Dear Ann: I ride the bus to work every day and have noticed a young girl who gets on the bus with a seeing eye dog. Without fail, people will try to talk to her dog or pet it. Please, Ann, inform your readers that seeing eye dogs are not "pets." People should never attempt to pet or distract a seeing eye dog while it is working. Thank you. Lori in Akron, Ohio
Dear Lori: I'm sure my readers see themselves now and then when they read my column. Well, today, I saw myself.
Several years ago, I noticed a woman with a seeing eye dog (on a leash, of course) waiting for a bus on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. When I leaned over to pet the dog, a passerby stopped me dead in my tracks. "Don't do that!" he yelled. "That dog is not a pet. He has a job to do, and he may consider your petting him as an act of aggression." I saw his point at once and thanked the man. I hope others will learn from my experience.
Dear Ann: You have printed several letters from people who were upset because their wedding gifts were not acknowledged. I would like to say something on behalf of the bride who was considered "negligent."
I was married three years ago. I am still embarrassed that two generous people have not been thanked and must think I am extremely ill-mannered. How did this happen? Well many guests brought gifts to our reception. Afterward, we went on our honeymoon, and the gifts were loaded into my parents' car and brought to our new home. Before we returned, our house was painted, the gifts were moved to the garage and several items were separated from their attached cards.
When we came home two weeks later, we matched up as many as we could, but two gifts still had no cards. I couldn't very well start phoning guests and say, "Did you send us something?" I wish these people had called to ask if their gifts were received, but since they were hand-delivered to the reception, I'm sure they assumed the gifts arrived intact.
Please tell people not to bring gifts to a wedding reception. It is difficult for the bride and groom to take them home and acknowledge them properly. It's much better to send gifts directly to the couple either before or after the wedding. Also, if you bring a gift, put the card INSIDE the package not tucked under a ribbon where it can be easily lost.
I hope you will print my first name and state, Ann. Maybe these people will understand what happened and forgive me. Cassandra in North Carolina
Dear Cassandra: You spoke for thousands of brides today, and I want to say thank you on behalf of all of them.
Bringing wedding gifts to the wedding imposes a burden on the couple and, in my opinion, is somewhat tacky. Wedding gifts should be sent to (or dropped off at) the home of the bride or her parents. The name of the giver should be written clearly on the outside, along with an address, and a card enclosed inside.
I cannot tell you how many letters I have received from brides who are distraught because they received gifts with no clue as to who brought them. Please, dear readers, if you bring a wedding gift to the reception, put your gift card INSIDE the wrapping. Sign your full name so the bride and groom can identify which "Mary and Joe" you are, or put your gift card inside an envelope that has your printed name and address on it. It will be greatly appreciated.