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March 16, 2006 Edition

Dear Max,

I have been dating a man for a year, and am ready to take things to the next step: move in and get a dog together. I’m 33, he’s 37. He is stalling and afraid of commitment, while I’m itching for a little house and a Burnese Mtn. mix to call our own. Should I reconsider a past suitor who is a bit older and has made it clear he’s ready for these kinds of long-term commitments, or hang in there and see if Mr. Right Now can come around? And if the latter, for how long?

Dog Clock Ticking

Dear DCT,

First of all, relax. Forty is the new thirty. So, technically you’re much younger than you are. Second of all, if you’re so ready to throw your boyfriend under the bus for your older ex, who’s obviously an “ex” for a reason—then you probably don’t belong with either of them. Just get the dog. It’s what you really want anyway, and how can I blame you? After all…

A kiss from a gent may be quite continental

but doggies are a girl’s best friend.

A slurp from a pup as he leaps from his kennel

on your smiling face, transports you to another place.

Men grow daft as girls grow soft

and we all lose our charms in the end.

But Shih-Tsus or Airedales

we dogs don’t lose our wagging tails

Doggies are a girl’s best friend

(I don’t mean felines)

But canines are a girl’s … best … friend!

Dear Max:

My dog is “dating” a dog that’s not very nice and is ugly, what should I do?

Rufus, Greg, and Hideous Holly

Dear Rufus, Greg, and Hideous Holly,

So, who’s dating whom here? Somebody with a name like Hideous shouldn’t be throwing stones at other people’s glass houses, but then again, beauty is only skin deep. Which is why you might consider one of those fruit-acid peels for this date-dog. Those always sounded so tasty to me. What’s more concerning is the “not very nice,” because beauty fades, but bitchy is forever. When considering a woman or man as a date or mate, humans sometimes say, check the mother and father. So it is with dogs. If you want to make sure: Check the owners. If they also seem mean or unstable…start looking around for a new playmate at the doggie park.

Dear Max:

My year old boston Molly has been really touchy about one of her back legs for the past couple of days. She tries not to walk on it and lays on the opposite side when she sleeps. When i take her out and get her running and playing, she uses it just fine. I have rubbed all over it trying to get a feel of where it hurts but she does not seem to respond negatively or act like it hurts. I have a vet appointment in two weeks so she can get her rabies shots. Should I just wait it out until then or should I be more worried. She’s just as energetic, and loving as always just limpy. Please let me know what you think. Thank you so much.


Dear Ashley,

I’m sorry I couldn’t answer earlier, because this is serious business. Since Molly doesn’t seem to be out of commission, you’ll probably be okay waiting until the scheduled appointment, so long as you and she don’t overdo the playing. You see, we dogs aim to please, and we’re instinctual and a little manic. So you throw something, we fetch it, to the point of our tiny hearts exploding. It’s our cross to bear. My money is on a muscle strain or something of that sort – sore but not a single point of trauma, something that might cause tenderness if touched. Get her on the stationary bike for a few miles a day, and she’ll be right as rain.

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