Dear Heloise: I'm 93 years of age, and I love your column! I take newspapers, towels and cloths to the animal shelter. They also accept unopened foods.

Please print this — many people don't realize what the shelters need.

Pat S., Whittier, Calif.

Pat S.: Happy to! My wheaten terrier Chammy, a former shelter dog, says, “Woof, woof!”

Call the shelters to see what they need. Here are some more possible items: paper towels, trash bags, plastic grocery bags, supplies for the office (pens, sticky notes, hand sanitizer, copy paper), heating pads, flea treatment, collars, leashes, food bowls, cat litter, laundry detergent, rubber gloves and any cleaning supplies. Monetary donations, too! Thanks for your letter.

This is a wonderful summer project for scouting and church youth groups, too!


Shine, who lives in Live Oak, Tex., enjoys cooling off in the kiddie pool. (Family photo)

Dear Readers: Shiner is relaxing, hanging out in the pool! Bianca in Live Oak, Tex., sent a picture of Shiner cooling off in the kiddie pool after running around the backyard. Is he named Shiner because he’s got a black patch over each eye? Perhaps!

To see Shiner and our other Pet Pals, visit Heloise.com and click on “Pet of the Week.” Do you have a funny and furry friend? Email a picture and description to Heloise@Heloise.com.

Dear Heloise: A fun project for kids: Gather many (up to 20) medium-size flat rocks, scrub and let dry. Divide the rocks into two groups.

Paint one group bright red with black dots and the other bright yellow with black stripes! It's the ladybugs versus the bumblebees.

Get some long twigs to fashion a tic-tac-toe board on the picnic table, and a tic-tac-toe contest should ensue.

My grandchildren have hours of fun playing with the rocks!

Gennie in Texas

Dear Readers: Let’s get the lawn looking great. Here are some hints:

● Mow slow. Let the blades have a chance to cut the grass. Afternoon is better, after the dew has burned off. Wet grass clumps and clogs.

● Taller is healthier. Mower blades set at four inches will not scalp the lawn. Taller grass typically means stronger and deeper roots.

● Water, fertilize and seed regularly.

Dear Heloise: I have to carefully read our neighborhood happenings app. If someone posts a headline "Lost Dog," it can mean the person has found a dog that is lost, or sometimes the person has actually lost his or her dog.

Might I suggest: When posting, write what actually is going on in the headline: "I Found This Dog on My Stoop," or "I Lost My Dog."

For both found and missing pets, always include a picture of the animal and any quirky characteristics. Of course, microchipping and a collar with tags are both very necessary for pets.

Mark in South Carolina

Dear Readers: Keep some fresh blueberries, blackberries and raspberries at your fingertips. A handful in the morning is loaded with fiber and antioxidants.

P.S. Then check your teeth for seeds!

Photo caption: Shiner is relaxing, hanging out in the pool! Bianca in Live Oak, Texas, sent this picture of Shiner cooling off in the kiddie pool after running around the backyard. Is he named Shiner because he’s got a black patch over each eye? Perhaps!

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

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