Dear Annie: "Michael" and I have been dating for two years, and I'm pretty sure that he's the one. He's smart, funny and sensitive, and we agree on most things.
One thing that we do not agree on, however, is my 15-year-old Pomeranian, "Clover." Clover has had a number of surgeries lately and for the past eight months, has needed a catheter. Michael believes that I should put Clover down, because she is in a lot of pain and the veterinarian claims that things are not likely to get better.
I appreciate Michael's sympathy. I really do. I just wish that he would put himself in my shoes. I've had Clover since she was a puppy. I consider her to be one of my dearest friends. We have been through so much together that I cannot lose her if I don't have to. How do I explain to Michael that I want to hold onto my friend as long as possible? -- Confused and Torn
Dear Confused: We know you love Clover and want her around forever. But you are hurting her terribly. She is in constant pain. She is not going to get better. In fact, her pain may become unbearable. A true friend does not insist that her loving companion stay alive for her sake. We realize that you don't intend to be so cruel to Clover simply because you aren't ready to say goodbye. Please talk to the veterinarian. Ask whether there is someone who can help you make the decision that is best for Clover, and perhaps have Michael come with you so he, too, can be a source of support.
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Dear Annie: This is for "Mike," who asked why women expect their retired husbands to take on household chores, but the women won't clean the gutters or mow the lawn.
I have been married for 50 years. For 45 of those, I worked a full-time job, raised two great kids, cooked, washed clothes and cleaned the house. During this time, my husband also worked full time, but did little around the house, so he had time for golf, fishing and getting together with the boys.
My husband retired five years ago and I still work full time. I asked him to help with the housework, since he's home so much. Instead, he hired a cleaning person. I asked, "Would you mind doing some of the laundry?" So he washes his clothing but not mine, which is OK. He even cooks now and then. And for those gutter cleanings and fix-it projects? He hired a yard guy and a handyman. Life is good. -- A Happy Wife
Dear Happy: We say, whatever works. If you can afford to hire the help you need, by all means, do so. It's better than feeling stressed, resentful and overworked. Your husband may not have been willing to take on these chores himself, but he was considerate enough to hire someone, so neither of you was stuck with all the work.
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailboxcreators.com, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.
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