DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are expecting our first child in a few months, and my mother, who lives out of state, will be flying in to help with the new baby. This will be her first grandchild.
Mom adopted a small indoor dog about a month ago. "Trixie" is pint-sized, but she has a loud, high-pitched bark and she barks often. When Mom told me she plans to bring Trixie with her, I expressed concern that the constant barking will wake the baby and everyone else. I am also concerned about dander in the nursery from Trixie's long hair.
I asked Mom to leave Trixie home with my father, but she said she just adopted her and doesn't want her to feel abandoned. I wouldn't mind her bringing Trixie on future visits, just not while we're adjusting to a new baby.
Am I being selfish to ask my mother to keep the dog at home when she comes to visit? -- GET ME OUT OF THE DOGHOUSE
DEAR DOGHOUSE: By the time your baby arrives, Trixie should have adjusted to both of your parents and should not feel abandoned if one of them leaves for a short while. Your needs and the needs of your household should take precedence over the needs of your mother's dog, and you are not being selfish to insist upon it.
DEAR ABBY: I have been married 24 years to a great guy. For the first time I am struggling with feelings of jealousy. My husband has begun a friendship with a female co-worker who is also married. They exchange emails, text messages and phone calls. They get together socially occasionally and have exchanged birthday and holiday gifts.
There's nothing "wrong" with what they're doing, and I feel my husband has the right to be friends with whomever he chooses. He loves me and treats me well. I don't want to feel or act like a crazy, jealous wife. But I have a hard time when I see how he enjoys his fun new friend -- who, by the way, is young and great looking. How can I overcome my jealousy? -- OLD BALL AND CHAIN
DEAR O.B. AND C.: I'm not sure you should. If your husband had a female friend from work he had lunch with occasionally, I wouldn't be concerned. But emails, texts, phone calls and exchanging gifts seems excessive. Tell him his relationship with his "fun new friend" is making you uncomfortable and you need it toned down because you feel it's a threat to your marriage. If he cares about your feelings, he should pay attention to what you're saying.
DEAR ABBY: As a former paramedic and also a food allergy sufferer, I'm acutely aware of the problems caused by this condition. Food allergies vary widely and are not limited to common ones -- nuts, shellfish, gluten or strawberries. We know what we are allergic to, and we do our best to avoid those foods.
Sometimes it's difficult to tell what's in some tasty-looking dishes at potluck gatherings. An ingredient may be used only for seasoning, but sometimes just a trace of it is all it takes to trigger a reaction. That's why I have established a practice that has always been well-received. I print out a card to attach to the dish I brought. On it I name the dish and list the ingredients.
I hope you'll find this suggestion helpful enough to pass along. It could save a life. -- JOE IN JANESVILLE, MINN.
DEAR JOE: You're right; it could -- and that's why I'm printing it. I met a widow whose husband suffered an allergic reaction and died at a dinner party, despite the frantic efforts of several physicians who were also in attendance. Forewarned is forearmed.