Dear Lola,

I agreed to watch a friend’s dog while she went out of town. Long story short, my friend’s dog is now pregnant and she wants me to pay for half of the vet bills. She also offered to split any money she gets from selling the puppies, which likely won’t be much since our dogs are not purebred, not even the same breed. I don’t think I should have to pay half of the bills since she knew my dog wasn’t fixed. My boyfriend says I should help pay since I allowed the dogs to be in the house together while I was at work and I knew her dog wasn’t fixed. He said if any other injury had befallen her dog while I was watching her, I would have paid for the full bill. What do you think I should do?


Unexpected Encounter

Dear Unexpected Encounter,

My oh my, you have truly found yourself in quite the canine predicament. You took on the responsibility of another canine and allowed it to be alone with your own adorable fur baby for what I am presuming were hours at a time. You were aware your friend’s canine was not fixed. You were aware your own canine was not fixed. Unfortunately, it seems that the task of preventing this fiasco was completely beyond your capabilities.

Do I really need to explain the birds and the bees to an adult?!

Now, I say that with humor and a mind on resolving the situation. It is not a criticism of your being a capable canine owner, since this situation is not a unique phenomenon. I rather think you merely misunderstood how quickly canines can find themselves in trouble when left with a member of their own species and limited supervision.

Canines are masters at finding trouble around every corner we turn.

It sounds like your friend was exceptionally reasonable in asking you to take responsibility for half of the bills. You were responsible for leaving two canines together without supervision, something I’m doubting your friend thought she had to lecture you about before leaving her canine in your care. Your friend was also generous enough to commit to split any proceeds from the sale of the puppies. Add to this fact that your boyfriend provided an extremely rational argument and I think you knew the answer before you ever wrote to me. If the canine had been injured in any other way, you likely would have been responsible for the entirety of the vet bills.

This is a legal grey area that has one clear moral path forward.

Pay for half of the vet bills. I also recommend that you and your friend both have your canines fixed to avoid this problem in the future!


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