Dear Readers: Spring can usher in snakebite season, and curious, wandering dogs can get bitten. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (www.aspca.org) advises:
* A leashed dog is safer than an unleashed dog.
* Don’t allow the dog to explore under rocks or in bushes.
* Stay on the path most traveled, free of brush and long grasses.
Ask your veterinarian about the rattlesnake vaccine (another preventative measure). A good conversation with the doctor is always helpful. Rattlesnakes are most common in the southwestern United States.
If your dog does get bitten, get it to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Snakebites can be fatal, but the good news is, survivability is high when treatment is quick. — Heloise
P.S. Never suck out venom from a bite; this is ineffective and wastes precious time.
Dear Heloise: I have an HE washing machine (low water use), and my family uses bath gels. I used to have trouble with insufficient rinsing and/or stiff towels, but this works for me: I use NO detergent and very little fabric softener, and the towels come out nice and fluffy and absorbent. — Pat C., Palermo, ME
Pat, a generous glug of white vinegar in the wash water also can help rinse out suds.
Vinegar is safe, cheap and has many uses, including cleaning, deodorizing, cooking and beauty hints. I’ve compiled my favorites into a handy pamphlet. Would you like to receive one? It’s easy! Visit www.Heloise.com to order or send a long, stamped (70 cents), self-addressed envelope together with $5 to: Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 5001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001.
FYI: When you are doing hand-wash laundry and there are too many suds, add a squirt of vinegar to the second rinse to make the suds disappear. Then rinse again. — Heloise
Dear Heloise: Wouldn’t it have been nice if the folks who came up with the idea for centralized emergency communication (911) had thought about a similar number for non-emergencies?
Many times, I have witnessed something that should have been reported to police or other emergency personnel, but it was not an emergency. Where does one call? I’ve been around for many years and haven’t found an answer. — Cal B., Litchfield, ME
Cal, great question. Many cities have 311 as the number to call to report problems, road damage, make complaints or other non-emergency situations. Check with your city for more information. — Heloise
Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com