Dear Readers: Does your dog howl? This can be cute, but your pet is trying to tell you something. Maybe it is lonely, bored, anxious, scared or ill.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ( has some cures:

If your dog is howling because of a siren, the howling will stop when the siren stops.

If howling is a sudden onset, a trip to the doctor is in order.

If your pet howls just to get your attention, don’t give it — no eye contact, no touch, no speaking and no scolding.

Reward your dog for being calm and quiet, and make sure you spend enough time with your pet, which wants to be with you and not be alone.

Daisy, a Maltese/Shih Tzu, is the Pet of the Week. (Family photo)

Dear Readers: Meet Daisy. Twenty months old, Daisy’s a nonshedding Maltese/Shih Tzu. She’s as smart and as cute as she can be, and she believes everyone loves her. Everyone does!

A neighbor gives Daisy treats for a sit and a handshake. To see Daisy and our other Pet Pals, visit and click on “Pet of the Week.”

Do you have a furry and funny friend? Email a picture and description to

Dear Heloise: I spray cooking oil on my lawn mower blades to keep grass from sticking to them. I don’t use motor oil — it can kill my grass if it drips on the lawn.

Dan W. in Tennessee

Dear Heloise: For those who serve hot dogs and those who like to eat them, I would suggest the following: Place the preferred condiments in the bun before adding the hot dog. No more condiments falling out, or messy hands. I enjoy my hot dogs much more when my hands don't smell like mustard and onion, etc.

Dorothy M., Canton, Ohio

Dear Heloise: With mosquito season in full swing, I treat an itch with a dab of toothache numbing gel. It takes the itch right out.

Bev C., Colorado Springs

Dear Heloise: I have a fat cat and a skinny cat. I separate them at mealtime so they can't see each other, but I have an open kitchen, and there's only one out-of-the-way place to feed them.

I went to a craft store and got a slab of foam and a couple of foam blocks. With glue and duct tape, I created a barrier that I can put between the cats' dishes so the skinny one doesn't feel intimidated by the fat one.

It's simple to remove and store out of sight when mealtime is over. Now I'm looking forward to having both cats at the proper weight.

Arlene in Anaheim, Calif.

Dear Heloise: Those mermaid swim tails that are super-popular right now? They can be dangerous. As you can imagine, they can inhibit movement in the water.

Parental supervision is necessary, at the very least. And the parent should be no more than an arm's length away, and not on a cellphone or a tablet.

Ron R. in Michigan

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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