Amy: Witness to animal abuse needs to act

  • Article by: AMY DICKINSON
  • Wire services
  • February 8, 2013 - 11:26 AM

Dear Amy: I have a question regarding the proper response to an awkward social situation. I was walking around downtown Seattle and witnessed a homeless man being very mean to his dog. He was extremely rough with her. This made me sick to my stomach.

Worse yet was my response — nothing! I was thinking that perhaps your readers may have experienced a similar event and would also like guidance. Witnessing this cruel treatment was very upsetting.

Amy says: This is not really an “awkward social situation.” This is about witnessing something you know is wrong and wondering how to intervene.

You should not get involved personally unless you are sure you would be safe. You could call the local humane society or animal rescue group and ask for help or advice. It would also be worth a call to the nearest police station. A patrol officer could swing by the location to see if assistance was needed, for the man or the dog.

Divergent paths

Dear Amy: I was very moved by your answer about a person’s dilemma over attending a baby shower for a child born out of wedlock. The situation is similar to one in my own family. My sister had two children by different fathers, out of wedlock and two years apart.

My parents took opposite approaches. My father, despite having an affair that caused my parents’ divorce, took a very judgmental view. He barely acknowledged the kids. My mother never passed judgment and loved them unconditionally. The boys, now 24 and 26, are still close with her. She has been blessed to have these children be a part of her life all these years, and they have been blessed by her.

Amy says: Children thrive and families can be transformed by the love and warmth provided by one person brave enough to do what really should come naturally to all of us. Bravo to your mother.

Too many female admirers

Dear Amy:I just read the letter from a woman who is upset by her boyfriend’s many female admirers. I have to disagree with your response. She acknowledges that the boyfriend is doing nothing to encourage this flirting and has given her no reason to think he is unfaithful. She sounds like a jealous woman.

Your last comment is on target: This girlfriend does need to figure out if she can get her jealousy under control.

Amy says: Not everyone possesses the confidence and temperament to be with someone regarded as universally attractive.

Send questions via e-mail to Amy Dickinson at

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