Pillow tops the cone?

Dear Heloise: When our cairn terrier had some surgery on his back legs, the vet wanted him to wear the dreaded cone for two weeks to avoid licking.

He hated it, so instead I pinned a blow-up travel neck pillow around his neck, and he tolerated that much better.

He could eat, drink and see, and best of all, he had a built-in pillow for sleeping. The two weeks flew by. — Jan P., via email

Jan, always follow your veterinarian’s directions to the letter. Yes, the “cone of shame” can be uncomfortable for the animal, and you’re right — the dog would be tempted to lick or chew on sutures, staples, etc.

There are inflatable collars for dogs with various conditions. Ask the doctor if this would be a suitable alternative, for the reasons you mentioned above. Thanks for writing in. — Heloise

Dear Heloise: I use a stylus (soft rubber tip) from the discount store to punch numbers into the ATM. This is easier due to my long fingernails.

I also use it at the debit machine at stores and restaurants. — Shirley B., Simi Valley, Calif.

Dear Heloise: Several times a year, I fly to visit my son. I keep a plastic shoebox in his guest closet where I store all my toiletries, such as toothpaste and hair products, contact-lens solution and meds.

I also have a larger tote for hiking shoes, sweatshirts, bathing suits, etc. It’s much easier to get through airport security knowing that all these items are already at their destination. I can travel more easily, with just one carry-on. — Carol K., Ligonier, Ind.

Dear Heloise: Makeup and skin care are getting pretty advanced these days. Are skin treatments like lotions and serums only skin deep? What is the difference between a cosmetic and a drug? — Nancy D. in Pennsylvania

Nancy, there are regulations regarding this. According to the Food and Drug Administration (www.fda.gov), the definitions of “cosmetic” and “drug” depend on how the product is designed to be used.

A cosmetic is a device for “cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness or altering the appearance” of the human body.

If a product states that it is to be used in the “diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease,” it’s a drug.

By the way, “cosmeceutical” (a mix of the words “cosmetic” and “pharmaceutical”) is not a legally recognized term. — Heloise