Dear Readers: Have you ever heard the old saying about “every dog year equals seven human years”? Well, it’s not that easy. While dogs do AGE DIFFERENTLY depending on their size, each of the first two years of a dog’s life equals about 12 human years. After that, each year equals only about four human years. So if your dog is 5, that equals about 36 human years. A dog 13 years old equals 68 years! Remember, this is not an exact science, but just a calculation. So keep that in mind, and take care of pets as they age. -- Heloise



P.O. Box 795000

San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE



Dear Readers: Ways to extend battery life on smartphones:

* Adjust the brightness on the screen.

* Turn off the wireless network when not needed.

* Disable notifications (for e-mail, apps, etc.).

* Lock the phone when not being used.

* Keep the phone out of the heat.

-- Heloise

P.S.: Visit my Web site,, for links to my Facebook and Twitter pages -- hints, fun facts and more! Come see photos and check out what’s happening.


Dear Heloise: I recently had new granite installed in my kitchen, and I love to have a basket of fruit on it to grab as I walk by. When I went on vacation, upon returning, I noticed that two pieces of fruit had rotted, staining the granite beneath them. I have tried every product from my local stores. Any suggestions would help. Thank you. -- T.J., via e-mail

T.J., what a rotten situation! Here is a suggestion to try: Make a paste of flour and hydrogen peroxide. You want it damp but still a thick consistency. Place the paste on top of the stain. Cover the area with plastic (you can tape around the edges to keep it in place, but use painter’s tape). Let it sit for 24 to 48 hours. Scrape off the paste and rinse the area with water. This paste should draw out the stain. Repeat steps if needed.

If you are still having trouble after a few attempts, call a stone specialist. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: At my baby shower, I received several gifts in reusable bags. They were super-cute and also very handy for later. It was such a great idea that I now use reusable bags as gift bags. They come in many nice designs, and usually are cheaper than actual gift bags. -- Linda, via e-mail

You are right, Linda -- these bags are cute! And it is a gift that keeps on giving! -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: How do you feel about trying to decipher the expiration, sell-by or use-by dates on over-the-counter drugs or food? It drives me crazy. I feel there should be clear, permanent and easily decipherable dates. They often are impossible to figure out -- companies seem to have their own codes. It should take a few seconds to know the expiration, use-by or sell-by date and what it means, whether in a store or on my shelf at home! -- Carolyn Wall, via e-mail

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