Monthly Archives: June 2016

After the Storm

Mother Nature seems schizophrenic these days. We had a ‘little’ storm Tuesday night. No doubt the roof will probably need to be replaced and there certainly is a lot of clean-up of salad greens shredded leaves and flowers. While it could have been much worse (did you see the news showing houses floating by…on fire…in a flood as was the case earlier this week in West Virginia and my heart goes out to those folks). Still, it was gut wrenching after seeing the spectacular show of color and beauty by sweet Mother Nature just a couple of weeks ago. Remember this?

finalWell, nasty Mother Nature must be pretty ticked-off because it all looks like this now.

IMG_3511 2Everywhere you look, all that’s left are shredded leaves and sticks with seed pods. 🙁 Don’t know whether the lupine will reseed with damaged seed pods at this point.

We experienced some severe flash flooding and at one point the street looked like a fast-moving river which was followed by a power outage once the storm was over. At one point I could have sworn I saw pairs of pets walking two-by-two toward Noah’s ark. A neighborhood hedge was struck by lightning so the fire department was called to put it out. It was a crazy couple of hours. While I’ve lived through any number of hailstorms over the years in the Mile High City, I have been fortunate not to have suffered damage like this one which lasted longer in duration than most its previous ‘cousins.’ Summer hailstorms are routine here in the 303 and coupled with temps in the 90s that really set the stage for all of the unsettled air mixed with a lot of moisture to create the perfect storm.

Coming home from being gone for a few hours to a chirping CO2 detector and a totally freaked out dog set the stage for poor Sam to be totally wigged out once the hail started. Once it began, it took most of the evening to calm this poor stressed puppy down. I guess there are worse ways to spend an evening in the dark than stroking the soft head of a shaking fur-kid.

Needless to say, the baseball game was delayed for cleanup but finally finished in the early morning hours. And in true Colorado Rockies fashion, the team lost 14-9. Ugh.


Any severe weather your way? How do your critters deal with it?

Live, love, bark! <3

One Word Wednesday



Live, Love, Bark! <3

More than just a pretty face


Lately there have been a number of ‘why I love my dog’ kind of posts around Blogville and it got me to thinking, why haven’t I done one? I mean I’m quite ‘pawsitive,’ that I’m at least 110% over the moon when it comes to Sam. There are so many reasons to love his breed, hypoallergenic, for starters! Poodles are smart, they excel at so many things, are definitely athletic and make great pets. They are adept at so many things but with Sam I’m totally enamored with his goofy personality and the way he ministers to patients around the hospital. His sweet nature, patience and innate ability to provide just the right amount of attention and love toward patients is truly remarkable. This dog, mind you doesn’t do tricks (unless you count licking his chops on command for nurses and patients when offered a treat-a real winner around the hospital hallways). He’d rather set his fur on fire than to shake anyone’s hand and always gives you a ‘eew’ look if you try. Sit up and beg? ‘Fuggedaboudit!’ This dimwit’s giant schnoz of a nose can amazingly and yet easily miss a dropped morsel that’s right in front of his face.

When he twists himself up like a pretzel and gives me that tag-wagging thump, thump thump on the floor, all the while looking at me adoringly as if I’m going to share the correct numbers for this week’s Lottery with him. He seems to hang on to every word I utter (except when I need him to focus on walking rather than sniffing along our meanderings but even that makes me smile with gratitude at the thought of his sweet, goofy disposition). And he will look at you blankly if you toss a ball for him to retrieve unable to comprehend why in the world you tossed it and the expect him to fetch it. Yeah, homey don’t roll that way but I could care less. And then there’s always that look he gives me as if I just spoke to him in Yugoslavian and he doesn’t understand a single word of it at all.

_MG_4770-(ZF-2552-28389-2-002)-2He may not be the brightest bulb in the chandelier but I love that goofball like crazy. When I see him patiently allowing a complete stranger to strangle the stuffing out of him hug him around his neck, or when he leans heavily against a leg or thigh, I can only smile and be comforted knowing that knucklehead of a dog is making someone smile and feel just a little bit better about their current moment in life. And that is something that brings such happiness and joy to me as well as to all those who encounter this completely sweet and goofy boy.

Yeah, I love that boy, schnoz and all because I’ve never seen a more complete package of enthusiastic love for everyone he meets and the love he shows me. Yup, I really do love that dog!

So what about your pup makes you smile and realize how much you love ’em?

Live, love, bark! <3


A Napping Tribute

Bailey FOREVERToday we’re paying tribute to our fur-iend, Bailey the Sheltie by posting our favorite nap photo. We didn’t know Bailey, but all his fur-iends said he was a swell dog. We’re sorry for his family and hope that they find comfort from the tender moments and sweet memories of their loyal fur-iend. Run free, sweet Bailey.


Live, love, bark! <3

Fab Friday

This is more like Sam’s idea of ‘getting into pool’ rather than actually getting wet. However you try to keep cool, have a terrific weekend.b2492cf81e01a7d9d683b3dfb9c36dc5


Live, love, bark! <3

A Day Among Angels

Last week we visited the hospital and it was even more touching than usual. Our first visit was actually with a young visitor who was seeing her grandpa. Little ‘Angelica’ saw Sam and came squealing into the hallway. “Oh my gosh, is THAT a poodle?” she whispered. I assured her that in fact, Sam was a poodle. “But he’s soooo big,” she said. “Well, that’s because he’s a Standard Poodle, I replied.” I didn’t want to disillusion her by saying he’s really a substandard poodle-I mean, the kid is only 6 years old, who am I to burst her bubble at such an early age?

This little girl was one of the sweetest kids we’ve ever visited with since joining the pet therapy program. She had a bright twinkle in her eye, a soft voice and a special appreciation for that fluffy knucklehead. He nuzzled right up next to her and the two of them began an organizational meeting of their mutual admiration society. Sam leaned in heavily toward her and she kept stroking his head and ears and when she realized that she’d flattened his topknot, she fluffed it up. This little girl was absolutely adorable and we stayed chatting with her for quite a while. We sat on the floor in the hallway just outside the door to her grandpa’s room but didn’t go in because there were family members talking in serious tones and I didn’t want to crash their private time. Sam didn’t seem particularly interested in going in either; but he seemed to know this little girl needed him and he answered the call ‘pawfectly.’ My only regret was not grabbing a quick snapshot of her with Sam, but I’m religious about getting permission for photos at the hospital but especially where kids are concerned and there wasn’t an adult available to obtain the necessary okay without going into the room.

A couple of doors down from her grandpa’s room was another amazing opportunity for letting Sam do his thing. The patient had what looked like his daughter visiting with him but it became clear that the visitor was actually a sign language interpreter who the hospital had brought in for the benefit of any deaf patients. She asked if we’d drop in before leaving the floor, to which I said “we’d love to!” Sam took my enthusiastic response as his cue and he practically loped in to meet them. John’s face lit up when he caught sight of Sam, far more than most of the folks we visit. We learned that he also owned a Standard Poodle who was almost the exact color as Sam. He stroked Sam’s head and had I given him any indication it was ok to do so, Sam no doubt would have jumped up on the bed and crowded out the poor fella. Luckily he didn’t, instead he curled up right next to the bed while John (through the signer) told stories about his poodle. He had numerous questions regarding Sam…how old was he, how long had he been a therapy dog, stuff like that. Frequently when Sam is content with the energy in a room, he will lay down next to a patient. People think he’s bored, when in fact, he’s just comfortable with the person. We had a nice chat and when we started to leave, it was all I could do to get Sam up. He was prepared to stay with this kind, sweet man and the lovely woman who was helping him communicate the love for his own dog and the breed, as well as his appreciation toward the one visiting with him that day.

Sam in uniformAll in all, I couldn’t have been more proud of Sam and his visits that day. He showed why he’s a great ambassador for the use of pet therapy.

There are two entrances to the hospital grounds. You can enter the hospital from the north end of the campus which is where we usually arrive since it intersects with a major arterial road with quicker traffic flow. The other entrance from the south end is closer to the hospice center. We generally first visit the hospital entering from the north side and then head south toward hospice in kind of a loop. I had never before put 2 plus 2 together (math is NOT my forte) that the hospice is across the street from a large cemetery. It seemed ironic that you had the last stop for the living before heading across the street to a final resting place in such close proximity. That’s when I decided to swing by Crown Hill cemetery after we finished our visits to  meander among some of the older headstones.

When I was in college, I took a B&W photography class that sparked an interest in old cemeteries. In fact, my final portfolio was mostly of photos from a couple of the oldest ones in the metro area. How a society acknowledges the dearly departed says a lot about its customs and values so Sam and I walked around checking out some of the graves giving special notice to dates. It had rained hard when we left the hospital and the sky was moody and dark. After being touched so profoundly by our visits, it made me reflect about the lives of the people whose headstones we saw and it must have made Sam contemplative as well since he seemed pretty focused on one of the more distinctive ones ending a fascinating day among angels, past and present.

Have you ever walked through an old cemetery to see various headstones or am I just weird?

Live, love, bark! <3

One Word Wednesday



Live, Love, Bark! <3

Trivia Tuesday

Sam here. We saw some interesting noses the other day peeking through some knotholes in a fence we passed so mom thought it might be fun to do a trivia quiz to see if you could identify various noses. So…are you ready to give it a go?

Here's nosing you!

Here’s nosing you!

And here are the answers. I know, mom was sneaky with #7. It’s clear I can never leave to read any pee-mail when she’s lurking around. Sorry ’bout that. 😆

PicMonkey Dogs #s Collage

  1. Beagle
  2. German Shepherd
  3. Did you recognize my schnoz? Yup, that’s me-a Standard Poodle
  4. Golden Retriever
  5. Old English Sheepdog, my former baby ‘sister’ Puck
  6. Bull Terrier (you may remember Spuds McKenzie from those old Bud Light commercials)
  7. Panda (bad mom – if you got that one correct, you get bonus points!)
  8. Samoyed (this is my ‘hood bestie, Della; isn’t she just a love?)

Live, love, bark! <3

Happy Father’s Day

On this Father’s Day weekend, Sam and I send our best wishes to “effurry” Dad out there, whether he has two or four-legged kiddos. Whatever you have planned, we hope it’s a super-duper Father’s Day for your Dad.Happy Father's Day

Heartfelt greetings to my own Dad (with whom I’ll be spending time visiting this weekend), the best father a kid could ever have. He taught his family the kind of values that have served us well over the years. Our entire family is so lucky to still have him as a towering beacon of strength, integrity, love and respect as the perfect example of what being a Dad is all about.

To the man who showed me how to cast a fly rod as a kid, it’s ‘o’fishal,’ you’re #1. With hugs and fishes…love you to the moon and back.

Live, love, bark! <3

Fab Friday


Happy Friday. Here’s hoping your weekend is full of great stuffies and squeaker fun!

Live, love, bark! <3