Sophie tries to hide from her owner in the bathroom wastebasket.

Dear Heloise: A couple more thoughts on our pets riding with us in vehicles. Even an enclosed sport utility vehicle or car can pose certain hazards that we might not think of.

My golden retriever/Lab mix is a very well-behaved traveler, and I drive a small vehicle with limited options for securing her while on the road. Once, while driving on the freeway, she was trying to reach something between the seat and the passenger door. In horror, I noticed her nylon collar slipping around the door handle. I quickly reached across the car and locked the door. It never occurred to me that she could cause the door to open unexpectedly, resulting in tragedy.

Also, we know how dogs love to hang out the window of a moving car, but don't underestimate how much space is needed to exit the window of opportunity. My sister's large chocolate Lab literally leapt through the minimal space allowed as their SUV traveled about 40 mph when he caught sight of horses in the pasture they were passing. Not only did he clear the window, it's a miracle he didn't break it. I'm thrilled to say Kodi survived due to heavy recent rains — he had a soft landing, but he could have easily broken one or a couple of legs. As is, he got away with a few superficial cuts/scrapes and a torn toenail. — Candyce Sartell, Minneapolis

Whoa, doggie! Glad to hear that Kodi is OK — it sure could have turned out the other way. — Heloise

Dear Readers: Mikaela Alexander of Waterville, Maine, sent a photo of her green-eyed, gray-and-white cat, Sophie, trying to hide in the bathroom wastebasket.

Mikaela says: "Sophie also brings me earthworms and slugs as 'presents'! Even if she doesn't actually find a 'present' for me, I can tell she has been looking very hard because of all the dirt around her mouth!" — Heloise

Dear Heloise: I saw your article regarding sunburn and pets. My dog has a messy, ugly, sunburned nose. I took her to the vet, and we tried several somewhat-expensive prescriptions. Finally, the vet suggested putting vitamin E oil on her nose (from the capsule), and it has worked. — D.Z. in Montana

Dear Heloise: When traveling, include your cell-phone number on your pet's ID tag. If you are separated at a rest stop or in a strange city, you can respond quickly when someone calls. — Camille Dean, The Villages, Fla.

Dear Readers: Did you know that if you have pet birds, you should only put natural materials in the cage for their nests? Check pet-supply stores. Don't use cotton balls, string or yarn, as it can get tangled around the bird's feet and can even result in death. — Heloise


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