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DEAR ABBY: Since you have such a vast audience of readers, probably other readers have run into this type of situation and need information like this:

Several days ago, I left my dog in the car, the windows partially open, while I ran an errand. I was gone just a few minutes. It was a warm day. When I returned, the enclosed message was on my windshield.I am so thankful it was there! It saved my dog from possible brain damage or death. I immediately immersed him in cold water, as suggested on the card, until his temperature was lowered, and then I took him to the veterinarian. He said I was lucky and my dog would be OK. I found out that dogs do not sweat and they are susceptible to heat exhaustion, brain damage and death during hot weather. Can you imagine how much suffering a dog goes through in this situation? They always need plenty of cool water and shade. All animals need and deserve this. - AN ADMIRING READER FROM NORTH PLATTE, NEB.

P.S. I am enclosing a "Your Dog May Be Dying" card - identical to the one that was put on my car. They can be purchased from the Animal Protection Institute, P.O. Box 22505, Sacramento, CA 95822. They are only $2 per 100 cards, and if a person adds "Please Rush," they will be sent immediately. They are placed behind the windshield wiper.

The card on my windshield read:

"We understand you meant to be kind in taking your dog with you today, but you could be risking his life.

"On a hot summer day, the inside of a car heats very quickly. On an 85-degree day, for example, the temperature inside your car - with the windows slightly opened - will read 102 degrees in 10 minutes. In 30 minutes it will go up to 120 degrees. On warmer days it will go even higher.

"A dog's normal body temperature is 101.5 to 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit. A dog can withstand a body temperature of 107 to 108 degrees Fahrenheit for only a very short time before suffering irreparable brain damage - or even death. The closed car interferes with the dog's normal cooling process, that is, evaporation through panting.

"If your dog is overcome by heat exhaustion, you can give immediate first aid by immersing him or her in cold water until body temperature is lowered."

DEAR ABBY: About a year ago, my mother gave me her old china. Since she's divorced and now remarried, she didn't want those dishes around. Last month, she remarked that a friend of hers expressed a desire to buy her old china, so where does that leave me? If her friend wants to buy those dishes, do I get the proceeds?

I also have a freezer my sister "gave" me. I'd like to sell it and buy a more economical model, but I think if she knew I was selling it, she'd probably want it back.

Abby, we are very close, but I'm not sure how to handle such things. Please help me out. - NOT SURE

DEAR NOT SURE: When your mother gave you the dishes, they became your property and were no longer hers to sell to anyone at any price. If for any reason you chose to sell them, the money would be 100 percent yours.

As for the freezer your sister gave you: Again, when someone gives you something, it's yours to do whatever you wish with it. Sell it, trade it or give it away.

When you receive a gift, all you owe the giver is a "thank you." People are eating them up! For Abby's favorite recipes, send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054. (Postage is included.)