DEAR ABBY: I have been dating "Chris" for almost five years. He's my high school sweetheart. We still live with our parents, but we feel we're ready to move out and start our lives together.
The issue is I have a cat ("Silky") and a dog named "Chips"; Chris can't stand them. He has said he doesn't want Silky to live in our home and he would make her an outdoor cat. He also doesn't want Chips to come with us because Chips can be whiny and vocal.
I feel it's my responsibility to take my pets with me when I move out. I don't want to abandon them and leave them with my parents, and I absolutely refuse to put them up for adoption. I feel if I decide to bring them with me, Chris will make them feel miserable. Silky is afraid of him, and Chris doesn't like Chips getting close to him.
I love my boyfriend, but I love my pets, too. Please tell me what to do! -- STUCK IN THE MIDDLE IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR STUCK: Wake up! You are an animal lover; your boyfriend clearly has an antipathy toward them. Your cat is afraid of Chris because she knows he doesn't like her or he did something that scared her. If he makes Silky become an outdoor cat (or she gets loose "by accident"), she may be at serious risk. And your dog will be miserable on the receiving end of constant rejection.
It is very important that you learn to live independently. Because Chris is your high school sweetheart and you haven't dated many others, it's important that you take some time and date other people before deciding to move in with anyone. You and Chris may care about each other, but your compatibility is in question because, face it, you two have differences.
DEAR ABBY: I'm not sure if this has been mentioned in your column before, but I would like to make your readers aware of something while they travel. When staying at a hotel, it is important never to reveal personal or financial information over the in-room phone, even if the caller claims to be an employee of the hotel.
Sometimes scammers will call the front desk of a hotel and provide a generic name or room number. Unsuspecting desk agents may transfer the call to that room, and the scammer will then pose as a desk agent. He or she will say something plausible to get the guest to provide credit information over the phone, and in a flash, the guest is a victim of theft.
If such a thing happens, guests should immediately dial the front desk and ask the agent if a call for that reason was intentionally placed to the room. Very likely, it will not have been. -- JOHN IN OGDEN, UTAH
DEAR JOHN: Whoa! Travelers can never be too careful. Thank you for the wake-up call.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)