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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Wanting a furry friend

By Annie Lane Creators Syndicate

Dear Annie: We had to put our dog down after 14 wonderful years. I loved the dog. He would ride in the car with me. We would walk all over, play fetch in the house and just hang out. He was a great companion.

My wife refuses to consider another dog. We are 60 and have a nice home and yard. She doesn’t want the “inconvenience” of being tied down when we want to travel. We have had house sitters stay at the house, which requires a lot of prep. I am willing to board the dog or see whether friends would let the dog stay at their house.

It seems unreasonable; she absolutely refuses to budge. I like the companionship of a dog. Animals are wonderful friends.

Any thoughts on how we get past this stalemate? – Dog Lover

Dear Dog: Make your best case by covering all the angles. Contact a few local boarding facilities and get their rates, and find a friend who would be willing to step in and help care for the dog, too. Nailing down the specifics shows that you’d be responsible and she wouldn’t have to do any chores.

You might also mention that pets are natural healers. Researchers at Loyola University found that five to 15 minutes of animal therapy on a daily basis was associated with a 28 percent drop in the need for pain medication in patients recovering from joint replacement surgery.

Lastly, tell her just how happy it would make you — and remind her that happiness is contagious. A furry friend could boost the entire mood of the house.

You might even show her this column, because your writing to me shows just how passionate you are about this. I hope she throws you a bone.

Dear Annie: I am divorced, am single, live alone and am retired. On several occasions, married women I know have exclaimed loudly to me, “What do you do all day long?!”

These women have known me practically all of my life. Some are even related to me. Therefore, it is no big surprise to them that I am single and retired. They already know. So I don’t appreciate it when they shriek at me about it. And usually, they ask the question within earshot of their beloved prizes, joined-at-the-hip husbands.

Do they really want to know what I do all day long? Or do they not-so-subtly want to point out that they still have a man to take care of and I don’t? They usually follow up by bragging about how many years they have been married. Not so surprising is the fact that none of my fellow single retired friends ever asks me that question. Actually, most of the single retired people I know, including myself, clean their houses, do laundry, cook, garden, pursue hobbies, take classes, exercise, socialize and have the freedom to travel extensively. Many, including me, have traveled the world. And some of us may even have romantic interests. Is that what these nosy people want to hear? How is one supposed to respond to their interrogations? – Doing Whatever I Want All Day Long and Loving It

Dear Doing: Don’t let it get to you. For all you know, they’re genuinely fascinated by your liberated lifestyle. And if they are asking you to try to make you feel bad, it’s only because they’re envious. Whatever the case, why not tell them exactly what you told me? You’re doing whatever you want, whenever you want, all day long and loving it.

Send your questions for Annie Lane to To find out more about Annie Lane and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at