Dear Annie: I recently moved into an apartment with a longtime friend. We both have dogs, but I was misled about hers. He is 15 months old and not trained.
My roommate has no time for the dog. She takes college classes and works two part-time jobs. The dog usually sits in a crate all day. She rarely takes him out and doesn't feed him regularly. When she does take him out, she is too tired to exercise him, which means he goes nuts in the apartment, peeing everywhere and chewing up the furniture — which is mine. He tried to bite me last week. He also barks incessantly, and her solution is to put a muzzle on him. My roommate takes no responsibility and blames me, saying I am making the dog uncomfortable.
I feel so bad for this animal. I've asked her repeatedly to spend more time with the dog and train him, but she hasn't. I cannot live in my own apartment. Now we have a ruined friendship and eight months left on a lease. Help! — Dogged Out
Dear Dogged: It is unfair to you that this animal is not trained, but we would consider it abuse to keep the dog in a crate all day, not exercising, feeding or disciplining him appropriately. Present your roommate with a bill for the ruined furniture, and then report her to the Humane Society. She is not capable of caring for this animal. The friendship may be over, but you can still protect the dog.
Dear Annie: I have lupus, but because I usually look OK, people assume I'm doing fine. I am part of a small group of Christian ladies that meets monthly. Often, I'm unable to attend because I'm not well. I notify our group's coordinator and tell her specifically what is wrong that day — headache, fatigue, acheiness, etc. — so that the ladies can pray for me. No one has ever called to check on me afterward.
Our group has provided meals for families when one woman had emergency surgery and two others had bouts with cancer. Yet, no one has ever offered to bring my family a meal. My husband's job limits the time he can assist me. Many days, we order takeout because I don't have the energy to cook.
The women know this, but I'm an outgoing, positive person, so they don't see the pain I endure daily. I'm thinking of leaving the group because it causes me stress, but they are otherwise wonderful women. I think they simply don't understand. Am I wrong to feel this way? — Sick and Confused
Dear Sick: There is no right or wrong to how you feel. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that damages joints, skin, kidneys, blood, heart and lungs. The women may not understand the severity of your illness. But the other part of the problem is that the disease is ongoing. Emergency surgeries and bouts with cancer are finite. It's easier to bring meals when you know it won't be forever. You could voice your hurts to these women, or you could look for support elsewhere. Also visit the Lupus Foundation of America at lupus.org.
Dear Annie: This is in response to "Little Doctor," the OB-GYN who is too "busy and forgetful" to remember patients' names and uses an all-purpose term of endearment, claiming it makes the patient "feel relaxed and comfortable."
I am also a busy doctor, but I address each patient by name and also review their medications, lab test results and notes from the last visit. I can't imagine anyone could feel comfortable and relaxed knowing the doctor was so busy and forgetful that he calls you by a generic endearment. It is disrespectful and a red flag. How can such a busy, forgetful doctor be alert and responsive to issues that pertain to a patient's health? — Conscientious Doctor
This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2013. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.