Dear Barb – Doggy Bagged

Dear Barb:

Hi, I have a family dilemma. I am the second oldest of four children. We weren’t a wealthy family, but we did ok. My parents were pretty generous with us until recently. Whenever we would go out for dinner they would pay, but now they want us to pay for our own meals. It seems to me if they invite us out, they should pay. Two of us are still in university and don’t have extra money, so I guess we won’t be going out for dinner with our families. What do you think, if someone invites you out for dinner, shouldn’t they pay? Thanks Nick.

Hey Nick:

Thanks for your letter. Your question can’t be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” Normally when someone invites you out for dinner they pay, unless you discuss ahead of time who pays, and it seems your parents have done this. Raising four children is an expensive venture. Perhaps your parents are planning for the next phase of their lives right now, which is likely saving for retirement, or maybe they are already retired. If they are retired they will be living on a fixed income and their money must last for the rest of their lives. You should have a discussion with your siblings. Perhaps you could have a simple meal that would be less expensive, or even go for lunch instead of dinner. Also, you could take turns preparing meals at each other’s homes. The main thing is that you get together as a family, but going out for dinner can be quite expensive. So, don’t expect your parents to keep paying, especially if they are no longer working. Hope this helps.

Dear Barb:

I just adopted a Golden Retriever pup and my girlfriend hates it! I love my girlfriend, but I also love my dog. She wants me to get rid of Toby, but I can’t do that, I love the dog. She says he is wild and uncontrollable. He chewed up one of her favorite shoes and it seems she has been on a mission to get rid of him since then. We are arguing all the time, so I end up putting Toby in his crate more than I want. Do you think I should be forced to get rid of my dog? Thanks, Rob.

Hi Rob:

You don’t mention whether you and your girlfriend live together, but I will assume you do. Are you sure she hates your dog, or is it just his behaviour? If she hates your dog’s behaviour, you can do something about that. Send Toby to obedience classes, I believe they can begin training fairly young. Obedience training can do wonders for an unruly dog. However, if she hates your dog, it doesn’t matter what you do she will still hate your dog. If your girlfriend is unable to like or accept your dog, then your home won’t be a happy one for any of you. Unfortunately, you may have to find another home for your faithful companion. Thanks for writing Rob.

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