Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Visits Are Short Because Brother Won't Kennel His Dog

DEAR ABBY: My brother and sister-in-law own a golden retriever. "Cookie" is their baby. The problem is, I live in a place where I can't have pets, plus I don't have a car. I'm disabled, so it's harder for me to get around.

I would love for my brother and sister-in-law to visit me for a couple of days. We live 2 1/2 hours apart. Well, my brother won't come and stay with me at all. He does visit, but only for about an hour or so because they refuse to put Cookie in a kennel.

What should I say to him without causing him to get mad at me? I feel he's putting that dog first, before his own sister. I miss seeing him and his wife. -- DOGGONE IT IN MICHIGAN

DEAR DOGGONE IT: Your brother and sister-in-law's goldie is also a member of their family. Demanding they put Cookie in a kennel is tantamount to telling them they must put their child in foster care for the duration of their visit with you.

If your brother is willing to drive 2 1/2 hours (each way) to visit with you for a few hours, he is showing his love for you. Can you suggest he arrange for a neighbor to look after Cookie for two days? If not, in the interest of family harmony, stop complaining.

Read more in: Family & Parenting