Dear Prudence: I was cruel to the kid I baby-sat, and now I regret it.

Help! I Used To Spank the Boy I Baby-Sat. Like All the Time.

Help! I Used To Spank the Boy I Baby-Sat. Like All the Time.

Advice on manners and morals.
Jan. 31 2013 6:15 AM

Regrets of a Spanking Sitter

I was cruel to the kid I once baby-sat, and now the guilt is tormenting me.

(Continued from Page 1)

Dear Groped,
Yet another letter in which the description of his wonderfulness is followed by a butt. Your account is so odd. Obviously you would not have moved in with this guy if you felt you needed to aim a Taser at him every time he came near. The story of his actions following the news of a young woman’s death makes me think your boyfriend needs a check-up because bizarre changes in personality can have a physical cause. If he comes back with a clean bill of health, then I don’t see what’s left for you but to pack up and leave someone who’s lewd and crude and making you hate him. It’s one thing to have your beloved think you’re endlessly attractive. It’s another to find yourself wanting to turn around and spit in his face just so you can get a few minutes of peace while you brush your teeth.


Dear Prudence,
My wife and I have a dog that is getting on in age and has recently been diagnosed with cancer for the third time in less than two years, meaning her chemo has not worked. We have to meet with the oncologist who’s been treating her, but my inclination is that it's time to stop fighting the inevitable. My wife, on the other hand, has had this dog since before we met and can't bring herself to even consider letting her die. But more treatment will wreck us financially (as it did the previous two times). I love the dog, too, but I love my wife and kids more and our resources are being drained in a losing battle. I am hoping the oncologist agrees with me, but if not, what do I do?

—Dog Problems


Dear Dog,
Whether or not your wife can accept the finality of your dog’s prognosis, in short order your dog will be dead. Your wife knows the canine actuarial tables, and preventing your kids from going to college in a useless, painful effort to extend a terminal animal’s life is only benefitting the bank account of the veterinarian. Tell your wife you are opposed to continuing your dog’s suffering, and say the same thing, firmly, to the oncologist. Let’s hope this doctor recognizes her duty to her patient and her clients.


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Emily Yoffe is a contributing editor at the Atlantic.