Momma Told Me: August 2017

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How To Help Your Dog Grab Life By The Leash In Stressful Situations

This post is sponsored by Therabis™ and the BlogPaws® Pet Influencer Network™. I am being compensated to help share information about Therabis - Hemp wellness products to help your dog with itching, anxiety and joint mobility. Momma Told Me only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Therabis is not responsible for the content of this article.
#GrabTheLeash with this simple and natural solution to ease anxiety in your dog. #AD

Nora has always been described as a high energy, fun loving, happy dog both by those who know her well, or simply have the pleasure of meeting her. We, okay I, like to joke that Nora would greet an axe murderer with a wagging tail and a silly smile- she simply never seemed to have any sense of negativity. The exception being, like so many dogs, loud sudden noises such as fireworks- New Year's Eve and the 4th of July have long plagued the animals in our home with stress and anxiety. And every year it seems like the number of days people set off fireworks before and after the holidays themselves continues to grow, despite it being entirely illegal where we live.
Because it was such a rare, twice a year, thing we never did much more to handle this stress within our pets outside of lots of cuddles and a good loud movie night. Then, last year, I was rear ended at a complete stop exiting the freeway and my car was totaled. Nora was inside- properly secured, and experienced no injuries- but she was fairly shaken up by the sheer sound and shock of the impact. Suddenly my happy-go-lucky dog who loved to go for a ride any chance she could get was experiencing immense anxiety and signs of distress when she was forced to be in the car for even a short period of time.

Above is a snapshot I took on my mobile phone as Nora and I set out to visit my father, a 5 mile drive across town, just a few weeks after the accident. It's hard to believe that photo is my Nora. Her rapid panting, ears back, and efforts to climb over the seat and into my lap were all clear signs that she was feeling anxious about her current situation.
Causes and Signs of Anxiety in Dogs: Help treat anxiety naturally with Therabis supplements for dogs #AD
A perfectly happy, well loved, well cared for dog can experience signs of anxiety or stress from time to time. In Nora's case she began associating an event/location with a traumatic event and could no longer control her involuntary reactions to being placed back in a similar situation- despite the lack of actual threat. If your dog regularly responds to a situation with cues such as excessive barking, standing or sitting with one paw raised, ears back, whining or howling, or excessive panting and pacing your dog may be experiencing forms of anxiety or stress.

The first, and most important thing to do is to identify what is going on, and where your dog is, when they are exhibiting these behaviors. In many cases there may be a simple solution of removing the dog from the stressful surroundings, or avoiding the situation. In some cases, such as separation anxiety, social stress, and fear of cars you may be unable to eliminate your dog's behavioral response by sheer avoidance.
#GrabTheLeash with this simple and natural solution to ease anxiety in your dog. #AD
It can be frustrating when you see that your dog is not acting like themselves, and natural for you to want to fix whatever it is that is bothering your pet. The first, and most important thing, aside from identifying what is causing the anxiety, is patience and understanding. You may wish you could solve this with cuddles and a few comforting words but, unfortunately, dogs are conditioned with natural responses to situations, and cannot understand a threat has passed once they have experienced something traumatic enough to trigger a response behavior. The simplest remedy is time, and the rebuilding of safety through trust in similar situations.

Nora, almost a year later, is much better in car rides and no longer breaks out in panting with signs of anxiety when we enter the car. However, there are still memories associated with the originating event in her mind. When our car goes over a pothole, or railroad tracks, it is as though she is experiencing a heightened sense of fear all over again. The painting starts, the ears go back, and she'll nervously attempt to hide. Where short car rides are relatively uneventful, and Nora happily emerges from the car her typical bubbly self, longer car rides can be quite rough on all involved- which is why I recently sought out the Therabis range of natural hemp oil derivative pet products.
Therabis, as a brand, is backed by 25 years of veterinary experience and over 10 years of research and development by founder and veterinarian Dr. Stephen M. Katz. Their hemp-wellness formulas harness the natural benefits of hemp extracted Cannabinoids(CBD) alongside other natural ingredients such as L-theanine (from green tea) and comprehensive vitamin compounds. The CBDs obtained for Therabis pet products are sourced from industrial hemp that has been specifically cultivated to have minimal levels of THC so their natural therapeutic properties can be harnessed without producing any psychoactive effects.

So what are Cannabinoids? They're a naturally occurring chemical compound found in hemp that interacts with your pets endocannabinoid system (the central regulatory system which impacts things such as mood, digestion, and sleep.) Your pet's body naturally produces it's own Cannabinoids which bind the the receptors of this endocannabinoid system, and Therabis should be considered a supplement used to help boost this systems natural impact.
#GrabTheLeash with this simple and natural solution to ease anxiety in your dog. #AD
Therabis features multiple formulations to help ease and supplement your dog's unique set of challenges; Up And Moving (for ease of mobility and joint pain), Stop The Itch (for dogs with hot spots and excessive self grooming), and Calm And Quiet (for dogs who experience stress in situations or settings). After reading many experiences from actual Therabis Calm And Quiet users I was excited to be able to give it a try with Nora and her anxiety towards car rides. Therabis offers 2 formulations for their Calm And Quiet supplement, easy to take fast-acting treats- for on the spot treatment of stressful situations, and a daily Powder sachet intended to be sprinkled on a dog's primary meal each day.
I was hesitant to start Nora with the daily powder supplement because I simply was unsure how she might react, and wondered what the impact would be throughout the day. The treats really appealed to me for an incident by incident bases of stressful car rides. However, I consulted with my Veterinarian and his insight was that an overall daily supplement, intended to help alleviate general stress, might be beneficial to work towards Nora's comfort with car rides in the long run. His theory was that she might naturally regain her confidence in the car if, over time, she continued to experience positive trips in them.
#GrabTheLeash with this simple and natural solution to ease anxiety in your dog. #AD
Nora didn't seem to notice the Therabis Calm And Quiet powder sprinkled on her breakfast as she has eaten every such sprinkled bowl with equal enthusiasm to an everyday meal. Because we have chosen to give Nora Calm And Quiet daily as a supplement to her everyday nutrition I feel the impact of this Therabis supplement has been immediate and dramatic. Jay kept joking that or dog would be 'out of it' and 'a different dog' but the truth is we have both been astonished by the positive change in Nora. She is just as much her usual active, bubbly, self around the house and out for walks- but we have successfully gone for multiple care rides now and she has yet to let out a single pant.
It is such a pleasure to see my dog's ears up in the car. Not only up, but Nora is very engaged and attentive. One might think Calm And Quiet would indicate a dog would be 'out of it' and sleeping all the time. We've found it to be the opposite- Nora is equally alert and, if anything, more discerning of the situation. She seems to more rationally process information and react enthusiastically, but within reason. It's the Nora we know and love, just sharper and wiser- if that makes sense? I am over the moon to see her once again enjoying car rides, and have high expectations of Therabis Calm And Quiet for next year's New Year's Eve.
There are several things that can seem to hold a dog back from being themselves. Sometimes we tend to attribute these things to age, or other circumstances outside our control. Unfortunately we can't sit our pets down and talk them through situations such as stress, itching, or sore joints, so it can be hard to know how to treat them. In most cases we simply want our 'old dog' back- that twinkle in their eyes when you come home, that silly smile as they run back with that fuzzy tennis ball. For a while, when Nora began showing signs of stress in the car we were forced to make the decision to leave her home on trips where she would have previously been our partner in crime. I am so glad to be able to grab the leash once again and get the whole family out and moving.
#GrabTheLeash with this simple and natural solution to ease anxiety in your dog. #AD
When a furry family member is experiencing something that alters the way they greet each day and live their lives that last thing one wants to do is change their dog's behavior further with treatments that can further slow a dog down. When it comes to a conditioned response to stressful stimuli and situations multiple forms of problem solving will benefit your dog on the road to becoming their 'good ol' selves'. Identify the problem and accept your dog's perception of the situation as stressful, limit the amount of time your pet has to put in similar situations until trust and confidence can be properly rebuilt, and seek the help of natural supplements to ease anxiety and allow your dog to embrace their everyday lifestyle once again. Learn more about Cannabinoids, and purchase Therabis pet supplement products online at Do you have, or have you aver had, a pet who experienced anxiety during certain events? How did you handle it?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Therabis™. The opinions and text are all mine.

Tall, Dark, and VEGAN Nib Brownies Recipe

These Tall, Dark, and VEGAN Nib Brownies are dense and full of rich authentic chocolate flavor with the satisfying crunch of nutty cacao nibs. And that beautiful dark color? It's complimented by a texture that is a fine line between chewy and gooey!

Momma Told Me: Like a tall cup of coffee.

If you've ever heard the flirty phrase, "Tall, Dark, and Strong" in reference to coffee and men, then you'll know exactly where I'm going with today's recipe. Chocolate, much like coffee, actually has a lot in common. In fact, there are many cultures where cacao beans have long been roasted and served as beverages at times of festival and to guests of great honor. And Cacao Nibs, the coffee bean of chocolate is are widely regarded as nature's chocolate chip.

Nibs, dried and fermented cacao beans are rich in bitter cacao flavor and have a wonderful nutty crunch that is extremely addictive to an elevated palette. You can't call yourself a true chocolate lover without having tried Cacao Nibs at some point.
For baking, sweet nibs are sold lightly coated in coconut sugar. For snacking you'll find some of the world's more exclusive bean-to-bar chocolate bars with nibs nestled inside, or simply chocolate coated nibs. And, if you're simply a fan of raw chocolate, you can enjoy whole cacao beans sourced from the rarest single origin growers, sold in the pod, as fresh as the flavor experience gets.

But Cacao Nibs aren't for everyone. They truly have a much more Earthy, 'raw cocoa' flavor that is quite reminiscent of coffee with nutty notes and textures. They're playful crunch and snap makes them a wonderful addition to any recipe when seeking texture.Since they are typically bitter you will often want to use a Sweet Nib product when baking, or consider replacing nuts in a recipe for plain raw nibs. Personally, I enjoy sprinkling sweetened nibs directly onto a scoop of Vanilla Bean ice cream!
These Tall, Dark, and VEGAN Nib Brownies are dense and full of rich authentic chocolate flavor with the satisfying crunch of nutty cacao nibs. And that beautiful dark color? It's complimented by a texture that is a fine line between chewy and gooey!
Of course Nibs are the heart of chocolate, their origin, so I've chosen to share a delicious Vegan brownie recipe that is perhaps more indulgent, and more brownie, than any non Vegan recipe I've ever tried. Don't worry, if you're not Vegan, there are no expensive or fancy replacement ingredients outside of the Nibs and a high quality Cocoa Powder. The more you invest in your Cacao ingredients on this one the richer the flavor experience will be. These are NOT intended to be your typical Hershey's brownies.
These Tall, Dark, and VEGAN Nib Brownies are dense and full of rich authentic chocolate flavor with the satisfying crunch of nutty cacao nibs. And that beautiful dark color? It's complimented by a texture that is a fine line between chewy and gooey!
Expect these brownie to be dense, but not gooey or sticky. The photos showcase the wonderful texture of these brownies beautifully but I promise they are not under-cooked, or even messy to enjoy. There's even a bit of chew to compliment the crunch of the nibs- like a great brownie should have. And the color? Well, that's all cacao baby. Best of all, because of the high focus on traditional flavors, instead of sweetened or processed ingredients, these brownies aren't over-indulgent by any means. You will want to enjoy them with a tall glass of Coconut Milk, but your palette won't be feeling weighed down by the shock of sickly sweet. Just take my word- these are definitely worth the try!

What Daughter Says: True chocolate flavor is intense, rich, and full of origin flavors. Nibs are the flavor chocolate is steeped in.

These Tall, Dark, and VEGAN Nib Brownies are dense and full of rich authentic chocolate flavor with the satisfying crunch of nutty cacao nibs. And that beautiful dark color? It's complimented by a texture that is a fine line between chewy and gooey!
Tall, Dark, and VEGAN Nib Brownies
****Click here for the printable Vegan Nib Brownies recipe

Make Car Buying Simple: Shop From Pretty Much Anywhere
Last week my newest car's odometer ticked past the 75k milestone. I simply cannot believe how the time, or miles, have flown by! This really got me thinking about my previous car buying experience, and how stressful the process had been. Unfortunately, due to an accident where I was in no way at fault, my car buying journey was entirely unplanned, and I was in no way prepared for it. To complicate the usual barriers in car shopping (haggling, deciding on make and model, financing, etc) I had an additional hurdle to climb; I had no car to shop for my new car in- as my previous car was totaled. This meant I was often left making blind phone calls and stopping into random dealers whenever I was lucky enough to bum a ride. I felt completely 'thrown to the wolves' and entirely in the dark the entire way.

Regardless of your unique situation the process of car buying, certainly car shopping, should be fun and transparent. Purchasing a new car is a big decision, which causes stress in itself- and, for most people, it's a long term decision that will impact their lives every single day. I often describe my own car as my 'rolling sanctuary' or 'home away from home' because I spent so much time in it, and I rely on it to get me to most of life's worthwhile events. It's our family's gateway to new adventures, reconnecting with family, and opportunities yet to be discovered. It's hard to believe there was a time during my most recent car buying journey I actually found myself in tears talking about giving up on the process all together. That's no way to feel when shopping for a new car!
Thankfully there's a new platform for online car shopping that launched this week, PushAuto. I had a chance to play around with it this week and I've actually started dreaming of CAR #2 as a result. Yea, it's good enough to turn my thoughts around, and make car buying fun again. Best of all, PushAuto is entirely FREE to use and can be used on any device with an active internet connection- no app download necessary. I will note, however, that you will want to sign up for an account (don't worry it's painless and quick) to unlock the more in depth services of this unique online car buying aide.
Personally, I prefer the mobile interface for PushAuto- the simpler things are, the more I find myself drawn to tinkering with them. The mobile interface for PushAuto easily guides you from step 1-4 of their simplified car buying experience. Use PushAuto to browse better prices and rates between multiple dealers and lenders with the push of a single button. Not sure if the prices are fair or competitive? You'll have access to the prices paid by others for the same car, and even an estimate for annual cost of ownership. There are no hidden surprises- and no ambiguous prices. You'll cut the haggling process out with real lowest price offers, and often get a response from dealers or lenders in 24 hours.
Of course there are a lot of ways to shop for cars online- I feel like I've tried them all. One of the things I especially love about the PushAuto interface is how easy it is to find not just a make and model, but a car that has exactly what I need. If I'm shopping with a budget in mind there are many options within the vehicles I'm considering to fit my unique needs, since PuchAuto is working with so many local lenders and dealers near me.

A lot of time, when I was shopping by myself for a car last year, I'd see dealers would have their own financing options but I could not get an ideal of my approval value, or apply, without going directly to the dealer itself. This wasn't very practical since I didn't have a car to go out to multiple dealers- With PushAuto I can browse and shop for a new car from anywhere, while I apply for lending options. This truly helps summarize the car buying experience into one neat time-saving package.
In about an hour of playing around, poolside, with PushAuto I'd found several makes and models I'd been desperately looking for on my previous car buying hunt. I was put in touch with several local dealers, and even provided a picture of my financing options- which would really cut down on time spent signing papers later. Car buying may not be a flash decision choice, but PushAuto definitely helps me process my options much clearer so I can spend more time deciding between a handful of cars that would be great for me, rather than sorting through lot after lot of question marks.
It can feel your life is on hold when you don't have a vehicle, or are in need of a more reliable vehicle- but car buying should be simple and fun. There are enough main events in life to plan and look forward towards without having to turn the process of car buying into one. What's that phrase Momma always told me? Oh, yeah, "Time is money"- but, more importantly, my free time should be spent living life to the fullest and having fun. I've got too many places to see and things to do to let car buying drag me down!
I feel like I've bought more than my share of vehicles for the 30 something years I've been alive so far- really, so many I consider myself an expert. Choosing the right make and model car for you can seem like a daunting task- once you've finally found the car that works for you don't let finding the right financing and actually locating the car pull you down. Enjoy the simple way to shop for cars with the new PushAuto online car buying platform. And since it's brand spanking new to the U.S. you'll be one of the first of your friends and family to know all about this little car buying secret, too! Now, tell me, car buying- love it, or hate it? What part of the car buying process do you wish was easier?