DEAR ABBY: My brother and sister-in-law own a golden retriever. “Cookie” is their baby. The problem is, I live in a place where I can’t have pets, plus I don’t have a car. I’m disabled, so it’s harder for me to get around.
I would love for my brother and sister-in-law to visit me for a couple of days. We live 2 1/2 hours apart. Well, my brother won’t come and stay with me at all. He does visit, but only for about an hour or so because they refuse to put Cookie in a kennel.
What should I say to him without causing him to get mad at me? I feel he’s putting that dog first, before his own sister. I miss seeing him and his wife. — DOGGONE IT IN MICHIGAN
DEAR DOGGONE IT: Your brother and sister-in-law’s goldie is also a member of their family. Demanding they put Cookie in a kennel is tantamount to telling them they must put their child in foster care for the duration of their visit with you.
If your brother is willing to drive 2 1/2 hours (each way) to visit with you for a few hours, he is showing his love for you. Can you suggest he arrange for a neighbor to look after Cookie for two days? If not, in the interest of family harmony, stop complaining.
DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have been married for 45 years. When she moved out of our bedroom, I was shocked. I thought she didn’t love me anymore. Then I realized that both our sleeping habits have changed over the years.
She snores, and I toss and turn. She needs the room dark, while I like a night light so I can see while I walk to the bathroom. I wasn’t around when my parents got old, so I didn’t realize our sleeping arrangement was going to change. We still love each other, but just sleep in different rooms. Is this normal? — WONDERING IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR WONDERING: The reason for the change is what’s important. In your case, it’s not because of discord or lack of love. While I would have suggested your wife try various kinds of sleep masks to block out your night light, your new arrangement is not an indication that there is trouble in your relationship. Many couples do this. So stop worrying about whether this is normal and be glad you have a solution that works.
DEAR ABBY: The last of our children has graduated and left the nest. My wife and I are now starting to go through years of boxes, mostly papers and photos. In the process, we have discovered several checks written to us that we never cashed — mostly for Girl Scout cookies or other fundraising items and birthday gifts for the kids.
The checks are mostly more than 15 years old, but they add up to around $300. Would it be proper to ask the check writers to reissue their checks so long after they were written? We could use the money now. — QUESTIONING IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR QUESTIONING: You should have been more careful with those monetary gifts. To ask that the checks be rewritten after 15 years would be an imposition and likely not well received. Furthermore, if they were intended for your children for birthdays, Christmas, graduations, etc., any replacement checks should be made out to them, not you.
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 P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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