DEAR ABBY: I’m 60 and disabled. I desperately want a dog. I am not a cat person. I can’t have a bird because I have lupus. Working in a shelter is not an option. I added up all the pros and cons, and the cons were more. HOWEVER, the benefits are SO tempting.
Logically, I know it wouldn’t be fair to both of us. The wisest part of me says no, but I want someone who’s happy when I come home, kiss me, sit on my lap, and share my bed. And someone to take care of. No advice? — FEEDER IN NEW YORK
DEAR FEEDER: Save a dog that needs care as much as you do. Adopt an older one from an animal shelter and you could save two lives at once. That said, it’s important that you discuss these pros and cons with a veterinarian and purchase pet insurance, just in case the need arises.
DEAR ABBY: My wife of 41 years passed away four years ago. I am in my sixties. I sought bereavement counseling to fully process her loss. The counselor encouraged me to maintain and develop my relationships with my peers. The counselor also encouraged dating, which I tried, but no romance resulted.
My wife was diagnosed with bipolar mental disorder type 2, which progressed as she lived. When she died, I was glad she no longer had to suffer from her mental illness. With the onset of menopause and bipolar, her libido had dropped dramatically. The counselor assured me that if romance develops, sex can happen with women my age.
Due to my religious beliefs, I will not have sex before marriage. My question is about a woman’s desire for sex at this stage of life. Is sex something that can be mutually enjoyed, or just a requirement of marriage? — WONDER IN IOWA
DEAR CALLED: Allow me to allay your concerns. Elders are not clones of each other. Some enjoy sex up to 80; Others don’t. If both partners are comfortable with their bodies and willing to adapt to the inevitable changes that occur as their bodies age, they can enjoy sex as much as younger couples.
Although your religious beliefs do not allow you to have sex before marriage, there is no reason why the subject cannot be discussed honestly, and that is what I urge you to do if you you get involved with someone.
DEAR ABBY: Recently my daughter asked if her girlfriend could stay with us until the two moved out in a month. To help them, my husband and I agreed. The problem is that the girlfriend is very insecure about her weight. She is heavier and my daughter’s weight is average. Sometimes when we talk about fitness or nutrition, it seems like a sore subject to her. I don’t want her to feel uncomfortable around us because I watch what I eat. Tips? — WASHINGTON WEIGHT PROBLEM
DEAR WEIGHT PROBLEM: Ask your daughter if mentioning these topics makes her girlfriend uncomfortable. Keep in mind that your guest will only stay with you for a few more weeks. Until she leaves, avoid discussing topics that make her uncomfortable in her presence.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.