Monthly Archives: July 2015

Sam’s got a boo-boo

IMG_1947     Sam here. Mom was all ready to do a totally different post but I asked her if I could hijack change her game plan and share this with you.

IMG_1954    So something weird happened last night. I was minding my own business being a good boy and all of a sudden got this itchy spot on one of my back toes and spent the greater part of today licking tending to it while mom was at work. Mom’s not sure just what caused it to flare up. Initially she thought it might be one of those nasty foxtails she told you about HERE; it has been hot and dry lately and those bad boys are everywhere but after she checked it thoroughly, it seemed like that wasn’t the case but still can’t stop licking it and making it even more angry at me.

IMG_1954Thank goodness mom cleaned it up really well and put some antibiotic cream to make it feel better. Then she pulled out one of the dreaded snow booties to keep me from licking it. Really? How could you, mom? You know I hate those things. So now I’m walking around flicking my foot hoping I can get that stupid thing extracted from my paw, but mom’s gotten too clever with the fastener. Maybe when she’s asleep or at work I can figure out a way get it off. Till then, think good things and hopefully this thing clears up quickly. Mom said something about going to the vet but I started singing the “la, la, la, la, la, I can’t hear you” song and hope she forgets that. In the meantime between getting better and getting that dang thing off my foot (the blue thingy in the lower right hand corner), I’ll be doing lots of this (even if mom’s shins are kind of boney).


Live, love, bark! <3

Wordless Wednesday



A spectacular morning from Sloan’s Lake near our house. Happy Wednesday.

Live, love, bark! <3

Tuesday Trivia ~ July 28, 2015

It’s Tuesday so that means…it’s Trivia Day. Check out the latest fascinating facts I recently discovered.

IMG_1522 Did you know that the wetness of a dog’s nose is essential for determining what direction a smell is coming from? I expect all of you with hunters will have known this, but this was completely unknown by me.

And why are dog’s noses wet? Dogs secret a thin layer of mucous that helps them absorb scents. Licking their nose help them sample the scent through their mouths.

When English poet Lord Byron was informed that his beloved dog, Boatswain would not be allowed to accompany him to Cambridge Trinity College, he retaliated by bringing a tame bear instead. There being no mention of bears in their statutes, the college authorities relented.  Byron also suggested that he would apply for a college fellowship for the bear.

Puppies have 28 teeth and normal adult dogs have 42. If that’s true, how come when a puppy play bites, you feel like you’ve just been bitten by the shark from Jaws?

While we’re on exploring the anatomy of dogs, did you know that their shoulder blades are unattached to the rest of the skeleton to allow for greater flexibility for running? Wild, huh?

Besides sweating through the pads of their paws, dogs pant to cool themselves off. A panting dog can take 300-400 breaths (compared with the regular 30-40) with little effort. When your dog’s feet smell like corn chips it’s because their feet are in constant contact with the ground picking up tons of microorganisms on the paws. When dogs cool off by sweating through the pads, the combination of moisture and bacteria releases that nutty, popcorn-like aroma. the term, Frito Feet is roughly akin to canine body order.


With the recent fly by of the little beloved planet, Pluto, I thought you’d appreciate knowing the very first animal launched into space was the Russian dog, Laika who orbited the earth in 1957 in the spacecraft Sputnik 2. Laika was a 3 year-old stray female from the streets of Moscow. Sadly, she did not survive the trip (and was not expected to survive by scientists on the ground), reportedly dying on the fourth day of the trip, though there were conflicting accounts as to the actual cause of death. Her remains disintegrated when the craft re-entered the atmosphere five months following the launch.



The shape of a dog’s face suggest how long it will live. Dogs with sharp-pointed faces (much like wolves) typically live longer. Dogs with flat faces, i.e. bulldogs, often have shorter lives.

And in the ‘hear’s looking at you category, dogs have three eyelids, an upper, a lower and a third lid, known as a nictitating membrane or haw that keeps the eye lubricated and protected.

Live, love, bark! <3

Bubbles and Balls

bubbles-balls-pet-photo-fundraiser-22Sam and I helped our friend, Ariane from DelaFoto Pet Photography  on Saturday as she sponsored another rescue photo shoot over the weekend, this time to benefit the Misha May Foundation. We love ’em both and are always happy to be available to help out. I’m very passionate about rescue organizations and Misha May is a very special one. The event was a sell out with 50% of the sitting fee going to Misha May. The sitting fee guaranteed a free magnet photo for all attendees and additional prints are also available. It’s a great opportunity to have a professional photograph of your pup (with you if desired) for a reasonable fee. We can all take photos of our fur-kids, but not often do we spring for a professional pet photographer capturing those marvelous moments when the dog cocks his head just so with an adorable expression on his face to boot, surrounded by bubbles.

I wasn’t sure how Sam would react to the bubbles but pretty much knew he’d be nonplussed by the balls. Despite the fact that Standard Poodles were bred as water fowl retrievers, Sam seems to take the position that balls are a useless accoutrement in life. He always gives me ‘that look’ of puzzlement and if there were a thought bubble over his head it would no doubt say, “Yeah, what do you expect me to do now? You threw it, you go get it!”  He was a little unnerved by the floating bubbles initially until one landed on his flank and instantly popped. The puzzled look on his face was priceless. But then being the pro he is, he handled the puparrazzi session just fine.

Trying to photograph dogs can be a challenge as any of us know who try to get them to pose. “Look at the camera, boy.” And just as the shutter clicks, a lightning quick glance away or they’ll suddenly lay down. Argh. Add manually dispersing bubbles to that situation, a photographer with a large camera pointing at them, controlling the lighting and getting the perfect expression, well I think you’ve all seen my limitations photographically. Unless it’s a 700 year old Bristlecone Pine tree that wouldn’t move without benefit of dynamite, I’m sure I can figure out a way to make it somehow look bad. 🙁

But as always, Ariane delivered once again. Sam and I greeted everyone and handled the administrative details (wrangling attendees, getting releases signed and scheduling preview sessions). Some dogs and their owners needed some calming down ‘help’ more than others. spot the confident dogs. They arrived at the third floor walk-up studio with their head held high, purposefully walking toward the sign-in table. Dogs that were stressed by the stairs and the next door musical festive blasting heavy bass music (I still can’t identify the genre-not exactly rock n’roll, not dance music, not punk, not sure what to call it other than very loud noise) and throw in the unfamiliar surroundings and well, it’s understandable they’d be stressed. Sam and I did our best to get everyone at ease and all went well. As usual, he was a great ambassador. One woman mentioned she couldn’t schedule the preview session during the allotted time slots because she has numerous foster kids ‘sucking the life out of her and her time was simply too crazy next week to schedule something.’ Talk about ‘TMI!’  While I had no doubt she genuinely cared about these kids (she brought a really sweet little boy with her and the dog), I suppose she was feeling a bit overwhelmed at shuffling kids to dentist appointments, soccer practice, camp, the usual summertime overload of activities. I can totally understand that, and have felt it myself more than once, but would I rather set my hair on fire than ever say it out loud, nope, that’s just not happening. To each his own, right? I felt badly for her dog, a sweet but very nervous mixed breed pooch. But when I saw the photos of the boy with the little dog though, it really warmed my heart that for a few moments, both were captured naturally and with some joy on their faces as well on their guardian’s. And that’s what it’s all about.

So we’ll be keeping our paws crossed there will be an adorable photo to share. Have a marvelous Monday and an even better week. Here’s to staying cool to all our friends baking in heat and humidity and warmer days for our friends in the southern hemisphere who are shivering.

Live, love, bark! <3

Saturday Smile – Up and at ’em

Sam here. Up and at ’em?! Well…I was already out there doing a 2.3 mile walk/run with mom, now I need to rejuvenate with a nap. It’s a gorgeous day out there and both mom and I are avowed morning folk. The eastern sunlight is gorgeous re-awakening lovely flowers, birds and squirrels chirping over breakfast, dragonflies flitting between pollen stops. The air is still clean and fresh and the city hasn’t quite woken up yet so it’s peacefully quiet. Mom says we’re having an exciting day today (wonder what that means-mom’s idea of excitement and mine seem to be vastly different). So get out there and make it a fabulous day!


 Live, love, bark! <3

Wordless Wednesday



Lap creeper. It starts out innocently enough but left unchecked, will result in a nearly 60 lb. dog smack in the middle of your lap.

Live, love, bark! <3

Let’s Go, Already!!

IMG_1947   Sam here. Boy oh boy, did we have a good weekend at hospice and hospital though it started out decidedly unpleasant for me.

Nobody warned me I had to take a bath again! After all, I just had one last month. And here I thought you peeps had my back. 😉 So mom tricked got me into the bathroom with a couple treats. Can’t believe I fell for all her sweet talk…again! That woman knows exactly how to torture me and it’s a four-letter word I can’t even say…B-A-T-H. Blech, I hate baths, but I was mostly a very good boy and stayed there and took it like a man like the pitiful wuss I really am when it comes to water. She used a new conditioning shampoo that smells pretty good if I do say so myself with Rosemary and Mint. If I wasn’t so scared in the bathtub, I might have licked it off.

H.E.L.P.  me

H.E.L.P. me

After the bath water torture, she use the hairdryer on me. The only thing I despise more than bath time is the drying misery. Fortunately she toweled me off really well before hand so the drying with the blowing air torture device was minimal. But then she brought out the clippers to trip my feet, ears, tail and bum the torture continues. Boy, I must say though, she did a pretty good job; several people even commented on how handsome I looked and when I looked down at my paws, they even impressed me. I wonder why Heather at the groomers can’t seem to get my toes quite that spiffy. Maybe I do too much of the fast paw-dance for her. Heh, heh.

Once mom put my bandana on, I hightailed as fast as I could toward the car. I even barked at her a few times-something I rarely do. I really wanted to go to the hospital and she was lollygagging around. Man, she moved so s-l-o-w-l-y I never thought we’d get to the hospital. Open up the car door, woman and let me in! Sheesh, I already do all the work at the hospital, do I have to drive now too?


Once we finally got there, there were loads of patients and visitors I was able to visit receive tons of attention from and I got to see my favorite nurse at hospice. I totally love Ann and there she was…woof, woof! I leaned in real close to get her attention and it worked. She gave me a big hug!

A couple of patients didn’t want to see me though on Sunday. The first lady had some people visiting her and when my mom knocked on her door to ask if she’d like a visit from pet therapy, she said no at the exact same time her visitors all shouted YES! She laughed and then invited us in to say hi to everyone. I had so much fun going from one person to the next one. I could hardly contain my glee and nearly wagged my tail completely off. Then as they were talking to my mom, I decided I should just lay down next to the bed. That means I’m very comfortable with the people and energy in the room. They thought I was tired but mom explained it’s just my way of letting them know I’m on guard duty. When we left, the patient said she was very glad I came in to visit.

The other lady was all alone at hospice. She smiled at me but said she “didn’t care for a visit from a dog.” Mom was very nice and smiled back, saying no worries and we moved down the hall to another family that really wanted to  pet me. Mom told me that if she was ever in hospice she hoped that she’d ALWAYS want a visit from a pet therapy dog. I didn’t understand what was going on. I mean I took a bath, groomed up all fluffy and super handsome and was a complete gentleman. I guess some people just don’t like dogs. Maybe she was in a lot of pain, I don’t know, but it made me a little sad andI think it made mom a little sad too knowing I wasn’t able to spread my magic Ju-Ju on her.

We also visited with some of the staff. One nursing assistant dropped the bedding she was changing and ran over to hug and pet me, squealing like a little girl. She really loved dogs and kept saying how wonderful I was. I caught mom beaming at me and then the treats started coming. Finally!

We were there for quite a while on Sunday and when we came home I crashed took a nap. Making people smile takes a lot out of me and I need to reenergize so we can take nice long evening walks when I wake up.

What did you do over the weekend? Did you have as much fun as we did?

Live, love, bark! <3

Saturday Smiles

We’re off to hospice and the hospital this weekend (after the…ahem…dreaded bath and fluff job-shhh, please don’t mention it out loud to Sam). But before we go, here’s a smile which I think everyone who owns a dog can relate (truth in fact, I had this experience while on the laptop-silly Sam). Enjoy the weekend and the smile! 😉

Poppy the Dog CartoonLive, love, bark! <3


Doglish 101 ~ July 16, 2015

I'm a what?!

In the complicated world of communication between humans and canines, it’s apparent I pretty much don’t know jack. As in nada, nein, nyeht, zilch and this fact is constantly reminding me of that given the looks I receive whenever I speak to Sam. Anyone who’s been a parent to a pouty hormone laden teenager knows THAT look.

  • Exhibit A: In our household, the command for “let’s step on it and move” is “chop, chop.”  In Sam’s brain, ‘chop, chop’ apparently means “ooh, look, a butterfly, I should check this out more closely” or more frequently it will mean, “I’ll do it in my own sweet time when I feel like it.” More often than not, it’s when I’m in a hurry or trying to balance sacks of groceries while maneuvering the door with a knee and making sure he gets inside so I don’t trip over him, kill myself in the process and spill everything all over the floor. Sam apparently views this time as open season to aggravate the parental unit judging by his slow-mo reaction.
  • Exhibit B: Let me set the stage here. There is a split rail fence around our front yard garden and we’re on a corner lot so there’s lots of real estate. “Stay in the yard” apparently means, “well only if you really, really want to” because no sooner than the command is spoken, I see Sam sauntering down the street on some scent trail or to say hi to a neighbor out walking past. When I holler at him to “get back in your yard” he gives me such a look of disdain I’ve not seen since I first grounded my kids when they were teenagers. After giving me the stink-eye, he ever so casually walks back into the yard with more disdainful looks over the shoulder, not even pretending to feel any kind of remorse.
  • Exhibit C:  “Off” can be a wonderful command (in theory) that can be used to keep pets off furniture, people, and lovely flowering plants. The other day I said “OFF!” to Sam as he gave me that hither may come look over his shoulder whereby he turned his head in the opposite direction and promptly lifted his leg on a peony bush. Argh!!! What part of “OFF” do you not understand dog?!

I wholeheartedly agree with the idea that dogs can be bi-lingual. I’ve witnessed dogs who understand commands in German, English and Spanish. I’ve also come to the conclusion that something clearly gets lost in translation where Sam is concerned. It tends to revolve around what his agenda is, not so much what I want him to do or not do. I’ve joked about Sam being the ‘simple dog’ over the years, but as I reflect on his behavior I think he’s far more stubborn than he is dumb. And because of that, I need to find a translator because currently, Sam isn’t interested in learning English. Anyone know of a dog translater up for the task? I’ll even grant that I may be part of the problem, but as this hound gets older, he becomes more and more challenging. I’m beginning to wonder if he’s really a Standard Poodle or a more likely a substandard poodle. 😉

Live, love, bark! <3