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by Abigail Van Buren

Wolf in Dog's Clothing Is Dangerous Mix for a Pet

DEAR ABBY: This is regarding the letter from "Worried in Visalia, Calif." I have had my own experience with a part wolf-dog that I would like to share.

A couple of years ago, we were in the process of buying a house and had to live temporarily in an apartment where animals were not allowed. My parents agreed to keep our dog until our house was finished. Their next-door neighbors owned three large dogs, one being part wolf.

Our dog is a mini Doberman pinscher and quite small compared to the other dogs. One day when no one was at home at my parents' house, the three dogs came over their fence and attacked our little dog. The neighbor heard unusual yelping and went to check out what was happening. He jumped the fence to see the part wolf-dog tearing our little dog apart. The neighbor pulled the wolf-dog off and had to literally push our dog's intestines back inside before he could pick her up and take her to the vet. She had been torn open from her back down one side to the bottom of her stomach.

The neighbor, whose son owned the dog, was very apologetic and visibly upset about it and agreed to pay for the vet bill. Our dog was in the hospital for a week and we very nearly lost her, but she made it through the ordeal.

This is not the first time this dog has attacked. It has bitten another neighbor and chased my mother; it tried to attack them when they were walking next to the fence. The son of the neighbor refused to get rid of this dog, and they still have it.

A wolf-dog is a very dangerous breed, and anyone who plans to own one should reconsider because their behavior is very unpredictable.

I know this letter is long, but I hope you will print it so people will know how dangerous it is to own such a "pet." -- G.K.T.

DEAR G.K.T.: Thank you for a valuable piece of advice. Dog lovers -- are you listening?