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Wednesday, April 23, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 54.0° F  Overcast
The Paper


Tell All: Holiday doggie disaster
How do I tell my family to leave the pooches at home?

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Dear Tell All: I have a holiday dinner dilemma. Dear Sweet Brother with a heart bigger than his brain is coming up from Chicago with his family of five and our dear Dad. He wants to bring their Great Pyrenees dog because he doesn't want Zuko to eat his dinner an hour or two late.

I have one sister who is in the process of ending her six-year alienation from the family; I am still fanning dry her signature on the international peace treaty. She wants to come to our celebration with her family of four and her soft coated wheaten terrier.

I have another sister who just happens to be deaf. She and her roommate are planning to bring their two alleged "hearing ear dogs." I say alleged because I have never seen either dog do anything besides lie on the couch and fart.

My husband does not want any of the four big dogs to come, and it's not because they will drink the tree water or go after him if he wears shorts. We recently moved into the smallest home we have ever owned. We have room for only six people in our living room. I'm getting hives just thinking about trying to fit 16 people and four large dogs in our house.

Plus, we have a cute little dog who will go absolutely nuts if he has the chance to meet his four big dog cousins. I can just imagine dogs grabbing the ornaments off the tree before they knock it down and then run across the kitchen table.

Any ideas on how to tell my siblings "do leave home without it!!"??

Dog Dazed

Dear Dog Dazed: I have to ask: Just what is your husband hiding 'neath his shorts that drives the dogs wild?

I think your family will understand, because you've clearly reached critical canine mass. Five dogs is simply too many for a blood-free holiday dinner. So when you tell your family "No f'ing dogs!" try to frame it in terms of safety. No matter how gentle their beloved pets are at home, there's no telling what will happen when they're all jammed together. Throw in a table full of food and your husband's pheromones and you're asking for doggie disaster.

Do you have a question about life or love in Madison? Write Tell All, 101 King St., Madison, WI 53703. Or email

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