DEAR ABBY: I'm a 43-year-old woman in a relationship with "Charles." When we connected three years ago, I had a dog, "Frosty." One year into the relationship, Charles asked me to get rid of Frosty because he thinks dogs are unsanitary. I loved Frosty and kept him, but it caused problems with Charles.
When Charles and I moved in together three months ago, he insisted I get rid of Frosty and I caved. I miss my little friend so much it hurts. I am able to get him back, but is it crazy that I would jeopardize my relationship because I want to keep my dog?
- In the Doghouse
DEAR IN THE DOGHOUSE: I don't think it's crazy. That Charles would insist you get rid of Frosty shows extreme insensitivity for your feelings, in addition to disregard for your beloved pet. Could Charles be jealous of the affection you have shown Frosty? Not knowing him, I can't guess. But if you are forced to choose between the two of them, you should seriously consider choosing the dog.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married for three years and have two beautiful children. Shortly before our first child was born, my in-laws bought a new camera. They bring it along to every visit and constantly take pictures of all of us.
The biggest problem is that they don't have a relationship with their grandchildren because of this. These visits consist of nonstop photo-snapping, and no quality time is spent with either of the children. How do I make this stop without causing problems?
- Out of Focus in New York
DEAR OUT OF FOCUS: A diplomatic approach would be to suggest to your in-laws that they "shoot" only for a limited time when they visit - no longer than the first 10 minutes. Then suggest some ways they can relate to the little ones after the camera is put away.
If they balk, tell them that children need face-to-face and eye contact, and the camera has prevented it from happening. If they're smart, they'll listen.