Posted: Monday, October 20, 2008 10:04 pm
Dear Annie: My daughter, “Sue,” has a pit bull. She’s had this dog since it was a puppy. When Sue came to stay with us for a while, she brought the dog. Long story short, the dog bit my 6-year-old son and he had to have a couple of stitches. Sue was told Fido had to go, so she moved out in order to keep the dog. That was two years ago, and the dog has since bitten at least three people, although none as seriously as my son.
That dog hates children and is very protective of Sue. Now she has moved in with her sister, “Carol,” who has a 7-month-old baby. The baby will soon be crawling, and we are so afraid of what this dog will do to the child. Carol told Sue she needs to get rid of the dog, but Sue refuses.
Please don’t say she has to tell Sue to leave, because that isn’t going to happen. No one else wants that dog and Sue cannot afford her own place. Any advice? — Worried Grandmother
Dear Worried: This dog has a history of biting children, and Carol is being foolish to protect her sister’s dog rather than her own child. She could also lose her homeowners insurance if the dog bites a neighbor’s child. It’s possible dog training classes will help modify Fido’s behavior. But if training doesn’t help and Sue still won’t part with the pit bull, Carol should tell her to find another place to live. Any other action is irresponsible parenting. (And Carol could also lose her homeowners insurance!)
Dear Annie: Last month, I attended the wedding of my niece and saw that my 10-year-old nephew had his nails painted pink. When I took a closer look, I realized they were fully manicured.
I was somewhat shocked. When I asked his mother why he would want pink fingernails for a relative’s wedding, she told me, “He saw his sisters and me doing our nails and wanted to do it, too.” She thought it was no big deal and that he looked adorable. I think she’s nuts.
Other than this, my nephew was dressed perfectly in a suit and tie. I’ve seen strange fads come and go with children, but this one seems a bit much. Is it now considered acceptable for little boys to wear nail polish? — Texas
Dear Texas: It’s not unusual for a young boy to want to emulate his sisters when they are being pampered and getting special treatment, although by age 10, most boys would identify that as a “girl thing.” But it’s harmless, even in pink, and nothing to get worked up about.
Dear Annie: I’m writing in response to “At a Loss,” the college girl who wants to join a sorority and her father is against it.
My 18-year-old, straight-A student just began her first year of college at a large state university. She, too, wanted to rush to join a sorority and her father thought it was a terrible idea. We had concerns but didn’t stop her.
She spent three days “rushing.” The result? Not one sorority chose her and she is devastated. Several of her friends got in, but they only had 850 open spots for 1,400 girls. The limit isn’t due to house space. Most girls live in the dorms. They limit acceptance to keep the sororities selective.
My daughter has sobbed over this every day for over a week. She asks me what’s wrong with her. She’s on an antidepressant and seeing a doctor now. She’s a strong young woman and I’m sure she will rebound, but it’s been an extremely painful experience for the whole family.
I agree that some sororities do charity work, but the pain they inflict by rejecting young girls doesn’t make up for it. — California
Dear California: It is a shame your daughter had such a debilitating experience, and we know she is not the only one. We hope she will put her energies into activities that will allow her to have a satisfying and enjoyable time at college.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Published in The Messenger 10.20.08