DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have inherited four dogs from relatives. I was out of state for a month (my husband was home) when two of them were dognapped, driven 42 miles away and abandoned in the wilderness. I suspected who had done it right away, but when I heard where the dogs had been abandoned, I knew without a doubt. We were lucky: One dog was microchipped, which eventually led him back to us. Both were cared for by rescue foundations until I could bring them home.
The person who did it is our son’s girlfriend — and the mother of his child. We are appalled and feel betrayed and sickened. My son admitted he knew she had done it. He showed remorse and gave a heartfelt apology. She has completely avoided us, with no admission or apology.
Should we press charges for stealing our dogs and abandoning them? They live on our property in a home we own, and pay nothing to live here. She and I used to be close. Now my husband and I no longer want to have her around. All trust is gone. Please advise me how to deal with this. — VICTIM IN OHIO
DEAR VICTIM: Did the dogs do anything to threaten the girlfriend or your grandchild? If the answer is yes, then those animals present a danger. If the answer is no, tell your son you plan to press charges against his girlfriend for theft and animal cruelty, and you expect him to corroborate that she was the perpetrator. If he refuses, give them a date by which they should be off your property.
DEAR ABBY: I recently lost my precious husband of 43 years to COVID. Needless to say, this is a very painful time for me. Since his passing, my “best friend” has been blowing me off if we have plans, and no longer calling or texting at all. I don’t get it. I have done a lot for her during our friendship.
I’m experiencing the hardest time in my life, and I really need a friend. Now I’m not only grieving the loss of my husband, but I am also grieving a lost friendship and don’t understand why. Aside from confronting her, is there anything I can do? — LONELY AND SAD IN NEVADA
DEAR LONELY: Please accept my sympathy for the loss of your husband. That your friend is behaving the way she has been is regrettable. Before confronting her, please let me suggest some things you can do: Join a grief support group if you don’t already belong to one. Your doctor or religious adviser can direct you to one. Stay physically and mentally active, which will give you less time to brood.
After that, you can decide whether it’s in your interest to confront this person for her inability or unwillingness to be present for you when you needed her most. Do NOT expect her to magically change if you do this, but it may provide you the opportunity to get what’s bothering you off your chest, which you are certainly entitled to do.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.