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by Abigail Van Buren

Birds in the Bush Are Safer Than Birds in Some Hands

DEAR ABBY: I couldn't resist sharing this old story when I read about the plate-licking dog:

The preacher was invited to Sunday dinner by a church member. When he was called to the table, he noticed that it was set with the dirtiest dishes he had ever seen.

He asked his hostess: "Are these dishes clean?" She replied, "They're as clean as soap and water could get them." He then reluctantly blessed the food and began eating. The food was delicious, so he praised the hostess in spite of the dirty dishes.

When she cleared the table, she took the dishes to the back door and hollered, "Here Soap! Here Water!" -- DOG LOVER IN ABILENE, TEXAS