Dear Heloise: I, too, want to say “thank you” for promoting ADOPTION OF SHELTER DOGS AND CATS. I persuaded my husband to let me foster a dog until it could be adopted. The Humane Society gave us a 3-year-old white boxer found wandering the streets, underweight and with injuries. The Humane Society had taken him from animal control, where he was scheduled to be put down the next day.

It took only a few hours for us to fall in love with him, so instead of fostering, we adopted him. We treated his injuries and helped him get back to his ideal weight. When we meet people during our daily walks, they tell our dog how lucky he is that we adopted him. But we feel the opposite: We’re the lucky ones to have such a wonderful boy. He is sweet, happy, well-behaved and loves everyone!

Adoption is the only way to go! Everyone can help to reduce the overpopulation of stray and unwanted dogs and cats by getting your pets spayed and neutered! -- Shelley P. in Florida

“Woof, woof” from all of the happy adopted pets now in a safe environment. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: My grandmother puts artificial flowers on my grandpa’s grave. She would go to the bigger stores, and the flowers cost her quite a bit.

At a dollar store, I saw pretty artificial flowers that were only $1! I told my grandma, and now she gets the flowers there. They are just as pretty, and they save money. -- Josephine M., via e-mail

How thoughtful of you to help your grandmother save money. -- Heloise


Dear Readers: Paul “Maggie” Maguranry of Hammond, Ind., sent a photo of his black-and-white cat, Anna, looking a little scary. Her mouth is open and her teeth are showing, with her eyes a bit narrowed and her ears back. Paul says that Anna is a very gentle cat who will treat you with a smile and a wink should you come over. To see Anna, go to and click on “Pets.” -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: Every year I plant a garden, and when the veggies start to ripen, the birds come in and eat them or put holes in them, etc. This year, I placed a rubber snake in the garden, and it has worked well to keep the birds at bay. -- Rich in Florida


Dear Heloise: I would like to caution the pet owners who wrote about letting their dogs play with plastic bottles. My mother’s Maltese split the tip of her tongue in two while chewing on a plastic bottle, so these fun toys can be dangerous, too. -- Mary H. in Ohio

Oh! Poor little puppy! Of course, most dogs shouldn’t play with plastic bottles or other potentially harmful “toys.” Our little Cabbie plays with the bottle until she gets the lid off, and then doesn’t chew the bottle anymore. -- Heloise

Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Please include your city and state.

, King Features Syndicate