Venus Trapped in Mars Sports and Lifestyle Blog Dallas

03 July 2018

How to Help Dogs Scared of Fireworks and Thunderstorms


Is adult onset fear of fireworks a thing? I'm talking about in dogs, of course. General is terrified of fireworks, a faulty fire alarm that won't stop beeping and thunderstorms. Occasionally he is terrified of the sound of rain on our tin roof patio which sits just outside our bedroom windows. This is all a new thing, debuting in the past 5 years at least. So, today's post is all about how you can help your dog that is scared of fireworks and thunderstorms. 

I know one thing that is very real and that's my adult onset fear of flying. I was never scared of flying six or seven years ago. Now I sit on the plane staring out the window petrified of what could (and most likely won't) happen. I flew this past weekend and all I could think about was that southwest flight where the lady got sucked out of the window. The flight didn't have a single bump, yet my heart raced for the majority of our time in the air. When I was 25 I didn't care one bit. So, I guess I see where General is coming from. 



What is it about growing up that develops new fears? Shouldn't it be the opposite? Shouldn't I know better that monsters aren't real and that the odds of dying in a plane crash is one in 11 million. Or maybe it is because I have grown up and see the world and what this world is capable of that I develop ridiculous fears. 

I wonder if Gee turns the ten o'clock doggie news on and ONE dog in 11 million died in a freak firework attack and now he's petrified?



Whatever it is, I won't judge Gee for his adult onset fear of smoke detectors, fireworks and thunderstorms. I get it, I totally do. I won't judge but I will do everything I can to help him. 

When he hears that first crack or beep, the poor little guy starts shaking and whining OUT OF CONTROL. His shaking is so hard and deep that he's like a wind up toy about to fall off the bed. Even crazier, he can tell when a thunderstorm is coming. If he comes and gets in bed in the middle of the night, he's more accurate than any meteorologist in predicting that storm on the horizon.



I have two tricks to helping him cope with his fears. 

Trick One: Drown Out the Noise. 
A few weeks ago a storm hit around 7am. CB had already left for work so I cranked the stereo volume as loud as I possibly could and Gee and I jammed out to 2 Chainz. It worked, too! He couldn't hear the cracks of thunder and thus, didn't freak out. While rap worked for Gee (he is my dog after all) it should be noted that most dogs prefer classical music or talk radio! 

A few Saturdays ago we knew a bad storm was coming our way so we loaded Gee into the car and went to our favorite brewery down the street. It's a massive warehouse size brewery with live music on Saturdays. You couldn't hear a thing outside and Gee was happy as a clam. Plus, he was the only dog there that day and got about a million pets. Dog mom of the year, party of one! 




Trick Two: Find a Hiding Spot 
A hiding spot, like a small bedroom, home office or large closet without any windows helps your pup feel like they're is a safe spot, away from the noise. A room they can run to and feel protected.

We have a spot in our house that is technically a 4th bedroom. I say technically because to be actually considered a bedroom, there must be a window and a closet. Although there is a closet, there are no windows making it a genius spot to help Gee hide out. We like to give him some food and water, a treat to let him know he is a good boy (always), as well as his little dog bed his Grandmom got him.

He also enjoys hiding in open suitcases, clothes bins and in the laundry room. He just likes to be cozy, can you really blame him?

Trick Three: ADAPTIL® For Dogs.
Obviously I won't be around for every storm that comes our way. Even worse, I'll be in Virginia this year for the 4th of July. Just because I'm not there though doesn't mean I can't help. You guys are going to thank me up and down for telling you about ADAPTIL®

Here's how it works...
ADAPTIL® is a copy of the natural canine- appeasing pheromone dogs know from birth that help dogs feel more safe and secure in their surroundings. ADAPTIL® is clinically proven* to help comfort and reassure dogs while they cope with challenging situations and help reduce and eliminate unwanted behaviors caused by stress. It essentially creates a familiarity and security which helps comfort your pup as they deal with an uncomfortable situation: aka fireworks and thunderstorms. 





There are three ways you can use ADAPTIL®. One is the Travel Spray which can be applied to your pup's bedding or favorite toy to reduce stress at home, the ADAPTIL® Calm On-the-go Collar, which is ideal for traveling,  or I'll leave the ADAPTIL® Calm Home diffuser with our pet sitter while we are gone for vacation. She can also use the spray for Gee's bed before the fireworks start.

For those who don't know - our neighborhood, Oak Cliff, literally sounds like a war zone of fireworks on July 4th. In all my time on this planet, I've never heard anything like it. I think we are the only house that doesn't shoot fireworks off on that night (and the two weeks before and after). We already heard our first firework round go off last night!

So, if you have a dog like Gee, ask your vet about ADAPTIL® for your dog. If you're unsure if your vet carries it, check out their vet locator HERE.



Thank you to ADAPTIL® for sponsoring this post. 
All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

*Data on File

02 July 2018

Two Easy Moonshine Cocktails to Rock Your July

This post is sponsored by Babbleboxx on behalf of Sugarlands Distilling Company

It's almost 4th of July my friends!  You guys know how much I absolutely love making cocktails, and what more festive holiday to whip up some (easy peasy) cocktails than for the 4th? Today I'm teaming up with Sugarlands Distilling Company to bring you not one but two easy cocktail recipes perfect for the 4th of July.

Every year, CB and I alternate where we go for both Christmas and July 4th. My mom lives in Virginia Beach, and his mom lives on Lake Granbury. As you can imagine, both are Independence Day hot spots. Thus, we alternate the holiday. Tomorrow after work, we are headed to VA Beach for nearly 5 days.

I'm particularly pumped to team up with Sugarlands Distilling Co. today though because they are located near and dear to my heart, literally! Sugarlands Distilling is located in downtown Gatlinburg, and I went to The University of Tennessee in Knoxville. My friends and I visited Gatlinburg several times a semester. After college, I stayed for another 4 years and spent even more time in the Great Smoky Mountains. It was such a fun weekend destination to pop in, go shopping at the outlet mall and visit a winery or distillery.




So when I had the opportunity to work with Sugarlands and support a local Gatlinburg business, I jumped on it! Although I haven't had the opportunity to tour their distillery yet (they opened in March 2014 - I moved to Dallas in August 2012) when you visit you can sample their spirits, take a behind-the-scenes tour of the still house and listen to live regional music on the Spirit Stage.




Sugarlands sent me two full bottles of their award winning moonshines: Pina Colada Moonshine and Blockader’s Blackberry Moonshine.  The Pina Colada combines the taste of fresh pineapple and coconut. Honestly it could be sipped on it's own it's that good! The blackberry moonshine tastes like fresh blackberries of course, but also has a hint of honeysuckle and lavender.

For the  Blockader’s Blackberry Moonshine cocktail I made a blackberry variation on the Salty Dog with grapefruit juice!

Blackberry Salty Dog
Makes One Cocktail

|| INGREDIENTS ||
2 ounces Blockader's Blackberry Moonshine

4 Blackberries

1 ounce Simple Syrup

3 ounces Grapefruit Juice

2 Blackberries for Garnish

Sugar Rim

1 Lime Wedge for Sugar Rim

|| DIRECTIONS ||

Begin by using a lime wedge to rim glass with sugar, then fill glass with ice. In your cocktail shaker, muddle your blackberries, add simple syrup, moonshine and grapefruit juice. Shake vigorously. Strain into glass over ice and serve! 






Champagne Moonshine Cocktail
Makes One Cocktail

|| INGREDIENTS ||
2 ounces Sugarlands Pina Colada Moonshine 

Mixed Berries

Champagne Top


|| DIRECTIONS ||

Muddle mixed berries (I used blueberries and raspberries) with moonshine and chill. When ready to serve, top with champagne! Legit, that easy.