Monday Musings ~ January 30, 2023

It’s Monday so that means it’s time to start out the week with a smile. Stay warm; we plan to huddle up together a lot today (it’s -3ºF /-19.44ºC at publication time).

Monday Smile

Hopefully your hindsight is crisp and clear for a pawsome Monday.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ January 27, 2023

Greetings and welcome to Day 97 of Winter, Norman here. Before I share some of the sights around our Ranch, I wanted…{Elsa yelling from the other room} “Don’t forget, it was my idea!!”

Norman: Ahem…As I was about to say, before sharing what Nature has looked liked around the Ranch, I wanted to express my deepest gratitude to all the wonderful Gotcha Day wishes from all the readers. You made my day extra special and I appreciate it tremendously.

Norman: {continuing} Now, let’s get to the sharing part of this week’s episode of Nature Friday, shall we? As always, we’re joining the LLB Gang.

Elsa: Yeah, get on with it, Bucko. I got things to do to get ready for the weekend.

Norman: Oh dear, I’m afraid this might be harder than I had hoped with all these interruptions.

Elsa: You want interruptions…don’t get me started, pal. Why I oughta…

Norman: No need to get hostile, Ninja. As I mentioned earlier it seems like Winter has been around forever. After those hyacinths raised their heads up a tad recently (in case you missed it, click here), I was ever so hopeful we would be moving toward more temperate climes. Alas, that is not the case. All those “atmospheric rivers” plaguing the West Coast continue to move west and leave piles of the dreaded white stuff.

Elsa: What do you mean, dreaded? This stuff tastes great.

Elsa

Norman: {Rolling his eyes} Oh for bloody sake…do I get to do this post or don’t I?

Elsa:  Sheesh, lighten up, ya pile of fur!

Norman:  So sorry, I don’t mean to sound so harsh. My bad. I just want to be able to deliver my post uninterrupted. {Clearing his throat…continues}. Well as you can see by Elsa’s pose, it snowed…again. I think that was maybe Day 92 of Winter. At any rate, our landscape remains monochromed. Not totally brown anymore but more like 99.99% white.

Snow scene

Elsa: Ooh, ooh {breathlessly interrupting}…did I tell you I saw some brown yesterday? I took a whiff of the afternoon breeze and caught the scent of bunny. Or maybe it was squirrel, I don’t know. Either way…something had definitely marched through my front garden and I had to check it out since I am the protector of the Ranch.

Snow & shadows

Norman: Ok, moving right along. You know that one downspout that tends to ice up the sidewalk and causes problems when we turn the corner heading back to the dog run? I noticed even you wiped out and your fleet feet are pretty stable.

Elsa: Yeah…once I recovered and got up on all my paws and looked around like “what the dog was that all about!”

Norman: Don’t feel badly. I biffed it there as well. Mum was quite concerned. Seniors like me don’t do well when we fall. She helped me up and slowly guided me so I wouldn’t fall again on the icy sidewalk. I mean, I had patients and staff to visit and being hurt wasn’t on the agenda that morning.

Elsa: I noticed she tried to remediate the situation by spreading some cat litter and it turned into a lovely, squishy, grey goop during the bit of melting that occurred between storms.

Norman: Don’t remind me. It was a bloody mess. Turns out cat litter is not much of a substitute for sand so she cleaned it up as best as she could and then picked some sand up last night in anticipation of the next round of weather expected to move into the area this weekend. She went on a walkabout yesterday afternoon and raved about a cholla cactus she saw. She said it was completely sparkly from its spines to the small icy chunks of snow on it. I looked at her picture and felt badly for her-seems as if winter has clearly pushed her over the edge. All I saw was something poking through the snow with sharp spines. It was hard to see where the spines ended and the clumps of ice began.

Cactus

Norman: {Shivering} Some of you have admitted you haven’t taken down your Christmas decorations. Well fear not, you’re not alone. When it snowed the other day, Mum was going on and on about this house on her walk. Mum’s…the littlest things seem to amuse them, I just don’t get it. No tree, no decorations, no presents left at our house and she gets giddy about this fenceline.

Christmas decorations

Elsa: She was just captivated by the snow on the ribbon, that’s all. It’s just a human shortcoming to like stuff like that.

Norman: Well I don’t get it. Course I’m more focused on the flakes that keep making appearances and those slippery walkways.

Snowy scene

Norman: There are much better ways to deal with this weather pattern during all these endless days of Winter. For instance, having a good time with a fun toy. And if I can’t play with a toy inside where I’m warm, I enjoy making friends with a policeman and a couple of EMT’s  from Lakewood, CO. They were at the Emergency Department when I visited and they just couldn’t get enough of me. I did rather enjoy that.

Norman

ELMC

Elsa: {clearing her throat} Well your pet therapy work is nice and all, but can I just remind you that it really isn’t “Nature-centric?”

Norman: Perhaps not, but how could I resist such a swell group of chaps on my Gotcha Day?

Elsa: Oh jeez. You are shameless, you know that, right?

Norman: I beg your pardon. I’m just trying to show everyone there’s more to life than just drab brown or crystal white in life. That’s all.

Elsa: W.h.a.t.e.v.e.r…let’s wrap it up, big guy.

Norman: Roger, dear sister. We both hope you have a pawsome weekend and are able to get outside and enjoy some of Nature.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Happy Gotcha Day Monday

NormanWell…here’s a change of pace for you. Elsa here. It’s a Monday (FYI, that’s not the change, that comes whether we like it or not) but instead of a Monday Musings post, I’m here to tell you today is that big oaf Norman’s Gotcha Day. Three years ago as COVID was still kind of hiding in the background, and my pogo-stick of a brother Sam was still the Concierge of the Ranch, Mom brought home this enormous pile of fur. A huge new brother that turned us Knuckleheads into a terrific trio. Sadly it would only be for a short time since our precious brother Sam decided that Mom was left in Norman’s capable paws. Happy Gotcha day, dude. I may be a pill to you at times, but you’ve turned into a pretty special boy and I am glad that you enjoy the limelight since it allows me to continue refining my Ninja skills in the background without a lot of front stage scrutiny.. Us Ninja’s like being in the shadows.

From your first car ride, it was clear you were going to be a nice addition. So doggone polite, sheesh. Is that because you’re a British breed? Us poodles might learn a thing or two about getting along with everyone from you. Then again…why should we have to?

Norman

I will say, you were a fast learner which helped me out because that meant I didn’t have to teach you how to, for instance, walk nicely on a leash.

Ranch Hands

Mom was a bit surprised though by one of your traits as she specifically had asked the foster if you got up on the furniture. He said and I quote, “Never!” Erm…so ten minutes after you arrived…how do you explain this?

Norman

But no matter, that’s one of Mom’s favorite pics of you and whenever she sees you hogging up on the sofa, she laughs out loud. Thanks for making my Mom smile, big guy.

Right away Mom thought you’d be a welcome addition to the pet therapy program at Lutheran and that you’d manage to fill Sam’s paws quite nicely as soon as the hospital reopened and she was right. Too bad that just as you began the approval process, the hospital shut down for the next 18 months. But eventually they reopened (better late than never, right). But she had no clue how much the nurses and staff would be filled with joy whenever you make hospital rounds. They frequently shower you with treats, toys as well as loads of attention. So sorry you have to work on your Bark Day but I’m sure they’ll make it worth your while this week.

Pet Therapy

You continue to charm Mom by letting her dress you up (and ridiculously I might add…but hey, whatever floats your boat). Sure glad somebody enjoys it…count me out!

Norman

Dogtor Norman

Norman

You’ve been a great sport every since you lumbered into the Ranch.

Norman

And for all that and so much more, you deserve a pawsome Gotcha Day. Happy Barkday, fuzzball.

NormanLive, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ January 20, 2022

Setting the stage…{Classical music playing from the Bugs Bunny cartoons playing in the background}

Norman: {stretching} Wha…erm…what day is it?

Elsa: {y-a-w-n} Huh? Oh, you woke me up from a great dream to ask what day it is?

Norman: No, I just woke up and was a bit disoriented-mostly I was just thinking out loud. Well…do you know what day it is?

Elsa: Of course I know what day it is…it’s Sleep in Friday…that’s what day it is!

Norman: {eyes rolling} Oh sister…I think it’s actually Nature Friday, where we join the cute pups from Adventures of the LLB Gang in celebrating the wonderful moments in Nature.

Nature Friday

Elsa: Whatev. I still would love to go back to bed and resume dreaming but I know you never can pick up where you left off. So…whaddu got from Nature this week?

Norman: Well, dear sister…it was as Mum puts it…another yoyo week. We started out in the season of mud with a spot of Spring and then…well you know how it turned out.

Elsa: Oh yeah, I remember now {still yawning and stretching}. The dog run was a bit of a mess wasn’t it? Mom went crazy trying to keep our paws clean. Boy, she gets really wound up about muddy paw prints, doesn’t she?

Paw prints

Norman: Tell me about it…She grabbed me as soon as we came back inside with a chamois and began wiping me down. Ugh.

Elsa: Yeah, she nailed me too. Why are moms such clean freaks?

Norman: No clue. But the beginning of the week when she wasn’t zero-ing on my paw prints, she was squealing about something in the front garden.

Elsa: So that’s what she was doing. I heard her and when I looked at what she was checking out, I did the double, dog blink, rolled my eyes and walked back inside to steal one of your toys play with one of the new Christmas toys.

Norman: Mum told me she’s never seen anything like that in January. I had to look closely. Those little things were pretty small but I guess that shock of green really got her gardening juices flowing.

Hyacinths

Elsa: What the…what are those things anyway?

Norman:  I think she squealed they were Hyacinths. She shooed me away saying they were dangerous to us dogs.

Elsa: Yeah, like we’d ever chew on anything like that?

Norman: Ha, ha, ha…good one, Elsa. I may only have been here 3 years but Angel Sam told me stories about all the weird things you’ve eaten.

Elsa: Yeah, yeah…doggone blabbermouth…ugh. Back on point, brother…what else do you have about “Nature” this week?

Norman: Well, Ninja…a couple of days after Mum was crowing about those teeny, tiny little hyacinths growing, this happened .

Winter

Elsa: Yeah, more snow. Makes you wonder how those Hyacinths are doing now, doesn’t it? Back to winter temps and snow. But isn’t January the driest month in Denver? We’ve received the most snow this January in 30 years. What the dog?!

Norman: Tell me about it. You know how I feel about snow. I keep wondering what I’ve done to deserve all this white stuff?

Winter

Elsa: Guess Nature exacts a heavy toll on oaf brothers.

Snow on trees

Norman:  Well, that was kind of rude.

Snow on trees

Elsa: Hey, I don’t write the rules…they just…are. I only report them.

Icicle

Norman: It was sort of pretty, I guess. I’m glad Mum didn’t take me for a walk in it though. You know, I’ve got my aging joints to worry about.

Elsa: You’d come up with any kind of excuse to not have to go out in that weather. I, on the other hand, happily bounce outside. Snow doesn’t bother me, in fact, I love it.

Norman: There’s just no accounting for taste, is there?

Winter snow

Elsa: Wheeeeee! Bouncing through all that snow is what us Standards love to do.

Norman:  That’s not what Sam told me.

Elsa: Hey…he bounced with me on numerous occasions!

Norman: That may well be, but I think he’d prefer snuggling in Mum’s lap over shushing through drifts of snow. No matter how pretty it is.Snugglers

Elsa: You gotta admit, it sure makes for some comfy snoozing. Mom can go out walking and finding dripping icicles all she wants. Heck, I didn’t even mind sharing her lap with the likes of you.

Little icicles

Norman: You’re right, I’m right there with you little sister.

Elsa: Well that looks like that’s all from us this week. Mom did want me to tell everyone how much she appreciated all the kind thoughts and comments on whether she should continue to blog in the future. She was truly touched by everyone and that was the main reason she let us pen this week’s post in Nature Friday. Hopefully she’ll let us do more, I mean…after all, she’s a got a resident award-winning correspondent right in her house. I mean, how does it get any better than that?

Norman: {eyes rolling again} Yes, Ninja. She’s very lucky having us. Let’s wish everyone a great weekend. I personally hope everyone stays warm but fancies about in whatever Nature’s dishes out. I know Mum will. I just hope she lets me do what I do best (next to loving her).  Oh, and we want to wish everyone 新年快乐 (xīnnián kuàilè) a very Happy Chinese New Year.

Snoozing Norman

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ January 13, 2022

Welcome to the Friday the 13th edition of Nature Friday where we join our hosts over at Adventures of the LLB Gang for their weekly blog hop.

ElsaHey everyone, it’s me, Elsa, your world renown blog correspondent and gorgeous Ninja dog model, sharing some sights from around our neighborhood this week. But first, do you consider yourself superstitious when it comes to Friday the 13th?

As you may know, Friday the 13th happens when the 13th day of the month of the Gregorian calendar falls on a Friday, and that can happen at least once a year but can occur up to three times in a year. This year will have two-today and again this October, which both me and that oaf of a brother of mine think that month is spooky enough without a Friday the 13th on top of it. I dug around to find out more about the background surrounding Friday the 13th.

According to folklore, the number “13” is considered unlucky. Based on a Norse myth, 12 gods met for a dinner party in Valhalla. That mischief maker, Loki, who had not been invited, arrived as the 13th guest, and arranged for Höðr to shoot Balder with a mistletoe-tipped arrow. After Balder died, Earth became dark, and mourned and the day was thought to be a bad, unlucky day. Norse mythology believed the number 13 to be unlucky and both Fridays and the number 13 are considered unlucky in Western superisition.

But we’re not here to talk about superstitious days, we’re here to see what Nature looked like around our ‘Hood this week. It’s been fairly chilly this week but Mom met up with a friend and they strolled over to her favorite place, Sloan’s Lake for a nice walk around the lake.

Sloan's Lake

The lake was pretty solidly frozen and looking west you could see the beautiful, snow-capped Longs Peak, the 14,259-foot mountain located near Estes Park off in the distance. Did you know Longs Peak is the tallest point in both Boulder County as well as Rocky Mountain National Park?

Sloan's Lake

Looking east,. you can see the Denver skyline as well as critter tracks. I think the Canadian Geese were looking for potential breaks in the ice so they could paddle about in the water. The very thought that any living creature would actually want to get into the lake on a cold day seems insane to me. Heck I don’t like to get wet on warm days {shudder}.

As Mom and her friend rounded the lake, they noticed the boat ramp had partially collapsed in the frozen water. Mom didn’t know what happened, but figures once the ice melts, the city will be out to reset the pylons for the many boaters and paddle boarders that use the lake.

Sloan's Lake

Well that’s it for me this week. Mom is still trying to decide if she’ll continue blogging so I’m not sure when or if I’ll be back. She said she’s lost her mojo but I think she just needs a break. I’m always up for blogging and even Norman would happily pitch in. Maybe we should just stage a mutiny and take the whole thing over. What do you think?

We hope you can safely get out there to enjoy all the wondrous sights of Nature and don’t forget to check out what others shared at the link above. Have a great weekend and don’t walk under any ladders.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ December 30, 2022

It may be the last Friday of 2022, and even though we haven’t posted much lately, we could not let this week’s Nature sights not be shared. As always, we’re joining our pals from the LLB Gang.

We hope you had a lovely Christmas celebration. Returning home, I noticed what might have been a few bargain hunters lining up early at a local WalMart probably waiting to make returns.

Birds

Once back at home, Norman did his last visits for 2022. The big guy was quite grateful that the days he visited early in the week coincided with the top end of the extremes we encountered. This graphic taken from last night’s weather showing the high and low temps. Understand this turn-around happened in a mere 24-hour period. We’re still recovering from the whiplash.

Weather

Once again I headed down south to spend the Christmas holiday weekend with my Dad and other family members. It’s always a good excuse for all the good cooks in the family to showcase their skills. From brisket to lasagne and everything in between, we had quite the feast.

Christmas Dinner

The sunrises this past week have been beyond incredible. Rising early to catch up on computer work before the others rose, I was blown away by the vibrant colors shining in the living room. Adjectives seem totally inadequate to describe them.

Sunrise Sunrise

Then yesterday Winter tapped me on the shoulder and said thanks for holding my beer and promptly dumped over 8 inches of very wet, white stuff. It was more like a Spring storm than one that is typical right now. There were lots of fallen branches around town though my street was luckily unscathed.

Snowstorm

It also took hours to plow the sidewalks. While this time of year often becomes reflective on all that’s happened throughout, the top question of my introspection continues to be: “remind me again why I bought a house on an oversized corner lot?”

Despite several hours of shoveling, it was a beautiful sight. Not sure if it was beautiful enough to warrant a repeat performance but the weather folks cautioned residents to not put the snow shovel away just yet. A fresh storm is forecasted to welcome the New Year.

Snow

While I’ve often shared how Norman isn’t a fan of cold or snow, no one can say this boy doesn’t know how to effectively deal with it…as in stay inside no matter what. Elsa may go bouncing outside in deep swirling snowflakes like a loon, Norman is more low keyed and prefers the warmth of the sofa. With blankets.

Norman

That’s it from us for 2022. We want to wish you all a safe and very Happy 2023. Stay warm, hug your loved ones and don’t forget to enjoy the amazing beauty Nature provides.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ December 16, 2022

With just nine sleeps until Santa Paws arrives, we’ve been busy trying to get ready for the big day but not so busy we couldn’t find at least a couple of pics for this week’s edition of Nature Friday. As always, we thank those furry pals over at LLB Gang for hosting the blog hop.

Winter officially arrives next week but it seems to have already arrived here in the 303. Not in the form of any white stuff, mind you. This week’s forecasted Snowmageddon completely fizzled with only six tiny flakes falling. Temperatures however did fall and the dogs’ daily walks have been limited to quick trips in the dog run in order to preserve achy joints. Luckily those trips coincided with some winter beauty.

Red sky

The old saw says ‘red skies in morning, sailor take warning’ so this early morning scene left me hopeful that we’d receive some white stuff later in the day, but it was not to be.

Red skies

Apparently that other part of that old saw, “red skies at night, sailor’s delight” prevailed. Not sure if sailor’s would want to be  sailing in the low temps, but it certainly seemed to apply on the prediction of a storm. Cloudy, cold and windy are the watch words controlling weather conditions for the foreseeable future.

Cold temps mean both dogs are getting cabin fever. With Christmas preparations in high gear and little opportunity for the releasing of any pent up energy physically, that means boredom. I’ve had to rescue more than a few items from the jaws of death. Hopefully Christmas preparations will be wrapped up this weekend so I can concentrate on stemming any excess energy mischief this next week. Fingers crossed.

Well that’s it for us. Sorry for the lack of images this week. Hopefully we’ll do better next time when things calm down.

So what plans do you have this last full weekend before the big day? Whatever you do, I hope you’ll have the opportunity to see some slices of nature in between. Have a ‘wagnificent’ weekend.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ December 12, 2022

It’s a two-fer today for smiles. We figured everyone could use a double chuckle, I know I needed it after yesterday’s holiday preparations. Nothing like trying to get a bunch of baking done and a full berry smoothie gets knocked over spraying the entire kitchen with reddish blue goop everywhere. I’m still finding splooges on surfaces. Sigh.

So…are your stockings hung and the tree all trimmed? Have you finished making your cookies for Santa?

Smiles

I always wondered if Santa conformed to social norms or if he did his own thing?

In an age where more and more vehicles are heading toward being electrical, this one seemed pretty in line with current trends. Snorf.

Smiles

We hope you have a super-duper, two-fer Monday. Yikes…just realized there are only thirteen days until the big day. We tried to finish up and complete the shopping over the weekend since a large storm is expected to arrive tonight and I am not a fan of being on icy streets with all the crazy drivers around here. They’re bad enough on dry streets, add snow and ice…well…no thank you. We’ll see if the hype matches the reality on the weather forecast. Happy Monday.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ December 9, 2022

Well, well, well…it’s Friday and you know what that means-it’s time for us to join our pals over at Adventures of the LLB Gang for their weekly Nature Friday blog hop.

Greetings, fellow Nature Lovers, ’tis I, Norman bringing you a few scenes from around our urban ‘Hood. Mum has been busy trying to catch up reading all your blogs while working at  holiday preparations like decorating (I do say, I’m rather embarrassed at her pitiful attempt and not convinced at all it should even be considered decorating but we’ll let her have that mantle if that makes her happy). She did put up a teensy little tree on the table and other than showcasing the special ornaments for me and my sister, you gotta admit it’s pretty dismal when it comes to Christmas decorations. I’ll give her credit-she’s been busy trying to catch up from being sick. But I hope she doesn’t tell anyone she’s decorated the house. Just say you’ve been busy, Mum and leave it at that, okay?

Christmas tree

Notice the little sock monkey she recently ordered for us me. Umm, I’m afraid I was so excited at playing with the little guy I ‘might’ have poked out a spot next to one eye. Mum said she’s transferring him to the toy hospital for repairs but she said because the hospital is full of other toys and sewing projects it may be awhile before I actually get to enjoy him again. {Sigh.} Fortunately there are enough other toys I can play with until monkey-boy is well enough to play with us me.

Christmas Ornament

Notice the handmade ornament made by Mum’s friend with my name on it. She is an artist and hand painted it just for me-isn’t it adorable! Mum dug out the felted poodle ornament so the Ninja would be represented on the tree as well. It’s kind of hard to see, just like her. Black dogs pose all sorts of visibility issues for human eyes. Sigh. It reminded Mum she’s going have to spiff Elsa up so she doesn’t look so much like a furry Muppet. I think she needs a bath in the worst way but she said she’s trying to dissuade Mum about that. It’s bad enough losing one’s furs let alone having to deal with water torture on top of that.

Christmas Poodle

Mum’s Christmas cactus seems to display more holiday spirit than Mum, bursting into full bloom even before Thanksgiving. The color is so welcome on these drab days heading toward winter.

Christmas Cactus

One of the first walks Mum was able to make after recovering from COVID was to a favorite neighborhood spot, Sloan’s Lake. It was a chilly day, there was a thin layer of ice on the water and even the normally sure-footed Canadian Geese were slip-siding around. Mum said they looked a bit like her hockey team who is struggling with gobs of injuries. Although it’s technically a color pic, it looks more black/white with shades of grey. That’s the way things look like this time of year unfortunately.

Sloan's Lake

Some people get into decorating their yards. Mum passed this house on the way to the lake. We’ve seen those giant guys and both my sister and I don’t get why they constantly make noise. We prefer a quiet neighborhood. Mum just shakes her head and whispers…”pssst’ whenever we walk by and then laughs loudly.

Christmas Yard Decor

Even the little shops nearby have gotten into the spirit. I always enjoy walking past the flower shop-they always have holiday decorations outside. We didn’t go inside which was fully decorated but I did do a full sniff around this guy. Mum made sure I didn’t ‘water’ him though. COVID seemed to make her extra grumpy about that. {huff}

Christmas

A couple blocks away, a historic church always puts up a 12-ft.  tree in their parking lot. It’s tastefully decorated with ornaments and lights and brings more holiday spirit to  the neighborhood. The snow is real but the tree is artificial.

Christmas decor

A bit of snow looks pretty but it makes a fair weather boy like me move slower. Mum said I’m getting older and she has to make sure I don’t spend a lot of time outside when it’s cold. You won’t get any arguments from me but I feel like I’m missing out on time spent with her even though she puts a coat on me to keep my hip joints warm.

Well mates, that’s about it for our look at nature in the city this week. We hope you are enjoying this magical time of year. Stay warm and enjoy seeing all the holiday sights in nature. Do you have special plans for the weekend? Mum said she’s going to start her baking. For my part, I plan on helping her by laying at her feet in the hopes of dropped morsels of tasty treats. She may even make some special treats for Elsa and me-won’t that be grand? Whatever you do, enjoy spending some time taking in the sights Nature gifts us.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ December 5, 2022

Hiya, remember us? Today is the first day I’ve actually felt well enough to post. Man, oh man…that COVID bug sure leveled me and once I got over it, I had no creative juices. Enter Dogtor Norman to provide relief to me as well as others.

Norman

We didn’t get a chance to visit at the hospital in November so when we were asked to provide a bit of stress relief, e.g. a spot of pet therapy for shoppers at our favorite store, Orvis, well we jumped at the chance. Since I’m über sensitive about all the assorted bugs/viruses floating around these days just waiting  to muck up the holidays, I masked up like crazy, used plenty of hand sanitizer and brought a nice batch of treats for Dogtor Norman for our visit with customers and staff. The manager had specifically requested that Norman be one of the canine attendees and…well I mean, who are we to not want to make that happen, especially when we totally love the store? This lady was particularly taken with Norman and after she and her husband shopped, she returned multiple times to spend a few moments with the big guy. It’s always inspiring to see folks with physical limitations make special efforts to administer a few tender ear rubs particularly in jammed retail spaces. Making the effort to navigate around store’s that are filled with merchandise and customers, her attention was especially touching.

Norman

With COVID, RSV, flu cases and inflation putting a damper on holiday festivities, folks are beginning to realize there are less than three weeks until Santa makes his midnight run to houses all over the world. Shopping for the holidays can be stressful for some folks but ever the professional, Norman knows just how to fix holiday stress for young and old alike.

Norman

When taking pics of kids with Norman, I’m extra sensitive about posting them online without obscuring their faces. Alas, with the latest update to Apple’s OS, I’ve been  experiencing some issues with the photo editing process. This was the best I could do for this sweet little girl’s face. She told me they had two mastiffs at home and totally loved big dogs. Norman was equally smitten with her-giving her a nice hug while she laid on the floor next to him while her Dad shopped. He kept checking on her to make sure she wasn’t a problem. I love it when parents are attentive to their children’s well being as well as Norman’s. We don’t mind being an unofficial ‘kid wrangler,’ but feel like too many folks are more than happy to simply dump their kids on complete strangers. This kind of thoughtful parent ranks right at the top of the “good’ list and I genuinely hope their holidays are very merry and bright.

What’s a Monday around the Ranch without a smile to start out a busy week during the holidays? I’ve always enjoyed the Marmaduke cartoons and hope this one makes you smile like it did me. Smile

We may not have been to the North Pole lately, but finally feel well enough to get cracking with holiday preparations. With time being of the essence, it’s time to get cracking. While I no longer put up a tree, a few holiday embellishments will come out of storage to brighten things up. And I did manage to even knock out the Christmas cards. Yay.

Here’s hoping life has been treating you well and your stress levels are low as you head toward the big day. Make it a ‘pawsome’ week.

Live, love, bark! 🐾