Dear Abby: My daughter “Jenny,” her husband, “Bob,” and their three dogs live with my husband and me in our home. We live on a fairly busy road. The dogs used to always be leashed when they were taken out. They have now made a habit of letting the dogs out without leashes. This frightens me. Not only am I concerned about one of the dogs getting hit by a car, but also any legal ramifications if they cause damage to others. I have spoken to my daughter about it, but nothing has changed. Abby, what can we do to make Jenny and Bob responsible for any damages incurred by their actions? One last note – one of their dogs WAS hit by a car and had a long, painful recovery with a very expensive vet bill.
– Out of Ideas in Connecticut
Dear Out Of Ideas: You have a right to be concerned. Contact your attorney and your insurance broker to find out what the fallout could be for you as homeowners because of your daughter and son-in-law’s laziness and carelessness. Responsible dog owners keep their pets leashed so they won’t be hurt by running into traffic or biting a child or an adult they don’t recognize as a friend. If your daughter and son-in-law can’t abide by your wishes and behave responsibly, they shouldn’t be living under your roof. P.S. This isn’t just about the dogs and liability; it’s also about respect for you.
Make holiday meals fun
Dear Abby: A couple of years ago, my extended family found a fun, all-inclusive solution to the grumbling (and expense) of preparing the holiday meal. Each family is assigned a portion of the meal they are going to prepare. For fun, it has to be a recipe that has never been tried before. The person holding the party coordinates kitchen time, but to be honest, everybody enjoys helping each other out, and the cooks spend most of their time chatting. We have tried wonderful variations to the traditional turkey, enjoyed an awesome pie straight from the Renaissance and learned that we will never again try oyster stuffing. Because the recipes are untried, no one feels bad if the dish isn’t perfect, and we have tried things we were surprised we liked. Most important, we do it together and spend the day laughing, talking and catching up, and no one has to be a slave to the day. Hope this will give other people ideas.
– Scott in Baltimore
Dear Scott: So do I, because your family has captured the true spirit of the holiday season, which is too often lost because of the pressure people put on themselves to achieve perfection.
Dear Readers: Today, Veterans Day, I would like to thank not only all of you who have honorably served our country, but also those men and women who are on active duty for your service as well. I salute each and every one of you.