Monthly Archives: March 2016

Wordless Wednesday

30cc927c7fb621d0914ced721716db66  Stay warm today!







Live, love, bark! <3

Tuesday Trivia ~ March 29, 2016

doge-ears-Hey there sport’s fans…Sam here! If you’ve been overdosing on watching March Madness, here’s a short trivia quiz to re-stimulate your brain. So set that remote down and put on your thinking cap!

  1. How many taste buds do dogs typically have?
  2. Three dogs survived from the sinking of the Titanic. Do you know their breeds?
  3. At what frequency do dog hear?
  4.  How many muscles do dogs typically have in their ears?
  5. Who were Bummer and Lazarus from 1860’s San Francisco?
  6. What breed of dog is born with a ‘soft’ spot in their skull similar to human babies?
  7. True or False…did Sigmund Freud used a dog to assist in his therapy sessions.
  8. What breed of dog did Napoleon own?

Well that’s it for me in this edition. Gotta go and burn my bracket. Anyone else surprised the Syracuse men and women’s teams were sooo good?


  1.  Dogs typically have 1700 taste buds which probably explains why they enjoy ‘gourmet’ garbage. Humans have about 9000 and cats have 473 which might explain feline finickiness. 🙂
  2. All from first class cabins, two Pomeranians and a Pekingese. Guess it pays to be a lap dog.
  3. Frequency is measured in Hertz…the higher the Hertz, the higher-pitched the sound. Dogs hear best at 8,000 Hz, while humans hear best at around 2,000 Hz. [Sam’s mom: This of course does not explain why Sam seemingly doesn’t hear some commands…can anyone explain that other than he’s either stubborn or stupid?
  4. Dogs have 18 muscles controlling their ears (cats have 32, humans have only 6) [Sam: So how come mom can hear me licking my leg in the dead of night when she’s asleep if she only has 6?! I just don’t understand.
  5. A plaque commemorating those 2 rascals is in the park area next to the Transamerica Pyramid. This bonded pair were allowed to roam free by local law enforcement and their escapades as rat-catchers and petty thieves were featured in cartoons and newspaper stories. [Source: Encyclopedia of San Francisco]
  6. Chihuahuas are the only breed born with an incomplete skull. The soft spot known as a molera in dogs (for us uprights, it’s called the fontenel) isn’t a defect; it’s a normal adaptation for easing passage through the birth canal. Like human babies, care must be taken the first six months to avoid injury as it develops.
  7. True! Freud believed Jo-Fi, a Chow, would move closer to patients as they become less stressed.
  8. This was a trick question because I’m a pill of a dog. 🙂 Napoleon never owned dogs, in fact hated them even when a Newfoundland saved him from drowning.


How many did you get right?

Live, love, bark! <3

Monday Musings

It’s the Monday following Easter which may mean…you’re nursing a jelly bean or chocolate hangover. Time to get back into the swing of things. For me, that usually means a big cup of coffee to stash the chocolate away for my own good start out the day, but before I even get out of bed:


How was your ‘howliday?’ When you wake up, do you have the same view?

Live, love, bark! <3

Saturday Smile

imageSorry,  looks like Easter might be cancelled (bwahaha!).  Wishing you and yours a happy howliday.

Live, love, bark! <3

Fitting In

Sam in uniformSam and I were finally able to go to the hospital after this week’s Snowmageddon to visit with patients and staff. It seems so odd to visit during the week. For the past couple years, we’ve been going in on the weekends and the energy is decidedly different. Since retiring in January, I’m still trying to figure out where my own energy resides. Luckily, people like the some of the ones I met Thursday are helping me figure it out.

We were assigned to visit the Senior Behavioral Health floor. We’ve visited before, but I’m never sure just what to expect. These folks can have significant issues. Some seem lost within themselves, others are warm, caring and loving examples of humanity interacting with an unparalleled charm. Willie was that patient. The charge nurse said Sam and I should visit with Ruth and Willie. Once the staff got their Sam fix, we moved toward Ruth who immediately told me she was a ‘cat person,’ having grown up with cats her whole life. Right away, I wasn’t sure how to connect with her and Sam seemed confused as well. I’m guessing her mental issues make interactions somewhat difficult. I was trying to coax out some other common ground we could share when Willie walked up and started petting Sam who was more than willing to garner his attention and began leaning against him…a sure sign he was enjoying this gnome-like man with twinkly eyes and a radiant smile. As quickly as he appeared, he vanished. Ruth’s disinterest in Sam was our signal to move onward. I touched her on the arm and wished her well, Sam nearly ripped my shoulder out of the socket to move into the activity room and see Willie who had relocated there. I’m always entertained at his ‘yea or nay’ assessment of people. He doesn’t judge people mind you, but is able to easily move on when necessary. I need to take notes about that dog so as avoid moments when my fumbling attempts to steer around them seem uncomfortably awkward. Being an introvert isn’t the easiest road to take when trying to connect with total strangers.

When we arrived at the hospital it seemed like everyone was racing around, updating charts, dealing with patients and seem more hectic than our weekend visits. Oh, sure the staff is always eager to meet Sam, but they don’t linger long…work calls. Their responses were short and to the point. There was little in the way of back and forth. Just statements like “stay out of rooms with iso-carts and the patient in #209 likes dogs.” On weekend visits, I’d often hear stories about former pets, the neighbor’s dog who was like Sam, the dogs their kids had, and similar stuff like that. This new paradigm has me feeling ‘outside’ of my previous existence.

Since retiring, I don’t feel like I fit in like I did before. Oh sure, my working friends and I still keep in touch but it’s different. Their lives are more work centered and our common interactions are diminished because we relate from a totally different perspective.

It’s odd for me to have Sam groomed in the middle of the week. Our MO in the past was to do grooming sessions on Saturday’s since we would only visit patients on weekends when I worked full-time. This is the second month where I had the luxury of scheduling a grooming in the middle of the week and easily be able to choose any date and time slot to coincide with our scheduled visits. Weekends were always booked well in advance so  future appointments had to be booked at the current one. That all changed with retirement.

I’m sure there’s an adjustment period getting used to not running in the hamster wheel, and no doubt I’ll get there eventually but for now, it feels out of step and off-balance rather than just squeaky and spinning fast. Like the new kid in school who is viewed as an oddity initially, we will eventually catch our stride and find balance. Till then I want to sit and chat with the Willie’s of the world who make us feel like a fluffy, dimwitted dog is the only thing that matters.

Have you ever felt like you didn’t fit in to a change in life circumstances?

Live, love, bark! <3

Snowmageddon – 2016

IMG_2688 3Sam here. So Monday it was 72º and picture ‘pawfect’ for this hound. Mom took me on a couple lengthy walks in our neighborhood and it felt wonderful smelling all the scents of Spring. I even photo-bombed her taking photos of some daffodils along our route and answered loads of pee-mail. Color me a happy boy!

IMG_2707Well, jettison yourself ahead some 20+ hours and here’s what Springtime in the Rockies looked like yesterday, and that was before it started really snowing! During the peak of the storm, it was coming down 2 – 3 inches per hour! The airport was closed most of the day, schools and many business were closed. It was wonderfully quiet since no one was out driving around. I did however, miss all my fur-iends and we weren’t able to go to the hospital like we were supposed to go.

IMG_2714All day long though I kept wondering where was I going to pee now? I mean heck, I can’t stand H2O of any kind and when mom let me out in the morning to do my business, I just snorted at her. Puleez…you’ve can’t possibly expect me to stand out there in THAT, sniffing for the perfect spot in which to send all my neighborhood friends a pee-mail. The wind was howling at over 20 mph and I dashed out to briefly investigate while mom waited for me under the eaves of the garage. I stopped, looked at her and immediately ran back to the covered patio by the door. Um…nope, definitely not peeing in that weather. You can stay out there, dumb upright, but dad will let me in and fix me breakfast. Ahem…mom followed me back and dragged me out to the end of the driveway encouraged me to pee. I complied and then ran like a bank robber back to the house. The rest of the day I kept looking at her hoping she’d figure out a way to build a litter box for me but she let me down. In the afternoon she and dad went out to build a luge run shovel the walks.


This was one of those super heavy, wet Spring storms that break tree limbs. Our neighbor across the street narrowly had a big limb crash on top of his car. It was too depressing for her to show photos since the same thing happened to her a few years ago when a couple of huge branches crashed through the fence. It even took a few guys built like Paul Bunyan to even move them off the sidewalk. Eek!

IMG_2713Any who, the luge contestants had a great time yukking it up once they finally got the luge run built. It took over 3 hours. Mom continues to ask me, “why did I buy a house on a large corner lot again?” as if I knew why she does anything. Pfft!!





IMG_2723In the end when it was all over (just before sunset), the sun tried hard to shine through the clouds and we saw some blue sky. That’s when we showed off the world that our neighborhood got close to 20″ of the white stuff (despite the forecast of around 4-8″).

Not sure how long I can ‘hold it’ but hopefully there’ll be enough melting today and Friday so I can get back to peeing and pooping in the perfect spot. A boy can only hold his legs together for so long.

IMG_2726Have you ever had to survive Snowmageddon? Were you able to smell it? I definitely tried.

Live, love, bark! <3

Word(less) Wednesday

So Tuesday’s weather was 72º degrees. Today we are experiencing a blizzard with up to 12″ of the white stuff. It’s definitely Springtime in Colorado and in a couple of days (depending on the depth of drifts) we’ll enjoy the conditions below. 



Happy National Puppy Day. Hug a puppy today-it’s more fun than listening to a talking camel on ‘Hump’ Day.

Live, love, bark! <3

Tuesday Trivia(lities)


Sam here. Ever notice how we 4-legged fur-iends manage to park our furs smack dab in the middle of the smallest room of the house and give you the “why do you have to keep stepping over or around me” look? Wanna to fix breakfast? Yeah, go around me-you’re not getting into the Frig while I’m hanging out here in front of it (may I suggest dry cereal or toast instead of eggs) and don’t even think about trying to load or empty the dishwasher. Our kitchen was never intended for a dog to hang out in…that’s for sure. Owning it like a rock star, right?

It’s a scientific fact that us dogs will hang out directly under our uprights just to make life more interesting. Trust me, it’s a rule and is also in the Dog Trivia Handbook.

Where do you hang out to make life more ‘interesting’ for your upright? Bonus points if it’s in between their feet or legs.

Live, love, bark! <3

Monday musings

If you follow me on Facebook or have liked the Tails Around the Ranch Facebook page, you no doubt have seen all the kvetching I’ve done about the Spring storm that blew through Denver over the weekend. Denver is officially considered a high mountain desert and when I say we need the moisture, I mean it (even in an El Niño year that has hardly delivered its promise of above normal precipitation). With apologies to those who’ve seen my multiple posts complaining of winter this past week…let me just say you guys can go should you so desire (but truth be told we’d really love it for you to stay a while 😉 ). For the rest of you, here’s my latest rant take on Mother Nature’s cruel hoax where Spring is concerned.

This past week was chilly, grey and VERY windy (for a couple of days we thought we were back on I-80). I can deal with the chilly temps, even the occasional dreary day but an entire week is highly unusual (remember we have over 300+ days of sunshine in the Mile High) especially when they follow several days of 70+ degree days that I was getting used to, it can be a real shocker to the system. And then there’s the fact that I absolutely loathe windy conditions and complain like a one-legged pirate walking a gang plank.

IMG_1472We were beguiled into thinking Spring was going to arrive on time, perhaps even a bit early (recall that the Groundhog said Spring would arrive sooner rather than having 6 more weeks of Winter). I’m never trusting that lying rat rodent again. It was wonderful being able to garden in shirtsleeves and not have to dress like a bundled up Eskimo out on the ice flow. But Mother Nature has a wicked sense of humor in Colorado. Just when you come to expect moderate temperatures, she throws you a curve ball with a whole lot of icy spit on the side. The low yesterday morning was 16. That’s right, ONE-SIX-freezing-my-tush-off degrees! Are you kidding me??!!

From smiling yellow daffodils to snow-covered crocuses, extremes like this are the norm and not the exception in Colorado. Sigh.


Luckily, bulbs are fairly resilient around here, even if the about-to-bloom flowering trees are not quite as forgiving. No doubt there will be a number of flowering plums that simply will refuse to flower this year just to spite you, Mother Nature.






Chalk it up to just another ‘Springtime in the Rockies” red herring from Mother Nature’s arsenal of dirty, rotten tricks. ‘Snowball bushes’ in a Colorado Springtime landscape look more like this (bare shrubs with real snowballs) than the lovely version below.


Below is a photo from yesterday morning showing how bizarre landscapes can be in Denver…even on the same block. See the leafed out globe willow tree on the left side? Notice across the street on the right side where there’s still snow covering the front yards? Yeah, that’s how we roll around here at a mile above sea level. IMG_2696

Here’s hoping your first weekend of Spring was a good one. Is the weather as crazy in your neck of the woods as it is in ours?

Live, love, bark! <3

For the love of…

This entire week has been a punctuation mark on the calendar reminding me it’s still technically winter. Found this as a viable solution so the white stuff. If only I could get out of my driveway to buy some spray paint!  Here’s hoping you have a perfectly wonderful pre-Spring weekend.

Live, love, bark! <3