Finn, a 7-year-young Bichon Frise at Second Chance Humane Society, wants to eat some pizza so bad. (Courtesy photo)

Dear Pet Column,

I know you have pet training classes, but are you also available to help answer questions about my pet’s behavior problems, such as sleeping in the kitchen sink?

—Harry Sink


Dear Harry,

You and your sink are in luck. Second Chance Humane Society offers a pet helpline as another service to the community that goes beyond simply providing shelter for homeless pets in the area. This service is just as important as our animal shelter services. Let me explain why.

Being a pet parent is not easy, and like other forms of parenting, it is not always a natural skill that people are innately born with. It requires commitment, experience, education and training to be a great pet parent. Additionally, some pets are more challenging than others and require even more of each ingredient. 

Typically, the behavior of your pet is not due to a faulty pet. I am not making this point so you feel wrong or inadequate, but to help you recognize that behavior issues are often correctable. That’s right, your cat hiding the car keys or your puppy chewing all of the left shoes in the house is not a hopeless situation.

There are always unforeseen issues with any pet-parent combo that can occur immediately or over time. Pets often react to a lack of clear direction relative to the correct behavior that is expected of them. This coupled with boredom, lack of exercise or lack of attention, can all lead to “behavior issues.”

It is normal and common for new and seasoned pet parents to find themselves frustrated, confused and stressed about how to cope. The sooner behavioral issues are addressed the better, thus allowing you to more easily and quickly eliminate them, while preventing you from getting to the point of giving up on your pet completely and bringing them to the shelter.

Thus, well before you get to the point of no return, there are positive actions you can take to address the issues and reconnect with your loving pet. You can start by calling Second Chance, which has a skilled staff that can give you helpful tips to try at home, steer you toward working with a trainer on staff or suggest attending our behavior training classes. The important thing is not to give up on your pet, find some help to understand and eliminate the behavior, not the pet.


My name is Finn and, yes, it is possible to be this cute. I am a 7-year-young Bichon Frise rescued from a puppy mill. Living in a puppy mill truly bites, but since leaving that horrible place, I am learning quickly what the life of a dog is really supposed to be about. And I love being outside!

I also enjoy being with other dogs and learning new things to get yummy treats. My staff thinks my favorite treat is turkey, but they haven’t given me any pizza yet, and that stuff smells amazing. My new family will find their patience and gentleness with me and will be richly rewarded. I look forward to seeing you soon.

Second Chance Humane Society’s Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops have been servicing San Miguel, Ouray and Montrose counties for over 25 years. Call the Second Chance Helpline at 970-626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, Feral Cat or other services. View our shelter pets and services online at