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This article was published December 7, 2013 at 1:40 a.m.

DEAR HELOISE: I have a pacemaker. I read that when the batteries in a pacemaker wear down, the pacemaker must be replaced. Used pacemakers cannot be refurbished and placed in humans again, but they can be placed into a pet to help prolong its life.

When a used pacemaker is given to you or your family, just take it to a veterinarian, who will forward it to a veterinary university in your state, or nearby. They can use pacemakers in which the battery has expired, or if a person dies.

There is a need for this donation, and it could give a beloved pet a better quality of life.

  • C.P., Fort Wayne, Ind.

DEAR READER: Thank you for sharing this hint! Pacemakers are being used for animals - dogs, some cats and even a horse or two. This is a pretty new practice, but it seems to be growing. How wonderful to know that a used pacemaker can prolong the life of one of our animal friends. Also, if a loved one is being buried or cremated, the pacemaker usually is removed and returned to the family. Call your veterinarian or a college of veterinary medicine in your state to find out if it accepts pacemakers or can direct you to an organization that does.

DEAR HELOISE: While walking, I see many yards where folks are losing grass because of trees with thick, low-hanging limbs. Trimming those limbs would let the sunshine reach the grass and probably would cost less than planting elaborate shaded shrub beds.

  • Kim O., via email

DEAR READER: Kim, how right you are. Low-hanging limbs also can obstruct sidewalks and be a hazard for cars and people.

DEAR HELOISE: I have a thin, artificial Christmas tree that lacks the fullness to become a “wow” tree. I put plain green glass ornaments on the inner branches before the other decorations. This gives the tree an “optical blend” that makes it seem fuller (particularly from a distance). The green ornaments are on sale after Christmas, and I grab them up.

  • Joe S. in Lake Worth, Fla.

DEAR HELOISE: I use a heavy meat-tenderizing tool (the type with cleats) to break up ground beef or sausage being browned for chili or meat sauce.

  • Ruth B. in Kansas

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

HomeStyle, Pages 34 on 12/07/2013

Print Headline: HELPFUL HINTS

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