Not the right gift?

Dear Readers: It’s gift-giving season, but giving a LIVE ANIMAL AS A GIFT? Not always a good choice. Owning a pet is a HUGE responsibility; some may not be up to the task. A pet is a 10-to-20-year commitment that involves time, energy and money.

Your neighborhood Humane Society and other rescue groups probably offer gift certificates; this is a good solution. Allow the recipient to pick out his or her own pet. (Some rescue groups may require an application and vetting process before approving the adoption.)

It’s probably safe to say that all of us at Heloise Central are big animal lovers. We can share the love and provide a good home; let’s just make sure that it’s a good fit for all. — Heloise


Dear Readers: Meet Odin. He’s an adorable, oddball 2-year-old cat. He has a very unique talent that is virtually unheard of: Odin’s favorite pastime is shooting rubber bands across the room and then fetching them like a dog!

He even barks occasionally because he is the only kitty in a house full of dogs. He takes pleasure in directly shooting at mom Dani just to see her reaction! He’s a lovebug and is so funny!


Dear Heloise: My wife recently suffered a short-term illness. I moved to the spare bedroom so that she might have a good night’s rest. I bought a battery-operated doorbell and put the button in her room and the receiver in mine.

In the event that she needed anything during the night, I was only a ring away. — Mr. Bill, via email

Here’s a Heloise hug. Hope she is better now. — Heloise


Dear Readers: If salt has been thrown on the sidewalks and/or roads, wipe off your pet’s feet after a walk. The salt can burn and irritate tender footpads. — Heloise


Dear Heloise: Family recipes always make a wonderful gift. We use photo albums with slots to hold the recipe cards. If you don’t like a recipe, you can easily remove it and replace it with another. — Fannie T. in New York


Dear Heloise: I’m a senior who can only walk a few steps without a walker. When I go to my supermarket, I try to find a space near an empty shopping cart because I can’t push a walker and a cart at the same time. My market, one of a big chain, has employees go out every 10 minutes to collect all the empty carts, so I have hard time finding one.

It would be nice if they left a few in the handicapped area so people like me could grab one. I mentioned this to the manager, and he said it was company policy to bring all the carts inside. — James S., Ontario, Calif.

James, I understand your frustration. The store may be concerned about shopping carts dinging cars, or any number of things. Speak to the manager again. — Heloise

EDITOR’S NOTE: Send your great money-saving or timesaving hint to to Heloise at P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, Fax to 1-210-HELOISE, or email to Heloise@Heloise.com. She can’t answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in her column.


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