Dear Readers: This is National Dog Bite Prevention Week. There are more than 4 million DOG BITES reported annually, and unfortunately, children and seniors are the most often bitten. Do you know the best ways to prevent a dog bite? Whether it is your dog or someone else’s, here are some hints:

●Treat dogs with respect. Don’t threaten or tease an animal.

●Games such as tug of war should be avoided.

●Make sure your dog understands basic commands: “Sit,” ‘’No” and “Stay.”

●Keep your dog current on ALL vaccinations.

●Have your child ask permission before petting any dog not familiar to him or her.

If you are bitten by a dog, it is okay to clean the wound with soap and water, but get medical attention right away! Get proof of rabies vaccination as soon as possible, too!

Check with your veterinarian and the American Veterinary Medical Association ( for more information about preventing dog bites. -- Heloise


Dear Readers: If you truly want to know a company’s dedication to its customers, give a call to customer service BEFORE you purchase a product or use its services. You can get a good idea of how helpful the company is, and can feel good about where your money is going. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: Please warn readers to never sign a contract without having an attorney read it first. If a salesperson pressures you with “The good deal is only available if you sign today,” that is the time to turn it down. Say, “That’s too bad, but I won’t sign anything without having a third party double-check all the fine print.”

We bought a time-share property this way and now are in a contract for our lifetime and our children’s! We and they are saddled with maintenance and special assessment fees forever! -- A Reader, via e-mail


Dear Heloise: Regarding Sue from Arkansas about her mom’s family photos being lost (Heloise here: She had shipped the photos to her new address.): The same thing happened to me. We finally found my package in Alaska, as the postal abbreviations for Alaska (AK) and Arkansas (AR) are easily confused! -- Joy in CO (Colorado)

Good point, Joy! And don’t forget Alabama (AL)! -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: When I go to buffet restaurants, I put my handbag in the trunk of my car. I carry my bank card and some cash for a tip in my breast pocket.

This way, I can get up and get a second plate without worrying that someone might run off with my purse while I am away, and I don’t have to “tag team” with my friend eating with me! -- Shelly in Texas

Good thought, but as a safety factor, don’t do this while in the parking lot! Thieves are known to watch parking lots and target a car because they see someone doing just this. -- 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.

2012, King Features Syndicate