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

by Abigail Van Buren

Hound Is Nothing But Trouble During His Owners' Vacations

DEAR ABBY: My daughter and son-in-law's dog, "Zeke," is a poor houseguest. We have kept him several times while they were vacationing. This last time, a long weekend, was very stressful.

Zeke is a hound dog (58 pounds) and stubborn. He jumps on furniture, jumps up to the kitchen counter and dining table trying to steal food, urinates in the house (not all the time, but often enough), doesn't want to stay outside in the backyard unless someone is out there with him and, when he is outside alone, he constantly howls. He also chases our cats.

Whenever it's muddy in our fenced backyard, he must be taken out to the front yard on a leash or he will catch a scent and run off. There are also potential sparring matches with our own dog that must be monitored, and at feeding time, they have to be separated.

Our daughter's last trip was to be for 12 days. We said we didn't want to keep him for that long, but we would continue to keep him for short stays. This has been a sore spot with her ever since. She feels Zeke is our "granddog," and we should keep him anyway. I do not know how to handle this without causing any more bad feelings. Please advise. -- ABOVE AND BEYOND IN TEXAS

DEAR ABOVE AND BEYOND: Your daughter's dog is too much dog for you to handle and, in addition, poorly trained. He isn't your "grand" anything. Stand your ground and quit trying to placate your entitled daughter. She should be grateful that you're willing to take responsibility for the dog even for a short time. If that isn't enough for her, "bow-wow" out by refusing to take Zeke at all. He's her dog, and the problem should be hers, not yours.

Read more in: Family & Parenting