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Why no birth control in pet food?

Dear Abby: I'm a longtime reader with a question I have never seen in your column: Why don't they put something in pet food to keep dogs and cats from getting pregnant? Then people could control the pet population and it would stop the killing.

-- Harrisonburg, Va., Reader

Dear Reader: Your idea is intriguing. However, the reason that contraceptive pet food doesn't exist may have something to do with the cost. Also, the effective dose might vary according to the size and weight of the animals. If a Great Dane wasn't feeling particularly hungry one day, it could wind up a "little" bit pregnant. (Conversely, a Chihuahua with a large appetite could end up sterile for life.)

Seriously, I took your question to Dr. John Winters, a respected veterinarian in Beverly Hills, Calif., who told me there are research trials going on involving oral contraceptives to control the wild animal population, such as coyotes. If one day it is made available for domestic pets, it would have to be by prescription only and dispensed by a veterinarian to ensure the dosage is correct.

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A very self-centered host

Dear Abby: My husband, "Les," enjoys cooking and inviting friends to join us for dinner. I respect people's likes and dislikes when it comes to certain foods, but Les does not. We have discussed it, and he feels people should be "open-minded, not picky or finicky."

We are having two guests over for dinner soon. One does not like onions and the other doesn't care for mushrooms. I reminded Les of this, but he's determined to prepare his spaghetti sauce with lots of onions and mushrooms. This upsets me. As the hostess, I'm embarrassed. Am I wrong to feel this way?

-- Just the Sous-Chef, Des Moines, Iowa

Dear Just the Sous-Chef: That your husband would deliberately serve guests something he knows they dislike shows him to be self-centered and unwilling to extend true hospitality. I don't blame you for feeling embarrassed.