DEAR ABBY: Is it possible to have a family pet problem without a solution? I live in Virginia. Several years ago my parents retired to Florida after living here for many years.
The problem is they insist on visiting us with their cat and dog several times a year for weeks at a time. At first we accepted this arrangement despite allergies to animals and the dog having regular "accidents" in the house. It has been a sore subject between my husband and me, because he has never been a "pet person."
We recently purchased a new home and have invested in new carpeting. We have been honest with my parents and told them that while we welcome them anytime, to please make other arrangements for their pets.
They are furious about our decision, criticizing us for valuing belongings over family, threatening to never visit our children, and accusing us of "kicking them out." They will never put their animals in kennels.
Are they asking too much of us, or have we unfairly changed the rules on them, as they claim? -- CONFUSED IN RICHMOND
DEAR CONFUSED: People are emotional about their pets and compromise is difficult. On their next visit, encourage your parents to stay at a motel or hotel that accepts pets. Even if you must share the cost of their lodging, it will probably be cheaper than carpet cleaning and the wear and tear on your new home.