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Planes, Trains, Kids and Automobiles

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Family travel can be lots of fun if you do some planning first.

There’s nothing better than taking a summer vacation, even when you have kids. It can be fun whether you take a plane, bus, train or family van, providing you do a little prep before hitting the happy trail.

First, decide where you’re going and how you plan to get there. There are always extra things to take when traveling with younger children and many parents choose to drive. As the children get older, they don’t need as many things (diaper bags, strollers, etc.) and traveling by plane, train or even bus gets easier. No matter where you go or how you plan to get there, these tips will help you survive the trip.

Packing

Do yourself a favor and pack ahead of time. Waiting until the night before can make everyone tired and cranky. Not the best way to start a vacation. Let each person have his or her own suitcase. They set it in their room about a week before the vacation and start packing. Middle kids and teens can do a good job of packing their own stuff. Younger kids need help. Use this list as a guide of what to take:

• Shorts/pants • Shirts • Socks • Underwear • Swimsuit, Shoes

• Shampoo • Conditioner • Brushes • Combs

• Toothbrush • Toothpaste • Deodorant • Lotion

Special items like inhalers, vitamins, or first aid supplies are best packed by mom and dad.

Keep ‘em busy

Be sure to bring along things that will keep your kids occupied while en route. You have the luxury of taking more stuff with you when you travel by car, but don’t let that stop you from flying. The following list might come in handy:

Younger Kids (1-6)

washable crayons

coloring books

plush toys

snacks

Middle Kids (7-12)

silly putty

audio books

comic books

snacks

Teens (13-18)

CD player

electronic games

TV/DVD player

snacks

You get the idea. If you’re going by car, these extras can go in a bag or box centrally located inside the car. If you’re traveling by air or train, it works better if each child has an entertainment backpack.

Hotels

Choosing the right hotel also helps kids enjoy their vacation. Look for a place that has a swimming pool, game room, and on-site restaurant or snack shop. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune. With more families traveling, many economy hotels have included these amenities.

Adjoining rooms are a good idea if you have teenagers. They’re into their own space and a separate room gives them the privacy they need. Making it an adjoining room also gives parents the peace of mind they need. Younger children are more comfortable staying in the same room as the parents. Privacy can still be an issue, but this time it’s the grown-ups. A hotel that offers suites works well. It’s not as expensive as it sounds, and typically includes a kitchenette, living room and two separate sleeping areas – great for families.

Schedules

Remember, vacations are supposed to be relaxing. Try to avoid cramming too much stuff into one trip, especially if you have younger children. They still need their naps and will get cranky if they get too tired. It’s not necessary to stick to the exact routine you have at home, but some similarity is helpful. Teens usually don’t get tired. They get bored. Planning activities that get them out to see and do different things keeps boredom to a minimum.

Vacations are a great time for families to enjoy each other’s company and create memories that will last a lifetime. The secret to success is preparation.

 

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Later Lives of Dogs

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As dogs get older they usually become less active. But they still enjoy spending time with their owners.

Perhaps the saddest thing about owning dogs is that they don’t live as long as we would like them to live, but the greatest things that dogs give us are protection, enjoyment, loyalty, companionship and love.

In return, we should play our part in caring for the dog and providing for his needs. We should try to understand his feelings and how he sees us. We should give time to the dog and share in his happiness as he romps around us when we take him for walks. And we should be responsible in training him to be a well behaved dog and liked by everyone he meets.

I’ve been training dogs for nearly half a century. It has been a wonderful life for me. I never tire from training-I love it too much. The rewards have been most varied and great, and I always like dog owners to get just as much enjoyment as I do in caring for, living with and training their dogs.

It is always a joy for me to meet up again with people and dogs I trained many years ago. And when I see how well behaved those dogs are, now that they are getting older, I, like their owners, can look back and say how worthwhile it has all been to train them to be so well accepted into the community.

Through five decades, I have seen how dog training in many fields has progressed. Trainers and instructors all over the world have strived to improve the training and have had visions of the future and of using dogs for so many good causes. One of these is the Pets As Therapy program (P.A.T.) in several countries in the world. Dogs with friendly temperaments who are basically obedient have been placed in nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and other places where they have brought much happiness to those who are bedridden, in wheelchairs, lonely and unable to move around as they did years ago.

Because there are not enough of these P.A.T. dogs to be permanently placed in these homes, an increased number of volunteers with their own pet dogs are supporting this program. Quite a number of these dogs are getting older now, but they are doing a fantastic job visiting, not only nursing homes and rehabilitation centers, but hospitals, too. I have been personally involved in this work for the last 10 years and have seen the great work our dogs have done during their scheduled visits.

Not all of these dogs have been owned since they were small puppies. Many of them were acquired when they were a year or more old. I always make a point of asking the owners a little bit of their dog’s history when assessing their temperament and behavior for the P.A.T. program as we walk through a shopping center. These dogs must be quite sound with the sight and noise of traffic, shopping carts coming toward them and a multitude of other things seen in the streets. But in particular, we need to see how friendly each dog is when he is handled by perfect strangers-men, women and children of all ages. To give a few examples of the dogs’ previous homes, a number of them were abandoned because their original owners had no more time for them. Others were left in their backyards all day. Because they were bored, they barked and howled. This annoyed the neighbors, who made official complaints. Finally, the owners were advised that unless the dog was found a suitable home, he would have to be destroyed. A few, it was alleged, were sheep worriers. They likewise came under the same threat. Some, however, were cared for very well by their breeders, but because they were not successful in the show world, they were sold off as the breeders had no more use for them. Yet all these dogs were at last given the opportunity to do this fantastic work in the P.A.T. program. Added to this, many of these dogs, who have been virtually rescued by their present owners, have been trained in obedience, and some have been awarded obedience titles. Many rewarding stories could be told about these dogs, I am sure.

Directors of nursing have told us how the patients so look forward to the weekly visits made by a variety of our dogs, how they enjoy their company on the day and how they talk about visits for days later.

The dogs have also had a calming influence on many of the patients’ visitors, who for numerous reasons are under some strain and stress. And it hasn’t stopped there. The dogs have had a great effect on the nursing and medical staff in these establishments, for they too are under great strain at times. To see a lovely, happy dog walk into a ward or private room is like a breath of fresh air and creates a new topic of conversation. Medical research has found that the presence of a dog has helped to even reduce high blood pressure in a number of people. Some patients, after meeting these dogs, have started talking again, whereas in the past, other methods have failed.

Beneful Coupons – Always Keep a Dog Treat Handy.   Beneful dog food coupons are more than just an easy means to purchase a product. Although they are handy to come by, they also take into account your preferences when buying dog food. Generally speaking, the average coupon addresses a certain product, your choice being limited to deciding whether you purchase it or not. This is not the case with Beneful coupons. As a brand dedicated to taking dogs’ needs seriously when it comes to nutrition, Beneful knows that you are accustomed to purchasing certain types of food and gives you the choice in regards to the product that you want to receive a discount on.

Whether you want to get some wet prepared food or dry food, puppy special food or adult food, you can easily get it at a nice discount with a Beneful coupon. Make sure you don’t miss such an opportunity!