Click the link below for the weekly family rail, with tips on pets and heat, a review of “The Girl of Fire and Thorns" and more. Or check out these other links.
Tip of the Week
There are steps you can take to help ensure your dog doesn't overheat in hot weather. Dawn Bolka is a registered veterinary technologist and full-time veterinary technology instructor at Brown Mackie College - Michigan City. She offers insight into keeping your dog safe during the hot months.
"A dog's normal body temperature is 101 degrees, and sometimes up to 102.5 degrees," Bolka says. "Match this base with rising temperatures, and a pet can get hot quickly." Fortunately, your pet has two ways of cooling down. "Panting through the mouth is a form of sweating. Dogs also sweat through the bottoms of their feet," she continues.
One of the first things Bolka recommends doing for your pet is take time to brush out the undercoat during the spring shed. Dogs shed twice a year - once in the spring to get rid of the winter coat, and once in the fall to lose the summer coat. "Most dogs like the brush. Removing the thicker winter coat helps to keep your dog cooler," says Bolka.
Two of the most important things you can give your dog in the summer are water and shade. "Never leave a dog out in the sun - even in the backyard - without an ample supply of drinking water," Bolka continues. "A shady area should be within easy reach, providing the dog with a place to get out of the heat. When given the options of both sun and shade, dogs know when to take them."
Another way to protect your dog from summer heat is to be aware of the ground temperature. "Pavement can get hot enough to fry an egg," says Bolka. "Taking a dog out for a mid-day walk is a common mistake dog owners make, and it can result in burnt pads. It's best not to walk or run your animal in the heat of the day." Much like pavement, sand at the beach gets hot. Bolka advises giving your dog access to a grassy area, or protecting the dog's feet with booties. Pool decks are another culprit to consider. Bolka's rule of thumb is: If it burns your feet, it will burn your dog's feet.
It is not a good idea to shave a dog during hot weather. "A dog's summer coat actually insulates the skin, offering protection from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays," says Bolka. However, it is possible for a dog to experience sunburn. "If your dog has a black nose, the nose is protected from sunburn," she continues. "A pink nose is more susceptible to UV rays. You will sometimes see a dog bury his nose in dirt, caking mud on it for protection. As long as dogs have shade and water, they tend to do well."
Another bad idea is to leave your dog in a car on a hot day, even with the windows cracked. The American Veterinary Medical Association, reports that temperatures in a car can rise 20 degrees in just 10 minutes, and 30 degrees in half an hour. "Heat builds up fast inside a sitting car," Bolka says. "A dog can suffer heat exhaustion in just 20 minutes."
Family Movie Night
“Wrath of the Titans,” now on DVD
Length: 99 minutes
Synopsis: A decade after his heroic defeat of the monstrous Kraken, Perseus - the demigod son of Zeus - is attempting to live a quieter life as a village fisherman and the sole parent to his 10-year-old son, Helius. Meanwhile, a struggle for supremacy rages between the gods and the Titans. Dangerously weakened by humanity's lack of devotion, the gods are losing control of the imprisoned Titans and their ferocious leader, Kronos, father of the long-ruling brothers Zeus, Hades and Poseidon. The triumvirate had overthrown their powerful father long ago, leaving him to rot in the gloomy abyss of Tartarus, a dungeon that lies deep within the cavernous underworld. Perseus cannot ignore his true calling when Hades, along with Zeus' godly son Ares, switch loyalty and make a deal with Kronos to capture Zeus. The Titans' strength grows stronger as Zeus' remaining godly powers are siphoned. - Warner Bros. Pictures
Violence/scary rating: 4
Sexual-content rating: 2
Profanity rating: 2
Drugs/alcohol rating: 2
Family Time rating: 3. A decent film for those 13 and older.
(Ratings are judged on a five-point scale, with 5 being “bad for kids” and 1 being “fine for kids.”)
“The Girl of Fire and Thorns,” by Rae Carson
Synopsis: Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness. Elisa is the chosen one. But she is also the younger of two princesses. The one who has never done anything remarkable, and can’t see how she ever will. Now, on her 16th birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king — a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs her to be the chosen one, not a failure of a princess. And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies, seething with dark magic, are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior, and he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake. Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young. Most of the chosen do. - HarperCollins Children's Books
Did You Know
A Yale University study found that while cereal in general is more healthy these days, companies are more aggressively pushing their unhealthy cereals to kids.
GateHouse News Service