Is it a bad idea to surprise her with a dog?

DEAR HARRIETTE: My mom is 70 years old. Her dog recently died after being with…

DEAR HARRIETTE: My mom is 70 years old. Her dog recently died after being with her for 15 years.

Harriette Cole 

I know that she would love to have another pet, but she fears that she’s not at a place in her life where owning another pet makes sense. I think she is just being morbid.

I know she wants another dog, and I want to surprise her with one. I genuinely don’t know whether or not she’ll be offended that I went against her wishes, but I figured it’s worth a shot.

Do you think I’ll offend her by surprising her with another dog? She talks about missing her dog often — even though she swears she doesn’t want another one.

Missing Our Dog

DEAR MISSING OUR DOG: I do not believe in surprising people with animals.

Caring for a pet is a tremendous responsibility. Unless you are willing and able to care for a dog for your mother, do not give her a pet without her blessing.

What you can do is talk to her. Acknowledge her grief over her dog’s passing. She may need some time to mourn her dog before inviting another one into her life.