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

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Worried: Biting is not necessarily a "normal part of toddler-hood.'' It is, however, a very common toddler reaction to stress.

You can assume that this little girl is very confused and stressed. It also sounds as if your sister is not doing a very good job with her.

You should try your best to teach your niece appropriate behavior around pets. Teach her how to be gentle. Teach her to stand still while the dog dances around her legs. Teach her to pet the dog on the top of the head and encourage her to help you by pouring water into his bowl.

Tell her, "Always be gentle. Never put your hand near his mouth and never touch him when he is eating.'' Always watch the dog and toddler when their paths intersect.

Your sister is a mess. It is up to you to decide how much of her own toddler behavior you can tolerate. You may have to tell her that unless she can respect your very reasonable boundaries, she'll have to find another place to live. – August 2012

Dear Amy: I am 13 and have the best dog ever. He usually follows me around the house, and mopes when I’m gone.

 

He hasn’t been following me around the house as much lately and has been acting kind of mopey. I believe this is because I recently got a smartphone.

I am worried that I have been spending too much time on it and not giving him enough attention.

My pup is only five, and he’s healthy.

I love this dog with all my heart and am saddened by the thought that he might feel that I don’t love him.

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