Dear Annie: I met a great gal. We seem really good together most of the time, but here's the rub. She has a dog. It is a nice dog but not very well trained. The big problem is bedtime at my place. The dog wants to share our bed, and is uncontrollably insistent about it, whining and disturbing us throughout the night until she gives up and allows the dog to get in bed with us. I must deal with it or go sleep elsewhere.
Apparently, this dog gets to sleep with her at home, so hey, why not here? It ruins intimacy and makes it hard to sleep. She apologizes, but is doing nothing to train this dog to accept the floor as its dog bed. Am I out of line to want our bed dog-free? What does this say for our chances? -- Doggone it!
Dear Doggone It: Actions speak, or should I say bark, louder than words. It is time to have another conversation with your girlfriend about her dog. Sleeping in bed with your dog is a very personal decision. Studies have shown that it can be therapeutic for both the dog and owner.
But this depends on personal preference, and your preference is not to have the dog in bed while her preference is to have him with her. She may apologize for allowing the dog in bed, but her actions say that she loves having her four-legged friend near at night.
Tell her how you feel and see if you can come up with a compromise. Maybe buy the dog a nice bed. Or create a rule that the dog can only stay at the end of your bed. Regardless of the outcome, you need to have another conversation about it.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from "Grieving Father" about why no one asked how he was doing.
My husband passed away two years ago from a massive heart attack. We never had a chance to say goodbye, and I miss him very much. My dearest friends were with me when he passed. They are all still couples, and they have kept me busy with activities and invites to dinner -- but have not asked me how I am doing.
Yet, other friends who have lost their spouse have often asked me how am I doing. They understand the loss and the lonely nights. I finally went to counseling for about six months and came to the conclusion that there will be times when "waves of emotion" are triggered by a movie or an ad or even a clue in a crossword puzzle, and that these moments are a reflection of a wonderful marriage and that I should cherish them.
I think my "couple" friends don't ask because they don't want to think about experiencing the loss themselves. So I appreciate their keeping me involved in my daytime activities. As a senior citizen, I will be there for them when their losses come.
Many thanks to my friends who have lost a loved one. Your concern and texts saying "Good night!" have been ever so comforting. -- Still Missing My Sweetheart in New England
Dear Still Missing My Sweetheart: I am very sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your story. You were brave enough to seek professional help for your grief, and I commend you for that. I hope your letter brings comfort to those who are in a similar position.