Dear Heloise: I am the human companion of four dogs, including two who take DAILY MEDICATIONS. After having a bout with kennel cough that affected all four dogs, requiring juggling bottles and trying to figure out which went with which pet and which medication was about to run out, I had a light-bulb moment.

Why not get a couple of weekly pill dispensers from the pharmacy and distribute the doggie meds a week in advance, just like I do my own? I used a permanent marker to write each dog’s name on the dispenser. It has made a huge difference in my life.

If I’m not home at dosing time, a pet sitter or a human member of the family easily can figure out which medications go to which dog. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner!

Thanks for all you do for people and their pets. I love your column, particularly the pet hints. -- Ann Webb in Houston

Wow (“woof,” too), four dogs with meds to match. Glad everyone is better. Readers, do you know what kennel cough is? Here is what our friends at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said: Kennel cough is similar to what we as humans call the common chest cold. It can be viral or bacterial, and can cause swelling of a pet’s windpipe and voice box. This condition easily spreads between dogs. Before boarding pets, vaccinations are required so that kennel cough isn’t caught or spread during a pet’s stay. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I put three to four dryer sheets in the toes of my slip-on shoes to help keep them smelling nicer. Obviously, I remove the sheets before wearing the shoes and return them after I take off the shoes. Since I’ve been doing this, the fragrance stays through several wearings! -- Nova M., Mission Viejo, Calif.


Dear Heloise: In response to the hint about an electronic book reader providing emergency lighting, I have an electronic tablet, and it has a free flashlight application that can be downloaded and will provide lighting with various intensities.

Also, in my cellphone contacts, I set up a contact for “husband,” “son” and “mother.” Since my husband and I have different last names, someone searching for my family would not find him by searching for others with my last name. -- J.M.J. in Silver Spring

The emergency-lighting hint using the electronic book is great! Please keep in mind that it probably will drain your battery if used a lot, so use it only when really needed. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I couldn’t get the broom or mop to stay standing in my utility closet. My mom told me to cut off the fingers of old rubber gloves and put one on the top of the broom and mop handles. Now they never slide! -- Shelby in Tennessee

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