Dear Abby: I travel a lot in my work with animal protection. Often I’ll encounter dogs and cats in distress as soon as I reach the airport. Distracted by their own thoughts, their owners seldom realize they’re upsetting the pets they’re carrying through the terminal.
Animal carriers are carelessly swung to and fro, banged against counters, chairs and onto the floor. Cat or dog shoulder bags are dangled at angles that make it impossible for the animal inside to balance. These poor pets can be confused, dizzy and suffer from motion sickness before the flight even takes off.
Traveling is stressful enough for animals. So please, everyone – if you fly with an animal companion, keep it foremost in your thoughts. Use a sturdy, well-ventilated carrier, preferably one with wheels, that’s designed for animals and to fit under your seat. And please, keep the carrier upright and steady.
– Animal Lover in Washington, D.C.
Dear Animal Lover: Thank you for the heads up. In case someone’s pet might have other issues while traveling, it’s always a good idea to talk about it with a veterinarian before embarking. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)
Call suicide hotline now
Dear Abby: I’m a 19-year-old guy and for as long as I can remember my parents have yelled at me. It lasts for hours at a time at night after they come home from work almost every day. It’s never about me doing something bad, but how I never do anything up to their expectations.
I don’t know if they’re right or wrong, but it makes me depressed and I have been thinking about suicide. I have never been able to have an opinion of my own because as soon as I had one my parents would yell at me all over again and call me “stupid and retarded.”
I cry myself to sleep at night hoping God will put me to sleep forever. Please tell me what to do.
– Justin in San Francisco
Dear Justin: Verbal abuse – which is what you are describing – can be every bit as destructive as physical abuse. Perhaps it’s time to consider moving out. With the constant verbal battering you’re receiving, it’s no wonder you’re depressed.
Harming yourself is not the answer to your problem. Because you have reached the point of wanting to hurt yourself, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The number is (800) 784-2433. A counselor there can direct you to the help you need. You may have to build your self-esteem from the ground up, but the effort will be well worth it. My thoughts are with you.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA. 90069.