Dear Heloise: It irks me when a receptionist “blind transfers” me to a person in the company. The correct business etiquette: Place me on hold, find out if that person is in, and if the person is not, come back on the line and ask me if I’d like to leave a message.

Dear Annie: We have a son and daughter-in-law who live in Wisconsin, while we live more than 1,200 miles away in Florida. In early May, our son asked us if we could come up to Wisconsin in August to care for his girls (our grandkids) while he and our daughter-in-law spent a weekend in New Yo…

Dear Heloise: Annually, hundreds of thousands of cats and dogs are euthanized in shelters across America. Many die because of overpopulation, although that is just part of the problem. You can and should have your pets neutered and spayed at low-cost shelters. The American Society for the Pr…

Dear Annie: I met a great gal. We seem really good together most of the time, but here’s the rub. She has a dog. It is a nice dog but not very well trained. The big problem is bedtime at my place. The dog wants to share our bed, and is uncontrollably insistent about it, whining and disturbin…

Dear Heloise: I have a recipe for the best hamburgers for people who make them at home. Take two parts of lean hamburger meat and one part of ground sausage, mix well and shape into patties. Barbecue on the grill, fry or broil.

Dear Annie: I have a problem I’ve been struggling with for quite some time. I am in my late 40s and have been married for over half my life. For the past five years or so, I have been dealing with the idea that I may be gay. I have always kind of felt that I could be, but I went the traditio…

Dear Readers: Believe it or not, and despite great efforts to deter it, counterfeit money is still out there. And the surprising places it’s showing up? The family garage, yard or tag sale, and at meetups arranged through online purchases.

Dear Annie: Recently, I stayed with my niece and nephew while my brother and his wife took a trip. This seems like a trivial problem, but I know it can lead to serious health issues in the long run. Neither of my brother’s teenaged kids brushed their teeth regularly.

Dear Annie: Recently, I was contacted by a person who had just received results from a popular online DNA test, which I had also taken some time ago. She asked who I was. We share a great deal of DNA, so, naturally, she assumed that she would know me. Well, after looking through our shared D…

Dear Heloise: I ran out of bread, so I formed a sort of “sandwich” by putting a seasoned pickle between two slices of ham with mustard. A toothpick held it in place. It is low-calorie and high-protein. It also can make a decent hors d’oeuvre.

Dear Annie: The problem is not with our son, but his wife. They dated in high school and college, and she was friendly and nice to us during those periods, visiting us quite often. They were married after living together for more than five years, and during that time we had good relations wi…

Dear Heloise: Whenever I’m at a loss as to what to make for dinner, I often turn to the restaurant ads in my local newspaper. Many of them list their weekly and daily specials, and even if I don’t make the exact same dishes, they provide “food for thought.”

Dear Annie: I live out in the country and have found a consistently wonderful kennel for my dog. The people who work there are the owner and two helpers; all are kind and obviously dog lovers. The kennel costs $40 per night. My question is, how much of a tip to leave? Sometimes, one of the h…

Dear Annie: Recently, I got married after being single and a widow for 23 years. My husband and I are in our late 70s and very active. We went on a tour to the Midwest. There was a very attractive 70-plus woman with whom I noticed my husband flirting, and she with him. I mentioned that I did…