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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I am responding to your wolf-dog article. In the response, you stated that owning a wolf hybrid is a bad idea. It's a good thing that you added "owners may argue," because I have an argument with your response.

I'm the proud owner of a black, yellow-eyed, 70 percent hybrid wolf. I got her from a breeder at 6 weeks old. I have learned a lot from her behavior. Many people fear "the big black wolf," but if they took the time to learn and understand them, they'd appreciate them.

Wolves do not attack people unless they are diseased or protecting their young, as any other animal would. Yes, I have heard terrible stories about young children who have been attacked, and I have also read about the wolf who was chained in his own back yard and attacked a child. The attack may have been provoked. Children should be taught responsibility and respect for animals.

It shocks me how many strangers (adults as well as children) will approach my hybrid, knowing she is a wolf, and start patting her and get in her face. No one should ever approach an animal without first asking the owner if it's a good idea. Some animals are nervous with strangers.

It is strongly suggested (and a good idea) to bring these animals around people as they grow. I have a 5-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old nephew. They both respect my wolf hybrid and play with her. She also shares the house with four dogs and one cat. Two of the dogs are toy poodles and one is a teacup poodle. The teacup poodle can make my hybrid drop to the ground and show her belly and her throat (her most vulnerable parts), which is what wolves do to show submission.

There are schools and classes for dogs. It's all in how they're brought up. If you abuse or neglect them, they might attack, as any other animal would. I wish I had the time to educate people, and more of these hybrids to raise. From what I have seen, these are some of the most graceful animals God has put on this Earth, and we need to respect them. I wish we wouldn't be so quick to judge what we know very little about. -- BEAUTY WITHOUT THE BEAST

DEAR BEAUTY WITHOUT THE BEAST: In fairness I'm printing your letter. However, the author of the article from which I quoted did check with experts on animal behavior. Therefore, I still caution anyone who is considering a wolf hybrid as a pet to be aware of the potential dangers when one tries to domesticate a wild animal.

DEAR ABBY: Your suggestion that "Needs Help Far From Home" find an Al-Anon meeting was right on. I have been attending Al-Anon for more than six years now and feel that everything I need to know I learned in Al-Anon.

The bottom line is that in Al-Anon we learn to love ourselves unconditionally, and that is the best calling card we can have for relationships of all kinds. -- J.Q., EUGENE, ORE.

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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