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Q: Our veterinarian buys the cheapest rabies tags that can be found, I'm sure. They stain our dog's coat and are hard to read after just a few months.

-- C.L.

A: Leave them off. If you have an ID tag and a municipal license on your pet, you've covered both lost-pet retrieval and rabies awareness needs (since a rabies vaccine is required to get the license).

Make sure the ID tag is of good quality, though. Pet- recovery expert Liz Blackman, president of the lost-pet tracking service 1-800-Help4Pets (, says, "I discourage the cute tags in favor of visibility and durability." She added that in her experience, plastic tags are more durable than metal ones when it comes to staying legible longer.

Q: I went to a crafts fair recently, and there was a woman there who was selling scarves, some of which where made out of dog hair. She said she get the combings from a friend who breeds Samoyeds. Is this legit? Seems kind of gross to me.

-- S.G.

A: If you do a Web search, you'll easily find spinners who can take the combings from your own dog and turn them into beautiful yarn you can use for knitting. It works better with the undercoat of longhaired dogs (like the Samoyed), but spinners can mix almost any dog fur with the fur of other animals to make yarn.

As for the "gross" factor: What would make dog-hair yarn any more distasteful than yarn from a sheep or goat? It's all nice and clean when it's ready to use. And with dog fur, the yarn is made from combings that would just be thrown away after grooming.