I have been so busy; lately I have been unable to answer some of the less pressing prayers that have come my way. Please bear with me while I do so now.
Please give me guidance on what to do with my dog, Fred. He has never got along with other dogs. He goes behind me to avoid them on walks, and if one comes to close, he snarls at them. Now that he's a senior dog I worry he doesn't have any doggy friends. Should I introduce him to other dogs to see if you'll finally get along with them? Anxious mom.
Dear Anxious Mom: How would you feel if you lived your whole life avoiding idiotic people in the quest of solitude and when you reached an age when you needed to depend on others they decided the best thing for you would be to sit you in the park all day and have you put up with stupid people? Fred just doesn't like other dogs. Let him live the rest of his life in peace. We dog only need human companionship. Spend less time worrying if your dog is lonely and more time with him.
I am planning to go with my husband and three children to Auckland for six months on a sabbatical. My husband will be working at a hospital there. I think it'll be an excellent experience for the whole family. The only problem is we can't bring our Yorkie Digby with us. Friends of my daughters say that they will take him for the six months, but they would like to share custody of him when we come back. Please guide me on the right thing to do. Traveling mom.
Dear Traveling Mom: So your entire family is going but not your Yorkie? Isn't your Yorkie part of the family? I was watching this documentary from the 80s about this family that left their little tow-headed boy home alone while they went off on a sabbatical. He ended up being attacked by crazed robbers and during the encounter, and he almost killed them with fishing line and a paint bucket. Would you want that for Digby? If he can't go, maybe no one should go. Digby is going to be very confused when you come back. Having a dog is a commitment, and sometimes a commitment means you can't do things you would like to do. Besides, why do you want to go to a country that puts immigrating dogs in cages? It is barbaric, unlike putting immigrating kids in cages, which is beautiful.
My dog Molly is perfect in every way except at night when we are sleeping she sneaks in our rooms and steals our shoes. When we get up in the morning, we find them in her dog bed. Is there any way we can get her to stop stealing our shoes? Shoe lover
Dear Shoe Lover: I think Molly is aware of the fact that she lives in a house with a bunch of idiots. If your dog is stealing your stuff in your sleep, put it up higher. I don't think she's taking the shoes for any nefarious purposes. I think she knows you're all going to be stumbling around looking for things in the morning and if you know the shoes are in her bed you'll probably get to work on time, won't get fired, and her kibble supply will stay steady. Don't feel bad. The dog is the smartest member of every family I have encountered.