DEAR ABBY: Three years ago, my 35-year-old son, "Gary," split up with his girlfriend and got custody of their dog -- a 2-year-old, 85-pound Labrador retriever named Blondie. His new apartment had a "no pets" policy, so I agreed to take Blondie. She is a wonderful dog and I love her dearly.
Now history is about to repeat itself: After several moves, Gary is relocating and wants me to adopt his new dog -- a pit bull he calls Priscilla. I refused because I don't want the responsibility of another animal. Gary says I'm selfish, uncooperative and disloyal. I suggested that he find Priscilla a new home, but he keeps pressuring me to take her. Each time I refuse, it exacerbates the situation and is affecting our relationship.
Gary recently came up with a plan that just about broke my heart. He wants me to send Blondie to an animal shelter and keep Priscilla! My response to that was, "Absolutely not!"
Abby, am I selfish, uncooperative and disloyal? -- BLONDIE'S FRIEND IN NEW JERSEY
DEAR FRIEND: You are none of the above. You are a caring mother who has helped out her son once and knows her limitations. Your son is showing his immaturity by attempting to guilt you into taking the responsibility for Priscilla off his shoulders. Tell him that at 35, it's time to act like a man and contact a pit bull rescue group that will find her the home she deserves.
DEAR ABBY: I have been going with "Bob" for almost three years. We dated through college and graduated last month. In the fall we will both attend law school, I in one town and Bob in another an hour away.
My ex-roommate, "Ellie," is letting me stay with her through the summer until I leave for law school. (Bob, Ellie and I all have summer jobs at the same place.) Things were working out perfectly -- until Bob told me he's attracted to Ellie and wants to take a break from his relationship with me!
Bob says he is no longer sure he's in love with me and wants to see if there's "something there" with Ellie. I am heartbroken, but have agreed to a one-month break from Bob while he tries to figure things out.
Meanwhile, Ellie -- being a friend to both of us -- has announced that she's cutting both Bob and me out of her life until we resolve our problems. She also said that if we don't work things out, she would like to date Bob.
Abby, I'm hurt and offended. I love Bob. We were planning a future together. Now I am filled with doubts and insecurities. And the worst part is, we see each other every day at work. How should I handle this? -- LOST IN LANSING
DEAR LOST: Make the break with Bob permanent. If he was as devoted to you as he should have been, he wouldn't have developed a wandering eye. Also, I don't know how much you need the money from this summer job, but if you can find another to satisfy your financial needs, it will be better for you emotionally.
Ellie appears to respect your friendship. Please don't resent her for what happened. If your romance with Bob wasn't meant to be, you're better off knowing it now.
Look on the bright side. You have a terrific future ahead of you with an opportunity to meet many interesting people. I'm betting you'll meet a new partner in law school.
CONFIDENTIAL TO MY BEAUTIFUL MOTHER, PAULINE PHILLIPS, IN MINNEAPOLIS: Happy Birthday, Mom! -- Love, Jeanne in L.A.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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