MacDill Happenings

Things to do in and around MacDill AFB

Archive for the ‘Pets’

Halloween Safety Tips to Keep Your Ghouls and Goblins Safe

October 28, 2014 By: Laura Category: children, Pets, Self Improvement No Comments →


This Friday October 31st is Halloween.  Halloween on a Friday night along with the great Tampa Bay weather expected should make this a fun night! But along with this fun can come some things to look out for. Trick-or-Treating normally starts at sundown and ends around 9pm. If your live on MacDill AFB you can enjoy Pumpkin Patrol Trick or Treating in base housing from 6pm until 8pm.

Whether you are Trick-or-Treating on MacDill AFB or in one of the large neighborhood like Fishhawk, Panther Trace or Waterset you will want to be careful.  Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Wear bright reflective clothing. You want drivers to see you in the dark. Bring a flash light.
  • Trick or Treat in groups and stay together. If your children are older and going alone remind them to use the buddy system and stay with their group.
  • Never enter the home of a stranger or accept a ride from a stranger.
  • Parents should check all candy before allowing their little ghosts eat any.
  • Keep your porch light to let trick-or-treaters know you are passing out candy and to allow them ample light to get to the door way.
  • Be cautious when using candles, a better substitute would be battery or solar powered candles.
  • Keep your pets safe by keeping them on a leash or in bedroom etc…
  • Make sure costumes are well fitted and are fire retardant. Also make sure masks are not blocking the wearer’s vision.
  • Be cautious when driving, look out for those little mummies crossing the road.
  • With Halloween being on Friday I would imagine a few more parties will be taking place. Please drink responsibly and if you are driving be cautious of drunk drivers on the road.

By using these tips Halloween should be a safe and fun evening.

Share with us what you and your little monsters are dressing up as this year. I imagine their will be lots of Elsa’s out there!!

Trick or Treating can be a great excuse to check out a new neighborhood you may interested in moving to. Check out all of these great listings. Use the advanced search feature to see what is available in a specific neighborhood.

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Things to Do in Tampa Bay

October 16, 2014 By: Laura Category: Concerts, Events, Pets No Comments →

vacation tips courtesyofcenyt

The weather has started to cool down and it looks like there is no rain in the forecast.  Looks like a great time to get and see the sights and event in Tampa Bay!

  • The Clearwater Jazz Festival starts today and runs through the weekend.  This is one of the biggest Jazz events in the country with some of the biggest names in music.
  • On Friday,  the Humane Society of Tampa Bay is having a Pumpkin Patch for Dogs. You can bring your pets for photos among pumpkins, gourds and Halloween decorations.  It’s free.  You only pay for the cost of pumpkin if you want to take one home.  Proceeds from the pumpkin sales support homeless pets.
  • Hyde Park Village in south Tampa has a pumpkin patch that open all week at various times.
  • On Friday, Tampa Theatre starts its 15 nights of fright during as part of their A Nightmare on Franklin Street Series with a showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show.
  • On Friday night and Saturday afternoon, Collective Soles in New Tampa will present their first mixed repertory concert of the 2014-2015 season titled, Unmasked, to celebrate the Halloween season.
  • On Saturday, take a ride on the streetcars during the TECO Streetcar Fest with rides only costing a quarter from 10am to 1:30pm.
  • On Sunday, the Tampa Bay History Museum will host “A Night at the Museum: Family Trick or Treat” from 4pm to 7pm.
  • On Sunday evening at 7pm, River Tower Park in Seminole Heights will be the location of the Florida Orchestra’s Pops in the Park. It’s free, so bring some chairs and dinner and enjoy the music.

Hope you enjoy the weekend! Share with us any fun events you are hosting this weekend.

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Vet Clinic on MacDill AFB!

September 01, 2014 By: Laura Category: Pets No Comments →

Can Moving Day Be Less Stressful?

If you are getting ready to PCS to MacDill AFB and you have a pet, one your biggest concerns is where to find a veterinarian! There are a lot of good vets out in town, but the MacDill Vet Clinic may be the first place to stop at.

You can get reasonably priced care for your family’s cats and dogs at the Vet Clinic on MacDill AFB! They do not do any major surgery, but they do provide a basic care at very reasonable prices. The clinic provides immunizations, heartworm testing, microchipping and outpatient treatment for some diseases.

If you are ready to move with your pet, then you might want to check out an article on MilitaryByOwner on “Moving with Four-Legged Family Members“. The MacDill Clinic can give you all the up to date information you need on moving your pet overseas and across country.

The Clinic carries items such as Flea & Tick control, Heart-worm prevention, shampoos, tartar control chews, vitamins, and prescription medications.

Services are by appointment only, so call 828-3558. The clinic is located at 7804 Blackbird St, Bldg 936, just behind the Exchange Mall.

A Military I.D. is required for all services!

If you are unable to care for your pet or are looking for a pet, then there are two location facilities that you could consider as a option. C.A.R.E. in Ruskin is a no-kill facility that takes in pets and offers them up for adoption. Dogs on Deployment is available to help out active duty service members who must deploy and need help with care for their pets.

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Newcomer Information for The MacDill AFB Area

June 02, 2014 By: Laura Category: Communities, Pets, Schools, Self Improvement 1 Comment →

newcomers to MacDill courtesyof airports worldwide

If you have recently moved to the MacDill area or will soon be moving to the area here is some valuable information.

MacDill AFB is located in the city of Tampa FL which is located on the Gulf side of the state. With its prime location and great weather you will find outdoor activities a plenty in the Tampa Bay area. MacDill’s 6th Force Support Squadron offers lots of events on base with such activities as Free Movie ThursdaysLunch and Learns and a great recreation program.

When you arrive at the base, your first priority will probably be housing both temporary and permanent. offers information on both the MacDill Inn located on base and lodging found off base. If you are planning to live on base, then you will want to visit the housing office at Harbor Bay at 8414 Fortress Drive. If you are planning to look for a home off base, will be a great resource for that house hunt. Along with a listing of housing to rent or buy, the site also offers a listing of local Realtors and other valuable businesses.

If you have children, your next worry may be finding the best school for your children. If you will be living on base and your children are going to be in grades K-5th, they will attend Tinker Elementary. Older children will attend schools off base. The area is serviced by the Hillsborough Country School District. A great feature of the school district is its school of choice program which allows you to find the right fit for your children’s education. If you will need childcare, the base offers three Child Development Centers  The Base also offer a great Youth Program.

The 6th Medical Group offers an outpatient clinic on the base. The facility does not offer emergency medical care. Emergency care is offered at local civilian. The Clinic is located at 3250 Zemke Ave.

Pets may also be a concern there is a great Veterinary Clinic located on base at 7804 Blackbird St. You will want to check on the hours of operation and you will need to make an appointment.

MacDill AFB offers all of the base amenities you typically find on a Military installation.  There is an AAFES Exchange and a Commissary located right next to each other. The Exchange mall also contains a salon, barber shop and the ITT office along with several shopping vendors and a food court. You will also find a branch of the Armed Forces National Bank in the Exchange. A Grow Financial Credit Union is located on base and a Navy Federal Credit Union is located a short drive from of MacDill AFB.

If you are arriving to the area between June 1st and November 1st, make a note that is Hurricane Season. You will want to make sure you have a Hurricane kit and plan in place. Florida offers a Tax Free Holiday for purchasing items for your survival kit.

Now that you are here and have a little knowledge of the area, get out there and enjoy all that this area has to offer!

Like us on Facebook  and Twitter @MacDill Happenin.

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Florida Tax Free Holiday-Hurricane Supplies

May 31, 2014 By: Laura Category: Communities, Pets, Self Improvement No Comments →

St Pete Beach

Hurricane season starts tomorrow June 1st. Are you prepared do you have your disaster kit and plan ready? If not now is the time to get ready.  The 2014 Hurricane preparedness sales tax holiday will start tonight May 31st at 12:01AM.

The sales tax holiday is the perfect time to get your kit together or restock it. You should always go through your kit at the beginning and end of every hurricane season to make sure it is stocked and replace any items that may have expired. You will have the opportunity to purchase items from May 31st until June 8th. You will be able to purchase your items at any retail venue except theme parks, airports, public lodging and entertainment complexes.

You will be able to buy such items as:

  • Batteries
  • Flashlights
  • Lanterns
  • Tarps
  • Batter Powered Radios
  • Generators costing less than $750.00

For a complete list of what you can purchase go to MYFLORIDA.  I would also sugest you take a look at the FEMAsite for more information on what you should have in your kit.

A great place to look for these supplies would be your local hardware stores. Remember if you have a Military ID the Home Depot and Lowes here in the MacDill AFB area offer a 10% discount.

So take this next week to get prepared for this hurricane season. And please when planning your kit and plan do not forget about your pets. I heard some one on the radio say if you have your disaster kit and plan ready then enjoy your summer! So all of you here in the Tampa Bay/ MacDill AFB area get prepared now and enjoy this beautiful area we call home.

If you know anyone new to the area please share this information with them.

You can like us on our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter @MacDill Happenin.

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Can Moving Day Be Stress Free?

May 27, 2014 By: Laura Category: Communities, News, Pets, Self Improvement No Comments →

Can Moving Day Be Less Stressful?

Can your moving day be stress free?  Good questions! Probably not, but with a little planning and organizing you can get close to a stress free day. If you are a Military family, a PCS move occurs so often that you may already have ways to get through the day. Here are a few I have used and some I have just been introduced to. Check out these great ideas and tools to try to ease the frustrations  moving can bring.

Organize, organize and organize! If you are like me and maybe not an overly organized person the best way to make moving day go smoothly is to get on the organization bandwagon. Start at least a month or more before the big day and clean out closets and cabinets. If you have not worn or used it in the last year then put in either a garage sale pile or a donate pile. If you have similar items in several different areas of your home gather them and store them together. If you store your seasonal clothing and will not be needing it go a head and pack it. If you are having a moving company move you, you also want to get all of your seasonal clothing together so it can be boxed together. Make sure the day of the move you have a designated area set aside for things you do not want packed onto the truck. For example I usually put all of the items coming with me in the master bath and then mark the door with a large sign saying do not enter and do not pack. This is also where I usually keep my pets.

Pets and children can cause a lot of stress on moving day. If possible make arrangements to have the children stay at a neighbors or have another adult with you to entertain them. You may also be able to establish a kid zone in one of the rooms where the kids can watch a movie, play games etc… You may also consider having your furry kids stay with a neighbor or relative. Or establish a pet zone where they can stay and not be in the mix of all the moving.  Make sure you have all of your pets medical records , medication, food etc… with you. If you are traveling out of state or overseas be sure to you check that your pets have all of the certification ,shots etc.. to travel. You will also want to make sure you bring all of the family members medical information with you. Also with both your children and your pets, make sure you have that something special to take with you that makes them feel safe and secure. This will not only ease your stress but theirs.

Packing! This can be one of the most stressful parts of the day. But if you organize ahead of time you may save yourself some of that stress. If you are moving yourself you will want to make sure you have enough boxes and packing materials. When filling boxes keep  like items together. Mark your boxes with not only what room the box came from but what is in the box. A great tip is to take a picture of everything in the box and then list on the box. Save these pics either on your phone or in a PDF file so when it comes time to unpack and you desperately need that pink towel, you will know exactly where it is. If you are using a moving company do the same thing, you may not be able to take a shot of everything in the box but you can get a general idea. With movers make sure the box is marked correctly on the outside. For example my idea of a family room and the movers may not be the same, you can take your own magic marker and write a more specific room if you like.

If you are using a moving company that in itself can be stressful. You are allowing strangers into your home to pack your most precious items.I suggest any valuable items such as jewelry etc.. be kept with you . If you are not doing a Military PCS move you will want to do a lot of research on which company to use. Ask around for recommendations sometimes the best deal is not always the best “deal”. Check into insuring your items and what insurance the moving company provides. With a PCS move you will more than likely not get a choice in which company appears at your door.  I have always tried to look at my movers with a positive eye. I try and remember they are working to pay the bills just like the rest of us, they are someones mother, father ,brother , daughter etc… I try very hard not to stand over them like a drill Sargent! I provide plenty of water and beverages and tell them to help themselves to whatever is there, either in a cooler or the refrigerator. I also offer to buy lunch  and have snacks for the late afternoon. I figure a happy packer may treat my things better!! I also make sure I have all my paperwork organized and ready to go. I also keep the number of the appropriate person to call if I do have a problem with any of the moving company employees.

You may also want to use some of the great apps out there to help you move  One such app is Moving Van. This app will let you index and inventory your boxes. Another great app is Moving Planner.This app will let you keep organized with a moving check list that will also remind of you to do things like turn off your utilities.

This is just some of the great ideas out there for making your moving day a little less hectic. You might also want to check out the great tips that MilitaryByOwner has to share. A great article recently shared on the blog was written by staff writer Karina. The blog post How to Make Your Home a Stress Free Zone! shares ideas on how to keep use items such as the radio to create a peaceful environment during moving day. The best tip I can share is just breathe and take care of yourself, make sure you eat and stay hydrated and if things get a little hectic take a moment ( I have locked myself in that do not enter master bath plenty of times just to take a minute!). Make sure you celebrate the end of the day with a glass of wine or a trip to the frozen yogurt store.

If you have any great tips on Moving please share them with us here or on our Facebook page.

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PCS and Moving with Pets!

February 03, 2014 By: Laura Category: News, Pets 1 Comment →

It’s getting close to that time for those who are expecting PCS orders this summer to start finding out where their next assignment will be. It’s an exciting time and it’s a stressful time!


Besides worrying about getting the house ready and getting the kids ready and worrying about how everyone will like the next duty station, those families with pets will have to make sure that the pets are ready too!

If you staying in the States and driving to your next assignment, then you will need to make sure that the pets will be okay in the car. Plan on making sure that food and water are available during the trip. You might consider giving them food and water when you stop for a break. For cats, you will need to make sure that their is litter box available for them. Plan on stopping a little more often to take dogs for a potty break. Cats may do better in a cage because they usually feel a little more comfortable in a more structured setting instead of letting them wonder around the car. Plus if you don’t put your cat in a cage, when you stop you will have to make sure that they don’t make a dash for freedom when you open the door.

If you are moving overseas, then you need to contact the veterinarian office at your next base for shots and quarantine information. Plus, you need to plan on paying to fly your pet. You can only claim quarantine costs for your pets. You will not be reimbursed for travel costs associated with your pets. Small animals like a cat or very small dog should be able to fly in the cabin with you, but you will still have to pay a fee. If the pets are going in the cargo hold, then airlines will only fly them when the weather will not be hot! This can be difficult if you have them fly during the summer months, but each airline will have its own rules.  Immunizations and blood tests for your pets must be done on a specific timeline and are specific to where you are going, so check early with your base veterinarian for the requirements.

No matter if you move pets in the States or overseas, you should make sure that all shots are up to date and that they have chips embedded so that they can be identified if they separated from you.

Your base veterinarian is your best resource to help you get your pet ready to move!

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Fresh Market at Hyde Park

February 01, 2014 By: Laura Category: children, Communities, Events, Pets No Comments →

Hyde Park is having their monthly “Fresh Market” this Sunday. From 10am to 3pm, rain or shine, this free event offers the opportunity to pick out the freshest vegetables and fruits and enjoy live entertainment.

Fresh fruit and vegetables

Expect about 100 vendors with their local and regional farm and agricultural products, prepared foods and locally-made hand-crafts and offerings.

The Village center is situated in several buildings located between Swann and Rome Avenues. Although there are national retailers, the majority of tenants in the center are independent boutiques and eateries. The neighborhood of Hyde Park is located near the University of Tampa and close to Tampa’s business and cultural arts district. The boundaries of the neighborhood include the Hillsborough Bay to the east, Kennedy Blvd to the north, historic and picturesque Bayshore Boulevard to the south, and Armenia Avenue to the west. Major thoroughfares within the historical district include Kennedy Boulevard, Bayshore Boulevard, Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway, Howard Avenue, and Swann Avenue. There are 3 free parking structures available in Hyde Park.

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Pumpkin Patch at Old Hyde Park Village

October 08, 2013 By: Laura Category: Events, Pets No Comments →

If you live near South Tampa, no need to go very far for pumpkins. Check out the Pumpkin Patch at Old Hyde Park Village from 10 October until 30 October. There will be pumpkins for purchase and all sorts of photo opportunities!  Hours are Monday to Friday noon to 8pm, and Saturday 9am to 9pm and Sunday noon to 6pm. The Pumpkin Patch will be open until 10 PM on Saturday, October 12 for the Fall Festival & Craft Beer BREWhaha. Hyde Park Village is an open-air shopping center located in the neighborhood of Hyde Park. The Village center is situated in several buildings located between Swann and Rome Avenues. Although are national retailers, the majority of tenants in the center are independent boutiques and eateries. The neighborhood of Hyde Park is located near the University of Tampa and close to Tampa’s business and cultural arts district. The boundaries of the neighborhood include the Hillsborough Bay to the east, Kennedy Blvd to the north, historic and picturesque Bayshore Boulevard to the south, and Armenia Avenue to the west. Major thoroughfares within the historical district include Kennedy Boulevard, Bayshore Boulevard, Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway, Howard Avenue, and Swann Avenue. There are 3 free parking structures available in Hyde Park.

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Pet Information for Tampa

May 28, 2013 By: Laura Category: Pets 1 Comment →


When you move to the Tampa area, your pets will be covered under Hillsborough County Ordinances. All dogs and cats must be vaccinated and registered for rabies. All dogs must be confined to their owner’s property and be restrained by a leash or under the direct control of the owner or responsible person when in public areas. Hillsborough County requires all dogs, cats, and ferrets that are four months of age or older to be registered with the department and issued a tag. All dogs must wear the tag when outside. Cats are required to either wear a tag or be microchipped, tattooed, or have an ear tag when outside. The rabies tag may be obtained from the department or a Hillsborough county veterinarian. A license tag is a “free phone call home” for a lost pet.  A great place to get vaccinations completed is at the MacDill AFB Veterinary Clinic.  The Clinic is open M-F from 8am to 4pm and located behind the Commissary/PX on Blackbird St, Bldg 936.  Call to make a reservation at 828-3558.  You can also get a microchip and supplies for your pets at the Veterinary Clinic. License tags cost $20 for a sterilized animal and $40 for a non-sterilized animal. License fees for ferrets are $5. Senior citizens age 62 or older receive a discount and may purchase a tag for a sterilized cat or dog for $5 or $25 for an intact cat or dog. For further information, contact Animal Services at 744-5660.

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