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Celebrate America’s freedoms safely

Dear Readers: Happy birthday, America! Let’s take a moment to reflect on our great country and the freedoms we enjoy. Celebrations are going on across America.

The Fourth of July and bright, beautiful fireworks go hand-in-hand, but keep in mind, safety is always priority one. Here are some hints about fireworks safety:

— Never let your guard down around fireworks. Avoid alcohol and supervise everyone. Don’t let children handle fireworks, not even sparklers. Did you know that sparklers can reach a temperature of 2,000 F!

— Keep pets inside; loud noises and bright lights can be frightening for our furry friends.

— Safety glasses are recommended, so is lighting fireworks in a large, clear area away from vehicles, tall grasses and buildings.

— Got a dud firework? DO NOT relight it. Also, keep a bucket of water close by to douse any fires.

Be aware of the ordinances in your city regarding fireworks. Lighting them at home may be illegal. The best bet for your family is probably a city-sponsored fireworks display. Look for them online. The best news? These are usually free! — Heloise

PICK IT UP!

Dear Heloise: I love reading “Hints from Heloise” in the Riverside, California, Press-Enterprise. In a recent column, I read about a reader’s recommendation to put up dog waste stations in neighborhoods, and I think it’s a great idea. Those stations do have a drawback, though. On my first walk around my HOA neighborhood, I noticed in the distance what appeared to be isolated patches of beautiful, bright blue flowers. Upon further inspection, flowers they were not.

People had walked their dogs, used the blue HOA-supplied doggie waste bags, then inexplicably dropped them on the ground next to the sidewalk. I guess they expect the HOA landscape gardeners to pick them up. It would be better to not pick up after their dogs at all and let mother nature break down the waste over time rather than toss a waste-filled, bright blue bag on the ground, which stands out and probably has a half-life of 50 years! Common sense? Some people just don’t have it. — Norm H. in Temecula, Calif.

IT’S FOR THE BIRDS

Dear Heloise: What to do with leftover bacon grease? I crumble old bread and blot it up. Crows and blue jays love it and it makes their feathers shine. Blue jays like it too. In the summer I save it for winter by storing it in the refrigerator. — Bobby B., New Hartford, Conn.

Bobby, I love hearing about different ways we all can care for our feathered friends. Thanks for sharing. — Heloise

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.

(c)2020 by King Features Syndicate Inc.

Editor’s Note: The accompanying photo for this and future Saturday Heloise pet columns will be available to newspapers that receive the column through the website. If you receive the column by AP wire or U.S. mail and would like to receive the photo at no extra charge, you can download it. Call Reed Brennan Media Associates Customer Service at 800-708-7311, ext. 236.

Photo Caption: Jessica and Gavin sent a picture of their newest family member, their tiny Yorkshire Terrier puppy, Lulu — so cute!

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