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Hints From Heloise: Keep your friends close and your dogs closer

Dear Readers: During the pandemic, the theft of dogs has taken a major uptick. People are looking for companionship, evidently, and they see stealing a dog as a viable choice to get a companion. These people can also use your dog for resale, ransom, breeding or baiting. Protect yourself and your pooch.

Never leave your dog alone outside, even on your own property. Don’t allow a young child to walk your dog. If you have an elderly neighbor who has a dog, walk with them to keep them safe. Make sure all dogs are microchipped with current information.

The thieves’ modus operandi? These people watch you when you’re walking the dog and follow you. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Report any suspicious activity.

Dear Readers: Meet Brodie. He’s a pug puppy — a crazy lil dude, according to San Antonio dog mom Jessica and her son Gavin. Brodie likes to hike, and he bites on his leash in an effort to free himself! They have lots of adventures together. Brodie also likes to watch TV with Gavin. It’s the best way to end National Pet Week!

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 Heloise: I always ask the owner before I pet their dog and before I give the dog a treat. That said, here's a favorite snack of my dog: a bite of whole grain toast with a smear of peanut butter, some flax seed and a blueberry.

— Ginny T. in Alabama

Ginny T. in Alabama: Flax seed can have some great health benefits for dogs: shiny coat, healthy skin, regulating blood pressure, and helping with arthritis, kidney function and metabolism. Give a small amount to the dog. As always, check first with your vet!

Dear Readers: Corals, reds, peaches, golds and other warmer colors look best with warmer skin tones. If you’ve got a cooler skin tone, then it’s best to stick with greens and blues.

A simple trick to figure out what kind of skin tone you have is to remember that warmer skin tones tan in the sun, and cooler tones are more likely to get sunburned.

Dear Readers: Whether turning a screw or installing a new shower head, remember: right to tighten, and left to loosen.

Dear Heloise: We're somewhat back to normal and doing some traveling! I strip the bed for the housekeeper in the hotel, and I turn on all lights when I leave for the staff and so I can check to make sure I've got everything. And I always tip the housekeeper in single dollar bills in case two clean the room — that way they can share. I leave the money on the desk, not on the nightstand.

— Jack B. in New York

Dear Readers: If guests come over, or if people drop in unexpectedly, and the house is a mess, put on gloves, an apron and a bandanna in your hair — you’ll give the appearance that you’re busy cleaning the clutter!

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

2021, King Features Syndicate