This article is from the April 2019 Issue of Forever Young

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By William Thomas

ESAA – Emotional Support Animal Absurdity

Today’s flight attendant must feel like Noah of the Ark – animals boarding the plane one after the other taking their places on and under the seats. Dogs, cats, rabbits and pork belly pigs – all of which their owners claim to be emotional support animals and approved by doctors as well as the airlines themselves.

Actually, it wouldn’t be so bad if that list of ESAs (and yes, they now have their own anagram!) was limited to those four species. Recently a woman showed up at the United Airlines counter at Newark, New Jersey for a flight to Los Angeles with an emotional support peacock named Dexter. I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard the shrill scream of a peacock but flight attendants would be better off dealing with a drunken Guido from Jersey Shores than a bird who’s cry tops out at 115 decibels.

Yet another woman had her ESA rejected upon checking in and was quoted as saying she could not “think about life without Stormy,” her emotional-support snake. (Didn’t Trump say the same thing about Stormy, the one who dances with poles?) Snakes on planes – bad – but not possibly as bad as the movie.

Delta Airlines has banned “creatures with tusks” which could well avoid the embarrassing situation of a real elephant in the room. On a Frontier Airlines flight from Columbus, Ohio to Las Vegas someone’s emotional support marmoset got loose and disappeared on the plane. Oscar a seven-foot boa constrictor ESA must have been sleeping at the time otherwise he’d have found that varmit!

Jet Blue has since banned “unusual animals” like “snakes, other reptiles, ferrets, rodents and spiders.” Spiders! Really, there’s a person out there who experiences calmness when a black widow crawls down his shirt?!?

Jet Blue’s initial experience with a bad ESA flight came when many passengers complained about a duck walking up and down the aisle unaccompanied. The duck’s name was – not making this up – Daniel Turducken Stinkerbutt and he was wearing a Captain America diaper and tiny red shoes. Are you kidding me? I’d pay 50 bucks extra to sit back with a drink and watch a duck wearing a nappy and sneakers walk up and down the aisle. I once had a woman change a diaper next to me during the inflight meal so yeah, I’m definitely going with that duck.

In Albany, New York a passenger left a support goldfish on the luggage carousel. (Oscar was salivating in his cage nearby.)

What truly boggles the mind is that although they banned ESA rodents and reptiles, miniature horses were allowed to fly on all Jet Blue flights. I suppose it comes down to how everybody aboard feels about miniature horse buns. My worst nightmare on long flights is the crying kid so I’m thinking… yeah, pony rides.

This article is from the March 2019 Issue of Forever Young

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By Carol Patterson

David Rosen partners with sea lions

It’s hard to decide if Dr. David Rosen is more like James Bond or Dr. Doolittle. His coolest coworkers are free-swimming sea lions carrying enough gadgets for an action hero while Rosen deciphers the secrets of west coast wildlife.

Rosen grew up in Toronto and started his career with a degree in biology at University of Guelph. Perhaps an unusual location for someone fascinated by marine mammals until one realizes it is equidistant to Canada’s three oceans and has employed some of Canada’s most esteemed marine mammal experts.

Pursuing Masters and Ph.D. degrees Rosen moved to Memorial University of Newfoundland. There he got involved in the harp seal controversy, eventually switching coasts to work on another political issue, this time involving Stellar sea lions and pollock populations.

In 1995 he settled in Vancouver, splitting his time between UBC and the Vancouver Aquarium, an cont. on page 4

Wise initiative. Now his day may start with a boat trip up Burrard Inlet with one of his sea lion
coworkers.

Based at Ocean Wise‘s Open Water Research Station are four free swimming Stellar sea lions that leave their pens to help scientists. Rosen develops the research question and Sitka, a 21-year-old sea lion, and her sea lion coworkers help solve it.

This article is from the February 2019 Issue of Forever Young

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By AJ Williams

The Highest, the Newest, the Largest, the Most Expensive, the Fastest….. all descriptions we heard on a recent “Quick Trip” to the middle east. Dubai’s glittering skyline and high end shopping are omnipresent, but there’s a contrast to this place that’s not to be missed. It’s a fact that the world’s tallest building sits smack dab in the middle of downtown, and going to the top is an absolute must while in Dubai. But it’s also true that there are architectural marvels that don’t tower above the city - even the Metro is gleaming and modern.

The city is truly the playground of the rich and famous, rapidly becoming the ‘Las Vegas of the Middle East.’ But with apologies to Sin City, Dubai takes it all to a much newer (and dare I say classier) level! Dubai has more than 3 million residents, but despite its size, it’s clean, organized, virtually crime-free, easy to navigate and an urban planning marvel.

We decided on Dubai for an epic mother-daughter adventure, and it was a great choice. Flying on very chic Emirates Airlines made the 14-hour jaunt from Seattle to Dubai a breeze. Even in economy, the service, food and beverages are outstanding. An in-flight entertainment system with thousands of options helps the time pass quickly. For a real treat, upgrade to Business Class or better yet, First Class, where you’ll enjoy a private cabin experience like none other.

With just five nights in Dubai, we hit the ground running for the ‘musts’ while there. Regular followers of our ‘QuickTrips’ know that we often do a ‘hop on, hop off’ bus tour when visiting a new place. It’s a great orientation to a city, and we found it a helpful way to start our Dubai adventure. Sitting up top in the air conditioned, covered section avoids a nasty sunburn on day one.

After getting our bearings, it was time for our afternoon and evening adventure – a desert safari. In a very comfortable Land Cruiser, we made our way to a nearby nature conservation area, but before you think it was all just air-conditioned leisurely driving through the desert, not so fast. Once our tires were deflated to the acceptable level, we kicked into high gear (or probably low actually) and the hoots and hollers could be heard as we 4X4’d in the sand dunes – courtesy of our adept but daring driver!

This article is from the January 2019 Issue of Forever Young

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There are endless winter health myths that we have heard from well-intentioned grandparents and parents. They have become so ingrained in us that we take them as cold hard facts. Of course, everyone wants to stay as healthy as possible during the frosty months. In order to do so sensibly, internist and gastroenterologist Dr. Niket Sonpal offers the following myth-busting advice.

Myth: Allergies go away in the winter

Allergies might be the real source behind your stuffy nose and scratchy throat. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, one in five people suffer from indoor/outdoor allergies, and the indoor variety can actually be worse in the winter. Dr. Sonpal cautions that, “If your symptoms last longer than 10 days or ease up after taking an antihistamine, it might be time to visit an allergist.”

Myth: I wash my hands all the time with hand sanitizer, so I should be fine

Hand sanitizer will kill most viruses, but not all. You must make sure you use the right amount of hand sanitizer and let it dry completely. Dr. Sonpal points out that, “Some viruses, like norovirus, which causes vomiting, is not killed by hand sanitizer. Soap and water are best to get rid of all bacteria and viruses, but the hand sanitizer is better than nothing at all.”

Myth: It’s cold out, I don’t need sunscreen

The sun’s rays are just as strong in the winter months as they are in the other seasons. Snow and ice can reflect even more sunlight, up to twice as much. Grab the SPF 30 and put it on, regardless of the temperature. Don’t forget those sunglasses to keep your eyes safe as well.

By Pam Molnar

This article is from the December 2018 Issue of Forever Young

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Take time to honour the caregivers you know, whether they are a family member, friend, neighbour or co-worker. By showing them your support, you are taking away a bit of their burden, sadness, guilt or pain, if only for a moment. Not sure how you can help? Check out these 12 suggestions below.

1. Give them much needed time off. Offer to sit in their place while they attend their child’s game or spouse’s work dinner. You can drive to routine doctor appointments, take their patient on a small outing or simply be on call for the day in the caregiver’s place.

2. Make them a home cooked meal. The caregiver often lets their own health go while taking care of their loved one. As you plan your own dinner, make a double batch to take over to the caregiver’s house. Use disposable containers and deliver the meal ready to eat. If you are not a cook yourself, offer the family a restaurant gift certificate so they can enjoy family time alone.

3. Offer to do a task. Caregivers have their hands full with their patient and the immediate needs of their family. Everything else takes a back seat. Don’t offer a general “let me know what I can do to help.” Instead, if you specifically offer to shop, mow the lawn, walk the dogs or handle a carpool, they will most likely take you up on it.

4. Write a handwritten note of encouragement. During this stressful and often sad time in the caregiver’s life, they need to be reminded that they are doing their best. Your letter will most likely be read and reread when the caregiver has a quiet moment and needs an extra pick me up. They might also enjoy you sharing a memory of their loved one during better times.

5. Bring awareness. While the caregiver is busy taking care of their sick patient, their friends and supporters might like to donate time and money to their cause. Gather people for a Relay for Life, organize a fundraiser in support of breast cancer awareness or sponsor a golf outing with the proceeds going to their cause. Check with the caregivers for local needs or support the hospital where treatment
is being received.