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Good Time Survival Guide

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Answer truthfully now – would you rather:

A. Have a root canal?

B. Go on an eight-hour family road trip?

You answered A., didn’t you?

The idea of driving long distances with the family doesn’t exactly bring a happy image to mind, does it? Most of us have childhood memories of the family heading out on that long stretch of open highway, windows down, veins bulging in our father’s neck as he screams for the 19th time, “Don’t make me stop this car!”

It’s no surprise that National Lampoon turned the family road trip into a painfully funny hit movie.

But take it from someone who has taken a 9-, 12-, and even a 16-hour driving vacation with a family of five: Not only can you survive a long family road trip – you can actually enjoy it. It just takes preparation, realistic expectations and a sense of humor.

Give ‘em plenty of space

There’s no denying it; long trips require roomy family vehicles. Pack a family of five into a Toyota Corolla for a 10-hour drive and you’re just asking for trouble. In our opinion, the family mini-van is the best vehicle for family road trips. It’s especially helpful if the van has four captain’s chairs with only a bench seat in the very back.

Bench seats make it too easy for tired, bored children to get into a game of “She’s putting her leg on my side of the seat!” Captain’s chairs are spaced far enough apart that small children can’t even touch each other, eliminating the temptation to “start something.”

It’s also a good idea to have the kids take turns sitting in different seats in the van. Just have them rotate every time you stop for a break. That gives everyone a slight change of scenery and a chance to sit in whatever seat is the “prized position” in the van.

Trust us, if you have more than one kid, they will decide that one seat in the vehicle is far superior to all the others and they will fight over it. Remember however, children 12 and under shouldn’t ride in the front seat of any car or van equipped with a front passenger seat air bag.

You’re not going to make great time – get over it.

This bit of advice is geared more toward the fathers out there. We all have that co-worker who constantly brags that he can drive to New York City in about the time it takes us to get our family in the van and out of the driveway.

Usually, the braggart is a single male with a bladder the size of Lake Superior. Don’t let your competitive nature take over; you’re never going to beat him with the wife and kids along, and you make everyone miserable when you try.

Instead, plan on frequent breaks and figure them into your travel time. For an eight-hour drive, we figure in at least an hour for breaks. Remember though, the younger your children, the more stops you’ll make.

Unless they’re asleep, babies and toddlers typically need breaks after spending just an hour or two strapped into a confining car seat.

When you do stop, insist that your small children use the restroom, even if they whine, “But I don’t have to go.” We’ve all had the experience of getting back in the car, traveling just a couple of miles down the highway, only to hear “Man, I gotta go real baaaddd!” from the back seat. Insist they at least try to go every time you stop.

Bag o’ fun for everyone

Before you take off on your trip – preferably the night before – have each child pack a backpack or gym bag with his or her personal selection of items for entertainment on the road. Good choices include storybooks, crayons & coloring books, travel games, toy cars, action figures, portable tape/CD players (with headphones), and small stuffed animals.

Another excellent travel diversion is an art toy, such as Etch A Sketch® or Magna Doodle®; both come in travel sizes. These let your child to be creative in the car without making a mess.

But remember, even with all this helpful advice, there is bound to be some tension when a family is packed into a confined space for several hours at a time. Keep that in mind, and don’t get all stressed out when the kids start “acting up.” And above all, keep your sense of humor.

You’re creating family memories, and wouldn’t it be nicer if the kids remember your face red from laughter…not from yelling?

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When to Use Your Dog’s Name in Training And Royal Deals


Have you noticed that when we train our dogs, sometimes we use their names before the actual commands, but at other times, we don’t use their names at all? There is a simple reason for this: When you want the dog to move with you in heelwork or come to you when you call him, it is best for you to use the dog’s name. After all, when he was a little puppy, his name was about the first word he learned; whenever he heard his name, he understood that you wanted him to follow or come to you. So by using the dog’s name with these moving exercises, it helps you and your dog. But when you command the dog to sit, stand, lie down and stay, you don’t use his name. If you used his name when telling him to sit, stand or lie down/drop during heelwork, he would quite likely turn half around to you on hearing his name and would then sit, stand or lie down in a crooked position. And if you used his name when telling him to stay, he would likely move off with you. So remember, use the dog’s name with exercises of movement, but don’t use his name with stationary exercises. You will have noticed that when you did the left turn, you didn’t use his name. That was because you made him stop for a fraction of a second.

Do this on the leash first. Tell your dog to “Stay!” Turn around to face him on the full length of a slack leash; call him”Sam, come! “-and praise him-”Good dog! “-as soon as he takes his first step toward you. Walk backward slowly, praising him all the time, then gather in the leash to sit him and praise him just as you did when you taught him to come while walking.

You really are joining all the exercises together now, aren’t you? It makes it more interesting for both of you, and your dog will wonder what is coming next. Great fun, isn’t it?

Another piece of advice I wish to give you all, and it is advice I have rarely seen given in dog training books, is to pay particular attention to the finer details in training your dogs.

To do this, remember that your eyesight is your number one resource-I cannot stress that enough. With your eyes on the job, ensure that you use your hands and leash correctly. Pay particular attention to your footwork and body positioning. Use the appropriate intonation, volume, speed and timing of your voice. Think carefully, prepare well, coordinate everything accurately and develop the correct timing with everything you do, especially your voice.

Royal Canin Coupons – Chinchilla Treats

More often than not, a walk through a pet store will show you some nice looking boxes filled with treats for your chinchilla. You may even have Royal Canin dog food coupons to go with those specific boxes, so you are probably thinking: why not? There are plenty of reasons not to do something like that.

A chinchilla is a more difficult pet to please, but easily spoiled. Treats should be given rarely and should be restricted to raisins, dried fruits and rose hips. You should not, however, give more than 10 grams per week. To give them any more, or something other than the above mentioned treats could be tough on a chinchilla’s stomach.

Treats in general have high sugar values, so we cannot stress the importance to keep quantity to a minimum, as well as frequency. Straw is a better treat than anything else and should be given to your pet chinchilla on a regular basis. If you find chinchilla treats a bit expensive for your budget, you can always find an appropriate coupon, if you know where to search for it.