DEAR AMY: I am concerned about my daughter, who is expecting her first baby soon.
She and her husband have a black Labrador Retriever who is about 3 years old and is out of control. The dog refuses to obey commands, jumps on everyone, barks incessantly and demands to stand between my daughter and anyone else.
I cannot imagine what bringing a newborn baby into the mix will do!
I am very concerned about the baby's safety. My daughter and her husband are very protective of the dog and attribute his bad behavior to his being "a puppy."
I am also concerned about their failure to raise a well-behaved dog.
Is there a correlation between people raising well-behaved dogs and raising well-behaved children?
— Worried Grandma
DEAR GRANDMA: First things first: There is a definite correlation between people bringing babies into households with large, undisciplined, territorial dogs and dog bites and other injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 800,000 Americans seek medical attention each year because of a dog bite — and half of these are children (cdc.gov).
Although Labs have a reputation for being gentle, this 3 year old is no longer a puppy but an adolescent — and a very powerful one.
You should urge these new parents to be extremely cautious about this dynamic and to never leave the baby unattended with the dog nearby.
An adult Lab can weigh 90 pounds. One that jumps presents a danger of knocking anyone over — certainly someone holding a baby. A toddler (who is careening around the household and who is not as tall as a dog) presents another whole set of hazards.
I do believe there is some correlation between people raising well-behaved dogs and good parenting — because people who do a good job with their dogs are demonstrating their ability to be consistent and in charge.
This doesn't mean your daughter won't be a good mother, but so far she is showing questionable judgment.
DEAR AMY: I have just discovered that for the last year and a half my husband has been giving a jobless friend money. So far he has given him $4,000.
My husband did not tell me he was doing this.
I feel betrayed, but he said he was just helping a friend.
I don't know what to do with the hurt this has caused.
Do you have a suggestion?
— Betrayed Wife
DEAR WIFE: I assume your husband kept this a secret from you because he knew he was being sneaky and he was too cowardly to risk disclosing this expenditure to you — presumably because he knew he would have to have a challenging conversation about it.
In doing so he is denying you the opportunity to be a partner in this regard, and I agree that it is a betrayal — just as it would be if you took $4,000 from your joint money without telling him. This is a substantial amount.
The only way to get over this is to talk about it and to come to an understanding and agreement about how to navigate moving forward. Your financial decisions should be transparent and jointly made.
DEAR AMY: I would like to respond to "Sad," whose parents did not pursue the neighbor who made sexual advances toward her when she baby-sat his kids.
In 1962, when I was 9 years old, two boys dragged me down by the river and pulled down my pants.
I was terrified and horrified, and I ran home and told my mother. She told me not to ever speak of it to anyone, and that was the end of it.
I think she was also shocked and horrified and felt powerless in the situation. For many years, I felt that somehow I was guilty of something.
I told my daughters that they could tell me anything at all and that I would believe them.
I hope "Sad" will see a sympathetic therapist. This would help.
— Not Sad Now
DEAR NOT SAD: Scores of readers — women and men — are responding to "Sad" by telling their stories. I'd like to respond by assuring all of you that you are not alone, and you are believed.