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Dear Ann Landers: This weekend, I read yet another newspaper account about how a Rottweiler broke loose from his chain and killed a neighborhood child. Stories like this make me physically sick. Here is some information that I read in the September issue of the Mayo Clinic Health Letter. Please print it.

-- A Nurse in Iowa

Dear Nurse: Thank you for sending along this excellent piece on preventing dog bites. Here it is:

Each year, more than 4 million Americans are bitten by dogs, almost half by a dog familiar to them. Take these steps to prevent dog bites:

Talk with your veterinarian about the breed of dog that is best for you, especially if children are around your home. Some breeds are more family friendly.

Let your dog know that you're in charge of the family unit. Training with a firm but loving approach is best. Dogs are pack animals, and if they respect all family members as "leaders," it can help decrease the risk of aggressive behavior.

Have your dog spayed or neutered. This can make it less aggressive and less likely to bite.

Do not disturb any dog while it is eating, sleeping or caring for puppies.

Never approach an unfamiliar dog. If an unfamiliar dog approaches you, don't extend your hand. Stand still, with your feet together and arms across your chest. Avoid direct eye contact.

Never run when a dog approaches or scream in its presence. The dog may become excited and act aggressively.

Report any stray or dangerous dogs to your local law enforcement authorities.

Talk with your children about preventing dog bites.

The 411 on 911

Dear Ann Landers: I recently took a CPR class from a group of "lifesavers:" a fireman, a paramedic and a 911 operator. The operator informed us that when you call 911 from your home, the address appears on a computer screen. While they are helping you deal with the emergency, the police or fire department are already being notified of your location.

Please tell your readers there is no reason to panic while trying to tell the operator where they are. The operator has equipment that lets him or her know where the calls are coming from. Callers should concentrate, instead, on what the operator is saying. By the way, Ann, this does not work with cellular phones. If you call from a cell phone, you must be prepared to give the 911 operator your exact location.

-- Phoenix, Ariz.
Dear Phoenix: Thanks for passing on that valuable information. In most cities, 911 calls are computerized, and the operator knows the caller's location. Those who use a cell phone should know that their location will not show up on the screen. The police or fire department must be told precisely where they are. Again, I love the way my readers look out for one another.

Best shoe forward

Dear Ann Landers: When my daughter wears her navy blue dress, she wears brown shoes. I say black, navy blue or even red shoes would be appropriate, but NOT brown. She tells me, "Mom, you have absolutely no sense of style."

I cringe every time I see her in that navy blue dress with the brown shoes. Who is right about this?

-- Black vs. Brown in Clearwater, Fla.
Dear Clearwater: I'm no fashion maven, but I know brown shoes should not be worn with a navy blue dress. Black shoes, however, go with any color. Navy shoes or even red shoes would be ideal with a navy blue dress, and of course, white in the summer.

Problems? Dump on Ann. Write her at The Buffalo News, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, N.Y. 14240.

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