Dear Andy Advice Column Dog Day Afternoons
Greetings all, today is September 2, 2019. I hope your labor day weekend is full of fun and relaxation. Andy's mailbox was jammed packed this week with letters from the usual menagerie of kooks and weirdos. He spent a lot of afternoons trying to sort through the messes people made of their lives.
For the next couple of days, I am watching my pastor's dog and house while they go on a long-awaited and deserved a getaway. Pastor Dale and his wife just got back a few weeks ago from a six-month stay in Seattle for grueling cancer treatment. He is now cancer-free thanks to a bone marrow transplant. Praise be to God. So as I am chilling with their sweet doggie, I thought a canine theme for Dear Andy was appropriate. So, woofout further adieu...
Family Reunion Turns Into a Brawl
I am a mail Terrier and saved up a long time to host a family reunion. I reunited with cousins and aunts and uncles I hadn't seen in Ears. There was a lot of laughing, but we had some Ruff moments too. Uncle Arfur, a surly Viet Nam Vet, got drunk one night and became very Pugnacious. He had a Bone to Tick with Cousin Corgi and pretty soon they were in Heated conversation. Next thing we knew, Uncle Arfur Unleashed his Furry on Corgi and they were Rolling in the Grass beating each other. If it hadn't have been for Uncle Bernard, who is a Saint, they might have killed each other. When he broke up the fight, poor Cousin Corgi lie in a Poodle of blood.
Aunt Cairn, a classy Great Dane if ever there was one, tended to his wounds, covered him up with the new Afghan she'd just crocheted, then she Chewed Uncle Arfur out and gave him a Pointer or two on the evils of alcohol. He was very Cavalier about it and she got mad.
"Dalmation, Arfur, get your Tail over to Corgi and apologize or I'll make a bigger Stink than you've ever seen before.
Long story short, Uncle Arfur is in Beagle trouble now because Cousin Corgi pressed charges. Uncle Arfur is Hounding me to help with his attorney and court Fleas. I have it but he needs to learn a lesson, but I don't want Aunt Cairn to struggle financially. I get a Mastiff headache every time I hear from him.
Jack Russell, Mail Terrier
Andy's Answer to Jack Russell, Mail Terrier
Dear Jack Russell, Mail Terrier,
Uncle Arfur should not get help with his Beagle Fleas, however, you can help out Aunt Cairn by pitching in for her living expenses, such a utility bills, food and gas, etc. She needs a lot of emotional support as well. She is mighty blessed to have you to lean on. Best of luck to you all, and I hope Uncle Arfur learned a lesson.
Stay at Home Mom Teaches Husband a Lesson
I love being a stay at home Mom. It's hard work and I do the best I can. I multi-task all day long trying to keep up with the house and our four kids. My kids are happy and well adjusted, but they're kids. My husband, on the other hand, is a Heel. He comes home from work and starts Barking out orders. "Hey, my Pet, Fetch me the paper," "Gait me my slippers," "Bring me Samoyed my lager Maltese beer," "Thanks, hon, you're my Golden Retriever." "Why is this house such a Pit?" "Your Grooming is terrible. You've got peanut butter in your hair."
I gave him a rundown of what I do all day. I told him, "You're nothing but a lazy Irish Sitter. You never Lift a Leg to help. I'm going on strike. Tomorrow you do my job and I'll do yours."
"Deal. Piece of cake."
I went to his office and by noon I Secured him a new million Collar account with Amazon and an Inscisorable raise. When I got home he was a Basset Crate, Wimpering and Howling, still trying to open a jar of jelly to make our six-month-old baby a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast. There was an empty six-pack on the counter.
"Oh Sit, what are you thinking? Babies don't eat sandwiches and I hope to heck you didn't feed the kids beer. And by the way, where's that "piece of cake," you promised me, Mr. Smarty Pant?"
"I couldn't find the Betty Cocker cookbook. What else was I to do? And how did your day go Ms. executive?"
"Got you the million Collar Amazon account and a nice fat raise. Now you have a choice - Fetch me my slippers and a glass of Whine, or go upstairs and take a Nape so I can do the job you were supposed to do. We need a Dober man to run this household, not a drunken one."
Andy, I'm thinking now of going to work and let him play Mr. Mom for a while. What do you think?
Doing My Business
Andy's Answer to Doing My Business
Dear Doing My Business,
Wow! I'm exhausted. I need to Lie Down after that story.
Going to work and having your husband care for the children and run the household is a decision that shouldn't be taken lightly. You said at the Beginning of your letter that you loved being a stay-at-home mom. You decided to teach your husband a lesson by trading roles when he showed disrespect for your role in the family. There is nothing wrong with women working but it sounds like your motives might be to prove something to him. It probably felt good to accomplish something in a different environment. It would seem wise for you and your husband to reevaluate things. Would he even be interested in playing Mr. Mom? If you force it it will be a train wreck. Most important of all is what is best for the children? They need a parent at home that they can count on. Let things simmer down between you and your husband then discuss it, but whatever your decision is, make sure it's not about getting back, proving your right, or to set him and your children up for failure.
Write back and let me know how it's going. Best wishes.
Parents Enable Lazy Teenagers
My husband is my Best Friend, but he and I are at our wit's end with our two teenage children, and the tension is building. Our sixteen-year-old daughter spends all her time on her phone taking Shelties to post on Instagram. She poses while Chowing down treats like Malamute cookies, and she's getting pretty Husky. She Pooches her lips out and bats her eyelashes and posts it on Facebook. She spends her allowance on manicures and Pedigrees at the nail salon, gets her "eyebrows done" and shows her friends on Snap chat, whatever that is. She even has a Stick to put her phone on so she can take a distance shot of herself. That's just weird, and it's a vain, meaningless way to exist. She wants to go to the prom and we said no unless she hands over her phone.
Our fourteen-year-old son lays around playing video games when he's home, which is all the time. He also has a very bad Distemper. My husband promised to buy him a used Dauchsund car in mint condition if he quit playing video games, changed his attitude, and went out for sports or music lessons or something else. My son said Dauchsund's are a piece of junk and he wouldn't be caught dead in one.
Andy, I haven't looked into the eyes of my children in I don't know how long. And getting nutrition into my daughter is nearly impossible. She flipped out when I put ground Collieflower in a casserole the other day. My son has to get glasses from all the time he spends in front of the video screen. Glasses are expensive.
I think our kids need a good Licking. It never hurt me when I was growing up, the same with my husband, but I'm told that's child abuse. What can we do?
Andy's Answer to Rabid Mother
Dear Rabid Mother,
I hate to be blunt, but you need a little tough love so you can pass it on to your children. You and your husband are the problem. Giving them a licking should have been done years ago. It's not appropriate for teens, and you probably couldn't catch them. Your children continue to behave this way because instead of taking control, you and your husband have been pleading, cajoling, Barkaning with them, and enabling them. Forbidding your daughter the prom until she hands over the phone is Barkening. Did she hand it over? I'm guessing not. You just take it away, not give her a chance. Your kids at this point know your weaknesses which is not doing anything about their behavior other than threatening and not following through. They are playing you like a punk rock drummer.
This will make it all the harder when and if you cut off the allowance or make them earn it. Why do they not have chores? Why are you buying Malamute cookies?
Your son needs to get a job, not a sport. They both should have no access to phones or video games or any other devices. They are going to say they hate you and there will be a lot of turmoil. My advice is for you and your husband to get some professional help from a marriage and family therapist who can show you how to set boundaries and rules and enforce them. I am sorry to sound harsh but your children will grow up to be irresponsible adults if you continue in this way. There's not much time so don't delay. I hope everything goes well and I wish you all the best.
Oh my, sounds like domestic Terrorism in these households. Let's hope they take Andy's advice. It's true what they say about the breakdown of the family causing many ills in our culture. I am so glad I'm old and alone. So much easier!
Andy will be back soon with more crazy letters to share. He needs all the prayers you can give. One thing I'll give him is he cares about the people who write to him. They are very blessed to have him as a friend.
Which household is the biggest disaster?
© 2019 Lori Colbo