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HINTS FROM HELOISE

Garden City Telegram

Dear Heloise: We don't keep our dog outside, regardless of the chilly weather, but sometimes he's in the backyard with us, and he has a shelter out there. What's the best way to keep the shelter warm, clean and dry in the snowy, blustery, wet winter? - Marie S. in Wisconsin

Marie, so glad you asked. Dogs are social animals, and they want to be with us, wherever we are! First step: Make sure the doghouse is as airtight as possible. Fill in gaps in walls to lessen draftiness, make sure the roof is watertight, and place the doghouse in a non-windy space, elevated up off the ground.

The entrance to the doghouse needs a cover that can keep cold air out, but also allow the dog entrance and egress. A bathmat can work well here.

Now, bedding. Don't use blankets or carpet. These, if they get wet, will retain moisture. Opt for straw, hay or even wood shavings. Change these out every week for freshness.

Something else to keep fresh? Drinking water. Change it daily. There are heated water bowls on the market, and also heaters for the doghouse itself, but these are most likely not necessary in your case. - Heloise

PET PAL

Dear Heloise: We enjoy your column daily in the San Antonio Express-News. Our dogs Molly (lab mix) and Jon Stewart (terrier mix) are putting 2020 "behind" them. We hope everyone has a happy and healthy 2021! - Marti and David N., via email

Fabulous! Readers: to see Molly and Jon, visit www.Heloise.com and click on "Pet of the Week." - Heloise

A MOM WITH BOYS WILL TELL YOU

Dear Heloise: I clean the toilet, especially the outside of the bowl down to the floor, with men's shaving foam. It smells fresh, clean and minty, and it cleans a multitude of sins (you know what I mean) when you have boys using the toilet. - Gina D. in Pennsylvania

THE SCIENCE OF SOAP SLIVERS

Dear Heloise: You had an article some time ago when you discussed methods to reuse slivers of soap. I've been doing this for 40 years. I start with about 20 slivers of soap, and I like to use different colors of soap because they make interesting patterns when they're combined. A container for my new soap bar? A coffee cup. 

I heat it in the microwave on high for a maximum of 10 seconds. When the soap is thoroughly heated, I use a spoon to level off the top of the soap. When I'm finished, I put the soap in the freezer overnight.

I prefer the shape of the newly created bar of soap to the ones from the soap factories. The new shape fits the palm of my hand. It's easier to hold, to pick up and to handle. - John S., Dallas, Texas

TIMESAVER

Dear Heloise: I became a Heloise fan because of my mom's devotion to your column. Few women have time to clean their closets on a regular basis. 

My solution is to keep a large trash bag in the closet to donate clean clothes that either shrunk or I no longer want. It prevents warehousing things I don't wear. - Del T., Kent, Ohio

Send a money-saving or time saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5001, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com. I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate Inc.