Monday Musings

Sam is off to the vet this morning to get his teeth cleaned but he asked me to share a smile as you begin the work week. May all your possums searches be easy today. Look sharp and have a great Monday!images-1

Live, love, bark! <3

🎶 Me and my Shadow…🎶

Me and my Shadow was a popular 1927 song co-written by Al Jolson and Billy Rose and one that’s been recorded by a number of people (i.e. Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., even Liberace, among many others). It was performed by James Caan in the movie Funny Lady. Since returning from California, Me and My Shadow has been more like this.

IMG_2587Notice how Sam is focused on me during a recent walk rather than on the road ahead of him? More often than not when I’m working on the laptop, his head is squarely laying on my thigh or in my lap. If I’m on the sofa, he’s right there with his head on my thigh or staring at me or laying as close to my feet as he can possibly get. He follows me throughout the day rarely leaving my side. Instinctively, I start to pet him because he’s so sweet and soft but after 5-10 minutes of petting, I’ll stop and he just stays there or he’ll settle down laying right next to me or on top of my feet.

Because his leg was vastly improved (many thanks for all the well wishes), we went back to the hospital for the first time since September (you may recall we took a leave of absence from our pet therapy work while mom was in hospice and recovering from her recent health issues).

Sam seems somewhat unsure of himself at the hospital. He kept looking to me for guidance and encouragement. He has not been particularly focused on patients. He seemed to relish the time with the nurses (perhaps a light came on in his pea brain about them always having treats to offer?) but the patients and visitors it was more of a ‘meh’ kind of reaction. Take it or leave it, he could go either way…until we encountered a young man carrying his 13-month old daughter down the hallway. Sam seemed pretty eager to check them out so I led the way. His tail was wagging furiously and the fellow was very complimentary about him. He kept asking his daughter is she wanted to pet the puppy but she was kind of nonplussed (maybe Sam’s size intimidated her) but Sam was unwilling to drop it. He started pawing at the man’s knee-something he’s NEVER done before. At last the man bent down and had his little girl touch Sam. She still wasn’t all that impressed, but Sam was happy as a clam at high tide and the guy was pleased Sam was ever so gently and sweet while she pet him.

We had another encounter in a hallway with a deaf man who had an interpreter with him. Sam was only slightly interested in him and far more interested in the interpreter but in keeping with his ethos, he zeroed in on her (perhaps she needed a visit more than the fella did?). Hard to say but I do trust Sam’s ability to decide those things even when others may think he’s not that great since he doesn’t fawn over all patients at times. Sometimes its the visitors who need his kind of attention and energy more than the patients do.

It might take some time getting back into the swing of things doing what Sam does best but I’m watching him. Till then, I’ll be humming the song…Me and My Shaad-ddow.🎶

Me and my shadow
Strolling down the avenue
Me and my shadow
Not a soul to tell our troubles to

And when it’s twelve o’clock
We climb the stair
We never knock
For nobody’s there

Just me and my shadow
All alone and feelin’ blue

And when it’s twelve o’clock
We climb the stair
We never knock
For nobody’s there

Songwriters: Dave Dreyer, Al Jolson, Billy Rose

Live, love, bark! <3

Fun Fursday

Sam here…this is what I’ll look like when I get back from hospice later today. But it’s okay, I won’t mind a bit. People will make me feel better about my sore leg which is feeling MUCH better, thank you very much. I’ll make them smile by letting them flatten and smoosh my head. See…everyone wins.  Oh, the things I do to make people happy. 😉

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Wishing you a terrific “Fun Fursday!”

Live, love, bark! <3

Living among mortals

Over the weekend the realization that I live with a mortal soul became a cold hard reality and I’m not sure how to process it. In his usual greeting exuberance from returning from an evening outing, Sam pogo-sticked his way out the door and raced down the driveway in circles, turned on a dime and tweaked his front leg. Badly. The blood-curdling yelping rocked me to my core. I’ve never heard that noise coming from him and it was quite unnerving. Sam wouldn’t put much weight on his front leg and given his other body language, we knew something was definitely wrong. After a few minutes of realizing my sweet goofball boy was injured, we gathered him up and took him to the after hours critical care center I’ve used when our regular vet office is closed.

The vet diagnosed a ‘soft-tissue’ injury, a ubiquitous term used for many injuries. They examined him and recommended pain meds and full R&R while this injury heals. Like I’ve done myself a jillion times, it appeared that Sam suffered a bad sprain (I have weak ankles and am kind of accident prone, Sam is just overly exuberant even in his senior years). They sent us home with pain meds and a recommendation to visit our vet in a couple of days for follow-up. Since Sam is getting his teeth cleaned on Tuesday it makes perfect sense. In the meantime, my heart and mind are filled with confusion, dread and all sorts of exaggerated scenarios that are not in the usual happy-spot realm that this lovable mutt usually engenders.

imageIt’s a hard realization when you must face the notion of mortality of our companion pets. Even though intellectually I can wrap my head around his recovery and to a lesser degree, even a life where he won’t be bouncing around, my heart refuses to accept that notion today. As a bona-fide senior pooch I know recovery will take some time though he seems much improved as of this morning. A troubling comment from the vet was, “there’s a little arthritis I can feel in his front paws” which prompted past scenes of other companion pets aging less than gracefully. I’m just not ready for that right now; I’m used to the happy-go-lucky, bouncy boy who provides smiles to everyone he encounters. The weekend showed a pup clearly hurting and who gave me the “Mom, I hurt” look which absolutely broke my heart. We only want our pups to be pain-free and live forever or at least as close to that as possible, so when we see them experience something less, it clearly pains us.

Will Sam be ok, of that I have no doubt. He’s in otherwise good health. Will it take a while? Probably, but the hard part of course will be keeping him calm and rested as he heals. That will take a few days and definitely some creativity on my part-he doesn’t quite understand why he can’t be off leash in the yard and why we cant go on our normal long walks right now while he recovers. The truly hard part will be realizing my sweet prince is among other things a mere mortal. Not sure there’s a prescription that deals with that.

Live, love, bark! <3

Fair Trade?

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Having Sam as a companion through life is definitely a ‘Fair Trade” kind of deal. The fact that there used to be a coffee company with a mascot who looked like him makes me smile even more, especially as we push through the final preparation and organization of the garage project for Monday’s arrival of a pod full of boxes and possessions. We’ll get to start over again to reconfigure stuff for the space so we definitely will need the caffeine delivery system even more. And lucky me, mine has 4 legs and a tail to boot. Wishing you a super-fueled weekend with loads of smiles and tail wags.

Live, love, bark! <3

 

The moving saga continues…but it’s all pawsitive

It’s Friday…yippee! So looking forward to the weekend, how about you? We’ve been hard at work reorganizing the garage in anticipation of Wayne’s California belongings arriving on Monday. Building shelves, organizing more efficiently and condensing my stuff so that we can fit our belongings together has been an ongoing endeavor since we came back. Combining households is no easy venture…there’s only so much room you have to deal with and (sadly) we all tend to fill our space. When you add more possessions in the same amount of square footage, something has got to go. So I’ve been diligently purging clothes, bedding, extra kitchen utensils and other stuff like crazy. Why oh why did I hang on them in the first place is beyond explanation. 🙂

As you can see, Sam continues to ‘snoopervise‘ our hard work rotten lazy dog. Maybe he’s resting up in anticipation of next week’s hospital visits.

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Wishing you and yours a wonderful weekend full of pawsitive accomplishments and fun.

Live, love, bark! <3

#TBT

It’s Throw back Thursday and while this lovely pooch is NOT Sam, he easily could have been.  A photo from the past sent by my friend at Not Afraid of Color who is likewise owned by also has a Standard Poodle, sweet Cole. Thanks for sending a delicious smile  and recollection of a terrific talent, LeeAnna. Hope this image makes your day as much as it did mine.

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Live, love, bark! <3

A lucky dog

Sam here…back from our big road trip. Boy, oh boy…was that something else! Remind me to NOT jones for another road trip for a while. Ok, we all know I’ll run out and stand next to the car every chance I get but still for some unknown reason wanting to go, go, go, I can never remember what it is that I don’t like about riding in the car specifically but I really don’t. What is wrong with me??

Any who…it’s that time again where the nice folks from pet therapy evaluate me say nice things about me. But first, they had to check me out and make sure I was stable enough to continue to do therapy work. Stable enough? What does that mean?! I was beyond happy when mom pulled up in the hospital parking lot. I leapt with joy down the hall knowing I was gonna see my fur-iends and nurses there. My paws were crossed that the big hunk of a girlfriend, Truffles would be there so I could say hi and impress her…like I always do (heh, heh). And sure enough…she was there!!! Oh joy, be still my beating heart. <3

IMG_1504-1The visiting vet was so nice to me and gave me loads of treats as she was examining me. If I remember correctly her name was Dr. Roberts, but truthfully I was so excited she liked me that I kind of forgot and just gave her some “sugar” on her nose. Ooh, ooh, I love me some tasty treats. My girlfriend Truffles pushed me out of the way a couple of times to get some of those tasty treats but that’s ok, she deserves lots of yummies and by golly if I can be the prince to get them for her, so much the better. Remember, I’m a gentleman when it comes to the ladies. The mere fact that she’s twice as big as me doesn’t have anything to do with it. So there. I think the vet really liked me though. What do you think?

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She sure knew how to rub my ears just right and it was great being back at the hospital too. I pogo-sticked my way down the hall toward the volunteer’s office to meet her. Good thing there weren’t too many people around or mom would have been embarrassed to pieces. A couple of the nurses I especially like came by for snuggles and tail wags on their way to their shifts. I happily obliged them with both and a nice lean on their legs and they showered me with attention. It’s so good to be back. We took a leave of absence while my Omi was recovering from her illness. We’ll be visiting patients next week and I for one, can’t wait to bring smiles to everyone we’ll get to visit with then. Color me one lucky dog!

Live, love, bark! <3

Mirror, mirror on the wall

It’s been said that pet owners often own a dog that resembles themselves, appearance wise. They are also accused of making connections that may or may not exist (he just knows when I’m… [insert whatever emotion here]. There is science that supports the notion that owners frequently choose a dog that looks like themselves. Not sure I buy that whole dark eyes similarity thing but think there are other physical traits that probably underscore the decision.

BarkPost article
‘Dogglegangers’ from BarkPost article by Laura Hartle

Sure there are examples everywhere of owners having dogs that look just like them. The tough looking sergeant who has a Bulldog, the thin-faced librarian with long straight hair who owns an Afghan Hound. I first became familiar with Standard Poodles back in the 70’s, after puppy-sitting a beautiful Standard with thick silver hair over a weekend. We earnestly began searching for a breeder and found our first pup shortly thereafter. Her hair was black and we were told that odds were extremely good that she would turn silver as the hair between the pads was silver-the first sign that the overall color may change. Like Dalmatians who are born without spots, silver Standards are born solid black and turn in the first few months. Mandy, as the kids named her, never did turn silver-colored, she stayed a beautiful, shiny black pup adored by her family. Back then my hair was semi-long and Mandy’s more often than not was also on the long side. We did sorta look-alike if you didn’t take into account her hair was black and mine was a blonde version of Little Orphan Annie. But the curls were similar enough and more than one person mentioned it to me. I pooh-poohed the idea but it did make me pause and wonder…do owners really look like their pets? Over the years, I’ve owned 5 different Standard Poodles. All were exceptionally fine-looking, curly haired specimens with Einstein-like smarts. Then I got Sam. Since I tend to think of myself as somewhat clever, even sweet, it seemed the similarities were now taking different paths.

It’s been noted more than once that while Sam is super sweet, he’s either stupid or extremely stubborn (the trainer said there’s a fine line between the two and thought Sam was more stubborn than dumb). Our hair coloring was fairly similar before Mother Nature decided to go south and turn silver (maybe I’m taking after Mandy now after all these years). And I have been accused of being somewhat stubborn in the past and came to the conclusion that Sam and I share that trait as well as the curls. Since returning from our California trip a few days ago, I’ve especially noticed he decided that rules are merely suggestions and therefore should be summarily ignored. Listening to the Alpha B*tch isn’t particularly necessary or welcomed. Today I took Sam with me to the Post Office to mail off a couple of packages. In the past, he would follow fairly close, sit net to me when I stop and wait for the next command. Today however, he pulled like a stevedore and could not be dissuaded from zeroing in like a laser on one particular young pregnant woman standing in line ahead of us. His look was not like anything I’d ever seen before, quite obsessive and I had to put him into a downward stay position after he tried on 3 separate occasions to lunge toward her, not in a threatening manner mind you, but more in the manner of “Hey, I want to be over THERE and you’re not going to stop me!” sort of way.” WTH??!! It was then that I realized we both are fairly stubborn. I’m steadfast in my beliefs (being recently reminded of having an irrational position of a pre-disposed opinion formulated with no benefit of any experience to the contrary). I don’t know why I do that, call it intuition, but the reminder kept gnawing at me all day long. Sam may well need to go for a refresher course on proper manners especially since we’ll be starting up our hospital therapy work soon. Oh sure, he’s still as sweet as pie, but this pulling and other naughty, stubborn behavior won’t be tolerated at the hospital no matter how cute or sweet you are. But do you think there’s a training class for uprights to un-train the stubbornness out of me?

So for now I ask, ‘mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s more stubborn than them all…him or me?’ But we’re both mostly sweet so maybe there’s hope. 😉

Photo on 4-19-15 at 11.56 AM #4

Live, love, bark! <3

Fun Fursday

We arrived back in Denver last night, after fighting 50 mph winds along I-80 in Wyoming. Yikes…when it’s windy in Colorado it makes me crabbish so I always wonder how folks survive in places like that. Don’t know about you, but I needed a smile after driving all day yesterday. Having owned two Old English Sheepdogs before Sam joined to round out our little 3-ring circus, this one make me chuckle. Enjoy!

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Live, love, bark! <3