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Don't choke your pet: Ensure collar fits well

Dear Heloise: Check your pet's collar from time to time.

When you put a collar on your pet while it is still in the growing stage, make sure the collar is large enough.

Collars can become too tight and are very dangerous! They can cut into your pet's flesh or even slowly strangle them. Please change the collars as they grow. — L.J.C., Phoenix

How right you are. A general guideline is that you should be able to slip two fingers underneath the collar. — Heloise

Dear Heloise: For some time, I have been feeding a number of feral cats in my spacious back yard. This past summer, we were besieged by seemingly millions of tiny black ants that stubbornly swarmed over the food dishes.

Spraying toxic substances is never desirable around animals. I remembered your great hint about making a water moat around pet dishes.

I placed two large, ceramic bowls in the middle of aluminum pie pans filled with water. The weight of the ceramic bowls keeps the food dishes from floating around in the water, and the water keeps the ants off the cats' food.

Now my little waifs can eat their food in peace without having to share it with the pesky ants. — Donna Worthington, Mesa, Ariz.

Dear Readers: Sally, a beautiful, 55-pound shepherd-boxer mix, was found by Richard Schlesinger, a CBS-TV correspondent from Connecticut. He told me all about Sally when he was interviewing me for a segment on the TV show "48 Hours."

Sally is so predictable. Every Sunday morning, she races to sit in Richard's favorite chair. If Richard gets there first, she waits patiently for him to get up. As soon as he does, she jumps up. This goes on all morning, almost like musical chairs. Even with that, Richard says, "Sally is the most wonderful dog in the world," so he doesn't mind sharing his chair.

Send a favorite photo of your pet and hopefully we can print it. Visit my Web site www. and click on This Week's Pet to see Sally snoozing on Richard's big, cozy chair. — Heloise

Send a money- or time-saving 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 I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column. © King Features Syndicate Inc.