I Won't Accept Him Smoking Pot DR. WALLACE: I'm a very conservative young woman. I'm against smoking and drugs of all kinds. I'm dating a really nice guy, and I know he cares for me, but I also know he's smoking marijuana. I told him that I'd stop seeing him if he didn't quit. I …Read more. Private Schools Have Lower Violence Rate DR. WALLACE: I'm attending an all-girls private Catholic high school because my parents are trying to shield me from all the "evils" of teen life. I am ending my sophomore year and will be trying to convince my parents to let me return in the fall …Read more. Teens Donate Most Time for Worthy Causes DR. WALLACE: I'm a 75-year-old grandmother, and I recently fell and broke my hip. While I was in the hospital, I was wondering how my 77-year-old husband was going to take care of me. He has a very hard time cooking, and he can barely boil water for …Read more. My Boyfriend's Mom Wants Us to Break Up DR. WALLACE: I'm 15 and really care for Josh, who is 18. At first my parents thought he was too old for me, but after they met him they thought he was super nice, and they allowed me to date him occasionally. I really have a great time when I'm with …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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