The two monsters ate my couch!

Well, okay. So technically they’re not “monsters.”

A brief background: My roommate (we’ll call her Sally)started thinking last year that it would be fun to have a puppy. Now, I am not a dog lover. I am a dog FANATIC. Love all animals more than I like most people. I have had puppies before. I know that they can be a real handful, and a lot of responsiblity. I begged her, if she really, really just had to have a dog, to go to the SPCA or something like it to give a home to a needy ADULT dog. (She’s in law school plus working…she’s hardly ever home.)

Well, she totally ignored my advice. (Actually, it was more than advice. I told her I DID NOT want to live with a puppy.) Promptly went out with her boyfriend and got not one, but TWO (yep, two!) GREAT DANE PUPPIES!!!

Anybody who’s ever had a puppy can imagine the havoc these two cute bundles of joy can wreak. However, I am a pretty laid-back person, and we have been friends for years. Plus, like I said, I’m a dog lover. So I’ve been putting up with the torn up papers, toys, clothes, you name it. The mud caked all over the back sliding door. The feather pillow torn into shreds. The drool…everywhere. (You can bet I am careful to keep my door shut nice and tight!)

Then they took a chunk out of my couch, and Sally neglected to mention it to me. I kept waiting for her to bring it up with an apology. If she had done this, I would have let it go at that. After all, the couch is still usable and the hole isn’t that huge. But she didn’t say anything, and I got mad. Really mad. (There’s actually a lot more to why I got mad, but I won’t bore you with those details, too, since they aren’t related to the dogs.) We had a big blow up and it ended with her basically admitting that she had been totally wrong and being extremely apologetic.

So move to today. I just got an email from Sally telling me that the dogs have again attacked my couch. I haven’t seen the extent of the damage yet. She appears to feel really bad about it. She wants to buy me a new one…says we should go shopping this weekend. And I could keep the new couch at my boyfriend’s so it wouldn’t get chewed up, too.

I’m not sure what to do. One the one hand, I did warn her that the dogs would do these things. It was her responsibility to watch them and make sure this didn’t happen. And it’s not an old, beat-up couch. I bought it just over a year ago for about $400.

On the other hand, I feel a little uncomfortable letting her buy me something so expensive. And I know that puppies (especially two Great Danes!) can be hard to control all the time.

I’ve asked two level-headed people for their advice, and they gave me conflicting answers. So I turn to you, Dopers. Should I accept the offer of the new couch?

I would say you should accept the couch, and find some way to get her to return the puppies. They have proven themselves to be obviously wrong for your household.

Thanks, Ethilrist. I totally agree, and believe me, if I could talk her into giving those dogs a better home, I would. I don’t blame the dogs at all for this. They deserve much better than to live with two people who are hardly ever home to give them the attention they need. That’s why I don’t have a dog of my own, as much as I would love to have one. It would be completely selfish of me. But “Sally” thinks everything is fine and dandy.

sigh I can’t wait until I can afford a place of my own…or until my sweetie proposes so I can live with him!

Just ask her if she can afford to replace the couch every month.

C’mon, girl! You were the responsible one – despite wanting a dog you knew that it would be selfish. Your roomie wasn’t as smart, or considerate.

You have to tell her that these dogs, as much as she loves them and as much as you might love them, have made YOUR living situation impossible. It’s not fair for her to create an atmosphere where you’re afraid to come home at night to see what havoc has been wreaked.

She made a decision to get the dogs, and now she needs to stand by the ramifications of that decision. Either she goes, or the dogs go, but you shouldn’t have to pay for her mistake. (And yes, I love dogs too, but getting TWO GREAT DANES as PUPPIES was a BIG, BIG mistake.)

Not having to pay for her mistakes means that yes, she does owe you a new couch.

Having spewed all that hard truth, I know that you’re in a tough spot and you have my sympathies. It’s not easy especially because she’s your good friend. Keep in mind that if she is a good friend, then she won’t feel good about putting you in this situation, and she should do the right thing by you. Hope it all works out…


My initial idea was that you should go halvsies. But I guess that would be a little extreme. I don’t advocate doing anything evil to the dogs.

Seriously, Sally has offered to take responsibility. And she should, especially since you did not agree to getting the puppies. If you want to be especially generous, you might just accept something less than $400 towards a new couch (to be kept at your boyfriend’s place) and keep the damaged couch at your place.

And I agree with Paul the Younger. Your living situation may not be impossible, but you should think about whether you’re willing to put up with more incidents like this in the future and talk it over with your roommate.

I hope everything works out.