DEAR ABBY: I have a friend I’ll call “Whitney” who asks me to stroke her quite regularly. She will usually ask me a week or less before she leaves. I love animals (I have several), so I continue to do this for her. But a problem makes things more and more difficult. Abby, her house is dirty.
I have pets, so I know a little dog hair or cat litter is part of the job. This is not the problem; it is the filth of humans. There are food scraps on counters, hobs and cabinet doors, clothes and paperwork all over the floor and a bathroom that clearly hasn’t been cleaned in years. I refuse to use the toilet in her house and even disinfect my hands after I leave.
This makes the animal more difficult to sit on, as I know I should spend more time with their cats than just picking up the litter box and filling the dishes, but I just can’t bring myself to spend any real time in it. his home. How do I bring up this topic with her, or should I? I dread these requests, but I don’t want to leave an animal without basic care when it’s away. – REPUTENT PET SITTER
DEAR SITTER: Now is the time to tell Whitney that you don’t want to sit for her anymore, and when she asks you why, tell her the truth and encourage her to get help with the cleanup.
** ** **
DEAR ABBY: My son’s wife (I’ll call her “Carla”) calls me when they are fighting. The last time my son went to jail for domestic violence. The cop didn’t even speak to me.
Now my son no longer wants to talk to me and I no longer have the right to talk to my grandchildren. He says as far as he’s concerned, my husband and I are dead. We did nothing other than help Carla. This was my son’s third domestic violence offense. I have always had a great relationship with my grandchildren, but I haven’t seen them for over five months. they miss me a lot. Should I stand up to my son, tell him to grow up and let me see my grandchildren, or honor his request and stay out of his life? – PUNISHED IN MINNESOTA
DEAR PUNI: You can’t force your son to do anything. Accusing him of being childish will only cause more animosity. Talk to Carla and point out that your son needs psychological help. Carla should take the children and go to a shelter, because without professional help and without a desire to change, your son’s attacks will intensify and he could seriously injure her or kill her one of these days. Carla should contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline for advice. The toll-free number is 800-799-7233.
** ** **
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
** ** **
What adolescents need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS, and how to get along with their peers and parents can be found in âWhat Every Teenager Should Knowâ. Send your name and mailing address, along with a check or money order for $ 8 (in US dollars) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, PO Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling costs are included in the price.)
COPYRIGHT 2021 ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION
1130 Walnut, Kansas City, MO 64106; 816-581-7500