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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?

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I were recently invited to a neighbor's surprise 30th birthday party. It was held at an expensive restaurant and nothing was said about who was paying for the dinner.

At the restaurant, the waiter explained the limited menu options to the 20 guests. No prices were mentioned, nor were we given the opportunity to make a selection from the menu. (I just assumed that our host had selected the food, so who was to argue?)

Imagine my surprise when, at the end of the evening, we were each handed a bill. Only one person paid in cash.

Question: Who was responsible for paying for the dinner? The host or the guests? -- ONE EXPENSIVE EVENING

P.S. We all brought gifts, and most paid for a baby sitter for the evening.

DEAR EXPENSIVE EVENING: When people are invited to a birthday party, they naturally assume they are guests.

It was a surprise party in every sense of the word. The hosts were surprisingly ignorant of the social graces.

DEAR ABBY: You had a letter in your column recently about people not being happy about their old age. There are two ways to look at it.

First, without birthdays we would be dead, so be thankful instead for all the lessons of life you have learned and the love you have both given and received.

Second, look at age the way my granddaughter does. When Jessica was 3 years old, I misplaced something and was muttering to myself about being forgetful in my old age. She told me I wasn't in my old age. I asked her, "What do you mean?" She replied, "Your old age is what you were before your birthday. After that, you're in your NEW age."

She was right. -- MARY KALLINEN, COON RAPIDS, MINN.

DEAR MARY KALLINEN: What a bright granddaughter you have. Thanks for a dandy day-brightener.

Abby shares more of her favorite, easy-to-prepare recipes. To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, More Favorite Recipes, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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