Ask Away...: January 2011

Friday, January 28, 2011

Housebreaking a Puppy

Hello Ellen, I just got a new puppy.  She is a 5 month old Shetland sheepdog.  I named her Abby and I am just so in love with her.  I was wondering if you could give me any pointers on potty training her.  I’ve been taking her outside whenever she goes to the door.  She is really good with that, anytime she has to go to the bathroom she stands by the front door.  When I take her out, she moseys around and sniffs everything and then she won’t go to the bathroom. It’s SO FRUSTRATING! After about 10 minutes, we will come inside and after another hour, I end up finding that she peed somewhere in the house.  This doesn’t happen all the time but I would say it happens about once every day.  Sometimes in the morning and sometimes at night.  I work during the day and she’s good about holding it, but if she doesn’t go when I take her out, how am I supposed to take her out again right after that if I am at work. I hope you understand what I’m saying.  Anyways, do you have any tips at all? Any advice is very much appreciated by me! Thank you very much!
Andrea
Dear Andrea:
It seems like maybe Abby wants some exercise outside or even just some play time out there and she knows that if she stands by the door, she gets to go outside.   You should take her out at least once everyday when she isn’t by the door, just for a quick walk up and down the block, or toss a ball for her outside.  That way she can get her exploring done and still go to the bathroom during her potty times.  Be strict when you have her outside for potty breaks, don’t let her sniff around or wander around the whole time. Keep saying your key word (Potty, Out, etc.) to remind her why she is outside with you.  Once she goes, praise her praise her praise her!!!  We did this with our old dog and we could actually figure out if she wanted to go potty or she just wanted to go out.  It takes some time but I know that you have to be strict…. If you are taking her out to potty, don’t allow her to wander around at all.  Also, try to give her a designated area for potty, so when she is in it, that is all she will smell and it will let her know that she should go potty.  With a lot of practice for both of you, you should see some results soon!
Good luck!
Ellen

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My Parents Don't Approve of My BF because of Religion

Hello Ellen,
My name is Christie and I’m 25 years old.  My parents have been on my case ever since I started dating my current boyfriend Nick.  We’ve been together for 6 months and Nick is a great guy to me.  I couldn’t ask for a better person in my life.  My mom and dad are annoyed by him because he doesn’t share the same religious beliefs as my family does, and because he’s more laid back about a lot of things.  He’s got a great job as an intern at an Architectural Firm in New York City.  My parents are so narrow minded about everything on the face of the planet.  When I bring him over for dinner they make subtle remarks at how it’s a shame we can’t all be on the “same page” because of the difference in religion.  This hurts me, and I don’t know how to react to it at the moment with him there without making him feel uncomfortable.  How do you think I should approach my parents?  Let me know if you need more details. Thanks so much Ellen I am excited to get your response!
Christie

Dear Christie:
I think that next time you have plans to have dinner with your parents you should talk to them before hand. Tell them that you are very upset and hurt by how they treat your boyfriend.  Explain how happy he makes you and how much he means to you. Point out the things they SHOULD take notice to like how he respects you, etc.  Make sure you let them know that if they can’t change their ways, you will have to decline future dinner invitations.  Ask them if they are willing to change for you.  Hopefully, they are.  If not, then you will have to explain to them that you won’t be able to have meals with them or let them into your life as much if they are just going to criticize you.  Just make sure you are very honest to them about your feelings. I am sure they will come to their senses eventually. Don’t give up!
Good luck!
Ellen

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

He Cheated Once Before, Now I'm Paranoid

Hi Ellen!
I need some advice. I am so happy in the relationship I am in now. We have been together for 1 ½ years.  My boyfriend recently told me that he cheated on one of his girlfriends.  It only happened once, and he’s had several girlfriends in his past. It was over 8 years ago.  I figure that people grow and mature over time so I do not want to end our relationship.  8 years ago he was basically a teenager. But yet suddenly, I’m paranoid and wondering if he will cheat on me?  My last boyfriend cheated on 3 of his exes and cheated on me also. I found out about his track record after we broke up, but still!!! How can I ease my mind? Thanks!
Anonymous


Dear Anonymous:
It is one thing if it’s several exes that he’s cheated on but if it’s just one, I think you should try to look at it as a one time thing. Everyone makes mistakes. He made one as well.  It’s natural to start worrying after learning something like that but also, take a look at your relationship.  Are there any red flags? Does he blow you off a lot? Does he make you feel neglected? If that answer’s no, then you have nothing to worry about! If that answer’s yes, then maybe you should have a talk with him and tell him that you need to make sure you can trust him and you just want to know the reason he cheated before.  Be careful though because some guys do not like talking about stuff like that, especially from the past.   The most important point is if you trust him or not.  Do you? It seems like you do! Thanks for your question!

Good luck!
Ellen

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Sharing a Lease?

Dear Ellen:
I am trying to figure out if I should put my boyfriend’s name on my lease.  He moved into my apartment last month. My lease runs till November, and him and I have been dating for 6 months.  I am very nervous about sharing any kind of responsibility with anyone because I always worry what if something happens?  How will I ensure they pay their half?  He pays me every month on time, his half of the rent.  But in your opinion, should I add him on or should I just keep mine on it. I have him listed as living with me so the leasing office knows at least.  I am really just stuck. I can still afford it on my own so I’m not screwed if he leaves.  I want to have a place of my own no matter what happens.  Thanx so much!
Jenna


Hi Jenna!
Well you have some options.  If you want to keep your apartment no matter what, then maybe you should just keep it the way it is. That way, if you guys don’t work out you still have your own place and you aren’t “stuck” living with him.  Maybe if all goes well and November comes, and you guys are in a very good place in your relationship, then you can consider putting it on.  But in my opinion, I think you are fine just as you are right now.  If you couldn’t afford the place on your own, it might be a little different.  You sound pretty confident, I think you just needed a second opinion. Good luck!
Ellen
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