06/29/07 — Check off trip prep for 4th early

View Archive

Check off trip prep for 4th early

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on June 29, 2007 1:45 PM

Have a place for Fluffy to stay?

Oil changed? Tires checked?

If these things are on your list of things to do while you're preparing for a July 4 trip, get moving. The weekend is here and Wednesday is only a couple days away.

Local merchants are ready to deal with the crush of travelers who are heading out this week -- or preparing for a July 4th departure.

For John Sloan, East Coast operations manager for Precision Tune on North Spence Avenue, that means oil changes.

"This is one of our busiest times," Sloan said. "We expect more travelers, and people service their vehicles in preparation for the holiday."

At The Guys Tires, Dale Schwach is getting calls for pressure and tread checks -- mostly from women.

"They don't want to get out there on a long trip and have a blowout, and they don't want to spend money they don't have to," Schwach said.

His male customers, mostly, come in when they are ready to get their tires changed. Schwach says next week should be one of his busiest.

And for those with furry children to worry about, there isn't too much choice left.

Lynn Cope at Jeric's Kennells on Rodell Barrow Road said when a holiday falls in mid-week like Independence Day will next Wednesday, people plan their vacations to begin the week before or the day before the holiday for the rest of that week.

So, her dog kennels are almost full already.

She is not as busy in the cat area, however, she added.

"We're not as full as we normally are, with it being in mid-week this year and because of gas costs," she said. "That is a problem. But we will be full."

Even the cats, she added.

"It amazes me how many people board their cats," Mrs. Cope said.

Several veterinary offices have room for cats and small dogs, but it's too late to board your big dog. Callers reserved the last two big dog cages Thursday morning at the Mount Olive Animal Hospital on N.C. 55.

Usually, the big dog spaces have more limitations, and most pet owners start booking their July 4 holiday boarding in January or February, said Tracy Simmons at the Berkeley Veterinary Clinic on Berkeley Boulevard. She has no openings and a waiting list.

"We tell our regular boarders to schedule in January for the next year's holidays, and even if the day turns out to be different than they guessed, we work with them and make adjustments," she said.

But she has had to turn away some regular pet owners because they were not sure about their plans.

The veterinary offices encourage pet owners to bring any special foods or toys to make their animal feel more at home in their new environment.

"We welcome lists. It helps the girls know if they need to go out at a certain time or be treated," Ms. Simmons said. "Some dogs are older and used to a regular walking routine, and we make sure that's done."

Eastwaye Veterinary Clinic on U.S. 70 East has room for two more small dogs up to about 12 pounds and about four more cats, Lou Lichthardt said.

"Do bring a list," she said. "If your pet is really attached to a special blanket, bring it. And if your pet is on a special diet, bring that, too."

Make sure your pet is current on all vaccinations, and Eastwaye will want you to give permission for them to treat your pet if they find a flea or tick on it.

If you have a cat or a little poodle or Chihuahua, Goldsboro Veterinary Hospital on U.S. 70 West has about 15 small spaces left. Bea Beugeler said her larger spaces have been booked since January and February for the July 4 holiday.

Landmark Animal Clinic on Landmark Drive has room for six cats and four dogs as long as the dogs weigh under 20 pounds. Big dogs book early at Landmark, at least three weeks before the holiday, Jennifer Bartleson said.

When the holiday approaches, she said, "that's when it gets crazy."