Distract, don’t comfort, dogs with anxiety
Dear Readers: Having a dog can help us relieve stress, but what if dogs develop anxiety themselves?
It’s possible. Thunder, the vacuum cleaner, not enough exercise, being home alone all day, holiday visitors — all are triggers.
Symptoms? Chewing, heavy breathing, walking quickly back and forth or whining.
Solutions? Of course, you want to comfort your dog, but experts agree that this is counterproductive. Distracting your dog is a better idea. Dogs are smart, but they can’t think about two things at once.
Getting ready to leave for the day and Rover is stressed? Give him a puzzle toy several minutes before you go; he’ll look forward to this routine.
Ask your veterinarian for other hints to help your dog relieve anxiety.
Dear Heloise: I adopted a brother and sister Chihuahua/pug mix years ago from the Pasadena SPCA. The staff informed me the dogs were 10 years old, and I may not have them long.
Ralph and Beatrice were overweight, with dental issues, but they loved having a yard and grass!
With a good diet and dental and medical care, we shared so many days together. They passed three days apart in their sleep — just before their 23rd birthday!
No one told them they were seniors! Old is beautiful — it has so much to offer. Now, I’m back to the shelter!
Dear Heloise: Our thoughtful family tradition: Mother’s signature tablecloth. Each guest and family member at Thanksgiving signs the tablecloth at dinner, and many include a poem, doodle or drawing. Afterward, I embroider over the ink for permanence.
It’s a wonderful way to capture family memories, especially looking at family members’ work who have since passed. —
Dear Heloise: The GPS for my car asked for my home address. Instead, I put the address of a doughnut shop down the street into my GPS system. This way, I’m protected if a thief steals my car and garage opener, because he won’t be able to access my home or know where I live.
Dear Heloise: My mother gave me a cast iron skillet that has rust spots on it. How can I clean it?
Gwendolyn, the best method for cleaning a rusty cast iron skillet is to use a nonmetallic scrubber to remove the rust, then wash afterward with a mild soap, making sure to rinse well and dry with a clean towel. Re-season the skillet by coating it (inside and out) with an unsalted vegetable shortening. Place the greased skillet upside down on a foil-covered baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Let cool, then remove excess grease with a paper towel. Heloise answers letters only in her King Features Syndicate column. Write her at P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 782795000 or send a fax to 1-210-HELOISE.