DEAR ABBY: I am 77 years old, and this is my first letter to you. After reading an obituary in our local newspaper, I decided to write and ask your opinion of it.
Abby, it listed the names of the man's survivors and then listed his three dogs by name. I consider this sacrilegious. It elevates animals to the level of human beings. Our values have been turned upside down. A criminal receives a longer sentence for abusing an animal than he or she does for abusing a human being! This is wrong.
I am a dog lover, but when I die, I certainly would not want my dog listed as a survivor along with my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
You have my permission to print this, but please withhold my name. -- DISGUSTED IN INDIANA
DEAR DISGUSTED: Most pet owners cherish their animals, and these animals return that love unconditionally. They become part of the family, and many owners love them as they love family members.
It is a well-known fact that animals contribute to the health and happiness of their owners. This symbiotic relationship benefits both humans and animals. Although it is unusual, I see no harm in pets being listed in an obituary.