Dear Abby: "Ben" and I have been married for two years. His dog, "Lucky," adores him. The problem is, Lucky bites me every time I get near Ben, especially when we are trying to get intimate. If we lock Lucky out of the room, he barks frantically the whole time. So much for romance.
Dear Once Bitten: I'll try. Your husband is an irresponsible pet owner. He has allowed Lucky to become "top dog" in your household by permitting the animal to control HIM rather than vice versa.
Dear Abby: I'm 16, and my 13-year-old stepsister, "Cindy," is mentally retarded. She stays here every other weekend, and it's embarrassing when I have friends over. We don't have an extra room, so my mom and stepfather make me share a room with her.
Cindy is obsessed with me. She won't leave me alone the whole weekend and follows me around asking stupid questions. She also stares at my body when I get undressed, which makes me uncomfortable. I'm not modest and undress in front of other girls, but I don't like being stared at. She also can't keep her hands off my stuff.
I have been spending the night at a friend's as often as I can to get away from her. But now my mother and stepfather say I can go on sleepovers only on weekends Cindy is not here. They say she misses me and seems hurt that I'm not here to be with her. They say Cindy cried last weekend because she thinks I don't love her.
Dear Fed Up: You are obviously very angry, but you're aiming it in the wrong direction. None of this is your stepsister's fault. Cindy is a little girl mentally, and she idolizes you. She may be slow, but she isn't stupid. She recognizes rejection when she sees it.
I recommend a compromise. You should not have to entertain your stepsister every single time she visits. While it would be caring and compassionate to spend time with her, you should not be forced into it. Keeping her occupied should be your parents' responsibility.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069. © Universal Press Syndicate