Dear Annie: We are retired and consider ourselves to be hospitable. We maintain a guest bedroom, as well as two sofa beds for overnight guests.
My wife struggles with seasonal allergies, as well as an allergy to animal dander, and so we try to limit her exposure. She has undergone allergy shots and uses two prescription nasal sprays. She can tolerate short visits with pets.
Recently, we hosted overnight stays of our adult children and their families, as well as our siblings. We told them their pets were welcome, but the animals would have to sleep in the laundry room on the lower level. Unfortunately, these guests insisted on bringing them to the upper floors.
It’s been two weeks and my wife still has a cough from her pet allergies. We had to purchase a new blanket for one of the sofa beds because a guest dog slept on it. Every time we vacuum, it brings up the dander.
We want our family members to feel welcome, but how can we get them to comply with the boundaries we set? Do we have to pay for them to stay at a hotel or board their pets? – Help
Dear Help: No, but you need to be more assertive about enforcing your boundaries. Tell the family that you love having them, but your wife’s allergies make it impossible for the dogs to stay anywhere but the laundry room at night. If they cannot abide by that simple request, you will be happy to recommend nearby pet-friendly hotels and boarding kennels.
Dear Annie: I’d like to address your senior driving respondent from Salem, Mass.: So you are the one driving too slowly with his foot on the brake You’re impeding the flow of traffic. Worse yet, if your foot is always on the brake, then your brake lights are always on. So how am I supposed to know when you’re actually stopping?
It is time for you to turn in your car keys. Not because you’re 93, but because you’re a bad driver. – Baton Rouge, La.