Dear Heloise: A family member uses a service dog, and people come up, especially with children, and fuss over the dog. The dog is working and should not be bothered. They don’t seem to know that you should not pet a service dog. When Goldie is distracted, he can’t do his job the way he is supposed to.

R.A., via email.

Dear R.A.: Thank you for the reminder! Readers, when a service animal is in work mode, its job is to help the owner. Please don’t pet, talk to or distract the dog unless you ask first!

This is especially critical if “the team” is walking on a sidewalk, waiting to cross a street or another high safety time when a distraction could cause a mishap.

Dear Heloise: There is such a dizzying array of products for the home, for women’s products, vitamin supplements, office supplies, and on and on.

Did it ever occur to anyone that we all have too many choices? Who needs to ponder over 20 kinds of mouthwash? Who needs 15 kinds of glittery eye shadow, 30 kinds of deodorant or 14 kinds of laundry soap?

We are confronted with a glut of similar products that do similar things, all in the name of companies that are hungry for your shopping dollars.

T.D., Fort Wayne, Ind.

Dear T.D.: It’s called a free market, and if there is a company that has a product it wants to sell, it can put the item out there on the shelf! Certain products, such as deodorant, laundry soap, tissue and toilet paper, are big moneymakers, since most everyone uses these daily. Stick to the brand you know, and don’t waste your time scouting out others.

Dear Heloise: When I was a kid, my dad would throw his spare change in a drawer by the front door when he got home from work. At the end of the week, he would take me to get ice cream or another treat.

He made it a lesson for me that you should save up your money for the week, and then you can get a small treat (ice cream, a new T-shirt or a small toy, ETC.).

Julie W. in Indianapolis

Julie W. in Indianapolis: Spare change can accumulate and add up to “found money” over time, as you know.

I bet many of us have a jar, can or bowl somewhere that is used to collect spare change. Hey, in college, that spare change bought some munchies at the end of the month.

P.S. Spare change hanging around? I’d love to know what you use it for!

Dear Heloise: Pleated lampshades were hard to clean, until I came upon this great idea: a stiff, clean paintbrush, just for this task! The brushes can detail-clean a lot of items around the house: baseboards, windowsills, keyboards, etc.

Amelia B. in Texas

Heloise’s column appears six days a week at washingtonpost.com/advice. Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com.

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