DEAR ABBY: Since being diagnosed with two types of cancer I have been unable to work. I have two wonderful dogs, and all my time is invested in them. I show them in obedience and agility exhibitions and love them dearly.
While talking with my husband of 25 years, I casually asked him about the dogs' care if I should pass away. His answer was shocking. He said he is prepared to give the dogs away -- to a good home, of course -- because he doesn't have the time and doesn't want to be bothered with them. What does this say about how he truly feels about me? -- DOGGIE BLUES IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR DOGGIE BLUES: What it says is your husband does not regard your dogs as extensions of you. It also says he is completely honest. Now that you know how he feels about your dogs, if you're smart, you will contact some of your friends on the dog show circuit and ensure that your dogs will be placed in homes where they are loved and appreciated -- preferably together -- should they outlive you. It will give you peace of mind, and your husband will have two less things to be "bothered" about in the event that you predecease him.
DEAR ABBY: My sister, who is six years younger, married for the first time at 42. Until she met her husband, who is overweight, she was never heavy. She always tried to watch her weight and exercised to a moderate degree. Once she met him, they found fine dining to be a favorite pleasure. She also has discovered that she loves to cook and watch the food channels on TV.
When we visit, talk or write, food dominates the topics. My sister has gained 70 or 80 pounds in six years. She doesn't exercise and won't buy a scale. My husband and I mention exercise or calories every time they discuss food. She does not appreciate "Big Sis" giving her advice, but I'm concerned about her. She doesn't read or watch the news, so I feel if I'm not telling her the risks, I'm just standing by watching her kill herself. What can I do? -- BATTLING A WEIGHTY ISSUE
DEAR BATTLING: First, stop lecturing your sister about her weight problem. Until she wants to address it, you will only alienate her. When she and her husband experience the health problems that may occur because of their obesity and sedentary lifestyle, be supportive and offer suggestions only if they are requested. The most unwelcome advice in the world is that which is unasked for. She will deal with her weight only when she's ready, and nothing you can do, however well-intentioned, will change that.
DEAR ABBY: I own a consignment shop and have an idea I would like to pass along to readers who need to do something with their wedding gowns, formals or other clothing. While donating to charity is a great idea, any community or school theater group would also greatly benefit from these donations.
It might open up an entirely new world if the person then attended the performance to see his or her clothing put to such good use. What do you think? -- JIM IN ILLINOIS
DEAR JIM: What a great idea. The more people who involve themselves with cultural activities in their communities, the better for all concerned. You're right -- it could open up new worlds (and opportunities) for those who choose to become involved.
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