Girl’s se­vere al­ler­gies cause strain with an­i­mal-lov­ing aunt

The Tribune (SLO) - - Fun & Games - JEANNE PHILLIPS Con­tact Dear Abby at www. or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

Dear Abby: My 8-yearold daugh­ter is se­ri­ously al­ler­gic to most an­i­mals, in­clud­ing cats and dogs. Even a lit­tle fur sets her off. She was re­cently sent home from school sick af­ter she had borrowed a sweater from a friend who has a cat. We are work­ing with an al­ler­gist, but this isn’t some­thing that’s go­ing to go away with sim­ple treat­ment.

My sis­ter lives in a dif­fer­ent state and has in­vited my fam­ily to spend the hol­i­days at her home this year. How­ever, she re­cently started fos­ter­ing stray an­i­mals for a lo­cal shel­ter and has be­tween five and 10 of them in her house at a time, in ad­di­tion to their two cats and a dog. I have told my sis­ter we can’t visit her with the an­i­mals there. Al­though she in­sists that she’ll vac­uum and it will be OK, there is no way this is safe for my kid. Even if we slept at a ho­tel, spend­ing the day in a “furry” house will be un­com­fort­able if not dan­ger­ous for my daugh­ter.

My brother-in-law has a mild al­lergy for which he takes over-the-counter med­i­ca­tion. My sis­ter re­fuses to un­der­stand that this is dif­fer­ent. She thinks I’m be­ing dif­fi­cult and over­pro­tec­tive, and she’s an­gry at me. How do I get her to see that this isn’t about her, and I’m just pro­tect­ing my kid?— Fur’s Flyin’ in New Jersey

Dear Fur’s Flyin’: Ask your daugh­ter’s doc­tor to please write you a short let­ter ex­plain­ing that be­cause of your daugh­ter’s se­vere al­lergy, she can­not be in an en­vi­ron­ment that hasn’t been pro­fes­sion­ally san­i­tized, and sim­ply vac­u­um­ing isn’t enough to guarantee your daugh­ter won’t wind up in an emer­gency room. For­ward a copy of the let­ter to your sis­ter with a lov­ing note ex­plain­ing that you aren’t try­ing to hurt her feel­ings, but your daugh­ter’s health MUST come first. Then stick to your guns!

Dear Abby: My hus­band and I mar­ried late in life, and while he has never been mar­ried be­fore, I have an adult child from a pre­vi­ous mar­riage. My hus­band’s par­ents have long passed away, but his two sib­lings are tor­tur­ing him. They are ex­ceed­ingly both­ered by the money and time my hus­band spends on us, con­stantly com­plain­ing to him that his “blood” fam­ily should be more im­por­tant than his new fam­ily. How can we turn this sit­u­a­tion around other than cut them off com­pletely (as his ther­a­pist has sug­gested)?— Frus­trated Sis­ter-in-law

Dear S-i-l: Your hus­band is pay­ing good money for the ad­vice he is re­ceiv­ing from his ther­a­pist. What the ther­a­pist is telling him makes sense. You can­not change your greedy, en­vi­ous in-laws. You will save your­selves a world of pain and ag­gra­va­tion if you take the ad­vice you have been given and dis­tance your­selves both phys­i­cally and emo­tion­ally.

To My Jewish Readers: Passover begins at sundown. Happy Passover, ev­ery­one!— Love, Abby

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