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Dog ownership leads to family squabbles

Updated: July 20, 2013 11:21PM



Dear Abby: My family has had our dog “Pouncer” for 10 years. He was originally bought to be a “family” dog, but I am the one who feeds and takes care of him. Because of that he sleeps with me and licks and obeys only me.

When I say Pouncer is my dog, the rest of my family chews me out and insists he is the family’s dog, not mine. Don’t you think I have the right to call him my dog? — WILLIE IN WEST VIRGINIA

DEAR WILLIE: I think this is less a question about ownership than it is about tact. Because you are the one who feeds and takes care of Pouncer, and he sleeps with you and obeys only you — in that sense, he is your dog. But unless you are the only one paying for his food and veterinary bills and the roof over his head, Pouncer is also the family’s dog. Remember that and you’ll get chewed out less often.

Dear Abby: My wife and I have been married more than 20 years. Her best friend from childhood, “Jill,” and her husband, “Jack,” are two of our closest friends.

On a recent visit to their home in another state, Jack made a pass at my wife. He said he’d always had a crush on her and asked her to go to our hotel room and have sex while the rest of us were at an amusement park. She refused.

We cut our vacation short and left for home immediately. She told me about it after we got home, concerned that if she said anything while we were there, a confrontation would have ensued. To date, Jill knows nothing about what occurred.

My wife asked me not to say anything until she decides what to do. She’s concerned that if she tells Jill, the friendship will be over. On the other hand, if nothing is said, she will be hiding a guilty secret from Jill, which will probably damage the friendship.

Should my wife tell her friend? Should I call Jack and confront him one-on-one? Or should we do nothing? — UPSET HUSBAND IN NEW YORK

DEAR UPSET HUSBAND: The friendship has already been damaged thanks to the husband’s inappropriate behavior. What you and your wife must now decide is whether he has caused a permanent estrangement.

If you both agree you can look beyond his boorish lapse in light of the length of the long friendship, then by all means call Jack and tell him how you feel about what he did. And when you do, make it plain that if it happens again, you and your wife will discuss it with Jill together.

Dear Abby: My sisters and brothers and I don’t speak and haven’t in five years. When I pass, I have a list of people who will be welcome at my services. If someone’s name is not on the list, they will be asked to leave. I want my children and some of my grandchildren there, but no one else. Do you think I am wrong? — TROUBLED IN TEXAS

DEAR TROUBLED: No, I don’t. Your wishes are your wishes. However, it is sad when families feud and, at the end, things that should be said are left unspoken.

One would hope that anyone who comes to your funeral would be there to support your children and grandchildren, or to pay last respects. I think it would be rude to ask someone who came to leave. A better way to handle it would to specify in the funeral announcement that services will be for “your children only” and for further information people should contact a person you designate to carry out your wishes.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.



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