Dear Abby is an American advice column founded in 1956 by Pauline Phillips under the pen name “Abigail Van Buren” and carried on today by her daughter Jeanne Phillips, who now owns the legal rights to the pen name.
A letter to Dear Abby from a man who is ‘lamenting’ his marriage has gone to the cats and dogs has gone viral. The letter reads
“DEAR ABBY: I’m recently married, and in my opinion, my wife has too many pets — seven inside dogs. She also feeds the neighborhood cats, so at any given time of day, there are 10 to 18 cats in our front yard.
The dogs inside have no boundaries. They have taken over the main living space. The family room sofas are filthy and destroyed, so we can’t use that space either, and it’s a total eyesore. The carpet is gone, and there is dirt and dog hair everywhere.
I’m at my wits’ end. I feel I have no say in this matter, and I’m constantly stressed over these living conditions. I hate going home. I have dogs with me when I eat, sleep and make love. I don’t know how to approach her on this when she sees nothing wrong with it. All she sees is their cuteness.”
The man signs his letter ‘living like an animal in Phoenix.’
The response by Dear Abby asks the man whether or not he knew beforehand that his future wife was an animal lover and whether she would put her animals above him in the relationship.
THEN Abby advises him to contact local city or county government and find out whether there are restrictions on the number of animals that homeowners are allowed to keep on their property. She tends to take the mans side and thinks a compromise should be worked out.
I, on the other hand, wonder why they married when there’s such a clear breakdown in communication even before the vows were exchanged. Did the man think his future wife would get rid of the animals? Should she have been expected to? Did he have no clue when he visited the home?
I have a lot of friends who are a bit over the top on their preference to animals over people. From what I’ve seen, their significant other was totally aware of the situation long before the marriage. Personally, I prefer the company of animals to the company or people and I don’t plan to change. I’m happy, as I’m sure many unattached pet owners are. With all of the dating horror stories we see online, I defend my position.
Women are called crazy cat ladies, in part, because we choose cats over human companionship (or at least a good portion of our time is spent with our cats). There are also some men with the same intense connection to cats. I’m not sure what to call the men. Most of us embrace the title now. There are a lot worse names to be called these days.
My question to all of you today is did you know about the priority pets take in a relationship? Should the person who is an animal lover have to change to suit someone in their life or should the animal lover wait around for the right person to come alone (keeping in mind that may never happen)?
I really don’t believe it was a good idea for Abby to suggest turning to authorities. It seems like too much of an effort to get the animals booted out on an ordinance that may or may not exist.
Regardless, the animals involved will likely end up in a kill shelter. Unless the wife ends the marriage. It does sound like she needs to cut back on the animals in her life, being that the home is ‘filthy.’ I wonder if anyone showed her the letter to Dear Abby and she recognized herself.
What would YOU do if a relationship depended on you getting rid of your cats or dogs? Feel free to sound off in the comments.