Dear Annie: We recently lost our dear pet dog, “Buster,” and are considering getting another dog. I want to find one who is the same breed and color, call him “Buster” and go on as if his predecessor had not died, but rather had a stroke and needed to be retrained. My wife thinks I’m crazy. What do you think? – RH
Dear RH: We don’t think you’re crazy, but you do seem to be in denial. You should properly grieve for Buster. Pretending another dog is still the same one after a stroke doesn’t do justice to your feelings. It also doesn’t allow you to love your new dog for his own sake. Even with “retraining,” you will continue to expect him to respond to you and behave as Buster did. Please take a little time to mourn the original Buster before you make any decisions about a new dog.
Dear Annie: My 50-something male cousin has brought a 20-something female cousin to live with him. He calls it “mentoring.” The poor girl is learning disabled.
They are the only two people living in the house, and the arrangement has caused concern for his parents and children. Is this normal? What’s your take on the situation? – Just Wondering
Dear Just: We don’t know what kind of learning disability would require that a 20-year-old live with her older cousin – or anyone. If you mean that the girl is mentally disabled, then someone needs to check on the situation and intervene should the older cousin be taking advantage of her. Because the girl is over 18, it may require legal intervention. If, however, the 20-year-old is perfectly capable of managing her own life and chooses to live with this cousin, there’s not much you can do. We hope her family is keeping an eye on things.