Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Help or Enable?

A neighbor has a serious alcohol addiction. He has numerous health problems as a result of being shot four times at a domestic disturbance call while on duty with a major city police department years ago.

He has a dog that needs some specific kinds of food, that is expensive, and that buying will cut into his beer money. He wants me to help him with the dog food.

The dog is the victim here. My dilemma is, if I help the dog, I further enable destructive and ongoing behavior. I don’t want to do that.

Hand up or hand out? I will, within reason, help with a hand up. My experience in life has me thinking a hand out just leads to more drama.

I will be appreciative of any constructive advice or examples of what can help from the readers that pass by this blog.


drjim said...

That's a sticky one....

He's not going to change until he admits to himself that he has a problem. That's the hardest step, and if he's not "ready", then he'll never take it. I know. I took that first step 27 years ago.

He doesn't realize it, but he's using the dog as a pawn. I'd say NO, but he knows you're a dog lover, and you'd hate to see the dog suffer.

Maybe your saying NO will wake him up, maybe not.

Ol' Blue said...

Can you offer to take the dog for a while? You might say something such as how you'll look after his dog till he gets things turned around. The dog would benefit from consistent care and feeding with you.

Anonymous said...

I'd vote for saying no to buying the dog food.

That's a slippery slope once you start down.

What happens when the dog needs medicine or veterinary care? (ask me how I know this...but you know the answer!)

The best thing you can offer is to help HIM find another home for the dog; one that can meet the dog's needs. Then you'll find out how much he really loves this dog...enough to reduce the alcohol consumption???


Well Seasoned Fool said...

I suspect he doesn't feel he has much to live for. He may be right but that isn't my problem. You are correct about him needing to face up to his problem and do something about it.

For several reasons that isn't feasible. Some of us in the building have discussed taking turns but the building is county operated and has "rules". While I personally pay going market rent, it is still public housing.

I know a family that will take the dog. They have acreage. The dog is an 80 lb older Irish Setter. He doesn't want to give up the dog.

Old NFO said...

Sticky one is right. Any chance of an intervention from a number of y'all? That 'might' get his attention, especially if it was the dog lovers in the building. I'd say no to the dog food, because that would enable him even more. I've been there, and turned around like drjim.

Anonymous said...

I'd help out for the dog's sake. If I didn't help and the dog suffered, it would bother me, I'd feel guilty, so for my own peace of mind and for the dog's sake, if I could afford it , yes, I'd help out.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

The situation isn't at a crisis, yet. He does buy food for the dog but not the food the dog needs. I've helped this man with other things and always it turns into no good deed goes unpunished.

Coffeypot said...

His decisions, his choices, his actions are of his making the situation the way it stands. Politely tell him you cannot afford another dependent and GFHS. You cannot help him, only enable him if you do. Suggest he adopt his dog out to someone who can take care of the dog. (Not you. Banner will disown you.) IMHO

jeff d said...

Agree other commenters - do not give food or money to the guy. He has to make the effort or it never ends. The dog will suffer. If there is noticeable suffering by the dog, anonymously call the police on the guy.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Jeff D CP
Sound advice. Others in the building are monitering the situation and management is aware.

RHT447 said...

Agree with those above. No money, no food, no baby sitting. That he seems to be feeling sorry for himself doesn't help. Ask him direct questions, reminding him of what he already knows. Yeah, life sucks sometimes. Your dog is dependent on YOU. Offer to nag him incessantly with a friendly smile. Tell him he can call you anytime just to talk. Sorta like Richard Pryor's routine about his friend Jim Brown asking Pryor, "Yeah, but what you gonna DO?" about Pryor's drug addiction.

LSP said...

huh, maybe just shoot the dog abuser?

Problem. Solution.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Good advice. He isn't all there mentally. Booze or his injuries? He did take four rounds into his torso.

He isn't an abuser but doesn't take care of the dog properly.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

No problem. We have a good community here. A handicapped woman had the three wheel bicycle stolen. A collection was taken and she got a new one. The dog is ok, just that what he feeds her gives her lose bowels.