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Question of the Week: Should You Bring Your Pets on Vacation?

Pet-friendly vacation spots are becoming more popular, and even airlines are adding amenities for your cat or dog. But is it a good idea to take your pets with you?

I'm coming with you, right?

I'm coming with you, right?

Naturally, as an article from HubPages advises, it depends on the pet. Is he/she healthy, have the right temperament, or okay to even sit in the car for long durations? There’s also the matter of what you and your family plan to do on their vacation. Bringing the cat or dog may seem more compassionate than leaving them at the kennel, but not if you’re going to be too busy to pay them any attention.

A piece from LifeWhile makes the case that it might be better not to take your furriest family members:

Tamarah Martin, owner of Pet Taxi and Pet Services in South Euclid, Ohio, said many of her clients realize that leaving a pet in a familiar environment is best.

“It is safer and healthier for a dog to stay in its own environment,” Martin said. “There’s no trauma involved.”

She added that it is important to select sitters that are compatible with your pooch. It is also important to have a custom service plan to fit the dog’s routine potty breaks, feeding time and walks.

This opinion, of course, comes from someone that makes a living off of vacationing families. But that does bring up the question of cost. More often than not, it’s less expensive to take your pet with you. But are you thinking about what’s best for your pet, your relaxing vacation, or your wallet?

What do you think? Should you bring pets with you on your family vacation? Discuss!

How Many Kids is too Many?

Big families may be all the rage on TLC, but in American life off-screen, they’ve become increasingly rare. More than that, they’ve contracted an air of stigmatization, according to a New York Times article printed earlier this year that addressed public perceptions of “large” families.

More family, more problems?

More family, more problems?

Nowadays “large” seems to mean four or more kids, but at least one prominent UK politician asserts that having even three children constitutes not only a big family, but an irresponsible one. Read more »

Stolen Laptops: The Numbers Don't Lie (Except When They Do)

A recent article in LA Weekly claimed that over 12,000 laptops were stolen in U.S. airports each week. The figure came from a study conducted by the Penemon Institute, commissioned by Dell Computers. That means 600,000 laptops are stolen in a year. Doesn’t that number seem a bit high?

Be careful of laptop theft and misleading statistics.

Be careful of laptop theft and misleading statistics.

Sure, the airport experience is stressful enough that people might easily misplace their belongings, but almost half a million missing laptops is unbelievable.

Read more »

Road Tripper: An Automotive Expert's Advice

Hitting the road? Careful, it can hit back.

Hitting the road? Careful, it can hit back.

So you’re ready for that long-awaited summer road trip? Not so fast! Before you pile in the car and rush off, there are a few things you’ll want to check about your car according to Gary Heller, owner of Lucky Service Station in downtown San Anselmo, CA. Not to worry though, most of these are fairly easy and inexpensive—plus they could save you a lot of headache in the long run.

“Anybody who is leaving on a road trip, the best thing they can do is check the mileage on their car,” Heller says. “If they’re close to a check interval, see what the manufacturer recommends, and then do it.” Read more »

Living Confidently: Dreaming of Everest

Rick Wilcox in the Himalayas

Rick Wilcox in the Himalayas

Countless adventurers fantasize about summiting Mt. Everest, but mountaineer Rick Wilcox saw his dream through. A climber for over 30 years, Wilcox fell in love with the prospect of monumental ascents as a boy, after seeing mountains like Everest on children’s television programs.

The suburb of Middleton, Mass. where Wilcox grew up didn’t feature any summits nearby, but he made a point of exploring the top of every 4,000 footer-plus sites in the White Mountain Range. Even the 46 regional peaks, however, could not satiate his appetite for climbing.

As a forestry student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst—Wilcox, unbeknownst to his family—took out a student loan to travel to Alaska and climb. It was an investment that paid off in terms of education but also experience.

“I always took the branch of the road that led me to the big mountain,” Wilcox said. Read more »

Riding Out a Heatwave

It's getting hot out there.

It's getting hot out there.

Martha and the Vandellas described some symptoms of overheating in their 1963 hit single “Heat Wave”—burning sensation, head haze, etc.—but they didn’t explain what you can do to overcome extreme hot weather and potential heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) defines extreme heat as temperatures that reach 10 degrees above normal for that time of year. These can be dangerous, even deadly in the summer. In fact, there were more deaths from heat waves from 1979-2003 than several natural disasters combined, including tornadoes, and hurricanes. While fatalities from excessive heat are not common, they are more often than not preventable. Read more »