Dear Readers: Pets are important members of our families. So when one GETS LOST, it can be a traumatic experience for everyone, including the pet! Here are hints to help reunite you and your pet as quickly as possible:

* Call animal shelters, veterinary clinics (in your area) and animal-control centers. Give them a description so they can be on the lookout. Better yet, see if you can e-mail or fax a photo. Visit animal-control centers often, even daily.

* Create a lost-pet sign and post everywhere! Your neighborhood, veterinary clinics, animal shelters, pet-supply stores, gas stations, restaurants — anywhere that will allow you to post a sign. Check local regulations on posting signs on city telephone poles and lampposts.

* Check your newspaper. Most will run lost-pet ads at no charge.

* Talk to your neighbors! Let them know your pet is missing. The more eyes that are watching, the sooner your pet can be found.

* Use the Internet. There are many lost-pet Web sites.

* Most important: Don’t give up! It may be weeks or months, but you still could be reunited.

-- Heloise



P.O. Box 795000

San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE



Dear Heloise: I pack a small, plastic, empty spray bottle in my suitcase when I travel. When I get to my hotel, I fill it with water. If any of my clothes have wrinkles, I spray them lightly and then use the hair dryer on them to remove the wrinkles. -- Kenny in Oklahoma

Good travel (and at home) “green” hint. It certainly saves water, since you don’t have to run the shower in the bathroom to create steam to “unwrinkle” clothes! -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: Since it is summer and we will be using our deck more, could you please reprint your hint on how to clean a deck? -- Nicole in Tennessee

I would be happy to reprint it! Mix 1 cup liquid laundry detergent (the regular kind) and 1 gallon hot water. Apply to the deck with a soft-bristled brush or push broom and allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat if necessary. Some stains may need a little extra scrubbing.

If your deck is made of composite material, check with the manufacturer, just to be safe, for specific cleaning instructions. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: My cellphone charger only connects to my phone one way. I’m constantly trying to plug it in, only to realize that it’s turned the wrong way. I decorated the side that should be facing up and now just look for that side. No more struggling. -- Kinzy, via e-mail


Dear Heloise: It can be confusing when replying to an e-mail on what is the original e-mail and what is the reply. The two parts are usually the same font, size and color. To easily identify my reply to an e-mail, I change the color and size of the font. -- Tom, via e-mail

I do the same, and it really does help! -- 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