Dear Abby: Dog is still a bone of contention years after couple breaks up

Dear Abby: My ex-boyfriend and I broke up two years ago. We were together for nearly three years. A year into our relationship, we rescued a puppy. We broke up when she was 2. Since then, we have shared her on and off. This arrangement worked fine because we have both been single.

I am now in a new relationship and feel that my ex and I should cut ties. We recently had a falling out, but he still wants to share the dog “until she is no longer in the picture.”

Abby, I don’t feel that it’s feasible for us to continue sharing our dog for the next 12 to 15 years. My ex has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and I know she helps him. However, I feel like I can provide a better home for her and give her more attention. How do we decide who gets to keep the dog? – Still in the Picture

Dear Still in the Picture: You have a new boyfriend. Your ex has PTSD and needs her more than you do. Unless the animal was somehow mistreated when she was with him, let him have her.

Dear Abby: I work as a medical receptionist for a busy private practice. We get a lot of patients from other countries, and English is not their primary language. Speaking to these patients over the phone is often very difficult. How can I ask nicely for patients to constantly repeat themselves? I need to make sure I have the correct information so the doctor can treat the patient properly. – Receptionist in Maryland

Dear Receptionist: Ask your employer how he or she wants those calls handled. There is no crime in repeating and re-repeating important information to be sure it is right. If the patient has a family member who accompanies him/her to appointments, perhaps it can be arranged that that person call the doctor’s office to convey any necessary information.

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