Dear Dr. Wallace:

I’m 16, and I’ve been dating a local guy for a year now. When we first started dating at the beginning of school last year, he was kind, sweet and lots of fun, and he made me feel like I was the luckiest girl in the world.

But now things have changed. We still go out sometimes, but the kind, sweet guy I knew is now a grouch. He never says anything nice to me anymore. Whenever he sees me with my friends, he looks the other way and ignores me or says something kind of snide or even a bit hateful to me.

I think I should talk with him alone to find out what the problem is, but I don’t know whether I should stop by his house, call him or just text him about this. Please tell me what you think I should do.

— Unhappy Girl,

Baltimore

Dear Unhappy Girl: It’s quite obvious this guy has had a change in attitude toward you, but he lacks the maturity to tell you what caused this change. Teens often drift in and out of steady relationships for a multitude of different reasons. This is a normal part of the dating-mate-selection process, but there is no reason whatsoever for one to inflict emotional pain on the other when things go south in a relationship.

The time has come to sever all ties with this young man. Inform him that your relationship with him has been terminated because of his intensive and rude behavior, and it never will be rekindled. Be happy to be rid of him and chalk this relationship up as a learning experience. Don’t waste your precious time telling him this happy news. A simple note or text will be sufficient, especially since he has already verbally abused you.

Move on and aim to be a happy girl in the future. Life is too short, especially during the fleeting teen years, to waste time dating someone so incompatible.

Dear Dr. Wallace: I read a letter from a girl in Lodi, California, who was going to give up her dog because it was too expensive to keep. Do you have her address?

I would like to send her a check to help pay for some food so she can keep her pet. She has obviously built up a wonderful relationship with her dog and loves it very much. I would hate to see her lose her dog with the possibility of it being put to sleep.

My check might help her for a few months until she can think of ways to earn more money to support her dog. Just let me know where to send it, and I’ll promptly mail it out!

— Pet Lover,

via email

Dear Pet Lover: It’s obvious many of our readers are pet lovers. Several others have written to me offering money to aid this particular cause.

I’m happy to announce that the girl in Lodi and her puppy are together and happy. I received a follow-up letter from this young lady with good news.

A local pet store donated a year’s supply of dog food, and her mom changed her mind and said the dog could stay on a permanent basis.

Thank you very much for your generous offer to help; I’m sure this happy young lady and her dog also are thankful you and many others offered to help them. It’s nice to know kindness abides in many places, especially when it comes to pets.

May we all aim to carry this same goodwill over to our fellow citizens, be they old or young, similar to us in most ways or very different from us in nearly every way.

Compassion and kindness cut through all languages, cultures and situations.

Write to Dr. Wallace at rwallace@galesburg.net.