family


Listen to Your Dog: Safety and Travel Ideas

by The Car Family

For more reviews go to

http://www.motorists.org/carfamily

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Diary Entry 21000.7

I have asked my care giver for a walk or ride every day this week without luck. I have tried to remind him that the new Persian carpet is tempting, but he has ignored my threats. I have developed new plan: guilt.

Dairy Entry 210001.8

After reading about the Jewish Guilt Syndrome I have decided to give it a try. I think it has a good chance since Hanukkah and Thanksgiving coincide this year, probably for the last time in a million dog years. I have practiced my beaten dog look in front of the floor length mirror. I just have to remember not to be saucy.

Diary Entry 21000.9

It almost worked. He fetched my leash, checked two websites for good places to walk when suddenly the plan fell apart. Apparently, the Center for Pet Safety researched dog restraints and only one model they tested passed and I didn’t have it. On the other hand, the big guy did promise he would buy one. In the meantime, he grabbed a handful of his fast depleting cache of plastic grocery bags and took me for a walk around the neighborhood.  It felt good to make my marks in and proud to be a quadruped.

latkahask

Diary Entry 21001.0

Life is good. I saw the big guy looking for ideas where to take me. I decided to help out and suggested he use the Yelp website. I love that name. He typed in the name of our city and asked for dog walks and out came the results with reviews and even photos.

I was pushing for the Cold Creek Trail and he caught my drift and agreed. Better yet, he ordered me the highly rated harness that The Center for Pet Safety mentioned. All I can say is that after looking at the restraint he bought me I was glad to be color blind. Oh, he did mention that since I was pushing a (muscular) 60 pounds that if I was not correctly fastened I could become a 2700 pound projectile if the car was in a crash doing 35 mph. I could have lived without that image. No wonder a thrash my legs when I nap.

Best Dog Friendly Cars

Diary Entry 21011.2

A new scent in the garage. I had noticed that the recycle bin had been especially full of colorful brochures of late and I can recognize images of cars. Good grief, I chased my share of them before I was picked-up by animal control and neutralized. Luckily, my new caretakers rescued me before long and here I am writing this post, which in my case, is a very clever title from a dog’s standpoint. Anyway, he narrowed the decision to three. The Mazda 5 is fairly inexpensive with easy to open slider doors and a low hop over entry height. I also liked the air outlets for the second row and the gas mileage was exceptional. The Mitsubishi Outlander has a third row of seats that can be folded down to provide ample storage space for a dog crate. This bargain priced SUV was another finalist until I advised the big guy that being in a crate wasn’t such a good idea as I could still be tossed around during an accident despite the 30 plus miles per gallon rating and noteworthy pricing. The same could be seen for the underrated Dodge Journey. Great value, plenty of features and room, and surprisingly easy to buckle-up in.  The finalist, much to my delight, was a Subaru Forester. Coincidentally, Subaru has several dog friendly options and sponsors The Center for Pet Safety. The Forester was fun to ride in and the all wheel drive opened up the possibility of reaching more adventurous trails. It also carried a 22/29 mpg rating. The elevated seating made it easier for me to check on what other dogs were cruising. And trust me, there were a lot of dogs, if you get my scent. My keeper loved the hill holder feature that held the car motionless on grades even with a stick shift, enabling the Subaru to start jerk free. And being jerk free is always a good thing. By the way, the local Ontario Subaru dealer refused to let me have my picture taken in at the dealership. We walked around the block and the Mazda dealership was happy to let us there. Thank you Romero Mazda and move Mazda into the top spot for dealer friendliness.

Best People Gift

Diary : Today

I decided to splurge on a gift for my keepers and pointed out the MapMyDogWalk free app to them. It tracks the distance I drag them, locates dog parks and they can even share my deeds with others. In the meantime, I think I’ll go outside and sniff around for Tribbles.

For free teaching materials go to http://www.reacheverychild.com/

outlanderside                                             2013 Mazda5

Mitsubishi Outlander                                                         Mazda 5

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2013 Dodge Journey

Subaru Forester                                                    Dodge Journey

Golden Doodle and LabraDoodle: Could these be the Perfect Family Pet?

by The Car Family

All types of zoology lessons

http://www.reacheverychild.com/science/zoology/

latkamarch

We can’t help but be amazed at Man’s creativity when it comes to canines. Dogs were the first animals domesticated and with that came the ability to control cattle, goats, sheep, as well as being a hunting partner and protector.

Since all dogs come from the much maligned wolf, one has to wonder how this transformation from wild animal started. Research done in Russia on foxes revealed that some were more inclined to interact with humans. Those were bred and over time these animals gradually became less fearful of humans and even wagged their tail, among other things, showing how domestication might have evolved.

Today, the world’s largest dogs weigh over 300 pounds and the smallest just a few pounds and yet they are from the same wolf stock. Indeed, Man is still at it and within the last couple of decades a new breed has emerged that combines the traits of three of the most popular and intelligent dogs. The new breed can be called a Labradoodle or a Golden Doodle, depending on whether a Labrador Retriever or a Golden Retriever was bred with a poodle. They come in three sizes with a weight range from about 20 pounds to over 100 pounds. The breed started in Australia as breeders attempted to find a guide dog for blind individuals who had allergies. The result was a success and has so quickly caught on with the public that in ten years its has gone from number 159 on the list of most popular breeds to number 31, according to the AKC, which, ironically, does not recognize it as an official breed.

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Doodles are very affectionate and gentle dog and are usually highly social and get along well with everyone. They can be good good watchdogs, but not guard dogs,as they usually are into tail wagging as opposed to growling. They are exceptional service dogs and have been listed as one of the best breeds with children.

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The Doodles are called designer dogs or hybrids because you never know which characteristics from the two parent dogs will be exhibited. Those variables include coat color, type of hair, and size. The two traits they appear to all have is that of an exceptional intelligence and being people friend1y. The Doodle are easy to train and respond well to positive reinforcement. They usually love to swim, and are good retrievers to the point that you may end up with a dead gopher or bird on your doorstep. Good dog.
Another valuable aspect is the fact the Doodle can be a non-to light shedders and thus may do well with those who have allergies as they have less dander.

latkahask

The Doodle coat be wavy or curly or both and they need to be have their hair trimmed regularly. Coat colors can be caramel, white, red, black or a combination .The cost of trimming and maintenance can be dear, but if you aren’t fussy, you can do it yourself if the Doodle doesn’t mind being laughed at on visits to the dog park.

The Doodle appears to have the traits people are looking for with its possible reduced allergenic traits, smarts,cheerful disposition and attractive look. But perhaps the greatest reason this dog is one of the fastest growing in popularity is the fact that owners can proudly claim that have a Doodle and enjoy the reaction. And yes, several have been named, Yankee.

Before you consider a Doodle, do your homework. The Doodle has a tremendous number of positives going for it, but it all depends on its parents and the reliability of the breeder. There are also Doodles in need of rescue. http://doodlerescue.org/

 

Audi allroad: You Can Have it All

 

by The Car Family

 

for more reviews go to http://www.motorists.org/carfamily/

 

First, don’t leave the dealership without a complete explanation of all the electronics on this handsome station wagon. There is so much technology built into the $40,000 bank vault on wheels that you sometimes question whether it can drive itself. Although we dearly love the Audi Q5 SUV, this station wagon is much more sleek and clearly intended for a different buyer. It is the perfect ski car and always a treat to look at and drive. The ride is uneventful. The only downside was that the option packages are dear so take the time to do your homework before you shop. For example, the allroad Prestige package adds $9000 to the tab. However, you do get a plethora of very important features such as lights that illuminate corners as you turn, an elaborate audio and information system, and a powerlift gate, just to name a few.

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Audi selected the allroad name based on the vehicles slightly raised stance and four wheel drive, (quattro) system that enables the wagon to take on inclement weather and mild off-highway excursions with ease. There is little competition for this unique vehicle and one look at the glamorous interior makes those with the need and wherewith not to look elsewhere. It is a classy, family friendly, and sophisticated package that offers the opportunity for buyers to show that they are marching to a different drummer, one who performs in an orchestra and not a band.

 

 

Mom’s view: Taking the roads in inclement weather or even the high Sierras in winter has never been easier. What is most unexpected is that at altitude the turbocharged four-cylinder engine never feels oxygen deprived and the eight-speed automatic transmission is so seamless that the canyons and passes just melt away. Very reassuring. But the real pleasure is the interior with a more is more approach. Nappa leather, and a choice of walnut, ash, oak or aluminum trim, are eye candy, but the way the dash lights up at night is the real treat. From a practical viewpoint, there are 17 cubic feet behind the second-row seats and 51with the rear seats folded. The liftover isn’t too high despite the Audi’s seven inch raised suspension. The motorized rear hatch is a must have as it easy to operate and so useful when you have your hands full. Safety wise there are antilock brakes, traction and stability control, airbags most everywhere, and a blind-spot warning system. The handling and braking were fine, but not sporty. My opinion; one sharp mall mobile.

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Dad’s view: I didn’t think I would enjoy this vehicle with its turbocharged, 2.0L 4-cylinder engine and mild ratings of 220 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, but the exceptional transmission kept the engine on task in impressive fashion. Indeed, this was the perfect package for high terrain driving and the 20/27 gas mileage was a plus. We registered 24 in mixed driving. The higher center of gravity does promote some lean that the lower to the ground A4 Avant doesn’t exhibit, but the higher stance does improve visibility. The steering is well weighted and the brake are confidence  builders. A good alternative to the Audi SUVs, but it is much more responsive and draws attention from fashion minded folks.

 

 

Young working male’s view:

 

The MMI infotainment system is complex and the myriad of control systems enables you to custom tailor this five passenger wagon to your own needs. When you use the Prestige’s Drive Select system you can adjust the steering, accelerator, and transmission settings. If you want to pay a monthly fee you can have Audi’s connect feature that has a navigation system tied in with the Internet and Google, and that means you can achieve a Street View of your destination. Impressive, and you can even communicate with your car from your computer as well as use a number of Wi-Fi devices at the same time. And, you can use voice activation. That is what I am talking about. For a few more shillings, make that Euros, you can let your ears feast on the Bang and Olufsen Audio option audio system. Too rich for my demographics, but it has a certain elan.

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Young working woman’s view: You can order the allroad in three version Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige. Even the base model Premium, a term really not appropriate for any Audi, provides 18-inch wheels, a panoramic sunroof, automatic headlights, cruise control, leather upholstery, automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, power front seats with lumbar, 10-speaker system with CD player and satellite radio. The top of the line Prestige comes with adaptive headlamps, a blind-spot warning system, a more sophisticated sound system and you can opt for adaptive cruise control, and rear sunshades. You get the idea. This is one vehicle you need to do your homework on before you shop. Now for the important part, it is wonderful to look at, drive, and feels sure footed in all types of weather and I loved it, but the MSRP requires reflection. Pricing starts at $40,495 for the Premium, $43,795 Premium Plus and $57,170 for the Prestige model loaded. The warranty is four years/50,000 miles. Sharp looking, easy to love and a car that makes you feel good inside and out.

 

 

Family conference: There is no doubt that the vast price range of this Audi and its high value option packages are going to challenge potential buyers, but one drive in the allroad as it is unique, fun to drive, gets good fuel mileage, and its outstanding looks make this a first choice for those wanting the versatility of a station wagon with the utility of all wheel drive.

 

For all vehicle websites go to http://reacheverychild.com/business/index.html

 

 

Golden Doodle and LabraDoodle: Could these be the Perfect Family Pet?

by The Car Family

for more animal related lessons go to

http://www.reacheverychild.com/science/zoology/index.html

 

We can’t help but be amazed at Man’s creativity when it comes to canines. Dogs were the first animals domesticated and with that came the ability for Man to control cattle, goats, sheep, as well as being warned of potential dangers. Since all dogs come from the much maligned wolf, one has to wonder how this transformation from wild animal started. Research done in Russia on foxes showed that there were some that showed more inclination to interact with humans. These were bred and the result was a less dominant animal that wagged its tail and showed changes in its smell among other things. It was an amazing study, especially when it is known that nearly all domesticated animals have drooping ears a trait not shared by wild foxes and wolves.

With a life span of about ten years for some breeds there was the possibility to experiment with various traits and come up with canines for various purposes. Some were breed to hunt rodents, others to protect livestock and lapdogs were even used to attract fleas away from humans.

Today, the world’s largest dogs weigh over 300 pounds and the smallest just a few pounds and yet they are from the same wolf stock. Indeed, Man is still at it and within the last couple of decades a new breed has emerged that combines the traits of three of the most popular and intelligent dogs. The new breed can be called a Labradoodle or a Goldendoodle, depending on whether a Labrador Retriever or a Golden Retriever was bred with a poodle. Making this pet even more unique is the fact they come in three sizes; Miniature, Small Standard, and Large Standard. The smaller versions weigh up to 35 pounds and the larger ones can exceed 100 pounds, but are usually weigh around 50 pounds. In other words, there is one size Doodle for nearly every household. No other breed has this range of sizes.

They are very affectionate and gentle dog and are usually highly social and get along well with everyone. They can be good good watchdogs, but usually are into tail wagging rather than barking. Another valuable aspect if the fact the Goldendoodle is a non-to light shedders and thus may do well with families that have allergies as they have less dander.

 

The Doodles are called designer dogs or hybrids because you never know which characteristics from the two parent dogs will be exhibited. Those variables includes coat color, type of hair, and size. The two traits they appear to all have is that of an exceptional intelligence and being family friendly. They also need exercise and are very light on their paws. The Goldendoodle are easily to train and respond well to positive reinforcement. They usually love to swim, and they are good retrievers to the point that you may end up with a dead gopher or bird on your doorstep. Good dog.

The Goldendoodle coat can be wavy or curly or both and they need to be have their hair trimmed regularly. Cost collars can be caramel, white, red, black or a combination and they need to be brushed often. The cost of trimming and maintenance can average over $50, but if you aren’t fussy, you can do it yourself once the dog has been gotten used to the process and doesn’t mind being laughed at on visits to the dog park.

So why consider a Doodle? Well there are a great many dogs at shelters and we have rescued five of them. However, the non-allergenic hair, intelligence, cheerful nature, and their ability to get along with other animals, including young children, and availability in various sizes make it attractive. However, this is a breed-in-progress and, as such every dog in every litter may be different. It is not like buying a pure breed dog that have been created over the the centuries for certain traits. As such, it is best to buy from a reputation breeder or institution.

Here are some other facts that might bring this place this breed on your radar: There are backcross puppies that means that the dog can be 1/4 Golden Retriever and 3/4 Poodle, for example. A F2 is the result of a Goldendoodle bred to a Goldendoodle. Before you consider a Doodle, do your homework. The Doodle has a tremendous number of positives going for it, but it all depends on its parents and the reliability of the breeder.

Doodle Rescues

http://doodlerescue.org/

Doodle website

http://www.goldendoodles.com/

Golden Doodle Video on Animal Planet

http://animal.discovery.com/videos/dogs-101-goldendoodle.html

Battle of the Family Sedans: Avalon vs. Taurus

by The Car Family

For more reviews go to

http://www.motorists.org/carfamily/home/most-reliable-vehicles/

The new large Ford sedan shouldn’t really be called a Taurus because it is so totally different in every way. The fact that is is a much better looking, handling, and performing than the previous model also adds weight to our recommendation. To top off this dramatic change, the five passenger Taurus delivers excellent fuel economy and significant safety ratings while undercutting the price of some of the competition. In other words, forget the past, this is the Ford of the future as the company has left behind its legacy of stodgy vehicles. Indeed, only the slightly more fuel efficient Toyota Avalon can challenge it in the full size affordable family sedan field. And, we use the word affordability with caution because the Avalon breaches the $30,000 mark while the Ford can be nicely equipped for five grand less while offering more electronic options from communications to music.

Not to that the Avalon is a slouch. It is a great highway cruiser and holds the the edge in real world performance and utility. The Toyota comes in essentially one flavor with a 268 horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The Toyota’s fuel economy ratings is at the top of its class with 20/29 mpg. The Ford is nearly as powerful, but gets about a mile per gallon less. If you are feeling deprived the Taurus SHO model is turbocharged and produces 365 horsepower. We tested the standard model and averaged nearly 25 mpg in mixed driving. But what was more impressive with the Ford were the standard features. The base Taurus SE come with a six speaker stereo and CD player with MP3 playback and an auxiliary audio port, a fully adjustable steering wheel, alloy rims, and power locks, windows and mirrors. If you want more the SEL offers leather and satellite radio and a more sophisticated climate control system. You can also get a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, and the Sync electronics interface system with Bluetooth and an iPod interface.

In real world driving the Taurus is more eager to be frisky off the line, but the Avalon is more powerful when passing. Both vehicles have large fuel tanks that can easily make 400 mile trips without refueling.

 

The Ford design team gave the driver a high seating position and added a large trunk and also offered available all wheel drive. In other words, this sedan is as close in feeling to driving a SUV as they could make it. This is a trend for most larger sedans, however, it does create some headroom issues for those who are long waisted and drive these four doors equipped with a sun or moon roof.

In terms of interior room the Toyota does not sacrifice as much as the Ford do its exterior styling limitations. The Taurus rear passenger space has more restricted head and leg room. You can also order the Avalon with seating for six by offering a bench front seat.

On the road the Avalon is a bit noisier than we expected and the handling was set for comfort whereas the Taurus was quite impressive for a large sedan. The electronic steering provides good feedback and the suspension does not have the floaty feel of the previous generation. Brake pedal feel is still a bit to soft compared to the Avalon. For long hauls the Toyota wins.

The front seats of both cars are spacious and provide sofa like comfort. The Ford is a little more cramped as its new dash layout and center console are quite wide. The Avalon looks more dated. Both cars have an abundance of readouts and displays, and buttons, and switches, and stalks. In other words, don’t leave the dealership without a thorough walk-through.

We always recommend you order any new car with every safety option. That said, the Taurus has good safety crash-test scores and you can order a collision warning system and adaptive cruise control, the highly desirable Blind Spot Information and Cross Traffic Alert systems, and air bags just about everywhere. The Avalon offers the more traditional options, although the rear view camera mounted in the rear view mirror on cars with navigation is interesting.

Mom’s view: Believe it or not I found the Avalon a tad old in styling, interior, and driving manners. When we tested the previous generation it very much reminded us of a Lexus and was one of our favorite vehicles for long trips. This time it reminded me more of a large Camry, which essentially. Make that a very large Camry as it is nearly eight inches longer. I thoroughly enjoyed the engine’s performance. When you nudged the accelerator pedal is was like waking a sleeping giant. Eager to please and the transmission was world class. I liked the Ford better, but its rear view mirrors were too small and the view to the sides and back were limited by the high trunk. Nevertheless, this is the best Ford Taurus ever.

Dad’s view: These aren’t spirited drivers, although the SHO version might be well worth the price if you need a little fun doing your daily chores. The Avalon was typical Toyota and that manufacture has remained consistent with its design, quality build, and frugal strategies. However, there are some excellent alternatives in this market segment now including new models from Chevrolet and Chrysler clawing at the buyer’s wallets as well as Ford, Kia, Hyundai, and, of course, the Honda Accord. I liked the Ford, but I wouldn’t kick the Avalon out of my garage for long distance traveling.

Young working woman’s view: Both of these are far more nimble than their size would indicate. However, the Avalon appealed to me more. The Taurus was more interesting to look at, but the Toyota felt more comfortable.

Young working male’s view: Since I work daily with technology at http://www.eracks.com building American made open source computes and servers I favor the Taurus because it is loaded with electronic features that place it at the forefront of the industry with a plethora of options that the Toyota did not offer. I also liked the large trunk and the Ford styling was more intriguing.

Family conference: In reality, the Toyota Avalon has stayed remarkably consistent as a larger version of the Camry. Today, the performance, handling, and interior room are still the same high quality, but the completion from Ford, Buick, Kia, Hyundai, Chrysler, and Chevrolet have been nipping at its heels. The result is that the Avalon is a superior family sedan that can hold six in comfort and offer a sedate ride with admirable fuel mileage. The Ford is more modern in looks and has more updated options. It is not as roomy inside, but the trunk is huge. It does have restricted vision to the back and sides, but offers drivers a more involving feel. Both are at the top of the large family sedan class.

For a list of all vehicle websites go to:

http://www.reacheverychild.com/business/index.html

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