I have a fursona, which is a German shepherd and macaw hybrid. He is a German shepherd with the markings and colors of a macaw. I thought my fursona was good to go, but then I saw other fursonas which were macaw hybrids too. I'm worried that I'll be accused of stealing their fursona's design's. I have a huge connection to this sona as he is nearly four years old and near and dear to me, but I don't want to be wrongfully accused and have to just throw him away because of possible bullying/harassment because of this. Is there anyway I can prepare myself if such accusations do occur?
Thank you for reading!
Anonymous (age 14)
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Hmm, you know, I would have thought that a German shepherd/macaw mix would be fairly unique, too. I guess it just shows there are not many unique ideas under the sun. But I wouldn't worry about it. The species or species hybrid is just one part of your fursona. If furries went around accusing each other of plagiarism just because someone chose the same species, then we would all be in trouble. I mean, for example, I'm a grizzly bear, right? I'm certainly not the only furry with a grizzly fursona. Same goes for dogs, horses, cats, elephants, rats, deer, and on and on. In the hybrid realm, we have some popular mixes, such as angel dragons, minotaurs, gryphons, bearbulls (or bullbears LOL), folfs, tigons/ligers, wolfdogs, and so on.
The species is not the only thing about your fursona that is unique. But if you want to get into the nitty gritty, a dog/macaw hybrid can have many combinations of dog breeds and macaw species. There are 19 species of macaw and nearly 350 breeds of dogs, so that gives you thousands of possible combinations, all unique. Even if you stick to just shepherds, you still have 19 varieties of macaw to choose from. You can also be more particular about the shepherd. Within the shepherd species, there are the following varieties: American and Canadian Show Lines, West German Show Lines, West German Working Lines, East German Working Lines, and Czech Working Lines.
In addition to species, there are many variations you can have for your fursona, including these:
You can also play around a lot with details, such as eye color, size of feet, hands, mouth, length of fur or feathers, and so on.
You can see, I hope, that while there may be a number of other German shepherd/macaw hybrids out there, the variations on the theme are nearly endless. Play around with these and I'm sure you can find a unique fursona that is suited to your preferences and does not imitate what is already out there.
I feel absolutely destroyed and need advise from someone outside of my own personal friend circle who can offer insight on my predicament. I was in a relationship and engaged to a wonderful dragon. We rarely argued and when we did we were always able to overcome with patience and compromise. it took a lot of work and effort to get to our level of love/trust and I really thought we were going to make it for the long haul. That's why it was so surprising and painful when it all started slipping. I tried literally everything I could do to save us, but he stopped helping. He started spending all his time on telegram and twitter and started caring much more about his looks and his friends... and the whole time he said he was the bad guy and I was doing nothing wrong when i pointed out how it was hurting the relationship. He stopped talking to me.
I don't understand what happened. He was never very sexually driven. I knew he was Pan sexual and could have a desire for men, but we were open. He could RP online or go play with someone if he wanted I just wanted to keep the love and he agreed. He used to tell me that "This is the best relationship I've ever been in" and "you still give me butterflies". Everything came down in the span of a month. It went from so serene, tender and loving to "I have no love left for you" so quickly. Even worse he says I did nothing wrong. He leaped from loving fiance to I'm only into men and want to uproot my entire life in a Flash. He said he felt guilty so why didn't he try to save us? Why did he totally stone wall me when I was trying to figure out what had happened? Why didn't he mourn or come to me sooner when he started feeling bad? So many whys.
Its been a couple of months now and I'm still so torn up inside. I feel like it didn't matter that I gave him literally everything I had and that I was willing to give the rest of my life to him. It didn't matter that I was patent, loving, flexible, always there when he needed me, and so many other things I thought he deserved out of the relationship... How are you supposed to move on and build up after giving so much? How do I keep it from happening again.. because it felt like a big part of the break up was... because I'm not male. And why do I still love him and want to be with him even after all of this pain and after hes made it abundantly clear that he had nothing for me?
I'm sure time is an answer to this... but I sure would like to feel like I will survive this instead of death by great bleeding heart. Advise on the short term healing or maybe recommendations on long term relationships for next time?
Broken Hearted Blue (age 26)
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Dear Broken Hearted,
I'm sorry you are going through this. I might be able to give you some insight into this because I am familiar with what I think is his side of it from a personal level. Not sure if you read much of my bio in this column over the years, but I was married to a lovely woman for 22 years. I went into the marriage honestly believing I was straight, but when I was forty I figured out I wasn't (long story short, I had a sheltered childhood and though all gay men were effeminate, which didn't appeal to me, but later I discovered the bear community and instantly identified with it). Anyway, after four long years trying to deny it to myself and to her, I came out to her. We both cried and, of course, this led to her divorcing me. The good news is that we remain friends and I still have a lot of love for her, but we could never be married again.
It might be that your dragon experienced something similar, only that he initially felt he was pansexual and later it dawned on him that he was only into men. Such revelations can come over time, or they can come quite abruptly, as seems to have happened with him.
Now, this only has to do with sexuality. There's a difference, as you know, between sexuality and love. What rather disturbs me about what he said to you (if I am understanding this correctly) is that not only does he no longer have a sexual interest in you, but he also no longer loves you. If, to him, sex is the same as love, then that speaks poorly of this young man. If, on the other hand, he is saying "I don't love you anymore" as a way of, perhaps, breaking things off more cleanly and permanently so as not to lead you on in any way, then that is still a rather cruel thing to do, but a little more understandable.
Either way, he has hurt you, and to be that cold to someone you professed to love is a dark path to walk. It makes me not like him very much, but then I don't have to.
Answering your questions: 1) Yes, you will survive this. You are 26. Every young person goes through heartbreak at one time or another. It is part of life and part of learning about relationships. Learn from the experience and take your new wisdom into the next relationship you have, but also don't sell the good memories short; it's okay to have fond memories of someone you are no longer with—good memories can make us stronger just as surviving bad ones can. 2) On the short term, the best thing for you to do is spend a little time focusing on you as an individual and not as half of a relationship. Remember, what happened (and he said this himself!) is not because of something wrong with you but, rather, something amiss with him. Spend the next few months contemplating who you are as a person, what you want out of life, and how to achieve it. Do this in terms of only yourself and not as a partner or spouse. 3) In the long term, it will help immensely if you become—from this experience and its aftermath—someone who knows who they are and what they want out of life; someone who is self-assured and confident in themselves; someone who has love in their heart but is not codependent or seeking a codependent relationship just to get by. Such people are immensely attractive. It's the ones who reek of desperation or neediness that chase potential suitors away. Then, as this confident person (not arrogant, confident), you will be much more likely to find someone who is better mate material. No guarantees, but that's life!
I'm not in the furry fandom like most of the teens who write to you. I'm in the Marvel fandom.
You probably heard of the movie Avengers: Infinity War, which came out a few weeks ago. I really want to watch it, but my mom thinks it's a bad influence (like it's too violent, etc). But we watch OTHER movies similar to Marvel, like Star Wars. They have violence too, so what's different about Infinity War?!
Also my mom is pulling my best friend into this. She's also a Marvel fan. My mom thinks that she's influencing me into "idolizing" movies and actors and all that crap. I mean, I love Marvel, but I'm not letting it get between me and school and church!
She thinks I'm going become a serial killer because of the violence.
She also thinks I want to watch the movie because of peer pressure; all my friends are watching it, so I've gotta watch it too. Well, NO. I'm not watching it because of peer pressure. I want to watch it because (and this may sound dumb) this movie is important to me. I'm in the fandom! I'm attached to these characters! I've cried and ranted over them! I see even myself in some of them; I can relate to some of the problems they face.
I'm careful. I'm not stupid; I know what movies I should and shouldn't watch. I even have Christian friends who've gone and seen Infinity War. CHRISTIAN FRIENDS. I really don't understand at all.
I'm sorry for all the ranting. I hope you understood everything. Thank you.
Jasmine (age 13)
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It is true your mother is not being consistent. Like you said, why is Star Wars okay but Avengers isn’t? Makes no sense. Have you asked her to explain herself? If she doesn’t like superheroes, does she also have a problem with Harry Potter movies? How about crime dramas or war movies? Why or why not?
Getting back to superhero movies. Your mom’s idea that they can make children more violent does not come out of the blue. Studies such as this one have shown that kids exposed to the violence of superhero movies can exhibit (but don’t necessarily exhibit) more violent behavior. The influence on kids is likely stronger if they are exposed to the films at a younger age. The kids were between 3 and 6 years old, for the most part, in this study.
Also, the argument that such films, which feature characters doing violent things for noble causes and who are motivated to help people, translate into kids who are also more socially minded and concerned about the welfare of others does not fly. With regard to acting more protectively and charitably to others, there was no change before and after watching such films.
It must be repeated, though, that you are 13 now and, at that age, less likely to be so impressionable. You seem like you have a good head on your shoulders, and one argument you could give your mom is, “Hey, Mom, you raised me better than that; you raised me to understand that violence is bad and be a good Christian, and I’m not going to go against that just because of some movie.” That said, I do understand where your mom is coming from. When I was your age, my parents wouldn’t let me see films like Jaws and The Exorcist. However, by the time I was 15 I was allowed to see Superman.
Your mom is trying to be protective of you, which is good. Better that than a mother who doesn’t give a damn about you, right? But have a conversation with her about what I said above and see if you can get a little more consistency and understanding from her.
Dear Papa Bear,
I've been in the fandom for quite a while, but also I've been a fan of other things like video games and anime. As I browse through some furry mediums like comics, literature and animation I've noticed something: the action genre is almost non-existent. Someone might argue that there's plenty of action on these mediums, but I would ask if they've even taken nods to stuff like Devil May Cry, Fist of the North Star, Yakuza, Bayonetta, Time Crisis, G-Gundam, Tekken, Guilty Gear, Ys, Die Hard, Streets of Rage, I could go on. The best I could find is this comic series on FA called This Primal World. It's a good read, worth checking out. So my question is, why is action the least tapped-into genre in the furry fandom?
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I really didn't know the answer to your question, so I asked Watts Martin, who is president of the Furry Writers' Guild. Here is what he wrote back:
Hi! So, I asked around the Furry Writers' Guild Slack and got more or less nothing useful when it comes to furry action comics, and not a lot for action stories/novels; I suspect the problem is that while it's easy to think of "action movies," we don't really talk about comics and especially fiction quite the same way. (Yes, I know Superman first appeared in "Action Comics," but that kinda kicked off "superhero" as a genre, right?)
I'm not familiar with "Wild's End," but I am with the Blacksad and Usagi Yojimbo books and they, indeed, have lots of action in them. I was particularly impressed by the Blacksad writing.
Hope that helps,
I have a question to ask and its about speech and fursuiting. I noticed that wile out of fursuit no one talks to me or acknowledges my presence. I just shrug my shoulders and think that maybe they are just too busy conversing with others. So this is normal for me. But as soon as I put on that head it seems like now everyone wants to talk to me. It gets me all confused because its like why talk to a fursuiter when you know that it hard to talk with them. They say something like "What? I can't hear you. Speak up!" It's quite hard to speak up with something is one's mouth. It also over times strains and bruises the vocal cords when trying to yell as loud as I can to make the non fursuiter here what I have to say. Then as I take off the head they stop talking or just walk away. It's like what is this? Are they playing some sort of mind game?
I just don't know if the non-suiters find it offensive when it comes to speech other than vocal. Friendly gestures while fursuiting can be a part of speech too. I experienced that scenario a few weeks ago at a furmeet. No one wanted to talk but as I got dressed up and put on the head that's when they wanted to say something. This one person kinda found it offensive just the way she used her tone of voice. "It's like why dont you converse or talk with others?" I'm like duh I'm in fursuit here. Stuff like that just ruins the magic and fun of being in character. Didn't want to say anything to the admin. staff about because I didnt want to ruin their happiness. She did that quite a few times too. I guess thy just have no idea how to RP in real life situations. I don't like to talk that much and that is why I use the fursuit. It's sort of like when you have your head phones are ear phones. Turn on the radio or listen and watch movies on the net and yup! People start making conversation and it's like "Hello! I'm listening to something here. I can't hear you" It's like do I have a sign on me that says please talk to me when I'm busy. I've seen people do this to others with fursuits. Not all but some. The person doesn't have fursuit on yet and nobody's around, but put it on and now everyone wants that person to say something. These people had a lot of time and opportunity to talk to that person beforehand but wasted that time doing something else.
I guess what I 'm trying to ask is Why do non suiters not use the time wisely to talk to the suiter before they walk around and perform?
Cave (age 29)
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As the fandom grows, it is apparent that the fursuiting etiquette that was once common knowledge is being increasingly abandoned or just forgotten (or not taught at all). Now, I have only been fursuiting since 2010, but even then these things (below) were told to me about proper fursuiting, so it seems to be very recently that this has gotten out of hand.
To all of you out there, fursuiters and non-suiters alike, here is a quick list what used to be, at least, fursuit etiquette:
The reason why you find people wanting to talk to you in your fursuit, Cave, is this: fursuits break down the communication barrier by making people more at ease. You see, when an unfamiliar face approaches someone and tries to initiate a conversation, this is a very real thing and can be intimidating to some people, especially for those who are socially shy, which is a common issue in the fandom. Furries (and mundanes) tend to form cliques and circles of friends with whom they are comfortable and then pretty much ignore everyone else. This is a type of defense mechanism.
But when you are in fursuit, you suddenly become an object of fascination, a fantasy character who has come to life, and this is, obviously, very appealing to a furry fan. They don’t feel intimidated anymore because your fursona is attractive and they want to get closer to you. It is also true, in my opinion, that because you are a fantasy being at this point, you are more approachable because you aren’t, in a sense, real. Therefore, you are not threatening to them, if that makes sense.
One of the things I enjoy about fursuiting is just this thing: it breaks down barriers. People come up to me and hug me! And they would never do that if I was just walking around as Kevin Hile. So, don’t be annoyed by people wanting to converse with you in suit; think of your fursuit, instead, as a tool for breaking down the wall between people and connecting to them. If they want to talk to you, talk back—but do it as your fursona. Keep the magic alive. That’s the fun of fursuiting!
So, my names Kayne, I'm 22 and I been a furry for about ten years or so now. I always wanted to fursuit and be active in the community. I finally ordered my suit and all that and I'm really excited for it. But, in my haste to get my suit I overlooked some details that really started bumming me out later. 1. I'm thick. I'm 5'6 245 lbs, (167 cm 111 kg) and though I'm well proportioned, I have a gut, I dislike said gut.(Even though my boyfriend loves it) and I'm worried how it'll look in fursuit. I don't want my stomach to be sticking out while I'm in suit and it look bad. I work out in the sun all day so I'm not concerned with heat or stamina, I'm concerned with my appearance in suit. My question is, do you think it'll be really noticeable in Fullsuit that I have this bigger sized belly?
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Hmm, will your belly be visible.... If it is form-fitting, the fursuit will definitely show the belly, especially if your fursona is, say, a reptile and there is no fur to sort of hide it. If it is baggy and doesn't fit well, it will hide the belly but look bad, like a cheap mascot suit or something bought from a Halloween costume store. One thing you could do, if you are so inclined, is add clothing to your fursuit that will help disguise the underlying physique. You could, for example, wear a trenchcoat, a cape, or a robe. But if you do that, you might as well have just gotten a partial and saved yourself some money.
I'm not really sure why this bothers you. You walk around all day in your human form with your belly, so why should that be different in a fursuit? Also, many fursonas look more adorable if they are, shall we say, foofy. Heck, I ADDED a lot of padding to my fursuit because bears are not skinny and I thought it looked better. Too, many furries love cushy, round fursuits, so this certainly will not detract from your popularity. It might even add to it.
But, if you REALLY want a clear-cut reply from me, send Papabear a photo. Hard to tell with just text.
And if you are self-conscious about your weight (or just wish to be healthier), I don't think you need Papabear to tell you what you need to do.
I'm sure you'll be fine!
So I understand this has been covered many times, but there is a big problem for me that I'd like to address, and that's that my parents think fursuiting is dumb. I joined the fandom when I was 11, and I've been hiding my interest about it. When I first showed my dad my fursona, he said it was "dumb" and that I should be spending more time doing work. It hurts because I've been saving money to get a fursuit, but every time something comes up where I have to use my savings, and I start all over.
The main point is that my parents don't like the idea of me spending so much time on what I love, because they think it's a dumb concept, and that it's too expensive. I am feeling down about it, and I'd really like a little help, even if it's just telling me best ways to save up.
Anonymous (age 14)
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We have two questions here: how to address your parents and how to get money for a fursuit. Your parents believe that work is more important than your "dumb" interest in furries. You don't specify why they think it is dumb, but it sounds like they see your interests as frivolous and you should be focusing on studying and, I suppose, getting a job, even though you are only fourteen. This is a problem that is widespread in modern American society. Parents no longer see the value of hobbies and play. Instead, they take away play too early and, if anything, allow for only structured activities such as being on a soccer team or taking dance lessons.
But playing is important. In fact, there are scientific studies that show it is important and all young people should indulge in play (and 14 is not too old to do so). Here is a paper all about the importance of play in physical, social, and emotional development. Play can take all kinds of forms, and indulging in being active in the fandom is just one, but a legitimate one. Therefore, it is not "dumb." People who grew up being allowed to have unstructured play grow up to be healthier and more sociable than those who do not. It can even help with your creative and cognitive skills. As the saying goes, "All work and no play makes Jack (or Jill) a dull boy/girl."
Life is not all about work. It is not all about school. Play is important.
As for raising money for a fursuit, well, yes, they can be expensive. Instead of buying a new, full suit, how about getting a used one or a partial? You'll save a lot. As for the money you'll still need, do you have a way to make a little money? Do yard work or other chores or dog walking? Saving money is all about discipline. I'm not sure what you mean by "something comes up" that forces you to spend money you are saving, but if the "something" is not an emergency, then you need to learn how to prioritize. What is more important? Saving for your furry hobby or spending money on something else? If furry is more important, then don't waste money on things that are not essential.
Hope that helps, and good luck!
Good Evening, Papa Bear.
I am writing to ask your advice on what I should do regarding wishing to share my work again, but being apprehensive to. Firstly, I'm aware advice often given in this case, with all good intents, is "ignore the haters and do it anyway." That may be fine for "normal" folks, but I must share with you I suffer from C-PTSD, which caused me to also suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Persistent Depressive Disorder. (Don't worry Papa, I see a therapist weekly)
So, for me, it's not just a matter of shrugging off trolls and haters. My writing was the main thing that got me through my hellish childhood; I didn't write then but now to help me deal, and my OC's mean everything to me. It cuts me to the bone when a stranger on the net calls one a faggot (this happened) or another time "your art is frowned upon because anthro machines are for children, it's not ok that you draw this," so I left DA and even FA cause I couldn't handle all the negative attention on my dear work.
I saw a blog around this time from a person who said, essentially, "If you are this sensitive, you have no business on the net. Create a private blog to share with family and friends only." So that's what I did, Papa, and I guess it worked, but it feels sad to be run out of town, so to speak, but I also know I can't handle people's meanness cause of my issues, either.
What do YOU think, Papa Bear? I am hoping you have some familiarity with the nature of G.A.D. and understand this is not mere "wimpiness" on my part but a damaged girl truly trying her best.
Best wishes, Dear One.
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Over the last year and a half or so, I have become personally quite aware of PTSD and anxiety disorders because of my boyfriend. He is a Vietnam vet who was on the front lines and suffers greatly from that experience to this day. He takes medication so that he doesn't have nightmares, yet he is very on edge much of the time during the day. A slight thing can set him off. He, like you, has a therapist, but the bottom line is that, even though intellectually he knows there is no reason for him to act this way in a secure and loving home, he will always be this way because he is damaged just in a way that is just as real as someone who has lost a limb in action.
Therefore, in your case, you are right. My saying, "Just ignore the haters and chase after your dream" will not alleviate your anxiety and feelings of being butthurt. Your condition leaves you as vulnerable to criticism as a diabetic is to sugar. Unfortunately, there is no insulin-comparable drug for you, although there are some medications for depression and anxiety that might help alleviate issues a bit to make them tolerable.
It's good that you have a therapist, but you might also want to get involved in some group therapy. Has your therapist suggested this to you? Have you tried other avenues besides one-on-one therapy? One thought that springs to mind is going to a camp. Did you know that there are special camps for people with PTSD and GAD? The benefit of these camps is twofold: 1) you get a break from the day-to-day life and can focus on you, and 2) you can learn and share with others who share your problems, get empathy, sympathy, plus some needed social interactions. The more social interaction you get with others, the more skills you develop that you can use when you return to daily life so you can deal better with people who rub you the wrong way.
So, my advice to you is first work on your PTSD/GAD until you feel a bit more able to manage your feelings around "regular" life situations. Only then would I re-address how to share your art with the world. You will never get over it entirely, but you should be able to get to a point where you can manage the stress better.
Hey, it's me again.
Bit of an update on my situation. I didn't sign up for meetup, as there were too many things requesting my identity, which I found to be sketchy. Furrymap didn't help, since the guy you pointed out never responded to me even when I messaged him. But that's not the important part.
See, loneliness I can deal with. I've at least found a small group of furs (though some are simply transformation enthusiasts) on discord who I sometimes refer to as my "family" simply due to the fact that it's mainly a closely-knit group of people within a small circle, where new people are welcomed but rare.
Meanwhile, in real life, my situation is getting worse. My father has become paranoid that his job is potentially going to use his skills (what he does is basically advise other businesses on how to improve their management and working quality) for their own gain, while only treating him as a tool. This leads him to often become stressed, and he will usually isolate himself in the garage and drink a glass of wine and smoke a cigar. One night he was more stressed than usual, and actually managed to get drunk. He then began verbally shouting and insulting both me and my mother, and this is only one of many times he's done something like this. He also tends to act like we (Mom and I) must be subservient to his will, and he'll often berate me for any small mistakes I make, such as when it took me a long time to finish a day's worth of homework, or when I accidentally got a party member killed while playing Icewind Dale with him (it should be noted that in the game you can pay for resurrection, but he's so stingy he'd rather reload every time someone dies.)
All his anger stresses Mom, who will often, when stressed, take it out on me. She often snaps at me for minute things, such as if I've forgotten to do something she asked me to, or if I haven't gotten everything I need for school in my backpack together yet. All this stress, compiled with the stress of school in general, makes me begin to feel like I'm about to implode. At this point my only solace is that family on discord, who are never quick to anger and will always provide helpful advice, as well as my boyfriend, who is very much a comforting soul to know (another thing: dad doesn't know about my relationship and he'd flip his shit if he knew).
The fact that they (or at least a few members in the server) obviously care for me is what keeps me going and not giving in to my sorrow. But lately things I seem to be getting more extreme in my views. I've often expressed thoughts of physically harming or murdering my parents, mostly my father (though I've never acted on them, much to the relief of me and those that care about me), and I've often expressed desperate pleas for one of the server members to help me make plans for them to kidnap me so I can get away from this town. These attempts have always been met with refusals and declarations that such a thing would be highly illegal, even if I promised my parents that i'd be back someday or somehow threw them off the trail.
I wish I could go back to my childhood, when my parents were actually happy together and I wasn't constantly fighting my own psyche. I just don't understand what happened to fuck me up so bad that i'd actually consider murdering parents who may just be trying their best. I just.... I don't know. i don't know what to do, and that scares me....
Feriss (age 16, Michigan)
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A lot of stuff going on here. Let me try to pull it all together.... I'm glad you located a few furiends online to share with. Yeah, Furrymap can be hit or miss; it's just a starting point.
I'm sorry to hear about your parents. I find that your father's fears about others using his skills to benefit their own businesses is shockingly naive. Of course others in business are going to use him as a tool. That's what businesses do! Capitalism is all about exploiting people for wealth. I don't understand why he thinks he is a special case, but turning to alcoholism is not the answer, and taking it out on you is even more offensive. Then, his anger leaches onto Mom, and then she takes it out on you, too? They need some serious counseling and help. This is not good.
I understand your anger and hurt. My father was emotionally abusive. One time, we got in a fight, and I got so angry I literally saw red. I was an inch away from grabbing a hammer and cracking his skull open. Seriously. BUT! I didn't. And that is the difference between sanity and insanity. Just because you entertain these thoughts doesn't mean you will go through with them. Some people have what I call "a bone in your head" that prevents you from going over the edge; other people lack that bone, and those are the ones you see on the 6 o'clock news. A good sign that you won't be on the news is that you express empathy and understanding that what your parents are doing is the result of their not handling stress well.
So, what now? Well, my first advice to you is to call Children's and Adults' Protective Services in Lenawee County. You need to find out what your rights and protection options are. Try to give them a call when you are not around your parents so that you can speak openly about what is happening. You need to arm yourself with information. Remember, abuse is not only physical but can be mental and emotional as well. While you are on the phone with them, ask them what services are available not only for you but also for your parents.
Take this first step and get back to me as to what you learned.
A note on comments: Comments on letters to Papabear are welcome, especially those that offer extra helpful advice and add something to the conversation that is of use to the letter writer and those reading this column. Also welcome are constructive criticisms and opposing views. What is NOT welcome are hateful, hurtful comments, flaming, and trolling. Such comments will be deleted from this site. Thank you.