Every week, Danny M. Lavery answers additional questions from readers, just for Slate Plus members.
Q. They want us to adopt their aggressive dog: Some friends of ours adopted a dog a couple of years ago. The dog has some aggression problems with both dogs and people. We have a 4-year-old dog that does not have these issues. These friends recently had a baby, and the dog is no longer working out. They have been pressuring us to take the dog so it has a good home.
We don’t want this dog; our dog is a show champion and stud, and we have plans to take a puppy of his instead of a stud fee. We also don’t want an aggressive dog! We said no, but the friends are very hurt and accused us of elitism. Any advice?
A: Let your friends be hurt. They are only as wronged as they want to be. “We don’t feel safe taking a dog that you yourself believe to be unpredictable around a baby; this dog requires extensive rehabilitation and training that we can’t provide” is a perfectly reasonable answer to “Will you take our aggressive dog?” If your friends can’t see that, then no explanation, however rational, would satisfy them. They are looking to feel persecuted; don’t let them guilt you into endlessly justifying your decision.