Dear Heloise: As a therapy-dog owner and educator, I have become aware of the thousands of children who receive dog bites every year.
This number could be reduced if these three basic rules were followed when meeting a strange dog:
1. Always ask permission to pet the dog.
2. Calmly permit the dog to sniff your hand.
3. Pet it under the chin; stroking the top of the head (as most do) might be considered threatening to some dogs, especially if they have been abused in the past. -- Mary Brown, Paul Smiths, N.Y.
These 1-2-3s for a safe encounter should be taught to all children. Adults would also be smart to remember them. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: I have an elderly diabetic cat that has been my true and faithful companion for more than 13 years. After he became diabetic, I purchased one of those inexpensive pet ID tags and had it engraved "I am an insulin-dependent diabetic."
He is strictly an indoor kitty, but accidents do happen, and if he is ever lost, not only will he have his name, address and phone number, but he can also "tell" his rescuer his important medical information.
For about $5, I have purchased a little peace of mind. -- Melanie Parrott, Jacksonville, Fla.
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