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by Abigail Van Buren

Daughter Tries to Mediate Among Estranged Family

DEAR ABBY: I have a 27-year-old son, "Bobby." He was living with me and his grandma, and two years ago he got a puppy, which I took care of, potty-trained and fed. "Champ" even slept with me. Needless to say, he became a family dog, and my 83-year-old mom became quite attached to him.

Bobby started dating a gal. After four months, they decided to move in together, and he took Champ with him. My mom has been crying every day for our pet.

Because they both work, they leave Champ home alone all day, and he howls until they get home. I asked Bobby if we could have visitation once a week because we miss Champ so much. His girlfriend got involved and told me Champ is their dog and they are not sharing him. I was very upset since he was our dog for two years.

I no longer have a relationship with my son over the dog and girlfriend, and my mother has a broken heart. Am I wrong here? -- CANINE WAR IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR WAR: You weren't wrong to be upset. Your mistake was letting the disagreement cause an estrangement from your son. If Champ's incessant howling causes a problem for Bobby's neighbors, he and his girlfriend might be receptive to letting you and Grandma take him while they are working. However, if they cannot see the logic, consider adopting a rescue dog to ease your mother's aching heart and give her something else to love other than Champ.

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