Staff Writer
Garden City Telegram

Dear Readers: What's better than a late summer trip to the lake with your dog? Pack up the car, load the dog and off you go. But wait! Have you heard of algal blooms?

These are poisonous blooms of blue-green algae that typically occur when the weather has been warm, sunny and calm, and the temperature of the water is between 70 and 90 degrees. They float on top of the water and can be toxic for dogs if they drink or ingest the foamy scum that has washed ashore.

Symptoms that your dog has been poisoned include vomiting, diarrhea, a rash, hives, trouble breathing, drooling and no appetite. Severe cases can cause seizures and possibly death.

Your best bet is to keep out of the water if you see these algal blooms. If your dog does get wet, rinse him thoroughly with bottled water or a hose while wearing gloves. - Heloise


Dear Readers: Patricia M. sent a picture of her sweet, smiling, 7-pound, 13-year-old Chihuahua, Oliver, lying on the patio.

Oliver has scoliosis and was going to be put to sleep because something happened to his owner. Patricia saw his picture online and ran to the animal shelter just in time. Patricia wants to give him all the love she can for the rest of his life.

To see Oliver and our other Pet Pals, visit www.Heloise.com and click on "Pet of the Week." To share your furry and funny friend, email a picture and description to Heloise@Heloise.com. - Heloise


Dear Heloise: I never buy old cookware at garage sales. It can have deep scratches and the coating can flake off and chemicals can leach out - not healthy or safe. - Janet R. in Ohio

Janet, you're right. Here are some other items to not buy at a garage sale: helmets, bathing suits, car seats, mattresses, cribs, shoes, stuffed animals, hats or anything that comes in close contact with the body. - Heloise


Dear Heloise: I've rescued and adopted many dogs over the years. The biggest challenge I've had is socializing a scared, possibly formerly abused, never-trained dog.

This method works well: I sit in the room with the dog. I may have a ball or squeaky toy, but the key is, as hard as it is, I ignore the dog - no eye contact and no distractions, like TV or other pets.

Soon enough, and on the dog's own schedule, he will drop his defenses. He'll realize he is in a safe place. He will want my attention. He may come over and nudge my hand or rub against my leg. Then I'll look at him, pet him and play with him.

This may take several sessions, but be patient; it will be worth it. - Sarah R. in Ohio

Sarah, you're right. Dogs are social animals, and they want to be with us, as long as they feel safe. - Heloise

Send a money-saving or time saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 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.

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