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DEAR READERS: It's Aug. 1, known by dog lovers as DOGust 1st. It's the day to celebrate shelter dogs. When you adopt a dog from a shelter, the staff can only approximate the age of the dog, so Aug. 1 is designated as the shelter dogs' universal birthday for all.

To celebrate, take your dog to the park for a play date, throw a party at home or treat your dog to new toys, treats and a new, fluffy and comfy bed.

P.S. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (www.ASPCA.org), 1.6 million dogs are adopted from shelters every year. Let's push for 2 million. Go find a friend.

DEAR HELOISE: When I launder my cuffed shorts, I make sure to unroll them first. Crumbs and debris can accumulate in the folds of the cuffs. Then it's an easy matter to recuff them.

-- Heidi in Tennessee

DEAR HELOISE: Instead of cleaning gooey, messy cheese that has melted off burgers and onto my barbecue grill, I realized if I fold the corner of the cheese up into the center of the slice, then onto the burger, the mess is avoided altogether.

And perhaps the best part ... nobody feels shorted of cheese.

-- Mike, via email

DEAR READERS: Walking in the city on a summer's evening is great exercise, but it must be done safely. According to the National Highway Safety Administration (www.NHTSA.gov), stay safe by:

• Staying on the sidewalk, but if there's no sidewalk, walk facing on-coming traffic.

• Carrying a flashlight, ID and your cellphone.

• Wearing bright or reflective clothing.

• Crossing only in marked crosswalks and obeying traffic signals.

DEAR HELOISE: When it's time to give Goliath, my Doberman mix, a bath, I've resigned myself to the fact that I'm going to get wet, too. What helps? Cutting armholes and a head hole into a huge, 42-gallon contractor trash bag, slipping myself into the bag (a fashionable look, ha.) and then getting Goliath in the tub. It works.

-- Betty in Colorado

DEAR READERS: If your garden yield is too big for your personal use, consider donating extra vegetables and fruits to your city's food bank to help the needy in your community. Give them a call.

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

Heloise@Heloise.com

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