Paws Off the Food Bar

By Marcy Sugar

By Kathy Mitchell

April 1, 2012 5 min read

Dear Annie: Our town has a small grocery with popular hot and cold bars where customers can help themselves to deliciously prepared food. Lately, I have noticed a nicely dressed man at the store accompanied by his medium-sized dog. The man reaches into this food with his fingers and then lets his dog eat from his hand. This action is repeated several times.

When I complained to the two employees behind the customer service desk about the contaminated food being served to unsuspecting customers, they replied that they already knew. Then they added that the customer told them this is a seeing-eye dog and they have to allow it into the store. This cannot possibly be a seeing-eye dog. The man rides a bicycle to the store, and the dog is not on a harness. In fact, the dog often tugs at his leash to get the owner to follow wherever the dog wants to go. Either way, it is still unsanitary to allow the man to repeatedly pick up the food with his fingers and then feed the dog from his hand.

I watched this dog lick condensation off of the products (milk, dips, cheeses, etc.) in the open coolers on the lower shelves. No employees asked the man to restrain his dog, nor did they tell the deli employees to remove the contaminated food. At lunch, the unsuspecting consumers purchased this same "leftover dog food" to feed their families.

I debated calling the health department but figured they would have to catch the man in the act. What can I do? — Now Shopping at the Nearby Superstore

Dear Shopping: Even if this were a service dog (and it seems unlikely), it does not obligate the store to allow the animal to lick the milk cartons and be fed by hand directly from the food containers. Please call the health department and ask them to investigate. That will at least put the store on alert.

Dear Annie: My husband is driving me crazy. Everything I say, he says the opposite. Even if I voice an opinion I know he shares, he'll take the opposite viewpoint. If I say I don't want something, he says, "Yes, you do." If I say I want to go somewhere, he'll say, "No, you don't."

He also belittles the books I read. Every TV show I like, he says, "It's dumb." If it belongs to me, he says, "Let's get rid of it." Whatever I want to do is not worth doing. And on and on and on.

I was making the bed yesterday and told him it wasn't necessary for him to watch, and he said, "Yes, it is." Why do you think he does this? How can I get him to stop? — Enough Already

Dear Enough: How long have you been married to this contrarian? Has he always been this annoying? Frankly, it sounds like he enjoys pushing your buttons and demeaning your choices because it gives him control over you. So instead of getting angry or frustrated, ignore him. Smile sweetly and say, "Absolutely, darling," while you continue to watch your programs and read your books. Of course, if the situation becomes worse, consider counseling.

Dear Annie: This is for "Montreal Fan," whose father lets his secretary smoke in the office. He should know better.

It is against the law in Montreal to smoke in all public buildings and in ANY office, private or not. If the father allows her to continue smoking, he is breaking the law. He should get rid of this secretary or force her to go outside to smoke like everyone else. — Non-Smoker in Montreal

Dear Montreal: If Dad refuses to do anything about the smoking, someone else will have to report it to the authorities. In a private office, that means a client or one of the children, and apparently, none of them is willing to get Dad in trouble with the law.

Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to [email protected], or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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