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by Abigail Van Buren

Friend's Dog Is Off The Guest List For Dinner Parties

DEAR ABBY: I have been friends with "Irene" for a long time. We invite her and her husband to our home for dinner parties, etc.

Recently, with every invitation, she has been asking to bring along her dog, "Pookie." She lives nearby and could easily leave it at home. We would prefer the dog not visit for a number of reasons: We have a cat; Pookie is nervous around people and has bitten; and he isn't well housebroken. He pees on everything.

How do I politely refuse her request? We enjoy Irene and her husband, but Pookie, not so much. -- NO POOCH, PLEASE, IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR NO POOCH: Here's how. When Irene asks again about bringing her dog, simply say, "We'd prefer you didn't." And if she has the nerve to ask why, tell her the reasons you gave me -- all of which are valid.

Read more in: Friends & Neighbors | Etiquette & Ethics