Dis­tract, don’t com­fort, dogs with anx­i­ety

The Columbus Dispatch - - Front Page - — Heloise — Paula B., Cov­ina, Cal­i­for­nia in Michi­gan Christine R. — Lisa T., Lubbock, Texas — Gwen­dolyn in Arkansas — Heloise

Heloise

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.

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