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

by Abigail Van Buren

Rambunctious Dog Damages Car and Clothes

DEAR ABBY: A friend of mine has a 70-pound dog that behaves badly. When I visit her, it sprints out of the front door, barking, and jumps on my car. It has left 3 1/2-inch-long deep scratches on two of my vehicles. She yells at it, and eventually the dog stops, but not before jumping on me and leaving me muddied and snagged.

This friend is due to have a baby, and I am sure she will be inviting me over to meet the baby soon. How can I avoid further damage to my car and clothing without damaging my friendship? -- ASSAULTED IN AUSTIN

DEAR ASSAULTED: The obvious answer is to find the courage to tell your friend you are willing to visit only if she confines her dog so it won't cause further damage to you and your property. And while you are at it, mention that you are concerned about her baby's safety. Her dog's lack of discipline poses a distinct danger to her defenseless and vulnerable little one.

Read more in: Friends & Neighbors | Etiquette & Ethics | Health & Safety