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DEAR ABBY: I just moved to Palm Springs. My son called to say that he and his wife and daughter were coming to visit me for Mother's Day. I was thrilled. Later, I realized that no dogs were allowed. (I live in a country club, and my front door is adjacent to the 16th green.) I called him back immediately and told him he wouldn't be able to bring his dog, a huge pit bull.

He said, "Well, Mom, I don't go anywhere without my dog, so I'll see you when you get a house."I was so unnerved, I couldn't think of anything to say, so I hung up!

I feel bad about hanging up on him but enlightened to know where my son's priorities are - and I'm behind his dog. I'm truly crushed, for I had anticipated seeing him and his family. Abby, what are your thoughts about this? - HEARTSICK IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR HEARTSICK: Don't feel guilty. Your son showed an appalling lack of sensitivity. He belongs precisely where he put himself - in the doghouse!

DEAR ABBY: I am one of three sisters who are all over 40 now. Our mother, nearing 80, had a big box filled with family pictures that all of us girls enjoyed looking at. She said that one day she would divide them so we would each have some. Many were priceless pictures of older family members - great-great-grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, taken in the old country.

When I visited my oldest sister recently, I discovered that she had many of our mother's pictures! The next time I saw our mother, I asked her if she had given any of her family pictures away. She said she had not, so I think it's fairly obvious that my sister stole them.

My mother doesn't want to accuse her, nor do I, but how else can we get them back? All of us sisters want those priceless pictures. Can you suggest a way of solving this dilemma? - MISSING PICTURES

DEAR MISSING: Pictures can be duplicated. Without making any accusations, ask your oldest sister if you may "borrow" the priceless pictures. Then take them to a photographer who will make as many duplicates as you wish from the original.

P.S. Don't rule out the possibility that your mother may have given those pictures to her eldest daughter but did not want to admit it.

DEAR ABBY: Who said, "Life is tough. Three out of three people die, so shut up and deal"? It sounds like Damon Runyon. - BUBBA IN BIRMINGHAM

DEAR BUBBA: It may sound like Damon Runyon, but credit Ring Lardner.

C) 1990 Universal Press Syndicate