Editor's Note: Hundreds of Ann Landers' loyal readers have requested that newspapers continue to publish her columns. These letters originally appeared in 1999.
Dear Ann Landers: After reading the letter from "Dog Lover in N.Y.," I had to write. "Dog Lover" was amazed that her friends had shelled out $750 to put their dogs in doggie camps. You responded with a quote from your grandmother, "Dogs should be with dogs, and people should be with people." Thankfully, the thousands who work with and benefit from pet-assisted therapy don't share your grandmother's views.
When my mother suffered a severe stroke, I put my dog, Kadie, in an airline carry-on bag and flew to my parents' home. Mom's crooked smile told me she was glad to see me, but her eyes reflected anxiety. When Kadie started to lick Mom's face, I saw hope and happiness come back into her eyes.
I then joined a local volunteer organization called Paws Across Texas. Kadie and I work as a registered therapy team, visiting nursing homes and hospitals. I witnessed a hardened street kid turn into a caring child when he gave my tired dog a drink of water out of a paper cup. I saw a handicapped person bury her face in the dog's fur and laugh with delight. And I've seen how it brightens the day of lonely seniors in a nursing home when Kadie cuddles next to them in bed. — L.A. in Euless, Texas
Dear L.A.: Get out the wet noodle. My grandmother was wrong. The beautiful, warmhearted letters from dog lovers have convinced me that a dog can indeed be man's best friend.
Dear Ann Landers: A co-worker in my office told me she wanted to see a Broadway show. I have a friend, "Harry," who gets tickets for me. This co-worker (I'll call her "Mary") asked if he could get her two good seats. She gave me the money, and I paid for the tickets. When I handed them to Mary, she said the seats weren't very good and asked for her money back. I called Harry and asked if I could get a refund. He said, "Sorry, no. It's too late."
To keep the peace, I gave Mary her money back out of my own pocket even though I couldn't really afford it. Am I wrong to feel cheated, or was Mary right to make me take the loss on the tickets? Please respond in the paper. — Nameless in N.J.
Dear N.J.: Mary treated you shabbily. If she asks you again to get tickets from Harry, I hope you tell her, "Sorry, no" — and stick to it.
Lonesome? Take charge of your life and turn it around. Write to receive Ann Landers' booklet "How To Make Friends and Stop Being Lonely." Send a self-addressed, long, business-sized envelope and a check or money order for $4.25 (this includes postage and handling) to: Friends, c/o Ann Landers, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Ann Landers and read her past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
ANN LANDERS (R)