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HELOISE: Have pet snake? Check insurance

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Dear Heloise: In your column in which you talked about snakes for pets, you forgot one thing people need to check on before getting one: homeowners insurance. Some companies will not insure you if you have certain types of snakes.

When we were moving from New Mexico to Texas, we had a 5-foot corn snake. The home-insurance people said we could not have it because it was considered to be a “constrictor.” We didn’t think it was, other than it does do that to its food, but we had to give up our snake or give up the house.

B.J. Walker from Texas

We did some checking, and how right you are! One insurance company told us it would cover a snake bite, but getting the policy renewed might be a problem, and another said it would not cover snake bites. Readers, check your policy if you are considering getting any type of snake as a pet.


Dear Readers: Sharon in San Antonio sent a picture of her newly rescued Chihuahua, Mrs. Daisy Dinkle, sitting in her bed on the desk by the computer. Mrs. Dinkle is “helping” Sharon read and answer her emails. Visit and click on “Pets” to see Mrs. Daisy Dinkle.


Dear Heloise: With the help of our wet/dry vacuum, the following is the procedure that will save many dogs’ relationships with their masters when an “accident” has occurred:

Do not disturb the affected area.

Get the wet/dry vacuum with a hose (no attachments).

Have a spray bottle prepared with a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water.

Hold the vacuum hose just above the affected area so it will suck up the offending matter.

Spray the area with the vinegar mix and then vacuum. This will help finish cleaning the affected area and make the vacuum smell better.

To clean the vacuum, get a bucket of hot, soapy water and vacuum it up. Then take apart and use a garden hose to spray as necessary.

Thomas in Virginia

Thomas, this is one way to clean up dog accidents, but it won’t help much if urine has gone through the carpet or has been sitting a while. You need to soak up the liquid with paper towels or rags. Isn’t vinegar fabulous? I’ve compiled a collection of favorite uses for vinegar in a convenient pamphlet. If you would like to receive one, just send $5 and a business-size, self-addressed, stamped (64 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. To keep ants away, wipe picnic tables with equal parts of vinegar and water.


Dear Heloise: We have a neat way to help our golden retrievers stay cooler during the summer. We put a hard-plastic wading pool under a tree and filled it with 4 to 5 inches of clean sand. Every day, we wet the sand down, and the dogs just love it!

Tom from Texas

Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or email it to

King Features Syndicate