Dear Annie: About four years ago, a preacher and his family moved next door to us, and we have had it up to here with them. The latest episode involved a sweet little boxer puppy about 6 months old. The preacher’s son-in-law wanted a puppy for Christmas, so they gave him “Fifi.” She cried for two days in her new environment, then suddenly stopped and now never makes a sound.
I once saw the son-in-law whipping the dog because it wanted to play, pulling at his wife’s blue jeans as she walked. That was one of only two times they’ve had Fifi out on a leash since Christmas. The rest of the time, she is kept outdoors in a large chain-link cage, 10 feet high. She gets no attention, just food and water.
I am a dog lover and treat my animals with utmost care and kindness. It breaks my heart to see the little boxer pup sitting in the doorway of her house, longing for some love and attention. Is there anything I can do? – Angry and Sad
Dear Angry: If you believe Fifi is being mistreated, call your local Humane Society and report it. You can do so anonymously. The Humane Society will send someone to investigate, and if the situation merits intervention, they will handle it. Please don’t simply watch and fume. You have an opportunity to protect this animal, and we hope you will do so.
Dear Annie: My parents own a restaurant. I am employed there, but am looking for a new job. Why? Because I feel like a slave.
I was hired as a server. But I have to go to work early to start off as a hostess, then hit the floor as a server, and finish off with busing tables and closing out the till. I show up early when others call in sick, and often stay late to make sure everything is done right. Yet my dad complains that I’m “milking them for all they’re worth” because I expect to be paid.
My parents expect me to become the manager someday, but I have told them repeatedly that I do not want the position.
I take no vacations. My dad comes in twice a week to put in the food order and talk to the cooks. He treats my mother and me terribly, but the other employees are golden.
I feel overworked and unappreciated. How do I continue to handle this stress until I find a new job? – Frustrated
Dear Frustrated: Your parents are grooming you to someday take over the restaurant and need you to understand that the boss has the responsibility to work harder than everyone else. If you do not intend to follow them into the business, you should inform them immediately, suggest they hire a real manager, insist on being paid and treated as a regular server, and spend more time looking for another job.
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