DEAR ABBY: My wife and I are expecting our second child. We are facing a moral decision based on choosing his name.
My wife’s cousin sadly had a late-term miscarriage two years ago. The name they were going to give their baby is coincidentally the same first and middle name that we have chosen for our child. We have wanted this combination of first and middle names for years, well before her cousin had her misfortune.
In our case, the middle name is in honor of my wife’s father. The first name is just one we have always liked and, frankly, we cannot think of any other names we like more. Is it immoral or even unkind to name our child the same as her cousin’s child? Should we consider a different name to avoid causing them pain? — RESPECTFUL IN HAWAII
DEAR RESPECTFUL: Please try harder to find a different first name for your baby. Although it would not be immoral to give your little one the same name(s) as this cousin’s stillborn baby, if this woman interacts with you at all, it will cause her pain. Even though no one “owns” a name, to use these two would be extremely insensitive.
DEAR ABBY: I shared some information with my grandson about his mother that I shouldn’t have. He repeated it to her during an argument, and now she’s angry with me. I apologized, but it has not been acknowledged or accepted. Our relationship has always been tenuous and, frankly, it’s not a big deal for me. She will get over it, but she’s enjoying holding it over my head and being the victim.
They’re moving into a beautiful house this weekend. My son told me he can’t wait for me to see it, and he’s sure it won’t be long before I’m allowed to come out and visit. What would you do? I’m thinking of buying an olive tree. They’re in style, and it would be my way of extending an olive branch. I will take it over when I know my son is there. Good idea? — BIG MOUTH IN OKLAHOMA
DEAR BIG MOUTH: It’s cute, but an olive BRANCH and another sincere apology might be less expensive and go over better. It might even last longer than a tree in her brand-new yard that reminds her of something unpleasant.
DEAR ABBY: I have a miniature dachshund, “Snoopy,” that I take on walks in the neighborhood. I am very good about picking up any deposits that he makes. One neighbor has asked that I not allow him to use her yard for either No. 1 or No. 2 while on his walks. Is this unreasonable or, more to the point, practical?
Anybody who has ever had a dog knows that stopping a dog and picking him up the second he lifts his leg or squats will quite often result in disaster. Again, I’m very good about picking up his deposits and have never left anything in her yard. What say you? — RESPONSIBLE PET GUARDIAN
DEAR GUARDIAN: Dogs do not urinate just to relieve themselves. They also do it to leave “messages” for other dogs. Snoopy would have less of an urge to go in that woman’s yard if other dogs had not already signed in. I feel for that poor homeowner because, if enough dogs use her lawn as a post office, they could destroy it. Also, when dogs defecate, traces can be left behind, which make it very unpleasant for those who take care of the landscaping. Please try to do as she has requested.
P.S. If the homeowner had written me about this, I would have advised her to fence her property if it is allowed by the homeowners association.
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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