DEAR ABBY: I would be grateful for the rest of my life if you would please print this. It could save lives.
Many people are not aware that there are now seat belts for dogs. They cost between $10 and $20, and keep dogs from jumping out of windows or crashing through windshields in accidents.
As an additional benefit, the animals are forced to sit and cannot jump all over the car, which is a distraction for the driver.
I bought my dog, Puppet, a seat belt at the local pet store. Every time I see a dog on a driver's lap in front of the steering wheel, I have the urge to make the driver stop so that I can show him or her Puppet's seat belt. -- ELISABETH SAENZ, GARLAND, TEXAS
DEAR ELISABETH: I didn't know that seat belts for dogs existed, but they certainly make sense. By the way, yours was not the only letter from a concerned animal lover that arrived today in my mail. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: Please print this warning to your bird-loving readers. It is unsafe to put red dye into the sugar water for hummingbird feeders. The dye causes tumors to develop on the birds' tongues, which prevents them from feeding, and they die.
Please, Abby, help defenseless hummingbirds. They don't need red dye to find the food. -- ARIZONA APRIL
DEAR ARIZONA APRIL: According to the National Audubon Society in New York and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, "There is no evidence that adding red (or other) food coloring to sugar water will harm birds." A more practical idea is to put your feeder near red flowers or buy a red hummingbird feeder.
Bird lovers should be aware that sugar water ferments when left in the hot sun, turning the nectar deadly. Do not put out a feeder unless you are willing to clean it once or twice a week.