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by Abigail Van Buren

Man's Best Friend Gets Worst Ride of His Life

DEAR ABBY: "Liz in California" expressed her concern that pets in motor vehicles should be secured (buckled up) similar to small children. Well, here's another one for your "Now I've Heard Everything" file:

As I was driving along a Twin Cities freeway, I passed a man on a motorcycle doing no less than 60 miles an hour. Abby, he had a full-grown black Labrador dog perched behind him on the passenger seat of the motorcycle! The poor animal looked paralyzed with fear.

When I called the Minnesota Highway Patrol to report the cycle license number, I was told they could do nothing because the guy wasn't breaking any laws.

Abby, how about cruelty to animals? That terrified dog could jump or fall from the motorcycle and shatter all four legs on the concrete! Or, startled motorists could swerve out of control or be rear-ended slamming on their brakes, with a dog that size rolling down the pavement.

To me, it's just another indication that there is no shortage of idiots on the road in Minnesota. -- SANDY IN MAPLE GROVE

DEAR SANDY: Why pick on Minnesota? There's no shortage of idiots on the road in any other state that has no law to protect man's best friend from this kind of brutality.

As a concerned citizen and animal lover, why don't you write a letter to the editor of your newspaper and cite this blatant cruelty? It might spur a state legislator to action.

DEAR ABBY: I fully agree with your response to the woman of good character in Anchorage, Alaska, who had bought a secondhand car and found $42 in the glove compartment. Her husband said that inasmuch as they had purchased the car "as is," she should keep the $42. You told her to return it.

Your advice was similar to the story told by Rabbi Simeon, whose students bought a donkey from a merchant to assist their teacher in his livelihood of selling flax. His students found a costly pearl attached to the neck of the donkey, and they said, "Rabbi, you will not have to labor any more -- we found this precious gem on the donkey!"

Rabbi Simeon responded, "Does the seller know of this pearl?" They answered, "No."

The sage then said, "I bought a donkey, not a pearl." The jewel was returned.

As a rabbi concerned that people don't simply tell themselves, "Business is business," I am pleased you chose to print that woman's letter.

The great writer Macaulay wrote: "The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out." -- RABBI GEOFFREY BOTNICK, WILMETTE, ILL.

DEAR ABBY: I got a chuckle out of some of the messages left on telephone answering machines by people who had obviously misdialed. Add this one:

A female voice left this message on my machine: "Honey, I just came back from the doctor's office, and he says I'm pregnant."

Abby, I am a single man, living alone. I'm also ... 68 YEARS OLD

Abby's family recipes are included in her cookbooklet. Send a long, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054. (Postage is included.)

4900 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64112; (816) 932-6600