Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: The wedding season is fast approaching, and every year, starry-eyed brides plan to release white doves to "freedom" as part of their wedding celebration.

Abby, when white doves, born and raised in captivity with no clue how to live on their own, are released to "freedom," they face certain death! Have you ever seen white doves flying about, nesting in the wild? No. That's because they cannot survive on their own.

Please spread the word that this awful practice needs to stop. A little education would go a long way.

— SOMEONE WHO CARES, ORANGEVALE, CALIF.

DEAR SOMEONE: Thank you for the heads-up. I discussed your comments with a docent at a local zoo, who explained that not only do doves raised in captivity know nothing about predators, being released into an unknown area disorients the poor creatures. In order to survive, they would have to join with another flock &

and spreading their wings brings no guarantee they will be accepted.

DEAR ABBY: I feel fortunate to be writing this. "Blessed" would be a better word. You see, my family could have been planning my husband's and my funeral today.

We were driving on a busy street when another driver raced out of the post office driveway as we were passing. It happened so fast, we couldn't see who it was &

just an object hurtling toward us. Thank God, my husband had sharp enough reflexes to swerve over the double line. Miraculously, no oncoming traffic was approaching. If it had been, we'd have been hit head-on. Had my husband not gotten out of the way, my side of the car would have been hit broadside.

Why in the name of heaven don't people realize that an automobile is a potential weapon? I hope my letter is worth space in your column. Life is fragile. This happened yesterday, and I am ...

— STILL SHAKEN IN FORT WORTH

DEAR STILL SHAKEN: Your letter is well worth space in my column. The driver may have been high, angry, sleep-deprived or distracted. Not only could you have been killed, but the person driving that car could have also been severely injured. While cars and bumpers used to be made of sturdy metal, today they are made of plastic. When we start our engines, no one should ever forget that fact.

DEAR ABBY: My 14-year-old grandson was recently treated to an all-expense-paid vacation to visit his aunt and uncle in Washington, D.C. Because his family is struggling financially, I gave my grandson $50 to treat his hosts to dinner. He seemed excited about it and readily agreed that he would do it.

I found out inadvertently that he did not use the money as intended, and, in fact, I don't know what he did with it. Should I confront him or let it go, since I know he didn't have much spending money?

— GRANDMA ON A LIMITED INCOME

DEAR GRANDMA: To ask your grandson what he did with the money does not need to be "confrontational." Simply tell him that you have learned that he didn't take his aunt and uncle out to dinner as planned. True, he may have spent the money on himself. However, he may have offered and the offer was declined. Give him a chance to explain.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.