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Dear Abby: We recently lost our dog, a 13-year-old springer spaniel, to old age. His passing has left a huge hole in our hearts and lives. We miss his companionship, his personality and the structure that caring for him brought to our lives.

We’re 51 and 60, own our home and are financially secure.

Some of our friends are discouraging us from adopting another dog. They say we travel too much. Last year we spent 12 weeks away from home.

When we travel, we hire a trusted pet sitter to move into the house and attend to all our dog’s needs. Our pet always seemed happy and healthy when we returned.

I anticipate that we will continue to travel a similar amount in the future, but I’m not sure we will enjoy coming home to a house that has no dog to welcome us back.

Abby, should a retired couple who travels adopt a dog?

Pet Lover in Mexico

Dear Pet Lover: At ages 51 and 60, if you and your husband are in good health, I see no reason why you shouldn’t adopt another dog if you wish. Consider adopting one that is no longer a puppy.

Shelters and rescue organizations are good places to adopt an older dog that needs a loving home.

Dear Abby: My neighbor complains of cars honking at 8 in the morning. I have done this only three times when I have taken my son to school. I wait in the car for him, but if he’s late by a couple of minutes, I’ll honk my horn.

The neighbors think it’s rude because they have a 3-year-old who’s asleep at that time.

Do I confront them? What do you suggest?

On A Schedule in California

Dear On A Schedule: Knowing it will awaken your neighbor’s child, refrain from honking the horn. If you need your son to hurry up, use your cellphone and call the house. Or, turn your engine off, lock the car and go inside and get him.

Dear Abby: My niece got married and some gifts got separated from the gift cards. Individual cards were found apart from the gifts.

How do you thank those who left gifts without knowing the gift they gave?

Unsure in The West

Dear Unsure: While it is preferable to mention the gift when thanking the giver, no rule states that you HAVE to do so.

Your niece should start by writing thank-you notes for the gifts that have cards with them, and for those few (I HOPE they are few) that don’t, the givers should be told how meaningful it was to have them present on that very special day, and be thanked for their generosity. Period.

PS. A helpful hint to anyone sending a wedding or shower gift: Note on the gift card what has been sent (waffle iron, baby blanket, etc.).

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

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