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Recent Letter to the ElderWisdomCircle™

FRIENDSHIP: Living with a difficult friend
Letter #: 384658
Category: Friendship

Original Letter

Me and my best friend (Jane), alnong with her husband and 2 kids moved in together. I am finding out new things that I am not sure how to handle. I have a dog and cat and she has a dog and two cats, One of my other friends (Jill) recently asked us if we could dogsit for a week. I told her I would ask Jane first. Jane said it would be ok as long as the dog didn't have any behavior issues. Jill said she is a 7month old puppy and is generally well behaved. So Jane said ok. Now Jane is complaining because the puppy peed in the house 2x, even after being let out several times. She has absolutley no patience for dogs, and wants to leave this dog utside all day or in a crate. Jane is very narrow sihted. It has to be her way or its not right. Things that are important to me like cleaning out the cat litter every day, she doesn't care about...the cat litter boxes are in my bathroom due to there being no room in hers. I am quite frustrated, and unfortunately we are stuck in a 2-yr lease. with 1.5years to go. any helpful advice would be lovely. I am not trying to start a war. I know I am not completely in the clear on this either. But Change has to start with me.  

Elder Response

In hindsight, you probably shouldn't have agreed to dog sit the puppy. For whatever time the puppy still will be with you, try to get him in his crate when no one is home. When someone is home, take the puppy out frequently, and try to contain him to a room with no carpet, like the kitchen.

I suggest a meeting with everyone in the household. Living in close quarters creates tension and disagreements. The best way to handle this, I think, is to have a chore list. This would include when, and who, should take care of the litter boxes. It could be done by each of the adults on a rotating basis.  The list can includes feeding the pets, doing the dishes, preparing the meals, cleaning, etc. If the children are old enough, they could help out with maybe collecting trash, putting toys away, etc. 

If you all can agree on a schedule, this will help the household run smoothly. Explain how emptying the kitty litter is best for a healthy environment. Plus, cats often won't use dirty litter.

Unfortunately, everyone will have to make compromises, Hadassah. The goal is that you all will have a comfortable home environment. I'm sure this is what everyone wants.

Good luck!

Best Regards,



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