Go ahead…make my day

IMG_1011  Saw this on Pinterest and nearly spit coffee all over the laptop. While I’ve known some fairly fierce Standard Poodles. Sam…ahem…isn’t in that category unless you’re the serial killer mail lady or the Chessie from down the street that for some inexplicable reason he despises though he’s never had ANY encounters with him. He’d more than likely knock you over by leaning hard against your leg or kissing you to death.

Today is the last day of September, where the heck did the month go? Yikes! Happy mid-week. October is coming and it’s my favorite color. 🙂

Live, love, bark! <3

Tuesday Trivia

It’s Tuesday so that means it’s time for some trivia! Sam here, mom’s got a touch of laryngitis so I offered to do this week’s trivia (bwahaha, she couldn’t argue when I grabbed the laptop because she’s a bit croaky so I think I’m gonna love the next few days of peace and quiet and no scolding from her).

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So here is this week’s ‘All About Dogs” trivia questions with the answers listed below. See how many you get correct.

  1. Do you know the breed of dog first known as the Rothbury Terrier?
  2. Which dog is considered barkless but who actually makes a noise much like a yodeling Swiss Mountain climber?
  3. What breed of dog has a black tongue while every other known dog’s tongue is pretty in pink?
  4. What was the name of the dog from “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas”?
  5. What is the smallest breed of dog as recognized by the AKC?
  6. If you got the smallest breed, do you know the largest dog breed recognized by the AKC?
  7. What inspired the Chewbacca character from Star Wars? [hint, it was George Lucas’ what?]
  8. Do you know why dogs and wolves yawn?
  9. Here’s an easy one…Dalmatians born with what color?
  10. Ok, here’s a harder one…what breed is the state dog of North Carolina? I’m gonna have to find out why Colorado doesn’t seem to have a state dog. What’s up with that?!
  11. What breed appeared in the Guinness Book of World Records as the rarest dog in the world for 3 consecutive years in the early 1970’s?
  12. Name the breed of dog on Columbo’s TV series?
  13. While we’re on TV shows, what was the name of the dog on “The Partridge Family”? That’s a hard one.
  14. What’s the name of the dog on the Cracker Jack box?
  15. And finally, do dogs favor one paw (left or right) over the other?

And now…drum roll please…here are the answers!

  1. The Basenji who produces an unusual yodel-like sound commonly called a ‘barroo,’ resulting from its unusually shaped larynx.
  2. The Bedlington Terrier (you could have fooled me).
  3. Chow chow (I think Martha Stewart’s tongue is jet black too).
  4. Max (I don’t get it-is that some kind of inside joke amongst you bipeds?).
  5. The Chihuahua naturally…those little puplets are only 6-9″ tall at the shoulders and weigh anywhere from 2-6 lbs. Talk about ankle biters!
  6. The Irish Wolfhound who stands 30-35 inches at the shoulder and weighs anywhere from 105-125 lbs. minimum and officially the tallest of all dogs though not the heaviest. Mom’s daughter has two of them and boy are they big! Loki is my best running buddy but I have to double time it to keep up with her because like all sight hounds…she’s fast (no, I mean, really. really. fast)!
  7. George Lucas’ dog Indiana, an Alaskan Malamute.
  8. Yawning is a sign of contentment.
  9. White. They get their spots 3-4 weeks following their birth.
  10. The Plott Hound. Say what?
  11. The Shar-Pei.
  12. A Basset Hound (and the poor thing had no name).
  13. Simone. Wait, what? Simone, seriously?
  14. The iconic snack food box displays Sailor Jack with his dog, Bingo.
  15. Dogs are like people in that yes, they totally have a dominant paw like their human counterparts. The Institute for the Study of Animal Problems connected tests on cats and dogs that showed they are either right or left-handed. Then there are some of us who are ambidextrous meaning we can get in trouble every which way! 😉

Well I hope you enjoyed those interesting facts and win the trivia bowl at your neighborhood pub. Have a groovy Tuesday Trivia.

Live, love, bark! <3

In Memoriam

Over the weekend, my son and his family lost their beloved little Marley dog. Marley, a tiny little Shih Tzu , was all of maybe 6-8 lbs. of fur. She looked liked a little black Ewok. A wee one but one who ruled big in their household and she kept her ‘brother’ Copper, a German Shorthair in line. Marley was always sweet to the grandkids who adored their little ‘pocket dog’ and grew up with them. She was 15 years old, hated the snows of Colorado but seemed to enjoy the last 3 years of her life in paradise on the Big Island. As a small offering of comfort to my son and his family, I post the following poem which seemed to be especially appropriate to share with my son and his family as well as all of you, as we all ponder the power our pets have in our lives.

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I’m Still Here

Friend, please don’t mourn for me
I’m still here, though you don’t see.
I’m right by your side each night and day
and within your heart I long to stay.

My body is gone but I’m always near.
I’m everything you feel, see or hear.
My spirit is free, but I’ll never depart
as long as you keep me alive in your heart.

I’ll never wander out of your sight-
I’m the brightest star on a summer night.
I’ll never be beyond your reach-
I’m the warm moist sand when you’re at the beach.

I’m the colorful leaves when fall comes around
and the pure white snow that blankets the ground.
I’m the beautiful flowers of which you’re so fond,
The clear cool water in a quiet pond.

I’m the first bright blossom you’ll see in the spring,
The first warm raindrop that April will bring.
I’m the first ray of light when the sun starts to shine,
and you’ll see that the face in the moon is mine.
(Author Unknown)

RIP sweet little Marley, with love and butt scratches to you.  We will miss you, little one.

Live, love, bark! <3

Saturday Smiles

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Go ahead, try to not chuckle at this. I dare you [cue the theme from Jaws 🎶]. 🙂

Live, love, bark! <3

A conversation with the dog

Hey Sam, come here. Let’s talk about homeopathy, boy!

I'm a what?!

Wait, what-e-op-othy?

Homeopathy, Sam.
ho·me·op·a·thyˌhōmēˈäpəTHē/ [noun]
the treatment of disease by minute doses of natural substances that in a healthy person or animal would produce symptoms of disease.

Uh, doesn’t sound like anything I’d be interested in or want to know more about.

Sure you do. You know that spot on your tail that hasn’t healed well over the past couple of weeks? I think you might benefit from a homeopathic remedy since you keep licking it raw.

I am not licking it. I’m…um…applying super healing dog saliva, yeah, that’s the ticket. Super healing dog saliva!

Oh good grief…well, it doesn’t seem to be working in any event so I thought we’d try something out of “Mom’s super homeopathic kit” to help you out. It’s that or a trip to the vet. Do you want to go to the vet>

Hmm, no! You do make a valid point there. Ok, tell me more about it, maybe I’ll warm up to the idea pay attention to what you’re saying. Is it magic fairy dust? I LOVE fairy dust!

Unlike drugs or fairy dust, homeopathic remedies use the original thing that started the problem. According to The Natural Canine, “homeopathy uses micro doses of natural substances, has no side-effects or interactions with pharmaceutical medications.” With homeopathy, the cure won’t be worse than the problem. Homeopathy principles date back to Hippocrates and even before him to ancient Hindus while modern day homeopathy was founded by German physician Samuel Hahnemann in 1810. It’s based on the law of similars whereby remedies containing minute amounts of natural substances stimulate the body’s defense mechanisms against specific imbalance. If given in large doses, they would produce the same symptoms. The healing power doesn’t actually come from the substances but from the energy released during the refinding process of shaking and dilution.

So you’re telling me something from your hocus-pocus bag will make me better? Nah, I don’t think so you’d better find me some magic fairy dust.

Oh Sam, you’re just being ridiculous irrational. Don’t you want relief from the itching that caused it? Personally I think you might have an allergy to some of the plants and grasses near Grandpa’s house. Remember how you were sniffing for bunnies and kept getting into the brush? After a thorough cleaning of the spot, I’ll apply an anti-allergy dose and you’ll begin to feel better in no time.

Oooh, yes, bunnies, Can we go see the bunnies again?  It would be nice not to have to chew on my tail 87 times a day. Is this something like the essential oils you use on my collar to keep ticks and other critters away? That stuff smells so interesting.

Yes, Sam, please focus-no bunnies right now. A few dabs of rose geranium essential oil is very successful for repelling ticks from dogs.

Ok, I’ll agree, but I still think I’d prefer the magic fairy dust.

Sigh. Wouldn’t we all like some fairy dust?

Next time, I’ll tell you what ingredients you should have around to create your own ‘hocus-pocus bag.’ Till then…

Live, love, bark! <3

Tuesday Trivia

Psst, Sam here. I’m gonna be whispering because Mom is in the other room trying to catch up on blog reading so I thought I’d help her out by doing the latest edition of Tuesday Trivia. Don’t laugh too loud, we don’t want to disturb her, ok? She’s been dying to read what everyone has been up to lately.

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  • Did you know that the Kublai Kahn owned 5,000 Mastiffs at one time and holds the record for most dogs ever owned b a single person? Yikes, how’d you like to clean up THAT dog run?
  • That crazy rock star Ozzy Osborne once rescued his wife’s Pomeranian from a coyote by wrestling it until it dropped the dog. That guy is just too weird. After seeing Sharon in action, I think she could handle a mere coyote without having to get Ozzy in the mix but what do I know, I’m just a dog with a blog.
  • We’ve all heard various stories about US Presidents and their love for their dogs. We’ve all heard the stories about Lyndon Johnson picking up his Beagle ‘Him’ by the ears and saying it “was good for him” as well as Richard Nixon’s dog Checkers who died when he was Vice President, but did you know that Franklin Roosevelt dispatched a destroyer to the Aleutian Islands to pick up his dog Fala who had been left behind. Yikes! Who leaves the president’s dog behind on an island? I’m guessing someone might have lost a job because of that mistake!
  • Our fur-iends, the Beagle and Border Collies are thought to be the dog breeds that bark the most. Is that true, guys?
  • Did you know there are cave paintings of dogs in Spain that are over 12,000 years old? We canines have been around protecting you guys for a long time I see! 🐾
  • Dogs were the first animals domesticated by humans…and life hasn’t been quite the same since.
  • A dog’s heart beats between 70 and 120 times a minute as compared with you bipeds whose hearts beat between 70 and 80 times a minute. I know when I have to go to the vet or the groomers, my heart nearly jumps out of my chest!
  • Us dogs have a normal body temperature of 100.5 to 102.5 degrees F. All the more reason to not leave us in a car when you go shopping!
  • According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the smallest dog on record was a Yorkshire Terrier in Great Britain who weighed just 4 oz. at age 2! Is that even really considered a dog? Sounds more like a pup-squeak to me! 😉
  • Another Guinness Book of World Records indicates that an Australian Cattle Dog named Bluey lived to be 29 years old. Do you think he was drinking from the Fountain of Youth?
  • And…get this…it is widely thought that people who own dogs live longer, have less stress and fewer heart attacks (unless you run out into the street when mom calls you over to the car-oops…).
  • More than 1 in 3 American families own a dog and most pet owners (94%) say their pet makes them smile more than once a day..
  • 70% of people sign their pet’s name on greeting cards and 58% include their pets in family and holiday portraits according to an American Animal Hospital Association survey.
  • If never spayed, a female dog, her mate and their puppies could produce over 66,000 dogs in just 6 years. I don’t know about you, but that’s way too many babies even for this kid-loving hound. Spay and neuter your pets (and the weirdo relatives too while you’re at it).
  • And finally, there’s a reason us dogs don’t like rain and that’s because the sound gets amplified and hurts our sensitive ears (personally I think it’s because no one in its right mind wants to get wet…I absolutely HATE water!). I’m definitely pointing this trivia point out to mom. She thinks I’m a baby about getting wet. Woman…there’s scientific evidence…so stop trying to make me walk in the rain!!

Hope all you Trivia players score big with these factoids. Oops, I think I hear mom calling for me so…see you next time!

Live, love, bark! <3

Monday Moanings

This past week was pure hell. There I said it. Work was beyond dreadful with challenges like I’ve  never seen, this all coming on the heels of a fantastic week (guess the pendulum does swing both ways 🙁 ) All in all it was one of the worst weeks in a long time. So it made perfect sense to end all that with a stint at the hospital.

Sam and I needed to recharge our soul batteries and I can think of no better way then to give back to those to absolutely need the kind of energy Sam can bring. And what visits we had including being chatted up by 3 fellow Standard Poodle owners. Woo-hoo!

Ready for duty!
Ready for duty!

Sam knew right away we were heading for the hospital as soon as I pulled his bandana down and was he ever excited, jumping around like the pogo-stick that he is when he expresses his joy (it was all I could do to get him to ‘sit’ for this pic-notice he’s on ready to spring into action with his hind legs though). Becoming impatient with me while I was getting stuff together, he started whining loudly and when that didn’t jib with his dog watch timetable, he resorted to loudly barking at me and racing around in circles in front of the doorway…something he almost never does unless you’re the serial killer mail lady. Once I gathered everything we needed (you know…treats), we were off. Sam left skid marks out the door, raced over toward the garage and stood there dumbfounded since the door wasn’t open. The look on his face said what the heck?! He shot me a withering glance as if I had just stepped on his baby sister’s tail. I had to laugh at his reaction (I had moved the car out on the street earlier). As I moved toward the street and he heard the familiar click of the doors unlocking and he bounced out toward the car. I nearly had a heart attack as he started moving into the street as if to enter the car through the hatch door (stupid dog!) but when I opened the side door that he normally enters, he jumped in faster than a flea hopping on a dog. He was certainly R-E-A-D-Y to get to get going and get to work. 🐾

Once we got to the hospital he shifted into his ‘going to work’ stride. Head and tail erect, confident and purposeful gait. We first visited with the high schoolers manning the information desk as well as Sam’s buddies in the gift shop. Can I just say I totally love it when young male volunteers turn into puddles of cooing baby talk with loads of ahh-ing around Sam? So adorable.

The first person we visited with up on the floor was actually a visitor who was with his adult son in the hallway. He immediately (and correctly) identified Sam as a Standard Poodle. Normally that shouldn’t be a big deal, but because of his coloring, 99% of people we encounter think Sam is some sort of doodle hybrid. He told me about his black standard, BB who was over 17 when he passed recently. 17 years old? Seriously, were you giving him water from the Fountain of Youth??? Holy yikes, that’s quite the number with ANY dog, let along, a large one. We chatted a bit and some visitors from a nearby room came by and entered into the conversation. Then a patient getting in a couple of laps around the floor joined our merry little band and we all had a lovely visit talking up the virtues of Standard Poodles.

Later we stopped by BB’s mom who was a patient. She was laying on her bed, adorably cute and very diminutive with a sassy ball cap with a flower on the side. She was so excited to see Sam and told me about her sweet BB who guarded her whenever people were around. Apparently BB was not one to shirk his duties unlike another standard poodle I know who would probably point toward the jewelry box if a stranger came in the house (normally poodles are excellent guard dogs but nothing is very normal about Sam). Allie really enjoyed Sam’s visit and we left her smiling and grateful after a few minutes since she was pretty tired and needed to get ready for some medical tests that afternoon.

After visiting with other folks familiar with Standards and hearing their personal stories about those super smart dogs (I’m jealous at the lucky owners at times though I am reminded you just can’t buy Sam’s level of sweetness). We left for hospice and met the Ressler’s who owned a Standard Poodle named Sumo (get it, “sumo wrestler?” 🙂 ). They were such a sweet family, with kids, sons and daughters visiting and Sam was in hog heaven with all the attention moving from one member to the next.

Sometimes when Sam is on duty at the hospital, he seems far more focused on me rather than patients. He watches me and my every move carefully though I’m not sure exactly why my dog must be a mama’s boy, sigh. When he realizes the Pez treat dispenser was no longer flowing, he became a little more engaged. Seriously, I’m gonna have to make him work first then get treats later. But he will lick his chops on command (both sides on cue even) and everyone seems to love that particular (and only) trick that the dimwit will perform.

We were at the hospital nearly two hours, a long time for him to be so on target for and it started to show. By the time we were finished I could tell he’d hit the wall. We went home and he took a long, deep sleep, ready for his next adventure on the evening walk.

On Sunday he was even more focused on me except when we made our rounds among the high school volunteers (Sam has a long history of loving kids and these kids are no exception). One new young and especially petite girl absolutely fell in love with Sam. I thought she was gonna kidnap him and judging by the heavy lean into her (causing her to nearly topple over by the way!), I think he’d have readily gone home with her. That is until I touched the magic pocket with the high value treats. Hey, I’m no ordinary fool! Plus when we got home I gave him an elk antler for all his efforts making people smile.

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So what did you do this past glorious weekend? Enjoying the pre-Autumnal weather?

Live, love, bark! <3

Thankful Thursday

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It’s been beyond a wild and crazy work week with zero time to blog which I do not like. That said, it occurred the best way to deal with the stress would be through gratitude. I’m grateful for so many things especially lately 🙂 and as I was going through my photos for some inspiration, this graphic kind of jumped out at me. It said it all and more (I constantly read between the lines all the time). Here’s hoping your week has been one that reminds you of what’s important and not the noise the rest of the world is screaming at you. Be thankful and love the source of your gratitude. Awareness is hard when things are crashing all around you, but when you take a second to stop the merry-go-round, some of the best life offers is staring right you in the face (or through the screen). Embrace it, revel at it, love it and be thankful, I know I am thankful beyond words.

Live, love, bark! <3

Wordless Wednesday

Summer Moth

Happy Wordless Wednesday. Summer flight before a snoopy Standard Poodle disrupted a pollen filled breakfast.

Live, love, bark! <3