DEAR ABBY: When I was in my teens, my mom had a publication of yours that included poems and special columns from the Dear Abby archives. I loved to pick it up from time to time and look at it. Among my favorites of the many varied items inside was the prayer for a family pet. It helped me greatly when our dog, "Blondie," reached the end of her life.
There were also a couple of pieces about the harm done by gossip, which I found especially relevant to my life as a teenager.
I am now a mom, and my daughter is 12. I don't know what became of my family's copy of that booklet, but I would love to have another one to share with my daughter. I think she'd get a kick out of many of the poems and essays -- and frankly, I would also enjoy revisiting some of them myself, this time from an adult perspective. Is that publication still available? -- JENNA IN GAMBRILLS, MD.
DEAR JENNA: Yes, the booklet is still available.
Over the years, readers have requested that I rerun articles that have special meaning for them. Readers told me that some of my columns had been clipped and saved until they were yellowed with age and falling apart.
Then they suggested that the special letters, poems and essays be assembled as a booklet. It is titled "Keepers" because so many Dear Abby readers have kept them to reread.
You can order a copy by sending a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to Dear Abby -- Keepers, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price.
Many people have told me that "Keepers" makes a welcome gift for newlyweds, new parents, animal lovers, or anyone who is recovering from an illness because it's a quick and easy read, and filled with wisdom and humor on a wide variety of topics.
DEAR ABBY: My wife is a pug nut. She has two ugly dogs, and she lets them sleep with us. The dogs snore and break wind all night, and she thinks it's cute. If I snore or break wind, she tells me it's annoying.
She dresses these dogs in expensive gowns and pearls. Now she expects me to drive them 1,200 miles to our vacation home, while she flies. She also wants to buy a third dog. What do I do? -- NO. 4 IN NEW JERSEY
DEAR NO. 4: People usually get the kind of treatment they're willing to tolerate. In most marriages, the spouse takes precedence over the pets -- regardless of how beloved those pets may be.
If I -- or my husband -- had been in your situation, the pugs would have been slumbering together in their own little bed since the beginning. However, because you have failed to draw the line, you have given your wife implied consent. Unless you're ready to stand on your hind legs and demand to be treated better than the four-legged members of your household, you'll have to move a little closer to the edge of the bed and have your vehicle checked before you embark on your 1,200-mile trip.
4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600