Marriage Wouldn't Be Wise at This Time DR. WALLACE: I'm 19, unwed, and have a 2-year-old son. A guy I knew three years ago has been contacting me for the last six months. I haven't seen him in two years, but he says he wants to marry me and adopt my son. He said he had an alcohol problem,…Read more. Alcohol Causes Health Concerns DR. WALLACE: You were quite brisk in your response to the parents who wanted to teach their son to be a reasonable social drinker of alcohol, and who wanted to control his drinking by introducing alcohol to him at age 16, at home. You were blatantly …Read more. You Will Be a Great Teacher DR. WALLACE: I am in my second year at the University of California. I would like to teach English composition and literature on the high school level when I graduate, but I'm concerned that my physical disability will cause school districts to rule …Read more. Your Best Friend Has Low Self-Esteem DR. WALLACE: I want to help my best friend, but I don't know what to do. We are both 16 and have been friends for more than five years. We tell each other all of our deep, dark secrets. In the past six months, my friend has had three boyfriends and …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 email@example.com. 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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