DEAR ABBY: Some will think this is silly, but it's a real problem to our family. I hope you can help us decide what to do.

We got a puppy from the pound; he was supposed to be a sheltie mix. He now weighs 100 pounds, has allergies, hip dysplasia, unpredictable incontinence, predictable flatulence and an unpleasant personality. He's crochety (who wouldn't be with all these problems?), but he isn't mean.Trying to find another home for him has not worked (surprise, surprise!). We could "put him to sleep," but being obnoxious is not a capital offense. We enjoy our other cats and dogs, so it's not as though we don't know how to care for animals. Can you think of any ethical options that would relieve us of him, yet give him a safe and not lonely life? - DOG-TIRED IN PORTLAND

DEAR DOG-TIRED: Bless you. Only a compassionate animal lover would be seeking "ethical options." Since the ailing animal will not be easy to place, you must be very sure that if someone agrees to take him, he will not be abused or turned out. Better to put him to sleep. If you regard this as an unthinkable option, please read the following:


"Treat me kindly, my beloved friend, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me.

"Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I might lick your hand between the blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me learn.

"Speak to me often, for your voice is the world's sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footstep falls upon my waiting ear.

"Please take me inside when it is cold and wet, for I am a domesticated animal, no longer accustomed to bitter elements. I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth.

"Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for I can't tell you when I'm thirsty.

"Feed me clean food that I may stay well, to romp and play and do your bidding, to walk by your side, and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life.

"And, my friend, when I am very old, and I no longer enjoy good health, hearing and sight, do not make heroic efforts to keep me going. I am not having any fun. Please see that my trusting life is taken gently. I shall leave this earth knowing with the last breath I draw that my fate was always safest in your hands."

DEAR ABBY: Please settle an argument I am having with all my friends and acquaintances on the subject of "Juniors" becoming "Seniors" when their fathers die. I say "Junior" automatically becomes "Senior" when the father dies. Right? - WAITING IN ANNAPOLIS


According to the revised edition of the "Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Etiquette" by Letitia Baldrige:

"A `Jr.' usually drops the `Jr.' when his father dies, unless both he and his late father were so well known that to drop it would cause public confusion."