Dear Readers: Ever get annoyed when you go into the bathroom for some, shall we say, privacy and your dog follows you in? Don’t get peeved. The dog is acting on his natural instincts.

Dogs are pack animals, and they protect each other. You are the leader of the pack. When you’re in the bathroom and, ahem, vulnerable, the dog can sense that. He wants to protect you. When he’s outside doing his business, he may try to catch your eye. He’s expecting you to protect him from predators when he’s vulnerable.

Don’t let this habit irk you. Just “go” with it.

— Heloise

Pet pal

Dear Readers: Marian H. sent a picture of her neighbor Lexi having a moment with Marian’s dog Winni; looks cute and cozy. To see these two, visit www.Heloise.com and click on “Pet of the Week.”

Do you have a furry and funny friend you’d like to share? Email a picture and description to Heloise@Heloise.com.

— Heloise

At-home euthanasia

Dear Heloise: I read your column about euthanasia at home for your pets (March 20). We were happy to discover home euthanasia when our last elderly dog became too ill and uncomfortable to make the trip. She was a large dog.

When the day came, they sent a vet and tech to our home. They spent a lot of time sitting next to her, talking to her and us, petting and soothing her before the sedative and the final injection. We all cried, petting her and telling her how much joy and love she brought to our lives.

When it was over, they gave us a few moments alone with her, and when we were ready, they took her back for cremation and made a paw print for us.

They sent us a lovely sympathy letter afterward. I cannot tell you how much better this was than the alternative. She was relaxed and unstressed. We still cried but knew we made the right choice.

 — Linda S., via email

Delicious pickle

Dear Readers: Raise your hands — who enjoys drinking pickle juice? OK, OK, so not everyone’s on board. But hear me out. Pickle juice is tart and tangy and may have some health benefits. Let’s take a look at the “big three” of pickle juice:

After a sweaty workout, pickle juice can replenish electrolytes (essential minerals like sodium, potassium and magnesium) and help you get hydrated again.

Another benefit of pickle juice? Probiotics. Probiotics are bacteria in your gut that aid in digestion.

Finally, antioxidants. Antioxidants can protect your cells and keep you healthy.

Talk to your doctor and/or trainer about pickle juice.

— Heloise

Handle helper

Dear Heloise: I don’t make a mess trying to get the last of the peanut butter, jelly or condiments at the bottom of the jar. I use a long-handled iced tea spoon to get every last bit. No mess, no fuss and no waste.

 — Dorsee K., via email in Canton, Ohio

Pod person

Dear Heloise: I have used this trick for years: I fill a badly burned pan with hot water, throw in a dishwasher pod and leave it overnight. I rinse it out, and it shines like new.

 — Sonja in Virginia

Send a money-saving or timesaving 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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