Life Advice



Ask Amy: ‘Best Of’ column goes to the dogs

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Readers: Every year I step away from my column briefly to work on other creative projects. (Anyone interested in my personal essays and photographs can subscribe to my free newsletter:

I’ll be back next week. Today’s “Best of” topic from 10 years ago is: “Going to the dogs.”

Dear Amy: My sister recently lost her job. I let her and her 2-1/2-year-old daughter, "Mariah,'' move in with me while she gets on her feet.

I have a 9-year-old toy poodle, and he's gentle and great with children.

The problems began when Mariah started biting the dog.

My sister refuses to do anything about it. She says biting is a normal part of toddler-hood. I know she lets Mariah be rough with him when I'm not around to stop it.


I thought I had a system worked out — I made sure he was always with me when I was at home, and I put him in his crate when I was at work.

However, the last three days when I returned home, the dog was outside the crate. My sister admits that she let him out.

I understand this is a very hard time in her life, but something needs to be done. She refuses to cooperate or compromise. I don't want anyone to get hurt. What can I do?

– Worried


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