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Dear Abby: A man I work with found a dog on his way to the office. He picked it up, took it home and was immediately talking about what a good playmate the dog would make. He said he tried to call the local animal shelter, but was put on hold twice, so he gave up.

I felt he should have made more of an attempt to find the owner before claiming it as his own. I immediately posted a free “found dog” ad online and, three weeks later, received a message. It turned out the dog belonged to a 72-year-old woman who lives alone. She discovered her back door open one day and her dog missing. I put my co-worker in touch with the lady and said I’d leave it to him to do what he felt was best. After confirming the dog was hers, he reluctantly returned it.

He is now telling everyone he’s very sad at his loss and that it was “almost as hard as having a dog put to sleep.” He’s receiving major sympathy from some of our co-workers who seem to be upset with me for posting the found dog ad.

Am I wrong to think this small effort should have been expected in this situation, and what I did was the right thing?

Did The Right Thing in Texas

Dear Did: I don’t think you did anything wrong, and I’m 100 percent positive that the dog’s owner would agree with me. She was probably worried sick, wondering if her beloved companion was lying injured or dead in a ditch somewhere.

While I appreciate your co-worker feeling a sense of loss at having to return the dog, he should be comforted in the knowledge that it now is in a home where it is loved and being cared for. And that is NOT comparable to having to have one euthanized.

However, because he is grieving, suggest he ask the owner for visitation. Out of gratitude, she may agree.

Dear Abby: My “fiance” and I have been together for 10 years. I say “fiance” in quotes because, although he has given me a ring and popped the question, we don’t talk about planning a wedding. Every time I try, it gets me nowhere, but this isn’t the problem I’m writing you about.

He has never been the type to attend my family functions. He will come on the major holidays, but even then it’s a fight. I have reached the point that I no longer ask him to join me, but then I have to make up some kind of excuse for him. I’ve had enough of it.

Recently, when I have mentioned my family, he has started going off about what he doesn’t like about them. It’s getting worse, and it puts me in a tough spot.

How best to handle this?

Stressed Out in Illinois

Dear Stressed: You would be wise to realize that at some point you may have to make a choice between your “fiance” and your family. Take into consideration that you have devoted 10 years of your life to someone who has given you a ring and a promise, but who has shown no signs of being willing to follow through.

Since you asked, I think the best way for you to handle it would be to cut your losses and choose your family.

Dear Abby: I have neighbors whose house I go to in order to see pay-per-view fights. I split the cost of the fights and food with them. The problem is, if anyone else comes over, they don’t pitch in. Also, they eat the food I just paid half of. Another issue is I eat for one and they eat for five, yet we split the cost down the middle. How do I resolve this?

Short End Of The

Deal in California

Dear Short End: You could try duking it out, but the most effective way would be for you to discuss it with your neighbors. I agree what’s happening doesn’t seem fair to you.

Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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