Dear Heloise: Our golden retriever ended up in the pet-hospital emergency room. We found her in the kitchen, drooling profusely and surrounded by vomit and diarrhea. As my husband rushed her out the door, I stayed to clean up and called him when I noticed pieces and whole MUSHROOMS in the vomit. She had mushroom toxicity from mushrooms she had found growing in the back yard after a lot of rain. Please warn your readers to check their yards so this doesn’t happen to their pet. We were lucky we found her in time! -- Laura D., via e-mail

Consider it done! Unfortunately, it can take as little as one poisonous mushroom to be fatal! Readers, be sure to regularly check your yard for mushrooms and remove them when found.

Make it a habit, like cleaning up after your pet. Place a bag over your hand and pull the mushrooms completely out of the ground. Don’t hit the mushroom, or it can send more spores into the air, causing more mushrooms to grow! -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I am an elderly widower living alone in a one-family house. I have placed an electric candle lamp on the windowsill facing my neighbor’s house. I turn it on when I go to bed and turn it off when I rise in the morning.

This procedure assures my caring neighbor that I am alive and well each day. -- W.W. in New Hampshire

Loved this hint in Heloise Central! This is a good neighbor signal! -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: Gift bags can be pricey. I hang on to cereal boxes or cracker boxes when the contents are gone. I cover them in plastic adhesive paper that has designs on it. I cut the paper into 2-inch squares to cover the boxes because it is more manageable and has no air bubbles.

When finished, I punch two holes on the two sides at the top and put ribbon through the holes for handles. The gift boxes turn out so cute. Every time I give one to someone, he or she likes the gift box as much as the gift inside, and it has hardly cost anything! -- Dawn B. in San Antonio


Dear Heloise: I have one drawer in my dresser for all my underclothes and miscellaneous items, such as scarves, swimsuits and tights. It was overflowing. My solution was to take my swimsuits and summer items from the drawer, put them inside an old backpack and hang it on a hanger in the closet for the winter. When summer comes back around, I’ll swap my swimsuits for the scarves and tights. -- H.D., via e-mail


Dear Heloise: I love reading your column in The Winchester (Va.) Star! Keep a box of the most inexpensive tissues you can find in your kitchen for covering small microwave entrees, wiping up spills, etc. -- P.J. in Virginia

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