DEAR ABBY: I want to share my experience with being a distracted driver. One gorgeous, sunny day a few months ago, I happened to glance down at my iPad and the next thing I knew, I had hit the car in front of me. The airbags engaged and hit me and my golden retriever, who was in the front seat with me. He was so freaked out he jumped out the window into oncoming traffic. I chased him, but lost him as he darted through traffic on the busy streets.
Fortunately, a couple found him and brought him to a vet who scanned his chip. I got him back, and it is a gift from heaven -- but he was severely injured. With time, he will make a full recovery, but my stupid mistake hurt my most cherished companion. I can't forgive myself. From now on, those devices go in the trunk. -- REFORMED DISTRACTED DRIVER
DEAR REFORMED: That's a start. And in the future, your cherished companion should ride in the back seat -- with the windows closed and wearing a restraint so that in the event of another traffic problem he won't be reinjured. Because you are in communication with your veterinarian, ask him or her what type is recommended.
DEAR ABBY: I am a mature, adult woman in my 40s who has never had a good relationship with my mother. Candidly, she is a mean person who has left a lot of hurt feelings in her wake. It makes being close to her impossible. Our entire family feels the way I do about her, including her only surviving sister.
I will be remarrying soon. Although I feel that inviting my mother to my wedding is the right thing to do, it could mean potentially inviting disaster -- literally. I'm having trouble coming to terms with this decision and would love your input. -- NEEDS GUIDANCE IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR NEEDS GUIDANCE: Your mother appears to be a bitter, possibly disturbed woman. If she isn't invited, the hurt and angry feelings could reverberate for years. Because the rest of your family knows the way she is, consider inviting her on the condition that she will be on her best behavior -- and with the understanding that if she "lapses," some family members will escort her out.
DEAR ABBY: My husband has met my co-workers and their spouses at various company-related events. He recently mentioned that he has seen "Wally," who is married to one of my co-workers, "Anna," with another woman on more than one occasion. Apparently, Wally didn't recognize my husband.
Should I "casually" mention to Anna that my husband saw her husband and where, and let her figure it out for herself? My husband said it's up to me to decide whether to tell her or not. If it were me, I'd want to know. -- OLDER BUT NOT WISER IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR O.B.N.W.: I suppose you could casually mention it to Anna, but don't be surprised if she casually responds that the woman is his sister, his cousin or a daughter by a former marriage. It may be perfectly innocent.
DEAR ABBY: My friend left a plant for me to take care of while she was out of town. The plant died. Do I replace the plant? -- NO GREEN THUMB IN LUBBOCK, TEXAS
DEAR NO GREEN THUMB: If the plant was thriving when your friend asked you to care for it, and it died because of lack of sun or water while in your care, then the answer is yes -- you should at least offer to replace it. For your sake, I hope it wasn't a rare orchid.