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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I recently married "Ed," who is 16 years older than I am. I am 34.

My problem is his 2-year-old son, "Andy," whose mother died in childbirth. This child rules our home! He's been sleeping with his father since birth. I bought a crib for Andy, but Ed refuses to put him in it. He says that since Andy's mother died, the child needs to be close to someone to be assured that he is loved.

I put Andy in his crib and he rolls over and goes right to sleep, but after I go to work, Ed moves him to our bed. (I work the graveyard shift.) When I come home, there is Andy on my side of the bed, sleeping soundly. After he wakes up, I go to bed, but when naptime comes, Ed puts Andy in bed with me where he plays, talks, pulls my hair, etc.

Ed allow this kid to wreck the house. He also allows him to have the say about what he eats, what he wants to do or wear. Andy sits on his dad's lap a lot during his waking hours, and if I come near him, he bites or scratches me. His father doesn't scold him for such behavior.

When Ed is at work and I care for Andy, he is a different child. He picks up his toys, eats what I prepare for him and sleeps in his crib. I have let him know his limitations with me, but he also knows I love him.

Abby, how do I get my husband to see what he is doing to our relationship? We can't even make love without Andy crawling over the bed and laughing until we stop. Then Ed rolls over and cuddles his son while I lie alone. -- TEARFUL IN TENNESSEE

DEAR TEARFUL: Your husband is overdoing the role of good daddy. Andy has already learned how to maneuver himself into the position of "man of the house." If this continues, the problem will become unmanageable. Ed needs counseling to realize that he has an obligation not only to be a good father, but also to be a good husband.

DEAR ABBY: What do you do about a dog who barks and growls at every visitor who comes to the house?

Every time the doorbell rings, my dog growls viciously at the intruder. She's a Lhasa apso, a breed that originated in Tibet as guard dogs. I dislike scolding her for acting on instinct, but even I have to admit that my dog's bark is very threatening.

My parents are tired of my dog's bad manners, and I don't blame them one bit.

What should I do? -- DOESN'T NEED A GUARD DOG

DEAR DOESN'T NEED A GUARD DOG: Call a local veterinarian and find out where obedience training is available.

Your library may have a video on obedience training, but with such a high-strung breed, you will probably need a professional to help you train her.

CONFIDENTIAL TO 'TALKED ABOUT' IN NEW ORLEANS: Keep your character in mint condition and your reputation will take care of itself.

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