Mom and Dad, Can we Talk? DR. WALLACE: I've been seeing Zachary for almost a year. I'm a sophomore, and he's a junior. I really like him a lot. He is very smart, has a great sense of humor and is not involved in any kind of bad behavior. We go out a couple of times every …Read more. We Can't Kiss While on Campus DR. WALLACE: We have a new high school principal this school year. I don't know what he is trying to prove, but he has made new "rules and regulations" that are making our student body very angry. According to our "dictator" principal, students can …Read more. Are Women Poor Tippers? DR. WALLACE: I'm a student at St. Olaf College. This past summer I worked as a food server at a relatively expensive and upscale restaurant and resort on Gull Lake in Minnesota. There were times when I served a group of all men and other times when …Read more. Just Smile and Walk Away DR. WALLACE: I'm a 16-year-old guy who was very happy living alone with my mother ever since I was born. Two months ago, my grandfather died and my grandmother came to live in our house, and since the moment she moved in she has made my life …Read more.more articles
Opossums Are Valuable Creatures
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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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