Doc Love Dating Advice

                                  WHO IS REALLY MAN’S BEST FRIEND?
                                   Women Don’t Lie - Men Don’t Listen
                                          Success Coach - Doc Love

Hey Doc,

You may remember an e-mail I sent you some time back. I told you how your “System” changed my life, and I also wanted to thank you. I told you about how I’d gotten out of a bad relationship and found the love of my life, Caitlin, who meets all the key elements of a great woman (qualities you very insightfully pointed out in past articles). You wrote back and told me that I was doing great.

Well, now I’ve run into a problem I can’t find an answer to in your book. I’ve been dating Caitlin for a year and everything has been wonderful. Lately we’ve been talking about getting engaged and moving in together. I recently had to move out of my place and into a new rental and neither of us like the increased distance between us. Both of us are willing to relocate to be with each other (our jobs allow us to do this). However, we unexpectedly ran into a major stumbling block – my half-Golden Retriever, half-Shepherd, Max.

Max is “house dog” who is my best friend, and I can’t bear the thought of parting with him. Caitlin on the other hand does not go for “house dogs.” She brought this up before we got romantically involved, but we both sort of cruised over the subject. Her point of view is that basically I’m saying it’s either her or the dog and she doesn’t like that. My point of view is that if she cared about my feelings she would get used to the dog since she knows what Max means to me. It has become a huge issue.

So my dilemma is whether or not I should stick to my guns and keep Max. If I don’t, I’m afraid that I’ll look like a pushover now that Caitlin and I are in love. On the other hand, I hate to lose a great woman and a great relationship because she thinks I love the dog more than I love her. What do I do? Help, Doc!

Chris - who is in the doghouse

Hi Chris,

Unfortunately, you’ve got no one but yourself to blame for finding yourself in the doghouse. “Cruising over” the subject of your pooch was a humongous error on your part. Your attachment to your mutt was way too big of an issue to just gloss over. The sad truth is that you shouldn’t have gotten involved with Caitlin in the first place.

Pal, when you skip over a subject of this magnitude in a dating relationship, there’s always a day of reckoning. That’s why in “The System” we have the Reality Factor. Or as my cousin “Fast Eddie” Love likes to say, “Between a guy and his girl, REALITY always raises its ugly head!”

You ended up falling for Caitlin, who is great, but you’d have been much better off finding someone who has common values, because your values when it comes to animals are exactly the opposite of hers. To you, dogs are man’s best friend, while to Caitlin the beasts of the world belong anywhere but inside a house. The two of you together is like a partnership between Rush Limbaugh and Michael Moore.

I happen to have a cat myself. Personally, I don’t believe in having animals in the house, either, so I know where your girlfriend’s coming from. And lots of other people don’t want animals in the home. With Fido, you have to deal with dog breath, dog slobber, dog hair, dog dander, and that’s just for starters. And to people who are germ freaks, dogs are carriers of all kinds of goodies. Mutts don’t use handkerchiefs or toilet paper, and they lick certain parts of their bodies that are, um, unsanitary. So Caitlin has her legitimate reasons for feeling the way she does. And we haven’t even factored in the vet bills.

Now, in your defense (all the other love doctors always put down the guy -- I’m the single one who doesn’t), your pet was there first. Caitlin, too, should have asked herself some hard questions when the two of you were becoming more than just friends. She should have said to herself, “Hey, if I fall for this guy, how am I going to ask him to get rid of Max? Maybe we shouldn’t go any further with this, or maybe we should hammer it out right now, before it’s too late and we’re involved.” But she didn’t.

Because it was like you came into the relationship with a child, Chris. To many people in America, dogs are like children, and your case proves it. In fact, what if you were divorced and had a rug rat or two? Would Caitlin now be demanding that you beat it or get rid of the kids? Of course I know a dog isn’t a kid, but in your eyes Max is. There are over 55 million dogs in America, remember, and in some cases they’re treated better than kids. People love their canines in this country.

In other words, you and your doggie were a package deal, and Caitlin was responsible for recognizing that fact and not glossing over it. So your problem goes back to the very first day you met.

So now, bro, you’re at an either/or dead-end: either get rid of the dog or get rid of Caitlin. But there’s a way around the impasse.

Here’s what I would suggest: find a house with a garage for you and Caitlin. Keep Max in the backyard during the day, and at night allow the animal into the garage. Arrange it so that Max feels comfortable out there, and you do too. Set up a chair, go out there every day, spend quality time with the dog, play with him, take him for a walk, and so forth.

Chris, you don’t want to lose the love of your life over a dog. I’m not saying that either you or Caitlin is right, and I’m not pointing fingers either. The two of you have to work out a compromise. Or as Sal “The Fish” Love puts it, “If you want to keep her, baby, you’re gonna have to get good at finding the middle ground from here on in.” This is going to be just one of many compromises you’ll have to make with Caitlin. You’ll have to take trips to visit her relatives when you don’t want to, you’ll have to see movies you don’t want to see, you’re going to have to eat at restaurants you might not dig all that much. Get used to it.

So don’t regard this situation in terms of “either/or,” but that you and Caitlin are just going to have to work through it. You might look a little like a pushover, but that’s what happens when an issue wasn’t resolved from the get-go. The reality of your dog was eventually going to come up and bite you. And hopefully Caitlin’s not just testing you.

Remember, guys: if you want a good dog and a good woman at the same time, date only dog-lovers from the beginning.

To send me your love questions or to find out more about “The System,” visit me at or call (800) 404-2644.

Doc Love is a talk show host and entertainment speaker who coaches men in his seminars. For the past 30 years he has asked thousands of women, “Why do you stay with one man versus another?”

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