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HINTS FROM HELOISE

Garden City Telegram

Dear Heloise: My dog suddenly has black stools. What could that mean? - Hilda S. in Texas

Hilda, black stools can be serious. It might mean that the dog is passing blood from a digestive upset, an infection, an injury, or even cancer.

It also could result simply from eating dark-colored foods. A trip to the veterinarian is called for; bring a sample and be prepared to talk about any oddities in the dog's behavior. - Heloise

PET PAL

Dear Readers: Marlene D. sent a picture of her precious recue cat Angel. Angel is a most extraordinary cat, Marlene says, and she and her husband are crazy about her. She has two marks on her back that look very distinctly like angel wings. 

Angel has surrounded herself with her Valentine cards. To see Angel and our other Pet Pals, visit www.Heloise.com and click on "Pet of the Week."

Do you have a funny and furry friend? Email a picture and description to Heloise@Heloise.com

A MOUSE IN THE HOUSE

Dear Heloise: We had a mice problem at our ranch house, so it was time to get innovative. This might sound odd, but bear with me.

I took clumps of used cat litter and left it around the house, inside and out. The mice got the message (that a cat is here) evidently, because we haven't seen any mice since. 

The odor was not bad to me; it can vary, of course, and may be offensive to some. - Nancy O. in Texas

READER IS BOXED IN TO GIVING

Dear Heloise: I've been following you for years and years! I believe in recycling and upcycling. Especially during the pandemic, I've received many deliveries in boxes. Rather than put them in the recycle bin, I break them down and save them until I have enough to give away. I remove personal labels and offer the boxes for free on the many social media platforms. 

Usually within four hours, the boxes are all gone; people always need boxes for whatever reason. I ask the people to please pay it forward.

I save the packing material for my charity resale shop owners, who are so appreciative of this material they'd otherwise have to buy. - Vicki C. in Fredericksburg, Va.

DUCK FOOD

Dear Readers: Spring is upon us, and you may be heading to the lake. Spot some ducks and want to feed them? Please don't grab bread. 

Bread does not contain the correct nutrition and calories for ducks and birds. Birds of all varieties cannot digest bread; bread in the water causes pollution; foul-smelling water and algae can kill fish and also give birds disease.

What are good foods to feed ducks? Here are some ideas: cut seedless grapes, cooked rice, birdseed, cooked peas and corn, oats and chopped lettuce. - Heloise

I HAVE SOME HINTS

Dear Heloise: When I buy spices and condiments, I take a magic marker and write the expiration date on the label. I also do that when I open items that only last for seven to 10 days once opened, like drinks, cottage cheese, hummus, tomato sauce, lunch meat, etc. I enjoy reading your column. - Lorraine E., Staten Island, N.Y.

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.