Dear Abby: I recently made some unflattering comments about my daughter-in-law to my son.

Dear Abby: I recently made some unflattering comments about my daughter-in-law to my son. They were recorded on their Ring doorbell. Now she’s angry with me and my son, and I’m not sure I will ever see the grandchildren again. When I emailed her an apology, she said she didn’t know if she could ever forgive me. She will see my husband, but I am not allowed over there if she will be around.

Any words of wisdom as to what to do? We have always helped them out with the children and sometimes financially. Should my husband tell her if I’m not welcome, then he feels the same way? I know he feels caught in the middle between me and the whole situation.

Messed Up in Illinois

Dear Messed Up: You have learned the hard way that in our technological society, privacy is history. I do not feel it would be helpful to threaten your son and daughter-in-law by withholding your husband from interacting with them and the grandkids. What you should do is apologize again to your daughter-in-law for your critical and unkind comments. Repeatedly, if necessary. Then hope she can find it in her heart to forgive you.

Dear Abby: Regarding “Nurturer in New York” (April 28), the disabled woman who wants a dog, please suggest she foster. I’m the founder of a shelter dog rescue and transport organization. We cannot save lives without our fosters! Fostering gives people looking to adopt the opportunity to possibly meet their perfect dog. It also gives dogs the chance to live in a home and learn the skills they will need to become cherished, beloved members of a human family.

Even if the dog(s) she fosters may not be the one(s) for her, she will still be able to enjoy their companionship and feel good knowing she’s provided a stepping-stone for homeless pets on their way to forever homes. Most shelters and rescues allow foster families to choose the type of pets they wish to take in.

I also loved your suggestion that she consider an older dog. Senior pets are often overlooked in shelters and are happier and more comfortable in a home setting.

Pet Person in North Carolina

Dear Pet Person: Thank you for writing to comment. Many readers responded to that letter by recommending fostering. One, from Washington state, mentioned “seniors for seniors” programs in which a senior pet is matched with an appropriate senior citizen, with ongoing assistance. While “permanent fosters” allow the animal to be placed with a person, the shelter retains “ownership” of the pet and is responsible for the vet bills. This is a worthwhile program for someone who may have the time and love for an animal but not the resources, and it helps get older pets out of the shelters.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.