The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)

Off-leash dogs harass a walker

- Jeanne Phillips Mortified in Texas Write to Dear Abby at P.O. Box 96440, Los Angeles, CA 90069 or

Dear Abby: I live in an area with a large number of dog owners who frequent the same walking trails

I do. I have encountere­d dogs that are off-leash and running ahead of their owners.

On several occasions, dogs have jumped up on me, almost knocking me to the ground. I’m in my late 60s, under 5 feet and weigh 105 pounds. I could easily be injured. I was once attacked and bitten.

My question is this: What’s the best thing to say to these dog owners when they finally appear? The last time it happened, the owner happily said to her DOG, “I know you’re excited, but ...” The rest I couldn’t hear because she had already passed me on the trail. Abby, she saw her dog jump up on me and never even acknowledg­ed me. I don’t want to respond angrily or sarcastica­lly, but in a friendly yet firm manner.

Walker in Washington

Dear Walker: Start carrying pepper spray or bear spray when you walk on the trail. If an off-leash dog starts to jump on you, use it. When the owner shows up, say their dog charged you and take their picture. If they give you any trouble, file a police report. When you were bitten, you should have involved the authoritie­s and your attorney.

Dear Abby: I’ve been married 33 years. A year ago, my husband started wearing girls’ frilly socks and pink nail polish. When we go out, he has to show off his nails to everyone. I hate going anywhere with him now, and he’s mad at me for it. Advice?

Dear Mortified: Some performers in the music business wear nail polish, and no one thinks twice about it. (The frilly socks, I’m not so sure.) Could this be your husband’s bid for attention, or a way of announcing that he has a proclivity for crossdress­ing? If it’s the latter, please understand that it doesn’t make him any different than the person you have known for the last 33 years.

If you haven’t already talked (calmly) with him about this, do it now. As a regular Dear Abby reader, you may appreciate that on a scale of one to 10, this problem isn’t worldendin­g. However, such a sudden change in behavior is worth exploring further. Dear Abby: Imeta Realtor when I sold my house. He represente­d the buyer. After the sale, he represente­d me in a rental property. Then he said he wanted to partner with me in purchasing properties. We also formed what I thought was a relationsh­ip. After he borrowed $750 from me and didn’t repay it, and I refused to loan him any more, he ghosted me. Should I take him to smallclaim­s court or chalk it up to a lesson learned?

Still Waiting in New Jersey

Dear Still Waiting: If you have proof that you loaned the Realtor money that he failed to repay, feel free to take him to small-claims court. (It’s certainly worth a try.) And when you are done with that, report him to the ethics committee of the state real estate board.

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