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I keep losing my clipping mask

I keep losing my clipping mask

I keep losing my clipping mask

Let me first say I am very new to illustrator and am using 9.0 and Windows (I know, I know, but I'm at work I have no choice)

I am working on a project that has a clipping mask applied to a graphic. For some reason whenever I save my work, close it, and re-open at a later time the clipping mask has become undone and the entire graphic is showing. All the elements are there it has just become undone.

I usually group the graphic and the clipping mask so I don't have to worry about things getting scewed. Does anyone know if this has anything to do with it? Maybe its a bug in 9.0?

Any insight I could get would be most appreciated.
Thank you!

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