Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Doctor Love: Bruno needs neutered

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Dr. Doctor Love,
I am fighting with my boyfriend about neutering our dog, Bruno. I read that neutering male dogs reduces problems with territorial and sexual aggression, which I am starting to see in Bruno now that he is growing up. My boyfriend is strongly opposed to removing Bruno’s “masculinity,” saying it’s cruel. Now Bruno is getting out of the yard, probably making unwanted puppies in the neighborhood, and sometimes, he comes home looking like he’s been in a fight. I want to be a responsible pet owner and do what is right for our dog. How can I enlighten my macho-man boyfriend?
/s/Bruno needs neutered

Dear Bruno Needs Neutered,
This kind of squabble about Bruno can really stir the pot in a household. First up, it’s good on you for wanting to take responsible steps for your dog’s well-being and the community. Neutering isn’t just about stopping Bruno from roaming and fighting; it’s also a health thing. It can help prevent certain illnesses down the road, much like how we clean our water to keep ourselves healthy here on the island.
Now, about enlightening your boyfriend: it’s important to tackle this with a blend of understanding and firm facts. Sometimes, folks get worried about changes, thinking it’s unnatural or harsh, like how some worry about reef-safe sunscreen versus what they’ve always used. You might explain to him that neutering Bruno doesn’t take away his “masculinity” but helps him live a longer, healthier life. It’s about caring for Bruno, not taking something away. Maybe compare it to how we fix our boats here: it’s not about changing them but making sure they’re in the best condition to sail.
If words don’t get through, consider bringing him along to a vet chat. Sometimes hearing it straight from a professional. Plus, a vet can lay down the facts about the benefits and the process, making it less daunting.
And remember, just like when we deal with a stubborn rusted lock, sometimes a little oil and patience do the trick. Keep the conversation going gently, and hopefully, he’ll see the sense in it, for Bruno’s sake and for all the little puppies that might not have a home lined up.
All the best, Dr. Love

Dr. Doctor Love,
I am a single, 30-ish lady, and it’s been a long time since I met someone who really turns me on. Last weekend, I ran into my old high school boyfriend, Javier. We never went “all the way,” but we enjoyed a lot of kissing back in the day! When I saw him, sparks flew! He is married, but I think he is into me…and would cheat if I wanted to. I’m not looking for love, just a good time. I don’t want to be a home wrecker but am very tempted! Should I even worry about his private life or just have fun and let him deal with the consequences?
/s/Tempted to touch

Dear Tempted to Touch,
It sounds like you’re standing at a crossroads where the heart’s pulling you one way, and your good sense another. Here on the island, we all know each other and how important it is to maintain good relationships.
Diving back into old flames can be thrilling, sure, but remember, Javier’s situation has tides and currents you might not see beneath the surface. He’s married, and stepping into that situation could stir up a lot of trouble, not just for him but for you too. Think about the long-term effects here, much like how we think about our coral reefs — once damaged, they’re hard to repair.
Why not look for someone who’s free to return your affections without any strings or storms attached? There are plenty of fish in the sea. Look for someone who can share your adventures openly, without any hidden rocks to navigate.
It’s tempting to let him deal with the consequences, but like when we overfish our spots, the repercussions can affect the whole community. So, maybe steer clear of this old flame and find joy in someone who can freely share it with you, no holding back. Keep your heart open and your morals strong, and the right catch will come swimming along.
Best wishes, Dr. Love

Dr. Doctor Love,
Maria and I have been married for seven years. We have both discussed having an open marriage. Nothing is wrong in our marriage, and our intimate life is great. Is this a healthy curiosity on our part, or are we just asking for trouble?
/s/ Confused but curious

Dear Confused but Curious,
Exploring new ideas after seven years of marriage, like thinking about an open relationship, can be like considering whether to try out a new fishing spot when the old one still brings in a good catch. It’s not unusual to feel curious about different ways of living out your marriage, just as we sometimes wonder about different paths in life here in San Pedro.
The key to whether this is a healthy curiosity, or a storm brewing is how solid your foundation is. It’s great to hear that nothing is wrong and that your intimate life is flourishing. This means you’re starting from a place of strength. However, moving into an open marriage requires clear, honest, and ongoing communication.
Before you set sail on this new adventure, sit down with Maria and discuss all the potential ups and downs. Consider questions like: How will we manage feelings of jealousy? What are the boundaries? How do we ensure our primary relationship stays strong? It might help to talk to a counselor.
If you both feel ready and excited, and you keep those lines of communication, this curiosity could very well lead to a healthy new chapter in your relationship. Just make sure you’re both holding the map and agree on the course you’re setting.
All the best, Dr. Love

Dr. Doctor Love,
As my mother ages (she just turned 68), she insists on getting into my personal business. She tells me what’s wrong with my marriage and how I am not raising my children correctly. I try to brush this off, but she does it with my sister, too. We are both sick of it and are avoiding Mom a lot, which I don’t like. She’s always been bossy, but it’s getting really bad. What should I do?
/s/ No longer Mama’s baby

Dear No Longer Mama’s Baby,
Dealing with an overbearing parent, especially as they grow older, can be quite challenging. It’s clear you value your relationship with your mother, but her intrusiveness is putting a strain on how you and your sister interact with her. As tough as it is, setting boundaries is essential for your well-being and for maintaining a healthy relationship with your mom.
Start by having a calm, honest conversation with her. Choose a good time when there’s no rush and you can talk undisturbed. Explain how her comments make you feel and how it affects your relationship. Be specific about the types of comments that are hurtful or unhelpful. It’s important to communicate that while you value her experience and love, you also need to make your own decisions about your family and life.
Encourage her to share how she’s feeling too. Sometimes, such behavior can be driven by feelings of loneliness or a desire to remain needed and important in her children’s lives. Understanding her perspective might help you find more compassionate ways to address the issue.
Setting boundaries might also mean gently but firmly letting her know when she’s overstepped. This could be as simple as saying, “Mom, I appreciate your concern, but I’ve got this covered,” or, “Let’s talk about something else.”
If these discussions are tough to navigate alone, you might consider involving a neutral third party, like a family therapist, who can help guide the conversation and ensure all sides are heard.
Remember, it’s possible to love your mom and still insist on the respect and space you deserve. With some open conversation and clear boundaries, I hope you can find a balance that works for everyone.
Best wishes, Dr. Love

Doctor Love is the islands, and possibly the world’s greatest authority on just about everything. The Doctor answers questions concerning any subject except religion or politics. Persons needing additional assistance or counseling should contact Family Services Division at 227-7541. The opinions herein are not necessarily of The San Pedro Sun. Write Doctor Love at PO Box 51, San Pedro Town, Belize, or email: [email protected]

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