Homeside Financial - August 2019

Gone Camping 4 Things to Keep in Mind on Your Next Family Camping Trip

While summer is winding down, families are looking to go on a few end-of-season adventures, camping trips included. Before you head out into the wilderness with your family, it’s important to be prepared. In fact, “be prepared” is the best piece of advice when it comes to braving the great outdoors. But what does being prepared entail? Here are four key tips. Have a first-aid kit nearby. A good rule of thumb is to keep one in your car at all times. You never know when you’ll need it. Kids may get a few bumps and scrapes while out hiking, or you might encounter poisonous plants, such as poison ivy or poison oak. Having quick access to cold water, soap, antiseptics (hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol), and calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream can keep infections at bay. Teach fire safety. When you build a fire, especially with kids, teach them about fire safety. This includes building the fire itself. Pick a spot away from brush and overhanging branches and create a pit surrounded by rocks. Before lighting a fire, have a

bucket of water and a shovel nearby so you can quickly extinguish it when ready. Finally, remember to only build a fire as big as you need. A larger fire can be difficult to manage and keep under control. Keep an eye on the sky. Weather can change at a moment’s notice, and sometimes, it doesn’t give notice at all. Keep a close eye on the sky and monitor the weather on a radio. If a storm appears, seek shelter immediately and stay out of low-lying areas. When you’re in mountainous or hilly terrain, a little rain is all it takes for flash floods to occur. If you’re in a ravine when it starts raining, get out immediately. Always stick together. It’s a good idea to hike with a buddy and keep a whistle around your neck or in your pack. You never knowwhat you might encounter or when you’ll need help. Hiking with kids is also a great time to teach them to recognize landmarks and be aware of their surroundings. If you have a digital camera or smartphone, show kids how to create a trail of digital breadcrumbs or pictures to help them find their way back to camp.

Dogs With Jobs Appreciating Our Good B

Being a K-9 handler is the absolute best job in law enforcement. I don’t know if there’s another job where you can go from busting drug dealers one night to tracking down a runaway kid on another. There are four canines on the Hickory Police Force, all of them trained to sniff out narcotics, track and trail, and recover evidence. I handle the youngest dog on the K-9 Unit, a two-year-old Belgian Malinois with just a couple of months of service under his collar.

I’ve been a K-9 handler for a little over five years. Being chosen to be on the K-9 Unit is a huge testament to how responsible you are on a daily basis in the department, so I was honored when I was first asked if I was interested. When I saw the kind of work I would get to do as a handler, I knew in an instant that it was the job for me. Not long after that, I went through training with K-9 Ronnie, a big German Shepherd who kept it all business. As someone who has had dogs as pets his whole life, training with Ronnie was a whole different experience. He wasn’t a dog that needed to be loved on like pet dogs do. All he wanted to know was what he needed to do to get the toy that was in my hand. That’s how it is with K-9 officers though — they’re there to do a job. Part of the responsibility of training them is giving them structure and control, while still making sure they can be social. While training Zip, I took him to grocery stores, hardware stores, and even an airport to make sure he could operate different environments and with different people. I worked with Ronnie for five years, until he died unexpectedly in March. It was tough losing a dog I had worked with for so long. Even though he didn’t show affection like a normal dog would, he would always stay right at my feet when I was walking around my house. I think that was his way of saying

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jharrington@gohomeside.com

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