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In-laws take meat home to dog

Dear Abby: My in-laws have a small dog, "Fluffy," who has come to rule their lives. That's OK, because it doesn't really affect me. However, we frequently have them over for dinner, and they insist on taking home a large portion of whatever meat was served to give to their dog. I'm not talking about scraps from everyone's plates -- the amount they take would be a serving for another meal.

I have objected to this practice in the past, but each time they come for dinner they seem to have "forgotten" the lesson. I don't like it! How can I tactfully tell them not to take meat from my table for Fluffy?

-- "Steaking" My Claim, St. Petersburg, Fla.

Dear "Steaking": You already have told your in-laws not to take the meat you are serving for their dog. Either their memories are failing, or your feelings aren't important to them.

Suggestion: When you have them to dinner, set up the plates in your kitchen rather than have dishes on the table, and immediately refrigerate any meat you haven't served. Or consider serving your in-laws a meatless dinner. (I can hear them now, asking, "Where's the BEEF?")

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Put that seat down

Dear Abby: I work in a small office of eight people, and we have two restrooms -- one for the men, the other for the women. Recently the women's restroom was out of order and we had to use the men's room.

In a case like this, what is proper etiquette? Do we girls put the seat back up when we are finished, or leave it down? The guys in the office said it should be left up.

-- He Said, She Said

Dear H.S.S.S.: I say that because both sexes are using the same restroom -- which makes it temporarily unisex -- the toilet seat should be left down.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, Calif. 90069.

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