Dear Heloise: After reading your column about how to find a LOST PET, I just had to send an idea that has successfully been implemented in our area several times.

Leave an article of clothing with your scent in an area where your pet was last seen. Check the area several times a day to see if your dog is sitting there -- with the scent of his or her owner. -- Ellen D., Bow, N.H.

Good advice! Also, if your pet must be hospitalized or spend the night away, the same hint works! I send a T-shirt or bath towel with Cabbie. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: Help! My son accidentally wrote with crayon on his chalkboard. How can I remove it? -- Wendy in Alabama

Don’t stress, Wendy, help is here! Sprinkle a damp (water only) sponge with some baking soda and scrub the chalkboard. It might take a little elbow grease, but this should remove the crayon marks. While you are at it, give the entire chalkboard a scrub, and it will look brand-new. Rinse and wipe dry. For other uses for baking soda, order my Baking Soda Hints and Recipes pamphlet by sending $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (66 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Baking Soda, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Baking soda makes a great nonabrasive cleaner. Sprinkle a damp sponge with it and go to town on stainless steel, kitchen sink and stovetops. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: For those who travel a lot on business: I carry a little blue cloth bag that came with a bottle of liquor. Put keys, wallet and other valuables in the bag, and place it in your briefcase prior to the airport screening process. When you get to a convenient location, just empty the bag. You’ll never leave anything behind or lose it. -- A Reader, Omaha


Dear Heloise: I have very thick hair and was having a hard time keeping it secure in a ponytail. If I use two rubber bands when I put my hair up, it helps keep it up. A simple hint, but it has helped me a lot. I don’t have to spend a ton of time redoing my hair several times a day. -- R.K. in Rhode Island


Dear Heloise: Sometimes when I am wearing dresses, I feel like I need a little extra support or coverage underneath. I bought a couple of cotton bike shorts at the store in different colors. I can easily slip them on underneath a dress. It gives me support while still allowing me to breathe. -- Joyce in Illinois


Dear Heloise: How many times have you gone to write a check and had no more blank checks? When I put a new pad of checks in my checkbook, I take a sticky note and place it in where there are only three blank checks left so I’ll know when to put in the next pad. -- M.G., Burlington, N.D.

Heloise’s column appears six days a week at Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, or e-mail it to

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