From rescued to readjusted dogs


Dear Readers: Rescuing a dog from the shelter is a rewarding experience for you and for the dog. But what are some things to keep in mind when training a rescued dog? Here are some hints:

¯ Every dog at the shelter has a backstory. Maybe he ran away, got lost or was turned in by his previous owner. These scenarios are traumatic for the dog, and it will take time for him to learn to trust people again.

¯ Spend time outside with the dog at the facility. His personality won’t fully bloom until he’s home with you, but you’ll see a little of what you can expect.

¯ Start training as if the dog were a blank slate. Train him how you want him to behave. Again, patience is important. Classes at the pet store in obedience can help.

¯ Get the dog on a regular schedule. Dogs like predictability and structure.

¯ Make sure to have the dog microchipped, and get tags made, too.

Enjoy your new family member, who will thrive in a new and loving environment. He will repay you with unbounded love and gratitude for all of his days. — Heloise

Dear Readers: Linda H. in Slippery Rock, Pa. sent a picture of her 2-year-old mini Australian shepherd, Rocky Dog, posing on her front stoop, surrounded by beautiful and oh-so-colorful fall ground cover. Linda had been away for two weeks while the family watched Rocky. He sure looks happy to see her, as Linda was to see him! And she was surprised the flowers bloomed with gorgeous color! To see Rocky Dog and the impatiens, visit and click on “Pet of the Week.” — Heloise

Dear Readers: After a walk around the neighborhood or a stroll in the park, and certainly if you do a more strenuous workout, you may experience muscle cramps and dehydration.

What may surprise you is that a home remedy probably in your refrigerator can help: pickle juice! Pickle juice is full of vinegar, which is acidic, and some sodium.

Pickle juice can help you rehydrate, by drinking about 2.5 ounces of pickle juice post-workout, and seasoned athletes swear the reduction in muscle cramping is real. The best part is that there are no side effects of drinking pickle juice. Check with your doctor for his opinion, and then grab some pickle juice!

Vinegar is a workhorse around the house. There are so many uses, I’ve compiled them into a handy pamphlet! If you’d like to receive one, visit my website,, or send a long, stamped (68 cents), self-addressed envelope, along with $5, to: Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. You may find pickle juice sold in individual bottles, without the pickles. Look for these in the sports-drink aisle. — Heloise