Properly caring for animals

Hints from Heloise

Dear Heloise: I’ve been reading your column for many years, and I like the way you champion animal rights. Too many people in my state abandon animals when they are no longer puppies. One of the members of a social club I belong to told me that he and his wife took their 6-month-old puppy to a shelter because it chewed up one of his wife’s leather shoes. But it wasn’t the dog’s fault; it was on the owners for leaving the shoes out where the puppy could find them.

No pet should live outside or be abandoned because the owners are too lazy to interact with the animal and properly train them. That doesn’t mean hitting the animal, starving it or mistreating it in any way. Abuse only teaches the animal to fear and even hate its owner.

If you adopt a pet, get it neutered, make sure that it gets its shots, and take it to the vet if it gets sick. Feed it decent food (not the cheapest food you can find). Pet it, play with it and show affection toward the animal — or don’t get a pet. — Chad H., Monrovia, Indiana


Dear Heloise: I live in Texas, and we have very short winters as a rule. This means we have to put flower bulbs in the refrigerator about six weeks before we plant them. So, if any of your readers are planning to plant bulbs, they need to put them in the refrigerator, wait the required six weeks, and then get them in the ground ASAP.

Last year, I forgot to refrigerate my bulbs, and they produced some weak blooms. — JoAnn L., San Antonio



Dear Heloise: Some years ago, I read a letter in your column about a man who left money in library books for a stranger to find. I liked the idea and started doing the same thing. One day, I placed $5 in a popular book and put it back on the shelf. Well, the other day, I was in the library and opened the book to find a note in place of the money. It read: “Thank you for this generous gift. I came here to get out of the cold and found the $5, which allowed me to eat today. God bless you.”

There was no signature, and I’ll probably never know who the person was. But I took pleasure in knowing that something as simple as $5 might mean the difference between someone having a meal or going hungry. Now leaving money in books has become commonplace for me. I can well afford to part with $5 to help another person with something they need. — Marvin W., Boston


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