Listen to Your Inner Voice DR. WALLACE: I'm 19 and was going out with a guy a couple of years ago, but I broke up with him because he was the world's biggest liar. He told me he was Catholic (I'm Catholic) but he was really born Jewish, and he said he was only 19 but he …Read more. I'll Smoke Pot Until the Day I Die DR. WALLACE: I've been reading your column for several years, and I know you always encourage teens not to smoke marijuana and try to scare them into stopping their "dangerous" habits. I've been a pothead for the last five years, and I have enjoyed …Read more. Eating While Driving Causes Accidents TEENS: Driving is serious work. Controlling a three-ton vehicle traveling at speeds up to 65 mph requires total concentration. Anything that causes distractions is simply unacceptable. Most states have placed limits on using a hand-held cellphone …Read more. Parents Love Adopted Daughter DR. WALLACE: I'm 15 and live with my parents and a brother, who is 16. Sometimes I get the feeling that my parents love my brother more than me. I've talked to my parents and they assure me that they love both of us equally and that making sure we …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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