Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Woman Wonders If It's Possible to Drink in Moderation

DEAR HARRIETTE: We have a terrific friend who is so good to everyone. We know she takes baths, gets her hair done, etc., but she has big dogs that climb on her furniture, and we believe when she sits on her sofa or chair, she acquires a bad smell. Several friends are talking about it, but no one wants to hurt her by saying anything, even if it would actually help her. We don’t know what to do. Please help us to help her. -- Stinky Friend

DEAR STINKY FRIEND: Put yourself in your friend’s position. Wouldn’t you want to know that you are carrying an odor around with you without knowing it? Your friend may be having the experience that is so cleverly documented in those Febreze commercials: She may have become nose-blind to the smells of her dogs in her home -- if the dogs are actually the culprits.

I recommend that one of you pull your friend aside and tell her plainly that you have noticed that sometimes she has a bad smell. You know that she tends to herself well, so you suspect that the smell is coming from her dogs. Your friend will likely be embarrassed, but if you tell her gently and clearly, it shouldn't hurt. What she does after that is up to her. Don’t continue to bring it up. Let her figure it out.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)