Dear Readers: We talk a lot about adopting a dog or a cat from the shelter and saving his life. But think about this: When you adopt from a shelter, rescue group or city pound, you’re actually saving two lives. You’re bringing home a new furry and funny friend, but by doing that, you’re making room in the shelter so the staff can save and rescue another!

Save two lives when you adopt. Use the hashtag #AdoptDontShop to read and learn about adoption and rescue groups near you.

Dear Heloise: My dearest friend is Ticker, who just had her 17th birthday. We celebrated with a "cake." She came from a family who didn't want her anymore. That was 16 years ago, and I am so happy to have her!

— Caroline B., Miamisburg, Ohio

Ticker is such a doll! Readers, would you like to see our other Pet Pals? Visit, and click on “Pet of the Week.” Do you have a funny and furry friend to share? Email a picture and description to

Dear Readers: Board games and puzzles can take up a lot of storage space; those boxes they come in are big and cumbersome. Here’s a hint to save space:

Grab some 2.5 gallon freezer/storage bags, and insert the game board, puzzle pieces, chips, tokens, etc. Important: save the directions and paper insert for the game. You can cut the name of the game off the box or draw it on the bag with a marker.

Then reuse the boxes for other storage, or recycle them.

Dear Heloise: I have a full and robust garden. These are the filler plants I use:

● Hostas. Super easy to grow, and I can split them and they will spread.

● Irises. They flower in late spring, and I can split them too.

● black-eyed Susan. Grows healthy and strong almost anywhere; again, splitsville to fill out the garden.

● Coral bells. They flower all summer, a pretty pink color. I keep them in the shade to get deeper color.

Easy, cheap ways to fill in flower beds.

— Mike W. in Illinois

Dear Heloise: To fancy up a simple roll of toilet tissue waiting in the on-deck circle, so to speak, here's this:

Fold the end sheet of paper into a triangle, turn your bathroom sink on for a split second, just to get it wet, and then shut the water off. Dab the triangle end of the paper up to the sink spigot to get that wet mark that looks so regal.

Next, stand the roll with the tube positioned vertically. Take several facial tissues individually and lay them across the roll in a crisscross pattern. Then with your finger, insert the tissues down into the core. This will form a pretty blossom look.

It's perfect for guest bathroom when you have company.

— Heather O. in Texas

Dear Heloise: We are emerging from lockdown and planning a road trip. Here are some hints that save us time:

I pack each child's outfits on individual hangers. Their shirt, pants, underwear, socks in the pockets — all ready to go. I bring a plastic bag for dirty clothes.

I drive in a dress. It's comfortable, cool and looks nice. I also wear at least a little makeup for pictures.

— Martha W., via email

Heloise’s column appears six days a week at Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or email it to

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