Dear Heloise: When my dog, Lady, was expecting puppies, I had somewhere perfect for her to have her puppies -- my son's small, molded-plastic wading pool.
It's roomy enough, and the height is perfect for Lady to walk in and out. After I put some newspaper on one end and towels on the other, she immediately took to it and made herself comfortable.
It will be quite a while before the pups are large enough to climb out, so it gives me peace of mind knowing they won't be wandering around in the middle of the night. Lisa M., Fort Myers, Fla.
A child's wading pool is perfect for newborns (four paws, that is) and mom alike. Just change the papers and give it a good wash and rinse when needed. Heloise
Dear Readers: Lillian H. Anders of Gastonia, N.C., sent a photo of her gray-and-white cat, Annabelle. The photo shows her sitting among some porcelain prize-winning dolls. Annabelle knew she was just as beautiful as the dolls! Visit my Web site, www.Heloise.com, and click on This Week's Pet to see adorable Annabelle. Heloise
Dear Heloise: It's almost impossible to keep cats away from birds, but I've found one way that does help. One of my cats is a hunter (the other couldn't care less), so I had to do something to give the birds a chance.
I used a "jingle bell," about 3/4 inch in diameter, that I removed from a ribbon this past Christmas. It's much better than the tiny bells attached to a cat's elastic collar. Now, when Shadow tries to hunt birds in our yard, even when crouching down and sneaking, the bell sounds to alert the birds.
These bells are sold at crafts stores, so anyone who has a problem with cats chasing birds, your problem is solved. V. Williams, via e-mail
Dear Heloise: While talking to a friend on the phone, my little dog kept barking and disrupting our conversation. My friend said: "You know how to stop that, don't you? Put a handful of pennies in a small coffee can and shake it every time she barks."
I put about 20 pennies in a coffee can. The next time she barked, I shook the can and told her to stop. She did! Each time she barked, I'd shake the can, then all I had to do was show her the can and she immediately stopped. Now, I just say, "No barking," and she stops.
Don't know if it would work on larger dogs, but it sure worked on my bichon frise. Mary Odom, San Antonio
Dear Readers: In the cold winter months, outside pets need more calories to keep warm and healthy. So, be sure to keep this in mind, and give those pets extra portions of food. And on days that are especially cold, bring your pet in. Heloise Central
XSend a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to (210) HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com.
King Features Syndicate