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Our Dog Understands the English Language DR. WALLACE: I smiled when you recently wrote that dogs couldn't really understand human conversation. It's obvious that you have never met Buddy. We gave our son a puppy as a companion for the times he was home alone after school. He started …Read more. The Almighty Dollar Trumps Decency DR. WALLACE: Teens are depicted as being sexually wild, with hormones that are out of control. Television programs and movies show teens seducing each other at a rapid rate. It's like "Let's show it because everybody's doing it." That's simply not …Read more. So Far I'm Dateless DR. WALLACE: I'm 15 and I would like to start dating. I have my parents' permission, but so far, I'm dateless. My aunt said I should wear clothes that are a little bit revealing and that it wouldn't take long before the guys started noticing me and …Read more. Your Teacher Deserves a "Thank You" DR. WALLACE: I'm really mad and I might find a lawyer to sue my P.E. teacher. We had an agility test, and I didn't do so well. In fact, I failed it. We had to run 25 yards, jump over a bar, do 10 sit-ups and do one pull-up. I ran 20 yards, but fell …Read more.
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Opossums Are Valuable Creatures

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DR. WALLACE: We have a cat that sometimes doesn't finish eating all the food in her bowl in the backyard, and the uneaten food attracts opossums and raccoons. My brother thinks raccoons are cool, but says opossums are part of the rat family and carry a lot of diseases. When he sees an opossum in the yard at night, he chases it and tries to kill it by throwing rocks at it. I don't think opossums are rats, and I don't want my brother killing them. I think they're cute and that they were put on earth for a purpose. What's the right answer? —Katie, Riverside, Calif.

KATIE: Every couple of years I get inquiries about this wonderful animal. Let me set your brother straight. Opossums are not related to rats. Some think they are because of their long, rat-like tail. Actually, opossums are North America's only marsupial (meaning the mother has a pouch), and they eat all types of nuisance insects, including cockroaches and beetles, as well as snails. They're called "nature's sanitary engineers" and present a far lower health risk to humans than your cat does.

Please encourage your brother not to throw rocks at this valuable but defenseless creature. We humans must respect the right of all "critters" to live in harmony with us. Please make sure your parents read your letter and my response. They must make sure your brother stops this uncivilized behavior immediately!

Her Boyfriend Wants Her Super Slim

DR.

WALLACE: My older sister, who doesn't live at home, is anorexic, even though she doesn't think so. She admits she has been losing weight, but says she's in control and will start eating regularly again once she loses "a few unwanted pounds." Is this possible, or is she out of control? Please answer. I love my sister very much and don't want anything to happen to her. She says that her boyfriend wants her to be super slim. - Corrine, Oakland, Calif.

CORRINE: Almost all anorexics feel they're in control and can stop starving themselves whenever they reach that "ideal" weight. Unfortunately, they never reach that ideal weight. All anorexics are out of control and need professional counseling to overcome their obsession with thinness. Insist that your parents seek professional help for your sister immediately. Your parents must be made aware that anorexia nervosa is an extremely addictive eating disorder, and if not overcome, it can result in death by starvation.

I'd also suggest that your parents call the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders at 1-630-577-1330, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. EST. They'll answer any questions and give you advice.

Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at rwallace@galesburg.net. To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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Comments

2 Comments | Post Comment
Re LW2: I would like to add that anorexia sufferers are at risk of premature death long before they become dangerously thin. This is mostly due to potassium deficiency, which can cause life-threatening heart arrhythmia, or sodium deficiency (hyponatremia). Please see that your parents take this seriously and get help for your sister. If they don't, please take the initiative and talk to your family doctor, or your sister's high school counselor. Please don't wait.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Carla
Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:03 AM
LW1; I think I'll answer this one in a couple of parts.

* The first deals with the oposums, racoons and other critters coming in the night to eat uneaten cat food, et al. If your brother doesn't want these creatures around, the best thing to do is tell his parents. If they agree (I say IF), then they would probably watch to see when the cats are done eating and then afterward bring it inside. They can also buy traps that are humane at their local hardware store and, once sprung, they can release them elsewhere.

* Part 2 -- his desire to throw rocks and other projectiles at the coons, possums, etc., to kill them. If he's trying to alleviate what he views as pests (i.e., he's annoyed by them), then see above. If not -- that he wants to injure and/or kill them just for the sake of harming them, then he's got a problem and needs counseling.

Either way, Dr. Wallace is correct: Talk to your parents about the problem if you haven't already and address the issue. Then leave it be. One of four things will happen:

* They'll decide if he's overstepping his boundaries (most likely, he's not the property owner) and make him knock it off.
* That he is sick in the head and needs counseling.
* That your parents will allow him to continue with this behavior because they asked him to (i.e., they also don't want pests in their yard and asked him to do this.)
* That your parents will allow him to continue with this behavior because they see "no harm, no foul" with this.

Any way its resolved, you did your part.

LW2: Part of your older sister's cure is to dump her current MF-ASSHOLE, supermodel wanting, mysogynic boyfriend who wants "the most beautiful woman in the world!" "She says that her boyfriend wants her to be super slim" -- the LW's own words. HA! I bet he's a REAL work of art himself.

No wonder she's in the situation she's in -- feeling she must satisfy her sex-with-a-sack-of-bones-famished boyfriend by starving herself. Telling her he wants her "to be super slim." Tell him to go to the Playboy mansion to seek out his fantasy and leave your sister the F*** ALONE!!!!!! (Seriously -- when her health, her very life is at risk, I would.)

Otherwise, what Carla (#1) and Dr. Wallace said.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Bobaloo
Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:52 PM
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