog… Think about the life the dog would have. Would it be confined to the apartment complex when you and your boyfriend aren’t home? I see all too often here in LA people with DOGS but… There is almost ZERO SPACE for them – and I actually feel sorry for them. I mean, maybe it’s because I grew up in WY where there is LOTS of open space and I saw my family dogs ROAM the great outdoors – so happy… And then I see dogs here pulled by leashes and stuck in tiny 600 sq ft apartments. Also, your boyfriend is right – dogs are A LOT of work, and very pricey and a HUGE commitment, but then again, so are kids… Along with other things. So you need to weigh the pros and cons. Now if you randomly find a stray dog on the street – scoop that pup up! 😉

    • Clare says:

      Such a valid point…. lots of different dogs do not like being “cooped” up all day… for instance, our “Lucy Lu” who is a lab mix is a bigger dog and we are in a small home and she is kept inside but must go out for long walks and runs… while Bella “our princess” Chihuahua is inside all date and really doesn’t care one way or the other… so I think we do have to think about the dog and how it is going affect her if she is inside. We must be responsible! Great points!

  • Christina says:

    I use to love having pets, but when you consider the time and care that goes into it, just like caring for ourselves or loved ones, it takes commitment and a lot of work. It would be harder on the pet if we cannot give it the love and time it needs, all things need to be considered when taking on that kind of responsibility.

    • Clare says:

      So true Christina – I think many of us do not realize the responsibility of having a pet. It’s really similar to having a baby (I’ve had two)! 🙂 I concur that we should consider the pet’s needs first!

  • Jessica says:

    Definitely think about pros and cons. I like the idea of dog sitting to get your boyfriend used to the thought of a dog. We have two dogs and for them after our 4th child was born. We love our dogs and were probably crazy for getting them when we did but our older boys help with the dogs. Dogs are a lot of work, but dogs bring a sense of joy that only dogs can bring. I hope your boyfriend sees your side soon. Good luck!

    • Clare says:

      Dogs do bring such joy and they have such unconditional love for us! I agree it is so important to be responsible in taking care of them and including them as part of the family as they should be part of the family! So delighted your kids are enjoying your dogs…. we love our dogs too, but you also understand the commitment involved in being a pet owner!

  • Edith Ohaja says:

    I don’t know how to put this nicely but I’m more concerned about their living arrangement seeing that they are not married, unless of course, they aren’t Christians, in which case I’d say I think Clare’s got it all covered. Cheers!

  • Edith Ohaja says:

    I meant I hope it will be seen that I’m putting this nicely.

  • Vera says:

    I love the dog sitting idea for the weekend, although you have to remember when you get a dog and train them your own way that works best for your environment and family life, you friends dog may be trained in a much different way then you would do yourself. (If that makes any sense…lol) I still think it is an awesome idea to do a weekend sit for someone else’s dog! Love this question and post! Lots of food for thought for people who are thinking about adding a dog to their family.

    • Clare says:

      I agree that when you have your own pet your “own training” begins and everyone’s style and pet is different for sure – good point! But as you said, this would give Danny a real “hands on” experience with a dog and see firsthand if it’s something he would like to do long term. Thanks for sharing!

  • Elle says:

    I miss having a dog around the house. I would love to pet sit or even consider adopting one again! your pictures are super cute btw!

    • Clare says:

      Glad you enjoyed the pictures … yes I think all of us when we see a pic of an “adorable” cute little puppy we want to jump right in and get one 🙂 … but they don’t stay puppies forever do they? And even puppies are lots and lots of work! But we love our own dogs and I could see how you miss having one – thanks for sharing, Elle!

  • Samantha says:

    I’ve been through this with cats. My husband didn’t like cats, but a visiting stray had kittens in our apartment one day. We kept two of the kittens. Well… I kept them. My husband still doesn’t particularly like them 8 years later lol. 🙁 luckily it hasn’t caused too much trouble though.

    xoxo, Sam |

    • Clare says:

      Well, this a good example of how it can worth for others and it did work for you – you got the pet and your hubby “tolerated” it! I am so glad it worked out for you without too much trouble! I know sometimes this can work, and sometimes it doesn’t work! But so glad you shared this! Thanks!

  • Andrea says:

    Oh I hope that they can work this out!

  • Yes, you should totally find a friend’s dog to babysit–maybe even babysit a couple of different dogs and see how your boyfriend warms up (or doesn’t) to the dog. Also, does it have to be a dog? What about a cat?

    • Clare says:

      Thanks for your great thoughts, Amanda! House sitting and/or visiting other pets (dogs in this case) is great! Well, we mentioned dogs because that’s what “In The Doghouse” really wanted. They could possibly consider other pets such as a cat if they are interested! Thanks!

  • Anya says:

    Hope it gets worked out. I never considered myself a dog person until we actually got a dog. Now you can’t pay me enough to keep him out, lol.

    • Clare says:

      I know, our dogs (and other household pets) become part of our family. Years ago, our oldest daughter moved to Costa Rica for awhile and left her little Chihuahua (“Bella”) with us and when she came back – we kept her! She was such a part of our family….. now she rules the roost! 🙂

  • Tara says:

    The puppy in that picture is adorable! Great advice. A dog is lots of work. People need to be on the same page.

    • Clare says:

      Yes, I love dogs but they are “extra special cute” when they are puppies! Ha ha – right! 🙂 Yes, I think it’s a commitment when you have a dog! I have learned that the hard way!

  • Nicky says:

    I agree with what many have already said. Now isn’t the time for a dog 🙁 Very few breeds do well in apartments, and keeping a dog in an apartment is more work than keeping one in a house with a yard. If your man says he doesn’t want one now, you really need to respect that. Doing a bunch of research may be educational, but you run the risk that your guy will mis-interpret your actions as an attempt to manipulate him. If he feels like he’s been firm in how he feels about the issue, then it may be important that you let it go–at least for now. Put yourself in his place. If he persisted on something that you were firmly against how would that make you feel? And, it may be that he eventually changes his mind. Plus, as I go back and re-read your letter, it seems to me that he’s squirming about the commitment a dog represents. Take that as a sign. If you have any doubts about his commitment level, now isn’t the time for dogs (or anything more serious, like kids!)

    • Clare says:

      Such good truths, Nicky! It is tough to have dogs in apartments – depending on the size and restrictions and yes, I agree that both of them need to be on the same page because it’s a big commitment! Thanks for sharing!

  • Caroline says:

    Love the lay out of this blog post. What a great idea!!!

    • Clare says:

      Thanks so so much, Caroline! I hope you will stop back again anytime …. and on Thursdays I do Coffee with Clare! 🙂

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