Dear Heloise: My little parakeet, Jay-Jay, absolutely loves toys. After buying a couple of expensive toys, I decided to make some.
I bought a couple of bells and hung them in his cage with large paper clips. He climbs all over them, pulls at the "ringers" and hangs on them. His plastic ladder is suspended lengthwise at the top of his cage using paper clips on four corners of the ladder. He uses this as a swing, hangs upside down, walks across the rungs -- he just has a ball! The length can be adjusted by using more or fewer clips. Joyce B., via e-mail
Homemade toys seem to be the best, and, like you said, they cost only pennies. Just be careful of any items you use that could be hazardous to your bird. Thanks for sharing your ideas with us. I bet parakeet owners will start making their own toys now. Heloise
Dear Readers: Debra Royall of Palestine, Texas, sent a photo of her little, white, long-hair Chihuahua, Mickey, having fun outside the bathroom with toilet tissue he ripped into shreds. If your newspaper doesn't print the pet photo, visit my Web site, www.Heloise.com, and click on This Week's Pet to see cute little Mickey and the mess he made. And speaking of playful pets or small children, here's a hint that might prevent that paper trail. When putting the tissue on the holder, make sure the beginning of the roll faces the wall to stop it from continually rolling off, and you can even squish the roll a little to further slow down the action. Heloise
Dear Heloise: Recently, I lost a precious cat, Sweet Thing, to a pack of wild dogs or coyotes in my back yard. I live in a development in Houston with a field in back of my fenced yard.
I am an animal lover and feed deer during the year. Unfortunately, I have discovered that when the deer corn attracts the deer, the deer attract the coyotes and wild dogs. They are preying on the deer and any other animals that might be around.
When walking my dogs in the field behind my house, a bold wild dog or coyote came after me, and fortunately my brave Mugs (a boxer) came to my defense. She received bites and scratches from this attack. Animal lovers beware! You can be attracting the wrong kind of animal. Kelly Joy, Houston
We are so sorry to hear about your cat. Thank goodness you and your dog were not seriously hurt. It's quite common that wild dogs and coyotes can be found in developments, especially in the countryside. So, folks, if you have pets, you might want to think twice about feeding the deer. Heloise
Are you planning on your pet staying in a kennel? Make sure you take along a favorite toy, food and water dishes and, most important, its bed, blanket or pillow.
It's helpful to have everyday things around so your pet won't be too lonely or anxious. Having familiar scents will make it more comfortable while away from home. Heloise
XSend a money-saving or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-500; fax to (210) HELOISE or e-mail to Heloise@Heloise.com.
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