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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: Saving the lives of animals worldwide is the goal of more than 1,000 shelters throughout the world, as they join together on the weekend of May 2 for Pet Adoptathon '98.

Across the United States and Canada, in England, France, Germany, Denmark, Venezuela, India, South Africa and Cyprus, animal organizations will stay open longer hours, host spectacular events, and do whatever it takes to find loving adoptive homes for as many shelter pets as possible. For foundling pets it is a chance at a wonderful new life. For potential adopters throughout the world, it is an opportunity to find a new best friend.

Since North Shore Animal League founded Pet Adoptathon in 1995, the event has been a continuing success. Last year alone, more than 17,000 animal orphans began a new and better life with folks who love and care for them, thanks to Pet Adoptathon. But there are still many pets in shelters waiting for just the right person to go home with. That's why North Shore Animal League is calling upon animal lovers everywhere to adopt a dog, cat, puppy or kitten at a Pet Adoptathon shelter on May 2 and May 3.

The league is dedicated to making Pet Adoptathon '98 the biggest and best ever for shelter animals everywhere. Please, Abby, urge your readers to open their hearts and homes to the many lovable orphaned pets who are available for adoption. Their lives depend on it. -- J. JOHN STEVENSON, NORTH SHORE ANIMAL LEAGUE, PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y.

DEAR JOHN: I'm pleased to share this information with my animal-loving readers. Wonderful animals are placed in shelters through no fault of their own, and adopting them is not only compassionate, but a sensible way to acquire a furry family member.

For the name of your local participating shelter, call the league's Adoptathon hotline: (800) 400-7729 or visit its Web site:

DEAR ABBY: "Mary" and I dated throughout college, but didn't become sexually involved until our senior year. She discovered she was pregnant two months before graduation, and we were married three weeks after we got our diplomas. We have been married 10 years and have two beautiful children.

We are both in good health and hold down full-time jobs. My problem is my sex drive seems to be increasing while Mary's is definitely decreasing. On a scale of 1 to 10, our sex life would probably be a "2" -- for twice a month.

We have discussed this problem and have even seen a marriage counselor, who suggested that I look for other things to bring satisfaction to my life. I took his advice and found a hobby I enjoyed. I also got more involved in sports and spend more time with the children. All of these things are rewarding, but I yearn for a more meaningful romantic relationship with my wife.

Please don't suggest flowers, candy, etc. I have tried them with little success. I even had an affair, and although the immediate gratification was nice, the guilt was intolerable.

I love my wife and would like our marriage to last. Abby, suggestions would be welcome. -- FRUSTRATED HUSBAND

DEAR FRUSTRATED: It is possible that holding down a full-time job and being a mother to two young children have left your wife with little energy for romance. Show her this letter, and suggest that the two of you get a referral to a licensed sex therapist, in an effort to recapture the magic you had earlier in your marriage. You are both too young and have too much invested in this relationship to allow it to wither.

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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