Dear Annie: Socializing a skittish dog
Dear Annie: My new rescue dog is rather skittish. I think it’s because he went through some awful things in his early life. From what I hear, he lived in disgusting conditions and in tight cages, getting shipped around from place to place. In my experience with him, this translates to his being nervous around most strangers and even growling at some of them. I think it’s his way of pretending to be tough and scary. I can’t see him actually hurting anyone. But obviously, I want to help my dog feel comfortable and safe around me, and I don’t want him to scare people. What can I do to help him rebuild trust in his surroundings? — Nurturing a Nervous Newbie
Dear Nurturing a Nervous Newbie: Sounds as if you’re providing a wonderful second chapter to this dog’s life. Dogs that were not properly socialized as puppies can be socially uncomfortable. First, ensure your dog is all bark and no bite. If he shows a predilection to biting, you’ll want to consult a professional to ensure you will be able to train away the bite inhibition. If he proves to be purely vocal and not mouthy, then take him into social situations. Bring treats and encourage strangers to say hello and reward him with a treat when he accepts the love without demonstrating any aggression. Remember to make sure strangers approach at a normal speed and allow the dog to sniff their hands first. Good luck, and thank you for choosing to adopt.
Dear Annie: I have never seen this issue addressed, and I think many TV viewers share my concern. The issue is the use of cellphones in many new TV shows. More and more, we are expected to read text messages in very small print on the actors’ cellphones. Unless you are close to the TV or have a very large screen, it is nearly impossible to view what is being said. Often, this is crucial to the storyline, making it necessary to pause the show to view the text message. If producers would put the text on the screen as a subtitle in a larger font, it would certainly help the viewers of the show to understand all the dialogue between characters. I hope the producers will consider this change to benefit the viewing audience. — Hating Small Font
Dear Hating Small Font: I empathize with your plight. Unfortunately, television producers are unlikely to change how they display these texts. On the positive side, this TV trend of showing increasingly smaller text has coincided with improved technology that allows us to rewind and pause shows, so at least we have that defense.
If any of you readers have suggestions, please share.
Dear Annie: I think you missed an opportunity to offer another option to help “Committed but Confused” with her and her husband’s intimacy problems. She indicated she has been married for 40 years, so she’s probably in the perimenopausal years. There are many options for women whose libidos have declined with age. One is hormone replacement therapy, which includes several options. One is hormone pellet insertion, which I have chosen. Within a month, many annoying symptoms of menopause were significantly reduced for me. Women should always explore the options with a physician who is up-to-date on recent research, because there are studies that have updated information about HRT. It can help turn around an entire marriage. — Nurse Who’s Been There
Dear Nurse: You make a great point. Thank you for sharing.
“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice from Dear Annie” is out now. Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Send your questions for Annie Lane to email@example.com.