3 Day Quote – James Thurber

One of my all time favorite cartoonists, authors, playwrights, and general all around wits, James Thurber is today’s quote for the 3-day challenge. I couldn’t agree more with his sentiment. Definitely these 3 will enter the pearly gates for sure, but am not as certain about me (especially that short-haired version of me-what was I thinking?!). image

“If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.”  — James Thurber

Do you think your pups will make it to heaven?

As part of the challenge, I was supposed to nominate 3 people (actually I was supposed to nominate 3 peeps each day but if anything, I’m all about breaking rules). Those kinds of guidelines seem almost like the proverbial chain letter where doom and gloom will come to anyone who breaks the chain and I rather despise that aspect so I’m not nominating anyone specifically but encourage you all to participate. It actually was fun to find quotes and I loved reading all your comments. So I say…give it a go!

Live, love, bark! <3

3 Day Quote ~ Rudyard Kipling

Today is the second day of quotes for the 3 day challenge and I chose one that fits nicely with my theme relating to dogs.

_mg_4694-zf-9751-96265-1-001-1“When the Man waked up he said, ‘What is Wild Dog doing here?’ And the Woman said, ‘His name is not Wild Dog any more, but the First Friend, because he will be our friend for always and always and always.’”

Rudyard Kipling (author, The Jungle Book)

Live, love, bark! <3

UPDATE: In the no good deed goes unpunished category, this was intended to be posted tomorrow (Thursday). Guess I need to have my eyes checked since I obviously hit “Publish” instead of “Save” earlier today. That or I need far more coffee first thing in the morning. 🙂

3-Day Quote Challenge – Dave Barry

We want to thank our friend, Rowena over at Beyond the Flow for nominating us to participate in the 3-Day Quote Challenge. Mom thought about it for about 87 seconds and then realized it could be a very cool way to check out some pawsome quotes by uprights about dogs.

Hi there, Sam here. Poor little Elsa was a little overwhelmed at all the nice things every one said to her yesterday so I said I got this one, li’l sis [appaws…graciously accepted here]. As her big brother, I just want to say many thanks for all your kind words. It means the world to mom who is absolutely rabid about spreading the word on the horrors of puppy mills.

So back to the quote challenge. Here’s the first quote mom found that made her smile. Dave Barry is a Pulitzer Prize winning columnist of whom we are big fans. We had gone to a large park in the city a while ago and took some photos of me in the gorgeous autumn light. I’m not prone to cocking my head very often, so she started making all these goofy noises and flapping her wings paws to catch my attention with the hopes of capturing a pic like this one. My thought was “WTH” is wrong with that woman? I have never been so embarrassed to see everyone in the park looking at her like she had lost her marbles. A dignified dog like myself has to maintain a certain level of decorum and poise and mom just blew my whole ‘cool dude’ reputation. Now I know how teenagers feel when their pawrents say or do something totally weird [insert eye roll here]. My mom…I think I’ll keep her. Sam“You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, ‘Wow, you’re right! I never would’ve thought of that!’” — Dave Barry

Ever say anything ‘foolish’ to your dog? What was his reaction?

Live, love, bark! <3

Life in a Cage

As many of you know, our newest “shadow” around the house, Ms. Elsa was a product of a puppy mill breeding operation. What you may not know are some of the details about puppy mill breeding operations, short of ‘they’re bad.’

img_3939Here in her own words here is Elsa, telling some details of her story.

Hello everyone. This is Elsa. Over the weekend my new mom was going through all the papers associated with my recent adoption and it really sank in just what we puppy mill pups had to endure so she encouraged me to tell that story in my own words.

There were 9 of us who were seized and turned over to a northern Colorado shelter back in late June after the death of our owner. One dog (who was probably my dad) was euthanized due to his severe aggression and determined to not able to be rehabilitated in any setting. Another dog had to be euthanized because she was diagnosed with Addison’s Disease. Me, my sisters, brothers, aunts and uncles lived in wire cages on a 3+ acre property on the Plains outside of Greeley, Colorado and were all filthy, matted, covered in feces and never touched by humans. The only time my cage was opened was when “he” was released in my cage to mate.

During intact with the first rescue shelter, I wouldn’t look up at the nice people who wanted to take a photo of me. I wasn’t able to make any direct eye contact and still have trouble doing that at times. I’m shy but friendly toward people and pets and still trying to figure out what being a dog is all about. So far, while on the one hand it’s scary territory, on the other, it’s completely pawsome!

Once the rescue took me in they evaluated my health which seemed mostly normal. But first things first…I was spayed and gastropexied. For those of you unfamiliar with that last term, gastropexy is a surgical procedure whereby the stomach is sutured to the diaphragm to prevent bloat, a common condition Standard Poodles are prone to suffering from as are all deep-chested breeds.

I was lucky to be placed with a loving foster family who owned another Standard Poodle to help guide my socialization for a number of weeks before I got to go home to the Ranch.

To have my own bed…inside even…well…gosh, how did I get so lucky? It used to be that I felt by having a dirty feces covered ratty old rug was something else. It was something else alright, just not what should be considered appropriate for living creatures. Although perhaps a little underweight but otherwise thought to be healthy, I now get two squares a day of premium food, fresh water twice a day, hooves to chew on along with an array of elk antlers (which can I just say, I LOVE?). I mean, I think I won the lottery on the Ranch. My brand new hot pink collar and matching leash along with a micro-chip will help keep me safe. Plus I’ll be stylin’ with my new bandana just like my big brother. Mom already has a set of snow boots for when the weather turns but not sure about that means.

My mom has been loving and patient with me. She speaks softly, massages my ears to help me relax, tries to use food as a motivator (though I’m still afraid to take any treats directly from her hand still) and praises me whenever I pee, poop, and exhibit good leash manners. She lets me climb up on the sofa and relax next to her and never forces me to do something if I freeze, instead always encouraging me. I started to wag my tail a little bit when I see her come into a room and that has made her super happy. She thinks I’m pretty special and even if my brother is a little less than a fan, I think I’m starting to win him over too. He at least let’s me sleep right next to him. The uprights will need to get more furniture for themselves though.


Have you ever rescued a puppy mill dog? What was your strategy for integrating a rescued fur-iend into your family?

Live, love, bark! <3


Monday Moanings


Morning, sports fans. Hope you had a great autumn weekend. Did your football team do well over the weekend?

Seems I have this little black cloud foreign exchange student following me around these days. Seems like I can never turn around without a certain raven haired beauty shadowing me. I’ve never been a big brother before so this is all new territory for me. Mostly I’ve been pretty good, but sometimes, she just gets too close and doesn’t let me monopolize and guard see my mom. Are all foreign exchange students like that, or just sisters? Remind me again when the semester ends?

Live, love, bark! <3

Alright Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my closeup

We recently were invited to participate in a photo shoot for the hospital’s ongoing efforts touting our group on the website. Hi there, Sam here. Because I’m one dashing looking dude, I volunteered immediately. Here’s a collage of some of the many pics the photographer took of our group. Some of us were so excited (Fergie, the American Bull Dog never stopped wagging her tail while she was visiting with the “Dogtor.”) and others were so happy to get to lay on top of with patients. Even Pepe, the party colored Standard got to met with a cute little girl in the lobby. You should be able to click on each pic for a bigger view. So, who do you reckon is the fairest one of all? Think I’ll get the call from general casting for more closeups?


All of us enjoyed showing off ourselves, and visiting with the people and staff who helped complete our stagings. A big thank you to each and every one of the dogs and their uprights who take the time to visit patients, staff and visitors at the hospital throughout the year. You guys are the best!

Have you ever seen pet therapy at work in a hospital or at a nursing home?


P.S. Sam’s mom here. Many thanks to everyone who left such sweet comments about “Elsa’s coming out” post. One week with us and she’s doing great, has gained some weight to go with her improved confidence and has taken to liking furniture.


Live, love, bark! <3


A funny thing happened last Friday…

Those of you who follow us on Facebook know what I mean when I say “a funny thing happened on Friday” but let me set the stage for the rest of you. So…have you ever considered sponsoring a dark-complexioned foreign exchange student (from the foreign shores of Greeley, Colorado-trust me, that town’s a world away even though it’s a mere 49 miles northeast of Denver)? Me neither but our world was about to change.

For many months, I’ve been contemplating the addition of a baby brother or sister for Sam. I’ve  looked at a number of dogs that might be suitable for us with no luck. For one reason or another, none of those other pups seemed to fit. But that didn’t stop me from still trying to find a sibling for the doofus. I knew I didn’t want a new puppy so limited the search to Standard Poodle rescue groups across the country, looking at hundred’s of dogs.

I had a small connection with the lady who runs the Poodle Rescue of the Rockies who happens to also be a breeder, shows them and is a big lover of standard poodles. She was friends with the former CFO at work whose wife bred show quality champion Standards. And it was quite by happenstance that I actually met Jeanne at a local dog show a few years ago and have stayed in touch with her over the years. Purebred Standards aren’t exactly plentiful in the rescue area-there are far more hybrid dogs. Jeanne might get a few in a year but every time I contacted her, the answer was still the same, “Nope, nothing right now, but I’ll keep you in mind if something comes up.” Then over a month ago, I called and heard this, “We’re getting in 6 standards from a puppy mill from up north but it’ll be a while before they’re ready. Keep in touch and we’ll see what we can do.” So I kept in touch. In fact, I called every week, “Are they ready now?” was my new mantra. Finally the week came where I could meet two females from the group. Color me overjoyed.

When the dogs came in, Jeanne named the females Hope, Faith, Charity, and Love. We came to the conclusion a female would be a better choice with Sam so we proceeded on that basis. I met Love who everyone called Lovey first. She was a gorgeous girl, as tall as Sam though very skinny with a regal face and half tail. Faith was a bit smaller and all of the dogs came from the same breeding hell-hole (aka puppy mill farm in Greeley) where the 92-year-old owner passed away. The dogs were filthy, matted, and completely unsocialized. Picture the worse, times two. Faith was more aloof but making progress much in the same way as Lovey. I felt Lovey would be a better companion with Sam and the two met. After the initial “sniff, sniff…yup…it’s a dog” reaction, I watched this girl to see if she and I would connect. Something inside me said…”this is the one.” Every few days, I reached out to Jeanne to express my continued interest and see where they were in the process of rehoming. A couple of people had contacted her before me and I was afraid I might end up being a bridesmaid yet again.

Lovey was temporarily placed with a foster while Faith stayed with Jeanne. After a freak accident involving electrical arching from a transformer at the foster’s home, Jeanne took Lovey back so as to minimize the stress. However the 19 (yes, count ’em) 19 firefighters and all the activity associated with determining the house was safe to inhabit, overwhelmed poor Lovey causing her to stress out to the point that she needed to be hospitalized and given medication to stop the dehydrating diarrhea. Then the medication caused her to suffer a reaction and resulted in an evening of seizures. Once the vet diagnosed it was a reaction and not some other medical issue (i.e. epilepsy, etc.), the meds were stopped and the seizures disappeared as quickly as they began. Poor Lovey though lost a bit of weight and needed to be nursed back to health. Last week Jeanne called and said she’d like to see how Sam and Lovey interact together since she thought a ‘big brother’ would be critical to her socialization. The impression I was left with was this was strictly a meet and greet session. We arrived mid-afternoon and were greeted by a number of standard poodles (Jeanne had 6 she was either placing, boarding or part of her own pack). It was doggie Disneyland and Sam was overjoyed at the prospects of ‘playtime with poodles.’ Lovey was used to that commotion and romped with all the big dogs. In true Sam fashion, he was just keen at the chase part.

The meeting went great, and while the dogs interacted, we talked about Lovey’s past and future. After a couple of hours, Jeanne asked, “well, are you ready to take her home tonight?” Wait…what? I thought this was just a meet and greet?! Long story short, we filled out the paperwork, gathered up her pup paraphernalia and loaded up the car.

She was a great traveler (unlike a certain Standard who loves the idea of riding in the car, but just can’t stand the actual moving part. She sat in the back seat checking out EVERYTHING. Nothing seems to escape this girl, she’s curious and needs to check out whatever is in her view. She’s quiet and remarkably calm. My hat’s off to the foster mom and her son for working with her. We had a couple of conversations about her progress and I continue to be awed at what a great job they did while she stayed with them.

going-homeApart from trying to figure out how to accommodate this newbie who was thought to be about 4 years old, we needed to figure out an appropriate name. Lovely wasn’t gonna cut it. With her regal stature, I felt like she needed something noble. Girl names seem to be in short supply from what I could determine to fit the bill. Sure there are 87 million cool boy names, but girl names…that was another story. I knew it couldn’t be some fluff name but what? Finally I landed on “Elsa von Furstenberg,” Elsa for short. Hey, don’t laugh…poodles originated in Germany so I figured, a German name would be just the ticket. I nixed Brunhilda though right off the bat. So apparently…it seems there was a “little” Disney movie where the heroine was named Elsa recently (had I known, I might have gone deeper on the list-yeah there are actual lists of German names for dogs (and cats, too). Think the top 100 baby names. Oy. Anyway, I came up with a regal name (which means noble and it describes this girl to a tee) from the top third of the list after we couldn’t seem to agree on anything (one name was “Misha” to which I said…blech).

elsaThese past few days have been a whirlwind for Sam and I. We’re trying to figure out what makes this girl tick. Is she housebroken or not (we’re still asking that question and hoping for a positive answer soon)? Trying to access the personality of a puppy mill dog isn’t easy and you must have the patience of Job. They are easily spooked, have no experience with everyday stuff that seems obvious and yet they are somewhat of a blank slate for the future given the right training. One thing that was a lovely discovery is she walks well on leash, though she continues to not realize ‘you can’t ever cross the streams” (as in cross the leashes with Sam and behind mom’s back) but we’re working on it. I took her and Sam through our neighborhood Farmer’s Market on Sunday and she was a rock star. Elsa is very bright and has a high desire to please (unlike a certain furry brother). She’s figured out that she rather enjoys all the attention she’s garnering through her good looks and was curious and patient while people fawned all over her. I was blown away. I don’t even like that much going on and she was showing me the ropes!

So bottom line last Friday, I rescued a ‘little girl foreign exchange student’ who I will make sure is fully legal and hope you’ll enjoy hearing stories about her and who knows, maybe if she shows some aptitude, I’ll turn the laptop over to her for her perspective. Right now, Sam is thinking, “gee, everything was great at Doggie Disneyland, but did we have to bring her home?” That and “so how long is this semester and when does she go back to that foreign land?”

When you see pics like this, you know everything’s gonna be all good.

bookendsAnyone know the procedure for procuring a H-1B Visa? Got any tips to share?

Live, love, bark! <3

Tail Wag Wednesday


tailwag-greetingHere’s hoping your day is full of cute tail wags and smiles as you head toward the weekend.

Live, love, bark! <3


Hospice for Dogs

We visit hospice patients, staff and visitors all the time. And we really like it, too. But did you know there is hospice for dogs too? Sam here. Last weekend, Mom and I went to the annual anniversary picnic of our photographer friend, Ariane at DelaFoto Studios. You may remember her, right? She’s the one that makes me look soooo good here and here. Each year, Ariane hosts an anniversary picnic for her clients and hosts a rescue group.
finalThis year one of the rescue groups that participated was Cayleb’s Kindred Senior Dog Rescue (“CKSDR”). We were able to meet with the Executive Director, Sophiane Nacer and Rebecca Shattuck, Behavior Specialist. These two amazing women work tirelessly to provide foster, forever, and sanctuary homes for senior dogs in need. This small rescue accepts adoptable, terminal, and special needs dogs over the age of eight and firmly believe that no dog is too old or too “un-adoptable.” Sophiane introduced us to little Annie, a sweet, albeit slow moving 16 year-old Pomeranian who was quite the life of the party. She entertained everyone with her always hanging-out tongue and tiny arthritic steps around the picnic area. Don’t you just want to put her in your pocket?!  Little Annie attends vet classes with Sophiane and goes with her everywhere and is one of several grey muzzles currently with CKSDR. While Annie has only 3 teeth left, that ‘minor’ fact doesn’t seem to keep her from filching Cheerios and giving loads of kisses. Even though she has many physical ailments including kidney and heart failure, a collapsed trachea, severe arthritis, and difficulty hearing/seeing, she still manages to enjoy life to the fullest. According to the website, Annie is “a little dog with a big heart (both figuratively and literally), and an even bigger personality. She continues to bring us joy each and every day that she’s been with us-now going on three years.”


We were so impressed with their program where they provide a sanctuary home for senior dogs so they can live out the rest of their lives in a home environment. It’s basically a hospice center for canines. While it’s been said all dogs may go to heaven, on occasion some of them go to hospice first.

How does it work? Volunteers open their homes to terminally ill or otherwise un-adoptable senior dogs, giving them a place to live out their lives however long they have left, and then they can pass away peacefully in a home environment rather than in a shelter. Even thought it’s a very tough part of senior dog rescue, it is also the most rewarding knowing you made the end of their lives just a little bit better.

CKSDR provides all medical expenses with arranged vet visits. Basic supplies such as leashes, collars, ID tags, blankets, crates can be provided if needed and food when donated. Behavioral training is also provided free to the pets. Volunteers are expected to care for the pet for the rest of its life. Many of the terminal dogs may only live a few weeks, some rebound in a loving home environment when expectations are exceeded. But when the time comes for the dog to cross over the Rainbow Bridge, CKSDR provides assistance through that process for both the volunteer and the dog.

Since mom and I work at our local hospice, we know how tough it can be, and how wonderful the staff caters to patients and their families. CKSDR does the same thing for these dogs. How cool is that?!

Do you have a canine hospice in your vicinity? What are your thoughts on canine hospice?

Live, love, bark! <3

Monday Musings

Originally, this was going to be a post about dog hospice that I started last week but didn’t get completed because I got waylaid. Once I got back on task, I got a call I’ve been waiting for over a month. Which led to a ‘funny moment’ on Friday afternoon which then lead to a weekend that was completely occupied every single minute (those of you who follow us on Facebook know why). Then I realized I had nothing in the hopper so that lead to this picture. Nice recovery, huh? LOL


Since I’m sort of dodging the bullet here, let me ask…have you ever been photo-bombed by your adorably cute BFF?

P. S.: I hope to have the two aforementioned posts finished up shortly. One might be a bit of a shock.

Live, love, bark! <3