Dear Reader: As I noted in an earlier column, my daughter, Lisi, will be handling the writing duties a few times a week. Enjoy her take on today’s questions. - Ellie
Reader’s Commentary – “I cannot get this letter out of my mind… I don’t remember the date… but it was recent. (June 1, 2022)
“It was a woman writing how her son and his wife with young children adopted a cute puppy that was supposed to be small that will actually grow up to be a very large dog that no one can handle.
“The only solution is to return the dog right away. We adopted a son and a puppy around the same time a few years ago, and our puppy, who was supposed to be 30lbs grew to over 60lbs. We couldn’t handle both, and our son and family life was our priority. We returned the dog to the breeder who found her another home. It was a difficult decision but definitely the correct one. We later got a smaller dog when we were ready to handle him. Hopefully this family got their dog from a reputable breeder, which is, of course, an entirely different topic.
“A dog like that also needs a great deal of exercise, attention and training especially when it’s young, and it’s not fair to the dog not to provide it with its basic needs.
“I am sure that the dog will find another home.”
Lisi – I included many of the details above to demonstrate how easy it is to make mistakes that then affect how we interpret what people say.
The letter writer, the grandmother, never said they couldn’t handle the dog. In fairness, it’s not what they bargained on, not what they agreed to. But at no point does the grandmother say that they must get rid of the dog.
Also, if the dog came from a reputable breeder, it wouldn’t have been misrepresented in an online ad.
My hope is that the family can figure out how to care for the puppy to the best of their ability. If it becomes too much dog for them to handle, I also hope they figure out a way to rehome him/her.
My friend’s brother just got back from his first year at university and something’s changed. I haven’t spent much time with him, but I think I know why my friend is really upset and crying. She just keeps saying that he’s different and she doesn’t know how to be around him.
He is definitely more aware and proud of his sexual orientation, and the way he walks and talks is very different than the last time I saw him, last summer.
But he’s still the same guy – full of stories, funny, and super nice.
How do I help my friend see past the cover and realize he’s still just her brother?
You’re pretty good at talking around the issue, but I understand it’s not your place to label or identify. Diplomacy is up your ally. And you’re a good friend for trying to help.
The real question is why is your friend so upset? Is she reacting to other people’s reactions, such as their parents? Or is she feeling like the brother she once knew has been replaced by this guy? Especially if he did most of his changing while he was away.
They need to talk – just the two of them. If you don’t think they can do it on their own, make a plan for the three of you to go out, and then find an excuse to leave.
Hopefully, they can just talk it out.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the question about loss of friendship (June 9):
“I recently went through this. My friend who used to call me daily, just stopped. I texted her and asked if she wanted to meet up. She kept making excuses which could be valid but I was tired of making the gesture.
“I finally told her to let me know when she’s free. That was months ago. I have no idea why she stopped being a friend. I suspect it’s because we don’t agree with a lot of things that emerged during Covid-19.
“Though I was disappointed in many of her views, I stayed friends with her because I know she’s a good person.
“What irks me is that she didn’t feel the same or mature enough to put that aside after years of friendship. I’m disappointed but not really devastated.
“People who cut off friendships for petty reasons aren’t really friends. It reveals their character.”