Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

July 27, 2012

Family road trip

TAHLEQUAH — Labor Day weekend marks the official end of the summer season, and provides a long weekend for many people looking to squeeze in one last road trip before the fall.

Families often seize this opportunity to load everyone in the car – including Fido and Fluffy – and explore sites close to home or in neighboring states. While some people shudder at the thought of being cooped up in the car with children and/or pets, others embrace the prospect.

Dr. Kyle Rozell, veterinarian at The Pet Clinic on Main Street, said that with a little planning, taking the family pet on a road trip can add to the experience.

“A few ounces of preparation and time will prevent future heartaches and frustrations on the trip,” said Rozell. “First, make sure your pet has proper identification on him at all times. This can be as simple as an ID tag on his collar, but a more permanent solution would be the use of an implantable microchip.”

Rozell also suggests making copies of vaccination records and needed medications before the excursion.

“Sometimes, medication is needed to prevent anxiety or motion sickness,” he said. “We have Cerenia, for motion sickness, which is similar to the Dramamine people take. We also have Composure to ease anxiety. This medication is more of a supplement than a tranquilizer, and can ease the stress of travel or thunderstorms.”

When traveling by car, Rozell said, it’s important to make sure dogs and cats are secured.

“This is not only for the pet’s safety, but for the humans’ safety,” he said. “Pet carriers are wonderful for cats and dogs. And there are also harnesses for dogs that latch into the vehicle’s safety-belt systems.

According to a recent AAA/Best Western survey, 51 percent of travelers who own pets indicated they would always take their pets on vacation if they could, but they often run into restrictions preventing pet travel.

The survey revealed top considerations for pet travel included finding appropriate accommodations that accept pets, 95 percent; learning about pet policies, such as size limits and fees, 49 percent; and getting details about available pet services, 22 percent.

Rozell recommends calling well in advance to make sure hotels and/or campgrounds allow pets.

“Also, we recommend owners be considerate, and have a kennel or crate available,” said Rozell.

“There are many sites online that can you find lodging that allows pets, including www.petswelcome.com. For owners who will be camping with their dogs, I recommend the application of a topical flea and tick preventative, to help avoid bringing home unwanted guests.

Just like humans, pets need rest stops along the way, which gives them a change to stretch their legs, get a drink and relieve themselves. Also, Rozell pointed out it’s important to acclimate an animal to travel.

“The more frequent exposure to car travel, the better,” he said. “It’s best to start with short, in town trips, then expand the length of travel from there.”

Jessie McBride, registered veterinary technician, takes Skittles, her female red heeler, to work with her daily.

“Skittles loves to travel,” she said. “In the past month, we’ve been to San Antonio and Houston, and she makes the daily drive to work with me from Sallisaw.”

Family travel can be taxing for parents and children, but Heather Winn, family and consumer sciences educator for the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension service, said having a travel activity game plan in place can save many a road-trip headache.

“We travel a lot with our boys, and I’ve learned it’s best to pack plenty of things to keep them busy,” said Winn. “I fill backpacks with crayons, books, toys, activity sets and stickers, and try to include special surprises I know they’ll like.”

Winn said smart snacks are also an important part of any road trip.

“I like taking easy-to-hand items, like crackers, juice boxes and fruit snacks,” said Winn. “Apples are easy to transport, and you can section oranges and put them in plastic bags; just remember the napkins.”

If a long car trip is planned, Winn recommends pacing the vacation accordingly.

“It’s important to take breaks, bathroom and otherwise,” said Winn. “Families with small children may want to drive a couple of hours, then stop to rest. It’s been my experience that it makes for a good pattern, and reduces the ‘are we there yet?’ or ‘how much longer?’ questions that come from the back seat.”

Winn also understand vacations can be expensive, but said cutting a few corners doesn’t mean cutting down on the fun.

“We like to stop for roadside picnics,” said Winn. “You save money by not eating in restaurants, and if you plan well, you can take in historical sites and other recreational activities while enjoying sandwiches and family time.”

Winn also includes her children in the planning of a family vacation, and uses travel as a teaching tool.

“One year, we decided to take a trip to Disney World, and knew in advance we’d have to budget for the vacation,” said Winn. “Instead of making our usual trip to the doughnut shop each morning, we put the money away as part of a savings plan for the trip. We ended up saving $300 in a relatively short period of time, which took some of the pressure off of planning the vacation.”

In this age of technological advances, many cars are equipped with DVD players, and many family have hand-held devices like iPads, Kindles and Nooks. Kid-friendly, educational apps are among the most popular selections at both the Apple app store and Amazon. For the cost of a cup of coffee, parents can download a game, thereby entertaining a child for the afternoon, at the very least.

“And the old standby games like ‘I Spy,’ and the alphabet game are still popular, too,” said Winn.

Click here to get the entire Tahlequah Daily Press delivered everyday to your home or office. Code for E-EDITION TRIAL OR SUBSCRIBE Click here to get a free trial or to subscribe to the Tahlequah Daily Press electronic edition.

It's the ENTIRE newspaper (without the paper) for your computer, iPad or e-reader.

Text Only
Local News
  • sr-Sherman-Alexie.jpg Native wit

    Sherman Alexie Jr., self-professed “res” American Indian, dislikes casinos, mascots and Oklahoma for stealing his favorite basketball team.
    Northeastern State University welcomed the celebrated poet, writer and filmmaker to campus Wednesday, and the audience was treated to 90 minutes of witty and unblinking observation from the perspective of an American Indian all-too-familiar with life on a reservation.
    Alexie, named one of the 21st Century’s top 20 writers by The New Yorker, delivered what was essentially a standup monologue to a packed house in the auditorium of the W. Roger Webb Educational Technology Center. Some of Alexie’s best-known works are “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven,” a book of short stories, and the film “Smoke Signals.”

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • rock-jodi.jpg Woman serving time for burning baby seeks judicial review

    A Cherokee County mother sentenced to 17 years in prison for burning her 14-month-old baby with an iron is asking for a judicial review.
    Court records show Jodi Leann Rock, 21, requested a copy of her judgment and sentence, and this week filed an application for a judicial review. Copies of her request have been submitted to a judge and the District Attorney’s Office.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-SchoolCharter.jpg Concerns expressed as SB 573 awaits House vote

    With an Oklahoma Senate bill now awaiting a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives, some parents are voicing concerns about the futures of rural K-8 schools in Cherokee County.
    Senate Bill 573 calls for a commission to establish charter schools throughout the state. A charter school receives taxpayer funding, but functions independently. They can be founded by an array of interests, including teachers, parents, universities and nonprofits. In Oklahoma, tribal entities can establish charter schools.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man gets suspended sentence for possession

    A 37-year-old Webbers Falls man has been given a suspended sentence on drug-possession charges.
    Dusty Kayl Skaggs was charged with endeavoring to manufacture methamphetamine earlier this year after he and 43-year-old Misty Hayes Paden, of Muskogee, were arrested during execution of a search warrant.

    April 24, 2014

  • sr-NSU-Earth-day.jpg NSU students observe Earth Day

    Students and members of the community converged on Northeastern State University’s Second Century Square on Tuesday to spend an afternoon celebrating Earth Day.
    The event featured tables sponsored by campus organizations, prizes and music by Chris Espinoza. NSU’s Earth Day theme was “Gather Here. Go Green,” and was organized by the Committee for Sustainability and the Northeastern Student Government Association (NSGA).

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ts-smallholders-courtesy.jpg Rural smallholders host annual show

    More and more, many people are showing growing interest in learning the sources of their food, including meat. As such, interest in farm-to-table living is increasing.
    Saturday, the Rural Smallholders Association held its annual spring show at the Cherokee County Fairgrounds, promoting the farming of sheep and goats, along with giving the general public a sample of their products.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • pitts-hurley.jpg Wanted man nabbed during traffic stop

    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies arrested a wanted man this week after a traffic stop near South Muskogee and Willis Road.
    Hurley D. Pitts, 40, was being sought by authorities on a motion to revoke a previous sentence.
    Sheriff’s Deputy Jarrick Snyder said he stopped a car after it ran off the road a couple of times. A woman was behind the wheel, and Pitts was sitting in the passenger seat.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-Wikafile.jpg Communiversity Band performs Sunday

    Musicians from on and off the Northeastern State University campus have made their final preparations for an upcoming performance of the NSU Communiversity Band.
    The ensemble performs Sunday, April 27, at 7 p.m., in the NSU Center for the Performing Arts. The conductor is Dr. Norman Wika, associate professor of music and band program director. Guest conductor is student Kameron Parmain. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors.
    “Everything has come together very well this semester,” Wika said.
    “We have about 40 musicians, and everyone who started the rehearsals has stuck with it. This could be the best Community Band concert yet.”

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Council concerned over reports of land contamination

    Negotiations involving the purchase of nearly 20 homes on 7 acres of land near Basin Avenue hit a snag Monday night when concerns surfaced over potential contamination of the area.
    Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols had proposed the city purchase the homes and duplexes as a large step in a greenbelt project, which would establish a solid park and trail system from the downtown area to the site of the city’s old solid waste transfer station.
    Until Monday, details of the negotiations had been mostly discussed behind closed doors, though Nichols confirmed the list price for the property to be $480,000.

    April 23, 2014

  • Council tables cell tower permit apps

    Tahlequah city councilors on Monday opted to hold off on approval of two special-use permit applications that would help AT&T install a couple of 150-foot cell towers within the city.
    Branch Communications is asking for the permits as it attempts to construct two monopole cell towers – one on Commercial Road near Green Country Funeral Home, and another at the Tahlequah Public Schools bus barn on Pendleton Street. Other towers are being built outside of the city limits.
    Members of the city’s planning and zoning board gave their OK for both permits last month.

    April 23, 2014


How confident are you that the immunizations for infants and children are reasonably safe?

Not at all confident.
Somewhat confident.
Relatively confident.
Extremely confident.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video