Hints from Heloise: Retirement party gift ideas

Dear Heloise >> The staff where I work is having a retirement party in late October for a very nice co-worker. He and his wife have done very well for themselves financially. They don’t have children, their house is paid off, as are their cars, and in truth, they want for nothing. So, what do you give to someone retiring from a job they’ve done for about 30years?

— H.G., Norman, Oklahoma

Dear H.G. >> A lot depends on what your co-worker enjoys doing. You can give them tickets to shows, sports events or plays. Has your co-worker expressed a desire to take a class or learn something new? You can always gift them with things related to a hobby, such as an engraved golf club for a golfer, or a camera if they enjoy photography. How about a subscription to a wine club or a class on pottery or cooking? If they like to read, you can always give them a gift card to a bookstore or buy them an e-reader. I hope this helps you make a selection.

Dear Heloise >> I love dogs, and I’m seriously considering the idea of fostering a couple of them. My last pet, a pug, died at age 16, and I miss him terribly. Are there any rules or hints I should follow if I decide to take in a couple of shelter dogs and foster them?

— Samantha L., Austin, Texas

Dear Samantha >> You treat foster dogs with the same love, care and attention that you gave to your pug. You’ll need a lot of patience to help them adjust to your home, but the reward isa happy, loving dog who can be rehomed with a family that will give them a forever home.

The shelter would be your best source of information. They usually interview someone to make certain they know what is expected and required when fostering a dog. I’ve fostered animals before and never regretted it.

Dear Heloise >> I’m writing in response to Sandra R. in Kalamazoo, Michigan, who wanted to know who she could call to help her enforce better care for her neighbor’s dog: Along with your suggestion of calling the police, she can contact Save A Rescue at

www.savearescue.org. Another source of help is the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals at www.aspca.org. She also might try the Humane Society of the United States at (202) 452-1100 for advice.

— Marilyn D., Fullerton

Dear Heloise >> Teach your children to read before they start kindergarten. Sit down with them and get them comfortable. Start with books that interest them and stories that are appropriate for their age group. Help them sound out words they don’t know.

Above all, take your time. There is no rush. In fact, pause once in a while and discuss the story or one of the characters. Ask the child what they think of the character or what they would do in that situation. In other words, engage the child by asking them questions.

— Nell V., Bayonne, New Jersey

Write to Heloise

P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 210-HELOISE

Email: Heloise@Heloise.com

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