… relieve stress, but what if dogs develop anxiety themselves? Thunder, the vacuum cleaner, not enough exercise, being home alone all day, holiday visitors — all are triggers.

Symptoms? Chewing, heavy breathing, walking quickly back and forth or whining.

Solutions? Of course, you want to comfort your dog, but experts agree that this is counterproductive. Distracting your dog is a better idea. Dogs are smart, but they can’t think about two things at once.

Getting ready to leave for the day and Rover is stressed? Give him a puzzle toy several minutes before you go; he’ll look forward to this routine. Ask your veterinarian for other hints to help your dog relieve anxiety.

– Heloise

Dear Heloise:

I adopted a brother and sister Chihuahua/pug mix years ago from the Pasadena SPCA. The staff informed me the dogs were 10 years old, and I may not have them long.

Ralph and Beatrice were overweight, with dental issues, but they loved having a yard and grass! With a good diet and dental and medical care, we shared so many days together. They died three days apart in their sleep — just before their 23rd birthday!

– Paula B., Covina, Calif.

Dear Heloise:

Our thoughtful family tradition: Mother’s signature tablecloth. Each guest and family member at Thanksgiving signs the tablecloth at dinner, and many include a poem, doodle or drawing. Afterward, I embroider over the ink for permanence. Wonderful family memories, especially looking at family members’ work who have since passed.

– Christine R. in Michigan

Dear Heloise:

I save my spare change in a can. When it’s full, I give it to my grandson. He loves to count out the coins, and it’s good practice for him!

– Betty M. in Connecticut

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