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Hints from Heloise: Safety vest makes dog more visible

SHARE Hints from Heloise: Safety vest makes dog more visible
Bailey, a cairn terrier, keeps himself entertained by chewing on the laces of a boot.

Bailey, a cairn terrier, keeps himself entertained by chewing on the laces of a boot.

Dear Heloise: Because of my work hours, it is usually dark when my dog and I walk. I wear a bright-orange safety vest with reflective tape. As I walk along the curb area, this leaves my dog, who is a charcoal-gray schnauzer (the same color as the street), walking three to four feet to my right and in the street.

Drivers are able to see my vest, but lately have come very close to my dog. The local pet stores do not carry safety vests for dogs, and they can be ordered but are rather expensive. So I made one from a human safety vest, using a dog coat pattern, adding a little trim and recycling the elastic from the vest into a belt fastener to hold the vest in place beneath the dog's tummy. I added purchased reflective tape for the sides. Then I noticed that a silver chain leash reflects the light better than the woven one we have been using. Perfect! Now my dog is visible and safer, too!

Enjoy those cold-weather walks, but appropriate dress is essential for you and your pet. — C. Porter Stone, Harrisonburg, Va.

Our mini schnauzer, Cabbie, says, "Woof, I want a bright vest, too!" — Heloise

Dear Readers: Arline Benes Nenni of Goffstown, N.H., sent in a photo of her son's cairn terrier, Bailey, chewing on the laces of a boot. Arline says, "When Bailey was a pup, he loved chewing the laces of his master's work boots." — Heloise

Dear Heloise: I read your column reminding us to change the dog's plastic water dish and be sure to keep it clean. We live in Texas, where it's hot most of the year. Last summer, I decided to keep a dish in the living room as well as the kitchen area so the dog would stay hydrated. I didn't want an ugly plastic dish in the living room, so I chose a good crystal bowl that looks nice on the floor, and when our dog's friends come to visit, that is the first place they go. Good crystal is heavy enough to not tip over easily and is really not very breakable. Besides, it is pretty impressive to have the dogs drinking from crystal. — Barbara R. Carter, Seguin, Texas

Dear Heloise: When giving your cats a paper bag (never plastic) to play in, always cut the handles off or in half, just in case it gets around their neck. In a panic to release it, they could choke themselves. — Jim, Minneapolis

Dear Heloise: Does your cat use your sofa or chair for a scratching post? If so, try a small squirt gun filled with water. One or two squirts of water every time the cat starts to scratch should do the trick. — Jeannie B., San Diego

© King Features Syndicate Inc.