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Very young and sorta in love, but his mom doesn't like her

DEAR ABBY: I'm 13 and in what I think is a serious relationship with "Josh." The problem is, his mom thinks I'm "mentally abusing" him.

DEAR ABBY: I'm 13 and in what I think is a serious relationship with "Josh." The problem is, his mom thinks I'm "mentally abusing" him.

I have never done anything to Josh to make her think that. She and I have had our disagreements and have not spoken for periods of time before, but nothing like this has ever happened.

I'm pretty sure I love Josh, and I don't want to lose him because of what his mom thinks of me. What should I do?

- Puzzled in Indiana

DEAR PUZZLED: You didn't mention how old Josh is and how he feels about all the attention you're giving him, but I can offer a couple of suggestions. The first is to slow down. Take a step back so Josh can have some breathing room. The second is to try to make a friend rather than an enemy of Josh's mother, who may be worried about a 13-year-old girl who seems fixated on her son.

Dogsitting for military son worth the hassle

DEAR ABBY: I remarried when my son, "Kevin," was 5. He's now 20. My husband has always tried to be a good dad to him even though Kevin was challenging at times.

Kevin is now in the military. Before he left, he adopted a dog, "Leisel," that's a year old. Kevin will be deployed overseas for three years and wants us to take her. We have a dog and cat, a big yard and three teenage daughters who want Leisel, but my husband says no. He says it was a mistake to get the dog in the first place, and Kevin needs to learn a lesson and do the hard thing and give her up.

I agree it was a mistake, and I don't really want another dog, but I'm willing to do it for my son. Lots of parents get "stuck" with their kids' pets. They roll their eyes and just do it. Who is right?

- Willing to Do It in West Virginia

DEAR WILLING: You are. This is no time to teach your son a lesson. With the international situation heating up as it seems to be, there's no telling where your son could wind up being stationed. Let him go with peace of mind knowing his pet will be well cared for until he returns.

Older than I look

DEAR ABBY: You probably wonder why I think this is a problem, but it is for me. I'm a single male, almost 77, who can easily pass for 50 or 55. The problem is friends, acquaintances and some strangers (in their 40s, 50s and 60s) think that because I look so much younger than my age, I should be able to perform the same physical tasks they do, which I can't. I have the same aches and pains as anyone else my age.

I'm flattered that I look younger, but how do I explain that because I look 50 to 55, doesn't mean I necessarily feel that way. I know, I know. Some people probably wish they had my problem.

- Young/Old in California

DEAR YOUNG/OLD: I have news for you. There are plenty of people half your age who also have physical problems that prevent them from performing certain tasks - including bad backs, bad knees, rotator cuff injuries and more. Because someone looks great doesn't necessarily mean that the person is 100 percent. If you are asked to do something beyond your ability, be honest about it and say no.

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