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Giving Pet Liquor Cruel Treatment

Sun., March 29, 1998

Dear Ann Landers: This is a question I’ll bet you’ve never been asked before. Can animals get drunk? There is no one else I can ask without raising some suspicion.

Our terrier, “Prince,” was staggering around the house last night, bumping into things and acting very strangely. After a while, he fell asleep in the kitchen but not in his usual place. It was like he passed out. The snoring was so loud, I was afraid it would disturb our upstairs neighbors.

I could not figure out what caused this peculiar behavior until I checked Prince’s water bowl. Sure enough, the water had been spiked with a generous amount of bourbon. I immediately asked my husband, “Who could have done such a cruel thing?” He replied, “I did. It was a scientific experiment. I wanted to see if booze affects animals the same way it affects people.”

Ann, I wouldn’t feel comfortable talking to our vet about this, but I really need to know - how harmful is it? It would not surprise me one bit if my husband did it again. He got such a kick out of it. Many thanks for your help. - Married to an Oddball in Ohio

Dear Ohio: Alcohol affects animals the same way it affects humans. Prince was intoxicated. Getting an animal drunk is not amusing. It is abuse. If this were reported to the humane society, Prince could be taken away. Please make this clear to your husband. The man has either a screw loose or a serious mean streak. Either way, he bears watching.

Dear Ann Landers: Our son, “Elliot,” and his wife, “Jane,” have been married for many years. We have always had a close and loving relationship. In order to visit them, which we enjoy immensely, we must drive quite a distance. No matter how long we are at their home, usually through lunch or dinner, they never offer us anything to eat.

We have frequently taken Elliot and Jane to a restaurant or brought fast food to eat while we are visiting. However, on the few occasions that we failed to do this, they did not offer us so much as a glass of water. We don’t expect a big meal, Ann. Just a sandwich or a small salad would be appreciated. Whenever they visit in our home, we treat them very well and give them three meals a day or offer breakfast, lunch or dinner at a restaurant.

I am becoming increasingly baffled by this and am beginning to dread our visits because of it. Elliot and Jane are very considerate of us in every other way, and I am at a loss to understand the reason for this peculiar and ungracious behavior.

How can we let them know how much this bothers us without hurting their feelings or damaging the relationship? - Wisconsin

Dear Wisconsin: It has probably never occurred to Elliot and Jane to offer you something to eat on arrival because they assume you have stopped for something en route.

Next time, before you head their way, I suggest that you make a phone call and ask, “Will you have a snack for us when we arrive, or should we stop at a restaurant before coming over?”

As always, the best way to deal with a dilemma of this kind is straight talk. I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.

Gem of the Day (Credit Marlene Dietrich): The average man is far more interested in a woman who is interested in him than he is in a woman who has beautiful legs.


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