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OTHER: Feeling Horrible About Kicking My Dog

I feel guilty about myself. Yesterday my Mom wanted me to take our dog Missy outside to pee, which turned into a little walk. So we were walking past my Mom's car when two people came with their dogs and Missy and the dogs started barking to each other like crazy. And then for some reason, I got so irritated by Missy's barking that I kicked her three times for no reason at all. When I told my Mom what happened, she scolded and berated me for what I did. Even my dad made sarcastic remarks towards me when I told him. Now I just don't know what to do. I don't know how I can tell her I'm sorry, and this is a problem because she's probably a little afraid of me, and I don't want that. I'll do anything to get Missy to forgive me for what I did, and let her know that I love her like everybody in my family. What should I do?

Elder Response

After reading your letter, I feel very sorry for both you and Missy.

I feel bad for Missy because someone she loves and trusts kicked her for doing what dogs do - bark. And I feel equally sorry for you because your conscience is making you suffer from guilt and remorse for having done so.

You got angry at Missy when she continued to bark and bark and would not shut up, So, without thinking, you kicked her. Not just once, but three times. You yourself were probably surprised by your own behavior. When you got home, you immediately told your mom what you had done, and she was just as shocked as you. To me, this means that kicking Missy was out of character for you, that it was not at all consistent with the way you normally treat her. Although your mother gave you a good scolding, you went ahead and told your father anyhow, knowing that he would be appalled by what you had done too  To your credit, you owned up to your parents about what you had done, and you accepted their scolding and sarcasm because you understood that you deserved it.

Your problem now is that even though you are genuinely sorry for what you did to Missy, you cannot apologize to her for it because she is a dog and won’t understand what you are saying. Dogs may not understand our words, Frank, but they do understand the language of love. Missy may very well be a little afraid of you for a few days (just like you would be of someone who kicked you for no apparent reason), but if you throw her a ball, and rub her belly, and feed her some treats,  I promise you that she will forgive you very soon.

You have learned an important lesson from all this, Frank: that we pay a long time for a short fuse.

It’s true that you screwed up big time, but if you continue to shower Missy with affection and make sure to never kick her again, she will forgive your one mistake.

Please let me know when Missy forgives you. I will be thinking of you and her.

Sincerely,

Folk

Letter ID Letter Title
405496 DATING/RELATIONSHIP: My 45 Year Old Boyfriend Is a Mama's Bou
405494 SELF-IMPROVEMENT: Feeling Numb to Life
405450 DATING/RELATIONSHIP: How do I ask a girl out?
405441 OTHER: Feeling Horrible About Kicking My Dog
405369 FAMILY: Grandma Is So Hard On Me
405156 DATING/RELATIONSHIP: It Hurts Too Much to Stay Friends
405122 DATING/RELATIONSHIP: Get Her to Fall In Love With Me Again
405072 DATING/RELATIONSHIP: Pregnant with My Ex's Baby
404961 DATING/RELATIONSHIP: Should we stay friends after breakup?
404959 SCHOOL: Feeling Pressure to Stay In Sport I No Longer Like
404926 FRIENDSHIP: Friends are leaving me out
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404906 CHILDREN: Help My Daughter Deal With Questions About Her Birthmark
403840 FAMILY: Confront Stealing Sister?
403740 MARRIAGE: Fiance Has a Drinking Problem
403720 FRIENDSHIP: Best friend distancing herself
403718 DATING/RELATIONSHIP: Can't seem to move on
403713 OTHER: Excited, But Anxious, To Move To New City
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403580 FRIENDSHIP: Breaking Off a Friendship
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403468 FAMILY: Suspect Dad Owes A Lot More Child Support
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403095 OTHER: Not Sure If I'm Gay, Straight, or Bisexual
403080 FRIENDSHIP: Backstabbing Besties
403077 SCHOOL: Nervous About Important Test
403068 CAREER: Boss Doesn't Understand I Have A Life Outside of Work
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403054 DATING/RELATIONSHIP: He's Back With His Ex, But I Can't Let Him Go
403046 DATING/RELATIONSHIP: I think my partner is using me for my money
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402657 FRIENDSHIP: Friend Isn't Very Friendly
402587 MARRIAGE: Regret Saying Yes to His Marriage Proposal
402545 CHILDREN: Deciding Whether or Not to Have Kids
402472 SELF-IMPROVEMENT: So Many Regrets
402446 FAMILY: Being honest with strict parents
402321 MARRIAGE: Husband Won't Talk to Me
402306 FRIENDSHIP: Invitations from friends have dropped to zero
402235 DATING/RELATIONSHIP: Worried People Will Make Fun Us for Dating
402225 DATING/RELATIONSHIP: Want to Explore My Sexuality
402179 OTHER: My Dog Is Attacking Neighbor Dogs
402114 SCHOOL: University or travel?
402056 SELF-IMPROVEMENT: Transitioning from Lazy to Motivated
402032 DATING/RELATIONSHIP: Do I Just Miss Being Single?
401971 DATING/RELATIONSHIP: Trying to get my ex back
401372 DATING/RELATIONSHIP: Nervous About Asking a Boy to a Dance
401216 SELF-IMPROVEMENT: Rough Past and No Family Support
401181 FRIENDSHIP: Upset About Friend's Lack of Manners
401175 FAMILY: Is It Wrong To Keep My Pregancy Secret From Family?
401122 DATING/RELATIONSHIP: My Ex Was My Entire Support System
400858 DATING/RELATIONSHIP: Heart Isn't In It, But Feel Obligated to Try
400833 SELF-IMPROVEMENT: Help Me Stop the Negative Thoughts
400783 DATING/RELATIONSHIP: Why Did He Leave Me? How Do I Get Him Back?
400685 DATING/RELATIONSHIP: His sexual history bothers me
400653 FAMILY: Selfish, Self-Centered Sister
400651 MARRIAGE: Husband Sending Nude Pics to Other Men
400614 OTHER: Trans Woman Tired of Living a Lie
400176 FAMILY: Worried My Little Sister Is Cutting Herself
400175 DATING/RELATIONSHIP: Is this love or friendship?
400162 CAREER: Office Gossip
400145 SCHOOL: How Can I Motivate Students Who Do Not Seem To Care?
400120 SCHOOL: Feeling Unmotivated and Disappointed in Myself
400114 FAMILY: Do I Have to Reconcile with Grandma?
400113 DATING/RELATIONSHIP: Boyfriend is Friends with My Enemy
400097 SELF-IMPROVEMENT: My Moral Compass Is Breaking
399985 DATING/RELATIONSHIP: How Can I Avoid the Friend Zone?
399895 FINANCE: Spend Money to Repay Friend on Take a Sorely Needed Vacation?
399879 SELF-IMPROVEMENT: The Guilt Is Weighing On My Chest
399826 SELF-IMPROVEMENT: I think I may have an eating disorder
399823 SELF-IMPROVEMENT: Feeling Targeted Because of My Race
399734 DATING/RELATIONSHIP: Apparently Everything Is My Fault
399673 FRIENDSHIP: Torn Between Betraying Trust and Helping My Friend
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398270 DATING/RELATIONSHIP: She's Holding On To A Gift From Her Ex
398242 DATING/RELATIONSHIP: Will It Always Be Heartache and BS?
398223 DATING/RELATIONSHIP: Relationship - and my life - is deteriorating
398181 DATING/RELATIONSHIP: Which Boy to Choose?
398092 CAREER: Single Mom Having Trouble Finding Work
397797 DATING/RELATIONSHIP: Don't Want to Stay in This Limbo
397717 DATING/RELATIONSHIP: Wracked with Guilt from Sleeping Around
397630 DATING/RELATIONSHIP: Feeling Stuck In Relationship Due to Money
397626 CAREER: Can Majoring in Philosophy Lead to a Career?
397595 OTHER: Help - My Girlfriend is Depressed and Cutting
397506 DATING/RELATIONSHIP: Can This Online, Long-Distance Relationship Work?
397472 DATING/RELATIONSHIP: Have a Broken Heart of Confusion
397466 FRIENDSHIP: Think I'm Going to Be Left Out by Two Best Friends
397448 FAMILY: Want to Tell All Family I'm Transgender and Invite Them to My Wedding
397381 FRIENDSHIP: Is This Friendship Worth Saving?
397377 DATING/RELATIONSHIP: Caught Him with Another Girl
397326 MARRIAGE: Husband Mistakenly Thinks I Planned to Cheat
397236 SELF-IMPROVEMENT: Feeling Overwhelmed by Meetings, Classes, and Demands
396216 SELF-IMPROVEMENT: Help Me Communicate With People
396161 FAMILY: Having Trouble Accepting That I'm Adopted
396142 CAREER: How to Choose a Career Path?
396095 MARRIAGE: Broken Marriage, Broken Dreams
396078 FRIENDSHIP: Feeling Excluded By Friends
396048 OTHER: How to Say an Embarrassing Thing Without Embarrassing the Person
395288 SELF-IMPROVEMENT: Cruel Words Are Stuck In My Head
395130 FRIENDSHIP: Fifth Wheel Is Derailing Our Group Friendship
395127 DATING/RELATIONSHIP: He Wants to Be Friends with Benefits
395111 FAMILY: Feel Like Mom is Choosing Her New Husband Over Me
394948 DATING/RELATIONSHIP: Become More Than Friends with a Man-Whore?
394474 FRIENDSHIP: Can This Friendship Be Repaired?
394398 SELF-IMPROVEMENT: Failing college and looking for passion
394359 OTHER: Neighbor Has Me Worried for My Family's Safety
394322 CHILDREN: Daughter Doesn't Know I'm Her Biological Father
394218 FRIENDSHIP: Best Friend Is Mad At Me Over Untrue Rumor
394213 SCHOOL: People Make Me Feel Like a Loser
394119 FAMILY: Who do I take to show - Hubby or Son?
394116 FAMILY: Worried My Brother's Wife Is Ruining My Nephew
394001 FAMILY: Mom Won't Let Me Date Until College!
393948 OTHER: How Cold Is Too Cold for a Dog?
393702 CHILDREN: Behavior Problems
393553 FAMILY: Haven't Heard From Dad, And Am Concerned
393496 DATING/RELATIONSHIP: Feeling Torn About Ending Our Relationship
393488 FRIENDSHIP: How to Make Friends In Your 30s?
393458 FRIENDSHIP: How can I move on?
393444 FRIENDSHIP: Friendship Since Kindergarten BROKEN!
393431 FRIENDSHIP: Cruel Words From Someone I Thought Was My Friend
393398 CHILDREN: How Hard Is It Being a Single Mom?
393038 SCHOOL: Classmate Is Blackmailing Me
392978 FAMILY: Should I Let Mom Live With Me After Her Rehab?
392973 CAREER: Feeling Stuck In Work I Hate
392919 FAMILY: Brother-In-Law Stealing From Me
392797 DATING/RELATIONSHIP: Arguing About Every Little Thing
392415 FRIENDSHIP: Grown Apart
392169 FAMILY: Tell Dad That Mom Is Cheating?
392140 SELF-IMPROVEMENT: Scared of the Future
391978 FAMILY: Why is my little sister so bratty?!
391906 OTHER: Charity Registry for a Wedding?
391619 CAREER: Go Back to Old Job, Or Keep Trying for New Job?
391607 MARRIAGE: Worried His Explosive Anger Will Turn Into Abuse
391362 SELF-IMPROVEMENT: Work Anxiety and Low Self-Esteem
391155 SELF-IMPROVEMENT: Is Exercise Worth My Time?
390754 SCHOOL: Community College or University?
390749 OTHER: Should I Keep the Lie Going?
390293 SCHOOL: Coach Is Picking on Me
390167 FRIENDSHIP: Feel Stupid For Staying Friends With Her
390040 FAMILY: Parents Won't Let Me Talk to My BF
389824 FAMILY: Mother and Sister Don't Approve of My Fiance
389710 SELF-IMPROVEMENT: In A Funk
389665 OTHER: Grieving A Man I Loved
389229 SCHOOL: Nervous About Public Speaking In Class
389190 FAMILY: Religion Is Causing Family Problems
389152 CHILDREN: Losing Our Minds From Two-Year Old Crying
388532 OTHER: Torn Between My Bisexuality and My Christian Faith
388531 FRIENDSHIP: Does my friend care?
388530 CHILDREN: Motherhood in a May/December Marriage?
388482 SELF-IMPROVEMENT: How Can Be Less Quick to Anger?

 

    

“ Just to have someone hear me, understand and BE there was priceless.

- "John," Advice Seeker

 

 

 

“ What a lovely, helpful letter which I will read again and again... Your expert help is much appreciated.

- "Gillian," Advice Seeker

 

 

 

“ I feel relieved and better able to do the right thing now... Thank you for providing a gentle sense of direction for me.

- "Deb," Advice Seeker

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