Dear Readers: October is NATIONAL ADOPT-A-SHELTER-DOG MONTH. Bringing home a new best friend from the shelter is the ideal way to celebrate, but what if you can't do that?

Here are some other ways to spread the message: Tell your friends, relatives and co-workers that there are marvelous, loving, healthy and humorous cats, dogs and possibly even rabbits available at the city shelter and your neighborhood Humane Society (www.humanesociety.org).

Looking for a particular breed? Use a search engine to look up rescue groups for that breed.

Rescued animals know that they are now safe, and will repay you with love and gratitude for many years to come. - Heloise

PET PAL

Dear Readers: Jez S. in Downingtown, Pa., sent a picture of her 7-year-old Chihuahua, Priddie. But all we can see is Priddie's cute snout; she's snuggled ALL the way under her beautiful blue blanket in her basket! Silly Priddie!

To see what you can of Priddie, as well as our other Pet Pals, visit www.Heloise.com and click on "Pet of the Week" at the top of the page. Do you have a silly snuggler? Email Heloise(at)Heloise.com. - Heloise

LIGHTS OUT

Dear Heloise: I'm usually in the bathroom when the lights go out, so I keep one or two small flashlights in the bathroom. People joked about it until one day during a bad storm when the lights went out! - Michael in Dayton, Ohio

FREEZE HAMBURGER

Dear Heloise: I buy hamburger and other ground meats on sale. Then I brown it up, drain it and store it in the freezer in plastic containers. Now I have cooked meat ready for spaghetti sauce! I've loved your column all my life! - Robin S., via email

UNWANTED MAIL

Dear Heloise: Every mail-order company sends me unwanted catalogs. I tear my name and address off and toss them into a bin in front of the post office for discarded mail.

This avoids clutter in the house, and I'm not tempted to order something I don't need. - Annie in Nebraska

Annie, call the companies; they can remove your name from the mailing list. But this is a good immediate fix. - Heloise

NATURAL WOMAN

Dear Heloise: Thank you for your wonderful column. It is part of my daily breakfast and newspaper reading time. Reusing pantyhose to bind twigs to recycle? My recycler said this may not be a good thing. Nothing artificial can be used to tie bundles. Nylon does not degrade and may jam chipper/shredders used to mulch the brush. Better to use jute twine, which does degrade. - Dianne W., via email

SPILLED SPRAY

Dear Readers: If you spray an air freshener in a room with a laminate or wood floor, wipe the floor afterward. The wet spray can settle on the floor and create a slip-and-fall hazard. - Heloise

LETTER OF LAUGHTER

Dear Heloise: Years ago, we had a little dog that loved to go on walks.

When I'd say "walking" or "get my shoes on," he'd get excited, ready to go! - D.H. in Houston

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