Family pet raised a stink — literally

Both of my parents are in their mid-80s. My father has become rather frail, but won’t admit it, and my mother requires a walker to get around.

Dear Annie: Both of my parents are in their mid-80s. My father has become rather frail, but won’t admit it, and my mother requires a walker to get around.

Over the past 30 years, they have had several lovely dogs.

The last one, “Rex,” passed away last summer. I believe lack of exercise and a poor diet contributed much to his declining health.

Rather than make sure Rex got regular walks, my father allowed the dog to forget his house training.

Although Dad did his best to “clean up,” the accumulation left in the carpets created an overwhelming stench.

My housebound mother became so embarrassed that she stopped receiving visitors. My father gradually lost his sense of smell and taste and, to this day, does not believe anything was wrong with the situation.

Rex’s passing was a relief to me. He was a big dog in a small house and posed a danger of tripping or toppling my mother, who is very unsteady.

Also, without a large dog, it would be easier for them to move into an assisted-living arrangement should the need arise.

Unfortunately, I’ve learned that my father wants to adopt a puppy. This sounds totally irresponsible to me and once again puts my mother in harm’s way. And, it’s not at all fair to the dog. Talking to my father is like talking to Attila the Hun in a bad mood. What can I do? — Dogged Out

Dear Dogged: Talk to your mother.

Ask her how she feels about having a puppy underfoot.

If she doesn’t want a dog, she must tell your father quite firmly that it’s completely out of the question.

If she will not do this and your father acquires an animal and is unable to properly care for it, call the local humane society.

Dear Annie: My father has worked hard his entire life and has a lot to show for it. He served 30 years in the military and retired with many honours. Over the years, he has become very savvy with his finances and created quite a nest egg for himself. I respect and admire him deeply.

I am in my early 20s. I graduated from college, found a wonderful career with a good salary and live very modestly.

The problem is, my father refuses to allow me to pay for anything when we go out, whether it’s dining at a restaurant or going grocery shopping.

This makes my younger brother and me uncomfortable. We have repeatedly tried to take my father out to dinner for special occasions and birthdays, but he always grabs the cheque.

When I tell him how much this bothers me, he brushes it off and says I should be saving my money. How can I show my father that I have reached a point where he does not have to pay for me every time we go out? — Confused

Dear Confused: Stop trying. It makes your father happy to treat you. It is a testament to his parenting skills that you and your brother are eager to show how self-supporting you are, but he isn’t going to let you. Instead, treat him to other things — tickets to join you for a play or concert, or a home-cooked meal at your apartment. He’ll be delighted.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta is on pace to administer more than 300,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses per week, according to the provincial government. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
One million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in Alberta

Alberta hit a milestone in the fight against COVID-19 this week. As… Continue reading

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre’s expansion project is still a high priority, says Alberta Infrastructure Minister Prasad Panda. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Interior work will start this year on Red Deer hospital project, says infrastructure minister

‘We are committed. This is a top priority,’ says Presad Panda

Even with recent restrictions due to rising COVID-19 variant case levels, about 95 per cent of businesses are open in Alberta, said Premier Jason Kenney. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Consistent pandemic policy has helped Alberta, premier says

Alberta fatality rate lower than Canadian average

Richie Laryea of Toronto FC, left, and Jean Meneses of Mexico's Leon battle for the ball during a CONCACAF Champions League soccer match in Leon, Mexico, in Leon, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. Toronto FC hosts Club Leon in the second leg of their Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League round-of-16 tie holding a valuable away goal after a 1-1 draw last week in Mexico. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Mario Armas
Injury-riddled Toronto FC dispatches Club Leon in CONCACAF Champions League play

Injury-riddled Toronto FC dispatches Club Leon in CONCACAF Champions League play

Winnipeg Jets' Dylan DeMelo (2) skates the puck around Ottawa Senators' Thomas Chabot (72) as he holds off Winnipeg Jets' Mason Appleton (22) during first-period NHL action in Ottawa on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Winnipeg Jets score two third-period goals to secure 3-2 victory over Ottawa Senators

Winnipeg Jets score two third-period goals to secure 3-2 victory over Ottawa Senators

Toronto Raptors forward Chris Boucher (25) shoots over San Antonio Spurs forward Keldon Johnson (3) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, April 14, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Anunoby, Siakam rally Raptors past Spurs 117-112

Anunoby, Siakam rally Raptors past Spurs 117-112

John Furlong pitches a broader B.C. bid for 2030 Winter Games

John Furlong pitches a broader B.C. bid for 2030 Winter Games

New York Yankees starting pitcher Corey Kluber throws against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, April 14, 2021, in Dunedin, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)
Bichette hits 2nd homer in 9th, Blue Jays beat Yankees 5-4

Bichette hits 2nd homer in 9th, Blue Jays beat Yankees 5-4

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Luguentz Dort (5) goes to the basket as Utah Jazz forward Jarrell Brantley (5) defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, April 13, 2021, in Salt Lake City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Rick Bowmer
Undrafted Montreal native Dort continues to smash “glass ceilings” in NBA

Undrafted Montreal native Dort continues to smash “glass ceilings” in NBA

A man wearing a protective mask to help curb the spread of the coronavirus walks past banners for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Wednesday, April 14, 2021, to mark 100 days before the start of the Summer Games. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Eugene Hoshiko
Rings on the Horizon: Tokyo Summer Olympics hit 100 days out marker

Rings on the Horizon: Tokyo Summer Olympics hit 100 days out marker

Lethbridge Police Chief Shahin Mehdizadeh speaks during a news conference in Lethbridge, Alta., on Wednesday, March 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Rossiter
‘Right path:’ Lethbridge police release improvement plan in wake of controversies

‘Right path:’ Lethbridge police release improvement plan in wake of controversies

Most Read