Tag Archives: adventure

Suns Out Paws Out: Summer Safety Tips to Keep Our Furry Friends Safe

By Makesha Conzuelo

Edited by Natalie Grace Sipula

If you’ve ever been to Washington state (or if you’ve seen any of the Twilight franchise films) then you’ll know the state is well known for its constant rainy days. Just as Californians always expect sun, we always expect rain. Being from Washington, I can attest that when summer rolls around, everyone makes sure to take advantage of the sunny days. Now that we’ve added our corgi Benji to the family, that means I’ve had the chance to learn about what I should do to keep him safe while enjoying the sun with us. Here’s a bit of what I’ve learned so far and what can help you as well if you’re a first time dog owner. 

While there are a lot of perks to summer, it also poses special risks to our dogs. More walks and longer outings can lead to an “…increased exposure to ticks and other insects, to sunburn, and even heatstroke.” (akc.org, 2019). A lot of tips can be applied to any pets you have in your household; making sure their water bowls are filled, providing shady spots to escape the sun. In particular, you want to make sure you open your car windows if there isn’t air conditioning-on a hot day, it can reach 100 degrees in just 20 minutes (akc.org, 2019). You can also research tips for your specific dog’s breed. 

 Family pet Benji 2yr, enjoying the sun at Lake Tapps

Since we commonly take our dogs out more than any other pet, there are more safety precautions we can take to make sure they are being safe in the sun. 

Going on walks

With the sun heating up asphalt and sand, prolonged exposure can burn their paws. If your schedule allows it, try walking them earlier in the day and later in the evening when temperatures will be cooler. If the ground is too hot for you to touch, then your dog probably shouldn’t be walking on it either. You may consider purchasing dog boots for them, however finding a brand that fits them well may be a challenge and your pet may not ever get used to them. As always, if in doubt, be sure to consult with your veterinarian.

If it’s not too hot out, then you might consider going for a hike.

Hiking may seem pretty straightforward, but there’s a lot of safety precautions to consider for both humans and dogs alike. For our furry friends, we want to make sure they 

  • Are up to date on their vaccinations
  • Have a good harness, not just their collar and leash combo 
  • Have a water bottle specifically for them 
  • Are a type of breed that will enjoy hikes 

Prefer the water? Grab that life jacket!

With it being cold and rainy most of the year, Washingtonians jump at the chance to go to the lakes and beaches to take a dive. 

Most dogs love it too, so make sure to get them a life jacket that fits them well so they too can enjoy the water in a safe manner.  It’s a good idea (once their life jackets are on) to introduce them to the water slowly and with positive reinforcement before having them hop onto a kayak or paddle board so they know what to expect in case they ever fall in.

My dog Benji sporting his life jacket enjoying a kayak ride with my sister at Lake Sammamish state park.
Continue reading Suns Out Paws Out: Summer Safety Tips to Keep Our Furry Friends Safe

To have a car or not to have a car… that is the question

By Lily Tam

Edited by Natalie Grace Sipula

[3 minute read]

Not having a car in LA makes life hard. Or at least, that’s what I thought. Despite the strong and ever-improving public transportation system in LA, taking the Metro or another form of public transport just isn’t the same as having the luxury of driving. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve taken the Metro to Santa Monica quite a few times, and I definitely recommend it since the stop right outside of campus is so convenient. The best part? Not having to worry about parking and traffic-an absolute dream come true.

The story’s a bit different if you want to explore a little outside the city, however. My roommate and I are from the farthest ends of the United States, the East Coast and Hawaii, so it wasn’t really feasible for us to bring or drive a car all the way to California for use during school. Fortunately, we both have our driver’s’ licenses, which is why when we got the chance to rent a car with the school’s new partnership with Maven, we did.

Photo by averie woodard on Unsplash

My roommate had just finished one of her most dreaded midterms and was looking to celebrate that accomplishment with a meal out. We decided to head down to East LA for some great Mexican cuisine. However, we were so excited that we forgot to take into account something LA is notorious for: rush hour traffic. Yes, we decided to head out exactly at 5 PM. On a Friday. About to go on the 110 Freeway. Not a brilliant idea, I’ll tell you that much. In fact, the traffic flow was so bad that the Waze app directed us to square around (like a circle around, but we went in a box shape) two blocks just to come back to Figueroa. The lanes were insane though, and the maneuvers I saw some drivers making really took some skill. A drive that was supposed to take 15 minutes took 40 instead, and we arrived at the restaurant disgruntled and very hungry. It ended up being alright though because in our eyes a good meal is worth anything.

It was starting to get dark on our way back, but the traffic didn’t stop. In fact, the headlights from the oncoming lanes and the rear-end lights of the cars in front of us made it seem like a stream of Christmas lights. I guess no matter the time of the year, LA will have the festive feel of a city lit up at night. Despite our frustration at the endless traffic, we took away one important lesson: appreciate the relaxation of public transportation.

Continue reading To have a car or not to have a car… that is the question

Pictures? A thousand words. Experiences? Immeasurable.

By Iric Hong

Edited by Natalie Grace Sipula

[4-minute read]

Growing up in a working-class family, long-distance travel was more often than not a luxury that was far out of my family’s reach. With the cost of providing kids a fruitful and fun childhood increasing by the day, it becomes exponentially harder to allow children to experience all that the world has to offer. Without a doubt, however, I will have to admit that those of us that had the opportunity to call Southern California our home for most of our life had it a fair bit better than others, as this home is also home to many other cultures hailing from different places around the globe. As a child, I was able to experience a variety of cultures that, in some shape or form, shaped Southern California in ways that I could only imagine.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Despite this fact, I was not really prepared for what I was about to witness during my first long-distance flight (that I can actually remember) during the summer of 2016. My family and I were on our way to Japan and Hong Kong and to say my current state of emotions at that time was simply excited would be an extreme understatement. I was unsure of what to expect when I got to Japan. Therefore, I landed preparing myself to be amazed by the culture and the people. And, to be frank, I was not disappointed.

Although I did not have many interactions with Japanese people outside of asking for help finding directions, they were all very helpful in trying to help us find our way despite the language barrier. But the most impressive thing I encountered on my trip existed elsewhere in Japanese society. The integration of man and nature in the design of the cities was absolutely awe-inspiring. You could be traversing Tokyo’s or Kyoto’s main streets during one moment and the next, you are exploring a vast forest leading to one of many shrines that populate the Japanese landscape. It felt so surreal that society could establish such a fluid connection between man and nature in the middle of such a well-developed city. I, for one, have never seen anything like it in cities across America, including the likes of LA, Seattle, New York, Atlanta, and Orlando. It was especially exciting to witness such a feat as I have always been quite the environmentalist myself. At the end of the Japan leg of my trip, I felt that my experiences were well above and beyond my initial expectations.

Photo by Alex Knight on Unsplash

As for Hong Kong, I knew in some sense what to expect and what to look forward to as my great-uncle lives there with his family. Additionally, I have always loved Hong Kong despite the fact that I had not been there in a long time, because Hong Kong is one of the few places where nearly everyone speaks my first language, Cantonese (although I am not great at it myself). Coming from beautiful and innovative Japan to Hong Kong, the bar for awesomeness was not low, but I felt that Hong Kong, in many ways, replicated the same elements of awe in their society. With the geographical location and terrain of Hong Kong, it is no simple task to establish a vibrant community, much less a metropolis, and yet it was done. It was done in a way that didn’t seem intrusive of the natural landscape, with many large patches of woods still persisting around the city itself.

After leaving Hong Kong, I was left thinking about how different the lifestyles are between that of America and that of Hong Kong and Japan. To say the least, it was very different in many aspects; saying it in such simplified terms still feels like an understatement. At the end of the day, to truly understand what others put into words and what they have experienced, you must experience the real thing for yourself!

Featured Image by Tianshu Liu on Unsplash

Iric is a recent USC graduate that majored in Electrical Engineering. His career inspiration from a very young age was on-screen robotics like Iron-Man and Gundam. He hopes to work in the aerospace industry, as that industry resembles what he wants to strive for the most. He likes to play tennis, play video games, and watch movies in his spare time.