Dear Abby: My family has had our dog “Pouncer” for 10 years. He was originally bought to be a “family” dog, but I am the one who feeds and takes care of him. Because of that he sleeps with me and licks and obeys only me. When I say Pouncer is my dog, the rest of my family chews me out and insists he is the family’s dog, not mine. Don’t you think I have the right to call him my dog?
– Willie in West Virginia
Dear Willie: I think this is less a question about ownership than it is about tact. Because you are the one who feeds and takes care of Pouncer, and he sleeps with you and obeys only you – in that sense, he IS your dog. But unless you are the only one paying for his food and veterinary bills and the roof over his head, Pouncer is also the family’s dog. Remember that and you’ll get chewed out less often.
End the family feud
Dear Abby: My sisters and brothers and I don’t speak and haven’t in five years. When I pass, I have a list of people who will be welcome at my services. If someone’s name is not on the list, they will be asked to leave. I want my children and some of my grandchildren there, but no one else. Do you think I am wrong?
– Troubled in Texas
Dear Troubled: No, I don’t. Your wishes are your wishes. However, it is sad when families feud and, at the end, things that should be said are left unspoken. One would hope that anyone who comes to your funeral would be there to support your children and grandchildren, or to pay last respects.
I think it would be rude to ask someone who came to leave. A better way to handle it would be to specify in the funeral announcement that services will be for “your children only” and for further information people should contact a person you designate to carry out your wishes.
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