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Shelf liner helps pets stay in place when riding in cars

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Dear Heloise: I enjoy reading your column in The Dallas Morning News. I'd like to add a safety tip for PETS RIDING IN VEHICLES.

If you have leather seating (as I do), put a piece of rubber waffle-type shelf liner on the seat that your pet will be using. Your pet will not slide. Also, I use a pet harness and slide the seat belt through it. You can remove the shelf liner when your pet is not in the vehicle, and you can also throw the liner in the washer for easy cleaning. — Paula, Via E-mail

Savvi, our miniature schnauzer, has her own red towel for the car seat and water "mug" for our car trips. She is as happy and comfy as can be. — Heloise

Dear Heloise: I kept our little girl's playpen and now use it for our new "baby," our cute little cocker spaniel puppy. The playpen is perfect for housebreaking her.

She hates to be away from us, so we keep the playpen close by, with a pile of newspapers on the bottom at night. When we get up in the morning, I immediately take her outside. During the day, I let her run around near me and take her out frequently. If I'm leaving the house for a while, I put her back in the playpen with a small blanket on one side and newspapers on the other. It gives me peace of mind that she won't have accidents on my nice carpeting. — Sarah T., Salt Lake City

One of my assistants has a remarkable black-and-white kitty. When she took a photo of him, she discovered something very unusual and "funny" with the design in his black fur.

If your newspaper runs this photo, take a look at the pattern.

What does the image look like to you? Please send a postcard with your guess to: Heloise/Image, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or e-mail it to: Heloisecompuserve.com (subject: Heloise/Image).

P.S. We would love to see photos of pets with unique designs (no e-mail photos, please), and perhaps we can publish them. We'll let you know what we "see" on Samson's side in a couple of weeks (Hint: Cover his head — you might be able to distinguish it easier). — Heloise

Summer heat, especially in Southern states, can be deadly to both humans and animals. When the temperature is 95 degrees and the humidity 40 percent, the heat index makes it feel like it is 101 degrees. A 90-degree day with 75 percent humidity shoots the heat index up to 109 degrees!

So, please, if you are out driving around running errands, DON'T take your pet with you. You might think an 85-degree day is not too hot, but the inside of a car can get to 100 degrees in a very short time — even with the window left opened a bit. Don't leave a child or animal alone in a car — in fact, in many states it is against the law.

Dear Heloise: A while back, you notified your readers of the danger of fire or electrocution caused by pets chewing dangling electrical cords.

I had a problem with one of our cats chewing the cords. I went to an electronics store, where I found hard plastic coils that slip over the cords. I covered all the cords that seemed to attract our cat's attention and solved the problem.

I thought you might like to pass this hint on to your readers, as it could save the life of a pet. — Ann Boggan, Via E-mail

Thanks for the warning. It's so important to make your home "pet safe," just as you would do for a small child. — Heloise

It's a Fact: Did you know screech owls do NOT screech? They sound like a small horse whinnying. You can find these owls mostly in the eastern United States in wooded settings. If you live in a woodsy area, you might be able to attract them by putting a nest box high up on a tree. They build their nests in cavities, so a nest box is perfect for them.

Send 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). I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.

King Features Syndicate Inc.