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Tell mom to leave her dog at home

Dear Abby: My husband and I are expecting our first child in a few months, and my mother, who lives out of state, will be flying in to help with the new baby. This will be her first grandchild.

Mom adopted a small indoor dog about a month ago. "Trixie" is pint-sized, but she has a loud, high-pitched bark and she barks often. When Mom told me she plans to bring Trixie with her, I expressed concern that the constant barking will wake the baby and everyone else. I am also concerned about dander in the nursery from Trixie's long hair.

I asked Mom to leave Trixie home with my father, but she said she just adopted her and doesn't want her to feel abandoned. I wouldn't mind her bringing Trixie on future visits, just not while we're adjusting to a new baby.

Am I being selfish to ask my mother to keep the dog at home?

-- Get Me Out of the Doghouse

Dear Doghouse: By the time your baby arrives, Trixie should have adjusted to both of your parents and should not feel abandoned if one of them leaves for a short while. Your needs and the needs of your household should take precedence over the needs of your mother's dog, and you are not being selfish to insist upon it.


List potluck ingredients

Dear Abby: Food allergies vary widely and are not limited to common ones -- nuts, shellfish, gluten or strawberries. We know what we are allergic to, and we do our best to avoid those foods.

Sometimes it's difficult to tell what's in some tasty-looking dishes at potluck gatherings. An ingredient may be used only for seasoning, but sometimes just a trace of it is all it takes to trigger a reaction. That's why I have established a practice that has always been well-received. I print out a card to attach to the dish I brought. On it, I name the dish and list the ingredients.

I hope you'll find this suggestion helpful enough to pass along. It could save a life.

-- Joe in Janesville, Minn.

Dear Joe: You're right; it could -- and that's why I'm printing it.

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