Life Advice


Health & Spirit

Abuse survivor can't handle family questions

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: A few months ago, my younger sister adopted a puppy. During the first few weeks my 7-year-old daughter and I would visit the pup at my mother's home. We quickly realized he was not the friendly type. He has now bitten me, my husband, my mother-in-law, my grandmother and my daughter TWICE.

The first few times we chalked it up to him being afraid of new faces. But after he bit my daughter in the face while she sat in my lap on the couch -- I have finally had it.

I have told my mother and sister that my daughter won't visit while the pup is outside of his kennel. Unfortunately, this means no more weekly visits to Grandma's.

My daughter is too afraid to be around this dog, and I don't blame her.

I have asked my sister to crate the dog when we visit, and she refuses.

She says she'll just stay in her room with him -- knowing this will stress-out my mother.

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I can't help but feel my mother's bias in all of this, as she advises me to bring my daughter over with the pup roaming around to "see how it goes."

Am I out of line for not wanting to visit at all?

-- Bitten by Surprise

Dear Bitten: An often-quoted statistic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that approximately 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year. It is the responsibility of pet owners to do everything possible to prevent incidents like this. This dog should be taken to the vet for a health check, and also enrolled in obedience classes.


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