Posted: April 26, 2013 at 2:32 a.m.

DEAR READERS: Having printed hints for helping the blind before, it’s time to address how to approach a guide dog team. A team consists of a guide dog and its owner. When a dog is in harness, it is at “work” and is responsible for guiding its owner and should not be distracted. Here are some hints:

Always greet the owner first. Whatever side the guide dog is on (most work on the left), approach from the other side.

Do not approach a team while in the middle of a task. Wait until it is completed.

Do not pet a guide dog without asking permission. Some owners will allow you to pet the dog, and others will not. Do not get your feelings hurt if the owner says no.

Do not call out or whistle at a guide dog. The owner’s safety is dependent on the guide dog maintaining focus. So do not distract the guide dog.

Do not feed or offer the guide dog food or treats. Guide dogs are fed on a schedule that is strictly maintained. Because they often visit restaurants and grocery stores, they are trained to ignore food. Offering them food negates their training and also can make them sick.

DEAR HELOISE: When packing for a trip, I realized my curling iron was too hot to pack, and I was rushed for time. The thought of my oven mitt came to mind. It worked perfectly, allowing the curling iron to remain in the open position so it could cool off, but it was safe to handle and put in my tote bag. Even at home, I put the curling iron in an oven mitt before putting it in the drawer, which prevents the possibility of it melting cords, etc. I also use the mitt on my countertop to rest the curling iron on as it warms up.

-J.M., via e-mail

DEAR READER: Check what kind of material the inside of your oven mitt is.Sometimes the inside is a different material and may not be as heat-resistant as the outside. And don’t put the curling iron directly in the oven mitt after unplugging. Give it a couple of minutes to cool off.

DEAR HELOISE: For my house guests, I put up our folding table in their room, which is the perfect height and size for an open suitcase. The area under the table is handy to stow any other items. I also added a folding chair so they can put on their shoes or socks while dressing. These items go back to their storage area after the guests have gone.

  • J.M., via e-mail

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio,Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or e-mail

MovieStyle, Pages 34 on 04/26/2013