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Dear Abby: Hunter’s stories make animal lover cringe

DEAR ABBY: I’m an animal lover. I have always kept many different kinds of pets. My mother taught me to love and respect all animals, and I have had snakes, turtles, birds and other exotics as well as dogs, cats and rabbits.

When I see a dead animal in the road, it makes me so sad I often cry, and the thought of anyone hurting or killing one for fun makes me sick to my stomach.

My problem is a co-worker who sits behind me. He’s a hunter who often talks about killing animals, especially snakes and turtles.

It is impossible to tune him out, and I’m afraid to ask him to stop. Moving desks is not an option.

I often escape to the bathroom when he starts up, but there has to be a better way. I can’t be seen crying at my desk when he talks like this because it’s unprofessional. — SNAKE LOVER

DEAR SNAKE LOVER: Your co-worker isn’t a mind reader. Dig deep and find the courage to tell him that when he brings up the subject of killing animals, it upsets you and ask him to please stop.

If he doesn’t, bring it to the attention of your supervisor or HR, because it could be considered a form of harassment if it interferes with you doing your job.

DEAR ABBY: When I was 13 and 14, I sent nude pictures to guys I didn’t know over Kik. I am now 15 and interested in a career in education. I have read about educators getting fired for sending pictures.

Should I be worried that I will never have a career in education? Or ever get into a good college? — QUESTIONING TEEN

DEAR QUESTIONING: Sending nude photos at any age, especially if someone is underage, is extremely dangerous to both the sender and recipient, and I hope you will never do it again.

Although some colleges check into the online postings of applicants, I have never heard of any educator who was fired because of something that was posted when the person was 13. So study hard, keep your shirt on and good luck in the field of education.

DEAR ABBY: I own a popular small cafe in the city. With only 12 tables (and no use of our patio during inclement weather), the restaurant fills up quickly and there is a long line at the door, especially on weekends.

I’m delighted to have so many wonderful guests and be in this predicament. But what can I do without being rude when, long after their meals, customers don’t pick up on hints that we need the table? I think some people genuinely don’t realize the imposition, while others simply don’t care.

How do I politely convey that “time’s up”? — HINT, HINT

DEAR H.H.: I discussed your letter with an experienced restaurateur. He said the answer to your question depends upon whether the “table hogs” (my words) are regular patrons.

If they are, let them nurse their coffee and continue their conversations. If they aren’t, then simply tell them there is a line of people waiting and you need the table. Business is business.

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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: “Abby’s Favorite Recipes” and “More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $14 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)