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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: Knowing that you are an animal lover, I beseech you to print "A Dog's Prayer" again. This has been a brutally cold winter, and I challenge anyone to read it without getting a lump in his throat. -- BUD CALVERT, FORSYTH, MO.

DEAR BUD: I admit I get a lump in my throat when I read it. Here it is:

A DOG'S PRAYER by Beth Norman Harris

Treat me kindly, my beloved master, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me.

Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I should lick your hand between the blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me do.

Speak to me often, for your voice is the world's sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footstep falls upon my waiting ear.

When it is cold and wet, please take me inside, for I am now a domesticated animal, no longer used to bitter elements. And I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth. Though had you no home, I would rather follow you through ice and snow than rest upon the softest pillow in the warmest home in all the land, for you are my god and I am your devoted worshiper.

Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for although I should not reproach you were it dry, I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst. Feed me clean food, that I may stay well, to romp and play and do your bidding, to walk by your side, and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life should your life be in danger.

And, beloved master, should the great Master see fit to deprive me of my health or sight, do not turn me away from you. Rather hold me gently in your arms as skilled hands grant me the merciful boon of eternal rest -- and I will leave you knowing with the last breath I drew, my fate was ever safest in your hands.

DEAR ABBY: I recently took a vacation trip to Hawaii with a friend. The vacation itself was fine, except for the airplane flight.

Upon taking our seats, we noticed a young woman with long hair seated directly in front of us. She immediately started running her fingers through her hair and flipping it over the seat. Then she leaned her chair back and continued to toss her hair over the back of the seat. In fact, she didn't even lean forward for the meal. She was not asleep or reading. This went on for the entire five-hour flight!

We asked her to please lean forward so we could get by to go to the bathroom. When she moved, she made a snide remark and gave us a look that could kill. The seat was immediately returned to the completely leaned-back position -- hair hanging down and all.

Hey, you're trapped on a plane, and when it's full, there is no place to move. How could I have handled this without an ugly confrontation? Sign me ... HARRIED PASSENGER

DEAR PASSENGER: You could have asked the flight attendant to speak to the long-haired passenger. Inconsiderate people rarely see themselves as others see them. Bottom line: The right to swing your arms (or hair) ends where the other person's nose begins.

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more attractive person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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