Mt. Vernon Register-News

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August 1, 2013

Pets on a plane often suffer rough rides

DEAR ABBY: I travel a lot in my work with animal protection. Often I’ll encounter dogs and cats in distress as soon as I reach the airport. So please, everyone — if you fly with an animal companion, keep it foremost in your thoughts. Use a sturdy, well-ventilated carrier, preferably one with wheels, that’s designed for animals and to fit under your seat. And please, keep the carrier upright and steady. — ANIMAL LOVER

DEAR ANIMAL LOVER: Thank you for the heads up. In case someone’s pet might have other issues while traveling, it’s always a good idea to talk about it with a veterinarian before embarking.

(Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

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DEAR ABBY: I’m a 19-year-old guy and for as long as I can remember my parents have yelled at me. It lasts for hours at a time at night after they come home from work almost every day. It’s never about me doing something bad, but how I never do anything up to their expectations.

I don’t know if they’re right or wrong, but it makes me depressed and I have been thinking about suicide. I have never been able to have an opinion of my own because as soon as I had one my parents would yell at me all over again and call me “stupid and retarded.”

I cry myself to sleep at night hoping God will put me to sleep forever. Please tell me what to do. -- JUSTIN IN SAN FRANCISCO

DEAR JUSTIN: Verbal abuse -- which is what you are describing -- can be every bit as destructive as physical abuse. Perhaps it’s time to consider moving out. With the constant verbal battering you’re receiving, it’s no wonder you’re depressed.

Harming yourself is not the answer to your problem. Because you have reached the point of wanting to hurt yourself, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The number is 800-784-2433. A counselor there can direct you to the help you need. You may have to build your self-esteem from the ground up, but the effort will be well worth it. My thoughts are with you.

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