DEAR ABBY: I clipped this piece from The Register-Guard in Eugene, Ore. It was written by George Dorsey. If it stirs your emotions as it did mine, you may want to share it with your readers. - S.S.L., SPRINGFIELD, ORE.

DEAR S.S.L.: My emotions are in consort with yours. It's one of the most heartwarming pieces I've ever read. Thank you for sending it.A LOVE STORY

"Like most country dwellers, I take great delight in feeding wild birds. My feeder, a quarter sheet of plywood nailed upon the corner railing of my deck, is large by most standards, but it often becomes crowded with my myriad feathered friends. Doves, finches, pine siskins, cowbirds, sparrows, grosbeaks, juncos and towhees are regular visitors. All of them feed together harmoniously, except when an occasional intimidating jay arrives to frighten them off.

"A few weeks ago, I noticed the arrival of a small, slate-gray female junco. Her feathers were mussed, and she had only one leg! She was obviously the victim of a close encounter with a wild cat. It was heart-rending to see her land upon the fringe of the feeder and try to balance herself to feed, only to be chased away by the other, whole birds. It seems that Mother Nature doesn't allow much tolerance for the imperfect.

"About this time, I noticed the arrival of another less-than-perfect junco at the feeder. It was a young male, blind in one eye. His sightless left eye protruded from its socket like a grain of white rice stuck to its head. I watched him hop about the feeder, trying to eat as he fended off the other birds that noticed that he, too, was less than perfect.

"Soon the two crippled rejects found each other. The little blind male started feeding with the one-legged female. He even fought off the other birds that attacked her! Every day they appeared together at the feeder. Then one day Mother Nature sent out the silent signal that it was time for all her creatures to mate and multiply.

"And my two little crippled juncos heeded her call, proving that love isn't only for the whole and perfect."

DEAR ABBY: I am tired of people's complaints about barking dogs. Unless a person lives in the country with a couple of acres between houses, there is no way sounds can be eliminated, other than eliminating the dogs, cats, roosters, whatever.

People have gotten used to the sound of trucks, highway traffic, screeching tires, electric mowers, electric saws, airplanes, buses, sirens and dozens of other sounds - but let a dog bark, and all h--- breaks loose!

There's a barker across the street from us and a highway three blocks away, and I'll take the barker any day; I can't call the police about the highway noise. - JULIE IN TULARE