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Do Dogs Go To Heaven? Dear Annie: Several years ago, you printed a piece from a reverend about a dog who had died. My own precious Poochie died yesterday after being hit by a car. I am having a hard time. I miss him so much. Could you please print that piece again? …Read more. Divorce or Involuntary Commitment Dear Annie: I've been married to "Lily" for 15 years, and we have two teenagers. We've built a good life. But Lily is an unhappy person. And while I've not been an angel, she never acknowledges that her unhappiness contributes to our problems. She …Read more. Transparency Creates Space for Otherwise Questionable "Friendships" Dear Annie: I am currently in a two-year relationship with "Alison." Both of us are recently divorced. During Alison's marriage, she became a confidante to "Will." They have remained friends, and she insists nothing of a sexual nature ever happened.… …Read more. Asperger's, Autism and Teaching Appropriate Behavior Dear Annie: One of my classmates has Asperger syndrome. He often says and does things that are obnoxious and sometimes downright threatening. I understand that his behavior is a result of his Asperger's, but it doesn't make it any easier to deal …Read more.
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Healthy Attitude, Healthy Body

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Dear Annie: I was diagnosed with kidney disease as a child and started dialysis at age 11. Because I didn't think I would live to adulthood, I adopted the philosophy of living each day like it was my last. In 2013, when I saw an ad for the National Kidney Foundation's Kidney Walk, I figured I had nothing to lose by participating.

The day of the walk, a large group of family and friends showed up bright and early, and we raised well over $1,000 to support the National Kidney Foundation. I was overwhelmed by all the love and support I received that day. I thought life was unfair, but at the Kidney Walk, I saw that thousands of others are also fighting against kidney disease and they aren't giving up, so why should I?

From that day forward, my outlook changed. I'm convinced that once I changed my attitude and started thinking positively, positive things started happening in my life. Last year, at age 30, I received a kidney transplant after being on the waiting list for 20 years. This gift gave me a new lease on life, and I want to pay it forward.

In honor of National Kidney Month and World Kidney Day on March 12, will you please help me spread the word about the importance of protecting the kidneys and preventing kidney disease? — Carmelo Escalera, Bronx, N.Y.

Dear Carmelo: Thank you for letting us know how a positive attitude can change your life. Over 73 million American adults are at risk for developing kidney disease. Early detection and healthy lifestyle changes can make a critical difference in protecting the kidneys and preventing further damage.

Major risk factors for kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, a family history of kidney failure and being age 60 or older. Additional risk factors include kidney stones, smoking, obesity and cardiovascular disease. During your next physical, ask your health care practitioner to check your kidneys to see whether you are at risk.

For more advice on protecting these vital organs and staying healthy, and for a schedule of free KEEP Healthy kidney screenings across the country, visit the National Kidney Foundation at www.kidney.org/screening.

Dear Annie: I am single and have a pet peeve with married couples. When I need to provide a gift or bring a snack, I must bring enough for each individual. But when couples supply a gift or food, they provide it as one unit, not two people, spending less than we do for gifts and hosting in rotation fewer times. How can I tactfully point out the inequity in this situation? — An Individual

Dear Individual: We understand your dilemma. Hosting duties usually are per location, so that two people living together open their home to guests as often as anyone else, but this can make a single person's costs for providing hospitality higher than those who are sharing the bill. Are there other singles? Could you join with one of them and share hosting duties? Can you ask that your turn in rotation happen less often? It's OK to bring up the subject, as long as you don't accuse others of deliberately being unfair or taking advantage. We don't believe this is the case. Simply ask for their help in making things more equitable.

Dear Annie: I read the letter from "Frustrated Co-Worker," whose co-worker complained about her pesky neighbor. I think I may have a simple solution. She should buy a "Do Not Disturb" sign and hang it on the outside doorknob when she arrives home. Explain to the neighbor that when that sign is on her door, she is not up to company and therefore will not answer the door. Maybe she can get the message to the neighbor without any hurt feelings. — Easy Solution

Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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Comments

11 Comments | Post Comment
LW2 - when keeping score becomes this important to you, you should take it as a sign that it's time to find new friends or new ways to interact with your current friends. Stop exchanging gifts because there is no polite way to tell your friends that they "owe" you more or better gifts. As for bringing food, complaining about that will just make you look ridiculous and petty. Bring what you want to bring, and stop worrying about what other people are doing.
Comment: #1
Posted by: kai archie
Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:15 PM
Re: Kimiko #1
Well, I can think of a few humans who don't have a soul either since they have no conscience.

There is absolutely no proof that animals don't have souls and don't go to heaven. In fact, I don't see why they wouldn't - they always behave according to their own species (and therefore to God's alledged design), and are never evil, doing harm for the sheer sadistic joy of it.

Let's keep in mind that medieval theologists claimed hard that WOMEN only had "half" a soul!

@Carly O #2 & Kimiko #1
"The nuns and priests I met while growing up were some of the meanest, most vicious people I ever met."
Same here, except for the Grey nuns - but then, it had to do with that particular community.

I had an aunt who was a nun, and a missionary nun at that. She definitely was a generous person, and only came back to Canada when she was (very unhappily) forced into retirement by her community. As for her, she would have gladly kept on going until she dropped dead in her tracks (I don't blame her). She was by no means vicious or mean... BUT she certainly was much misguided in her ideas. My GOD, some of the things she believed! ;-D

@Sarah Morrow #6
"Are you saying that because your sister is kind hearted, therefore all nuns and priests are?"
No. She is saying that all nuns and priests are NOT mean and vicious, even if some of us have seen no others.

And *I* am adding to this that well-intentioned, good people can do things that have evil consequences because they are misguided in their actions. (Every time humans are involved, it gets complicated...)

"I've met some nuns and priests who were nice people, and others who were venal, petty, and abusive. I expect they were that way (nice or nasty) before they put their costumes on. If there's any evidence that religious people are "nicer" than atheists or agnostics, I haven't seen it."
Exactly.

#24 "(I'm not making any of this up... Christian theologians insist it's true, and I attended a Baptist church as a child where the minister insisted this was the "gospel truth.")"
I have been close enough to death to know that these people are in for a BI-I-I-I-IG surprise when they cross over to the other side. :-)))))

@Maggie Lawrence #19
"I, personally, my own self, believe that the concepts of "heaven" and "hell" are quite simple. "Heaven" is "with God." "Hell" is "without God."
As far as I can tell, hell is right here down on this Earth, with or without God. As the Mormons would tell us, God is not in charge on this planet, and being a good person is not enough to spare you.

"And anyone who tells me that dogs, or any animal capable of emotional feeling - and they certainly are - don't have souls - is no credible source of spiritual understanding."
Couldn't agree with you more.

#20 "A person with enough evil in their hearts can find justification for almost anything in the bible"
And in the Koran, and in the Torah... etc etc etc etc. ;-D

@Jennylee #22
"All I know is that MY heaven will be filled with every living being that I loved and was loved by, whether human or animal."
My sentiment exactly.

"I'm not so much into the requirement of having a 'soul', because there is no one clear definition of what that even means"
I believe any living being with the capacity of love has a soul. Love is supposed to be the very definition of God.

Comment: #2
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:23 PM
LW2 -
So you feel this is a great unequity that household couples get to contribute a 20$ gift as a unit, while *you* are expected the same as a single person... A grandiose ten bucks has been wasted here, oye vey.

Look. If you feel this hard put upon, feel free (indeed it doesn't cost) to send a nice card with your heartfelt best wishes. You can find some real nice ones on the Net at no cost and e-mail or fax it for free, saving even more!

P.S.: A bit money-minded and cheap, ain't you now?

Comment: #3
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:38 PM
Post #2 was posted on yesterday's column and appeared of today's. Sorry about that.
Comment: #4
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:42 PM
Re: Kimiko #1
Well, I can think of a few humans who don't have a soul either since they have no conscience.

There is absolutely no proof that animals don't have souls and don't go to heaven. In fact, I don't see why they wouldn't - they always behave according to their own species (and therefore to God's alledged design), and are never evil, doing harm for the sheer sadistic joy of it.

Let's keep in mind that medieval theologists claimed hard that WOMEN only had "half" a soul!

@Carly O #2 & Kimiko #1
"The nuns and priests I met while growing up were some of the meanest, most vicious people I ever met."
Same here, except for the Grey nuns - but then, it had to do with that particular community.

I had an aunt who was a nun, and a missionary nun at that. She definitely was a generous person, and only came back to Canada when she was (very unhappily) forced into retirement by her community. As for her, she would have gladly kept on going until she dropped dead in her tracks (I don't blame her). She was by no means vicious or mean... BUT she certainly was much misguided in her ideas. My GOD, some of the things she believed! ;-D

@Sarah Morrow #6
"Are you saying that because your sister is kind hearted, therefore all nuns and priests are?"
No. She is saying that all nuns and priests are NOT mean and vicious, even if some of us have seen no others.

And *I* am adding to this that well-intentioned, good people can do things that have evil consequences because they are misguided in their actions. (Every time humans are involved, it gets complicated...)

"I've met some nuns and priests who were nice people, and others who were venal, petty, and abusive. I expect they were that way (nice or nasty) before they put their costumes on. If there's any evidence that religious people are "nicer" than atheists or agnostics, I haven't seen it."
Exactly.

#24 "(I'm not making any of this up... Christian theologians insist it's true, and I attended a Baptist church as a child where the minister insisted this was the "gospel truth.")"
I have been close enough to death to know that these people are in for a BI-I-I-I-IG surprise when they cross over to the other side. :-)))))

@Maggie Lawrence #19
"I, personally, my own self, believe that the concepts of "heaven" and "hell" are quite simple. "Heaven" is "with God." "Hell" is "without God."
As far as I can tell, hell is right here down on this Earth, with or without God. As the Mormons would tell us, God is not in charge on this planet, and being a good person is not enough to spare you.

"And anyone who tells me that dogs, or any animal capable of emotional feeling - and they certainly are - don't have souls - is no credible source of spiritual understanding."
Couldn't agree with you more.

#20 "A person with enough evil in their hearts can find justification for almost anything in the bible"
And in the Koran, and in the Torah... etc etc etc etc. ;-D

@Jennylee #22
"All I know is that MY heaven will be filled with every living being that I loved and was loved by, whether human or animal."
My sentiment exactly.

"I'm not so much into the requirement of having a 'soul', because there is no one clear definition of what that even means"
I believe any living being with the capacity of love has a soul. Love is supposed to be the very definition of God.

Comment: #5
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:44 PM
LW2: Annies suggestions are good (I'm also single).
I might point out that when I'm invited to a pot luck (I'm not sure if this is what you mean though), that obviously a couple should bring more food than a single should; hopefully they don't need this pointed out.

But look, here is pot luck logic: you need to bring, say, 6 servings of potatoes if you are single, and 12 servings if you are a couple. E.g., enough that if that was your dinner at home - and nothing else - it would fill you up. It doesn't make sense to bring 24 servings of something because there are 24 people. If every one of those 24 people brings 24 servings, there will be 3 or 4 times as much food as everyone could eat! (but I realize this is how alot of people roll... I don't...)

Bring an amount proportionate to the number of people who are supplying it - not proportionate to the people you are serving (to a pot luck).

Comment: #6
Posted by: Steve C
Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:45 PM
Post #2 AND post #5... sh!t sh!t sh!t sh!t sh!t SH!T!

Comment: #7
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:51 PM
I understand where LW2 is coming from. I am the only one in my family who is single. When we go in together on gifts for the parents, my cash portion is $50 and each couples cash portion is $50 for instance. I too have wondered why the cash input is not per person. Isn't the gift also from the in laws?
Comment: #8
Posted by: Lori C
Sat Feb 28, 2015 10:12 PM
I understand where LW2 is coming from. I am the only one in my family who is single. When we go in together on gifts for the parents, my cash portion is $50 and each couples cash portion is $50 for instance. I too have wondered why the cash input is not per person. Isn't the gift also from the in laws?
Comment: #9
Posted by: Lori C
Sat Feb 28, 2015 10:14 PM
* * * * PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT * * * *

LW3 refers to the first letter on 6 February 2015.
Comment: #10
Posted by: Miss Pasko
Sat Feb 28, 2015 10:17 PM
I can understand if the LW is friends with a married couple. For birthdays, she gives each member of the couple a gift. Sounds like she receives one birthday gift from the couple instead of a gift from each. The same thing probably happens at Xmas. I suggest she have a conversation with her friends and suggest they stop exchanging gifts.
Comment: #11
Posted by: Lori C
Sat Feb 28, 2015 10:31 PM
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