Helping Your Dog Cope with Fireworks

The 4th of July is quintessential Americana with backyard BBQs, flip-flops, and spectacular fireworks show. I love to participate in the festivities, but my dog? Not so much. Fireworks were a four-letter word in our household, and while everyone else was enjoying a warm summer evening watching the night sky come alive with sparkles… my girl was camped out in the bathtub praying for daylight. Independence Day? It was more like Co-dependence day. Over the years, I found ways to get both of us through the holiday that I hope you’ll find helpful as well.

Reassurance and coddling are instinctual when it comes to curbing fear, and anxiety. I learned that the more I paid attention, the more clingy, and frantic she became. I started ignoring the behavior and would act casually like it was no big deal. The result? She wasn’t cured by any means, but I noticed rather than coming to me, she would find her own comfort zone to ride out the storm whether it was the tub, her crate, etc.

Herbal supplements such as Valerian Root, or Bach’s Rescue Remedy are good over the counter remedies for mild cases of anxiety. Severe stress may require treatment with a sedative, but should always be discussed with your veterinarian to ensure the proper dosage. It’s a good idea to make an appointment prior to the holiday to discuss the best options for managing a meltdown. I found rubbing a bit of lavender essential oil onto her ears, and paws had a soothing effect, and it worked well for her mom too!

Stuff hollow toys with peanut butter or cheese for a tasty distraction, or engage your dog in an indoor game of fetch or impromptu training session. If your dog is reluctant to participate don’t force them, as this can cause more anxiety.

Please don’t leave your pets outdoors unattended where they may escape. Animal shelters take in many lost dogs this time of year, so make sure they are properly licensed with ID tags, and keep them safe inside.

To you, and your fur kids, I wish you a happy, and safe 4th!

Experience the Wonder of Mount Rushmore

The awe-inspiring view of our founding fathers masterfully carved in granite and watching over the nearly three million visitors who pay their respects each year is nothing short of breathtaking. Fourteen years in the making, Mount Rushmore is easily one of the world’s greatest wonders and a magnificent reminder of the great leaders that led us to freedom so long ago. Surrounded by Black Hills National Forest in Keystone, South Dakota this national treasure is an unforgettable sightseeing destination.

Mount Rushmore’s creator Doane Robinson had the vision to display our nation’s presidents in such a way that immortalized their memories forever. From George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson, to Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln, these were the iconic figures who ushered our country through some of our most turbulent moments in history from the Revolutionary War, to authoring the Declaration of Independence. American sculptor Gutzon Borglum was the artist responsible for creating this masterpiece and worked tirelessly on the project until his death in 1941. Gazing up at these great faces of history, and imagining the skill, and man power required to carve through the solid stone mountainside will leave you with a feeling of wonderment.

Home Designs That Don’t Show Their Age

Sometimes blending in with the crowd is a good thing, and when it comes to 55+ living, today’s home designs have changed the way buyers view “retirement” communities. While 55+ communities do provide aging with grace home features, they’re designed in such a seamless, and modern way that they just become part of the home, rather than a glaring reminder of getting older. A major factor when marketing to active adult homebuyers is providing the accommodations, and technology they may need down the road while offering ageless functionality.

The advantage to choosing an active lifestyle community versus embarking on a future renovation product is the builder has already done the homework. They know what boomers and retirees need now, and in the years ahead incorporating these features into the home’s framework. Outside of the cost saving aspect of purchasing a home already equipped with everything the homeowner needs, many communities also provide exterior maintenance services allowing for a carefree lifestyle without labor intensive yard-work.

The Health Trend You Won’t Find In a Bottle

An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but could the key to good health be where you live? Feeling your best in everything you do extends beyond the hours you’re putting in at the gym. Longevity and vitality is a lifestyle rather than a health fad, and while juice cleanses, and superfoods are fabulous, experiencing mind-body health is one that 55+ communities have made their core focus. Anyone who’s researched this neighborhood turned “wellness retreats” has probably noticed a common thread of buzzwords like active, socially engaged, and connected. From the simplistic to the most opulent communities, most would agree that retirement isn’t being done sitting down.

Time, and time again, studies have proven the healing benefits of healthy social relationships, and how they improve everything from cardiovascular health to depression. Active adult communities are specifically designed to bring neighbors together through social clubs, events, and competitive games. The peer community atmosphere is ideal for singles to meet new people, and reduce feelings of loneliness. One resident said that since her move, life had become more socially enhanced, and she even became a cookie delivering member of the welcoming committee. These communities foster a no-pressure approach to getting out there by offering activities to suit any lifestyle.

Dive Into This Total Body Workout

Ever notice that swimming pools seem to always be on the menu of community amenities? You’ll find resort style pools with cabanas, Olympic-style pools, and heated indoor versions all designed to relax, refresh, and give you a great workout! Active adults will be glad to know there’s no need to hit the ground running to build muscle, burn calories, and squeeze in the recommended 150 minutes of weekly cardio activity. Swimming not only gets the heart pumping but also provides older adults a joint friendly, low-impact way to lose weight.

According to Active.com, 30 minutes of consistent swimming equates to 45 minutes of regular exercise with water resistance providing an additional challenge. Orthopedic physicians routinely prescribe aquatic therapy for everything from back pain to joint injuries touting the protective benefits that water has on joint mobility. At Texas Orthopedic Hospital, pool therapy is noted to reduce swelling, help with balance, and improve strength, and flexibility. 55+ communities have caught onto the healing benefits of water exercise with many offering on-site classes designed to help active adults of all fitness levels feel energized, and move with more freedom. Kings Point Suncoast Communities in Florida provide residents with invigorating water workout classes geared towards improving range of motion both gently, and effectively.

Home on the Great Plains

“Home is where your heart is,” and as many would agree, the place that defines home is in America’s Heartland. Over the years, Nebraska’s capital city of Lincoln has seen an extraordinary amount of economic growth, and urban development but what folks love most about this town, is no matter how many corporate giants set up shop, it’s never strayed from being an approachable, mid-west town that tugs at the heartstrings. With its vast open skies, and rolling farmland, Lincoln tends to take a backseat to powerhouse retirement havens like California, and Florida, but what it lacks in coastal glamour, it makes up for in rich heritage, a highly educated population, and also happens to be a Forbes best cities to retire contender.

Why Boomers Are Getting On Par With Disc Golf

Why Boomers Are Getting On Par With Disc Golf

What has all the nuances of golf, plays without clubs, and has everyone getting in on the competition? What looks like your average game of frisbee is actually one of the fastest-growing sports in the U.S and in Europe. If you’ve never heard of disc golf, you’ll be wanting to sign up for this new spin on the classic game. It might seem like a sport popularized by millennials who thought they were too cool for ball golf, but since the first disc course came to Pasadena, California in 1975, this all-age sport has taken tee time to a championship level.

Disc Golf 101- Like standard golf, you have your fairway, your tee pad, and if you’re lucky you’ll score a birdie, but with disc golf, the lingo is more or less the same, but the game takes a different twist. Instead of a ball, and a hole, you have a disc, and a basket, and rather than a manicured putting green, disc golf courses can be in a park, or even a (very large) backyard. As with a typical round of golf, the object is to get the disc in the basket in the fewest number of throws, and the person with the lowest score is declared the winner. In place of a ball and club, you’ll use three discs, the driver (for the greatest speed and distance), the mid-range (recommended for beginners), and the putter for short-distance shots. As an added bonus, it doesn’t take all day to play an 18 hole game!

3 Metro Hotspots For Active Living

When it comes to venturing into empty nest land or launching into retirement, the last thing the baby boomer generation has on the agenda is sitting around watching Jeopardy. This new-found freedom opens up new, and exciting opportunities particularly when it comes to deciding where to retire. According to an article by Builder, boomers are in the market for the same homes millennials are setting their sights on, and choosing hip locations from college towns, to downtown city centers. Whether it’s to be near family or begin a new career, more, and more active adults are migrating from the lull of suburban living to be near the action.

Portland, Oregon aka; the City of Roses, is diverse, culturally rich, and one of the nation’s top destinations for cyclists, and getting around on foot. Boomers make up a large part of the city’s population and for good reason. Portland is an age-friendly city with an energetic vibe, a vibrant art scene, and a health-conscious mentality from top-rated medical facilities, weekly growers markets, to the extensive infrastructure of walking, hiking, and bike trails. Exploring the city is effortless, with most neighborhoods conveniently located within walking distance of a highly efficient public transit system.