Monthly Archives: July 2017

Manic Monday

Elsa here. Hope you all at least had a good weekend. I was subjected to hideous torture and abuse. No, my mom didn’t punish me for eating another brand new sock, no it was much worse than that. Let me explain.

Mom took me for a ride. Normally that’d be a good thing because I like car rides, but I was all alone. The numskull brother didn’t get in the car with me. What’s up with that? Should have known something was up by taking a head count. So after 87 minutes of driving we arrived at a somewhat familiar parking lot. “Hmm, I think I’ve been here,” I thought. We got out of the car and started to go for a walk around the various stores. It was sprinkling a tiny bit but it felt good; for a change, the sun wasn’t beating down on my overly long black fur coat.

After a nice walk, we walked into the pet store where Rebecca greeted us. Uh-oh. Oh yeah, now I remembered this place. This is the fur-stealing store!!! Rebecca was nice but I was nervous. She’s always patient and gentle with me and lets my mom stay in case I have a seizure so she can work on making the nasty Epi-monster go away quickly. We went into the Chamber of Horrors Secrets and she got me up on the rack grooming table all primed to torture me. This recent photo doesn’t really show how bushy and long my fur coat was. Notice the panic panting tongue? Yeah, I’m stressed. I mean, wouldn’t you be. I’m standing there being a good girl while a fur theft was going on and my mom was helping commit the crime!!!  Mom forgot to take a good pic showing off my luxurious fur coat of the muppet fur, here’s one from the beginning of June before taking me on the ride to hell.

 

This is a few minutes into the theft.

Notice the ‘I’m not the slightest bit amused and almost pleading look I gave my mom. Believe it or not, she ignored me. The nerve! Kept saying some load of crap about ‘how good I was’ and ‘how pretty I was.’ Bah…I was being robbed and tortured right before her eyes and she’s blathering on about pretty? WTH?! So clearly pleading eyes didn’t seem to affect her cold, hollow heart, so then I decided to ignore her. She gets freaked out if I’m not fussing and fawning over her all the time. Then I moved to Plan B – playing hard to get. But alas, all she and Rebecca did was drag me over to the waterboarding area where the torture continued.

I still can’t fathom why she allows all this obscene torture. What kind of mother does that anyway, huh? Haven’t a been a good girl? Ok, so I ate a few socks and chewed up a few pairs of reading glasses along the way. Don’t we all? Normally you’d think uprights weren’t so vindictive, but apparently that’s not the case with my mom. I had to quickly move on to Plan C.

 

Switching strategies, I went into full on ‘poor, pitiful me’ looks. Clearly my charm and ‘je ne sais quoi’ qualities didn’t matter one bit. If waterboarding wasn’t bad enough, there was that terrible hideous machine that sounded like an airplane was taking off. I nearly lost all the remaining furs on my body I was so scared!

My terrified expressions didn’t seem to matter so this girl had to resort to more devious action. I thought I’ll just move to the back side of the torture tub where she can’t reach me with that foul hair dryer. Just like I do at home. Heh, heh.

Alas, foiled again. Guess I forgot about long cords, though given half a chance next time…maybe we can add that to the list of things I’ve munched in the past. Just kidding, mom. Sort of.

After two hours of torture and still not completely dry, Rebecca released me into my mother’s custody where she whisked me back to safety. I remember exiting the grooming shop with a “Best in Show” prance and my head and tail held high, never looking back at the people who ogled over me while mom paid for the torture grooming session. Seriously, you uprights pay real money to torture us?

When I bounced out of the car once we arrived home, I rushed in to share my tale of woe to the useless brother who is supposed to protect me. I distinctly heard him chortle as he rushed past me to greet mom, not even bothering to get the details of my ordeal. Just wait until next month when he goes to hospital. I’ll be first to “nah, nah, nah, nah, nah” him. It will serve him right too…couldn’t happen to a dumber doofus.

Now this is the face of a happy dog! Much like Martin Luther King, I howled, “Free at last, free at last, thank gawd almighty, I’m free at last.” I’m still a tad soggy here but with about 87 pounds less fur according to mom and Rebecca. They said something about making sweaters from all my fur. Pfft…you’d be so lucky.

My only question now is…what time is dinner? How do you cope with extreme ‘pawrental’ torture?

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

 

Monday Musings ~ July 24, 2017

It’s a brand new week filled with promise and all sorts of possibilities. Mine will be hectic and full in anticipation of company arriving soon with preparations being made for their visits. Hope yours is grand, and the AC works its magic during the dog days of summer.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Larks and Lavender ~ Colorado Style

It’s full-blown summer here now and while it would be fabulous to travel to Provence, in the south of France, the next best option presented itself over the last weekend in the Mile High and bonus points were scored for not having to deal with TSA. While still relatively new as a commercial enterprise, Colorado’s lavender production has been increasing. Our arid climate lends itself to production of the herb with a climate that is similar to the Provence region with scads of sun, low water and few natural pests. The Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield Farms located in south suburban Littleton hosted a wonderful festival showcasing the garden’s 800+ plants with demonstrations and products, tours of the farm, and including music and kid activities. Beautifully landscaped mounds greeting visitors under gorgeous blue skies along with loads of vendors to share all manner of lavender products including soap, essential oil, dried bunches, potpourri. I wandered around sniffing to my heart’s content. Indeed everyone there seemed mellow and calm, no doubt due in part to the terrific effects of this special herb. We all know how wonderful lavender smells but did you know about all these positive properties?

  • Reduces anxiety and emotional stress
  • Heals burns and wounds
  • Improves sleep
  • Restores skin complexion and reduces acne
  • Slows aging with powerful antioxidants
  • Improves eczema and psoriasis
  • Alleviates headaches

Although I arrived a bit too late to attend any of the formal morning classes, I talked with a number of the vendors who were all extremely informative and happy to share samples of this fabulous smelling herb. I never saw a cranky person or child there and the hot temps \ would have been reason enough to be fussy. Lavender is such a great mood elevator and mellows out everyone.

Look at those beautiful mounds!

This vender was charming and cheerful while being ever so patient answering my questions on growing techniques. I have a number of lavender plants in my garden but learned several tips that may provide even more success with this fabulous herb.

Lavender bundles. No extra charge for bees.

There were other beautiful flowers at the festival

English lavender does better with our winter climate

Loads of happy ‘chill’ people at the festival.

More than just lavender at the Chatfield Farms

Fun garden art made from old spoons

Tons of lavender skin care products

Pretty Echinacea

More Echinacea plants

Even the Clydesdale was mellow

 

 

 

 

Lavender Association Booth with distillation equipment

All in all, it was a great day in the sun and I was able to gain some valuable info about maintaining and improving my own lavender garden. Even when leaving the parking lot that was filled with hundreds of cars, I was relaxed and calm no doubt due to all the sniffing of lavender plants and infused products. How do you enjoy lavender?

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Word(y) Wednesday ~ July 19, 2017

It may be Word(y) Wednesday, but it’s also washday, which means we’re off to visit patients today and tomorrow. The next couple of weeks are filled with all sorts of commitments and out of town visitors swinging by the Ranch, so posts may be somewhat sparse. Never fear, we’ll do our best to keep up on reading all of your posts and hopefully, we’ll be able to add a smile or two along the way. Stay cool sport’s fans. It’s 🔥 🔥 🔥 hot, hot, hot this week in the 303; how is it in your neck of the woods?

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Tribute Tuesday

While we’ve had a rash of special pets cross over the Rainbow Bridge over the past several months, it hasn’t been limited to Blogville. A number of fellow pet therapy dogs have left as well. I haven’t shared stories about those losses since we try to soldier on as best we can despite the hole that’s left behind. When Sam and I joined pet therapy over 4 years ago, there were over 50 dogs in the program. Today that number is just over 30.

Recently one of my absolute favorite dogs left us unexpectedly, leaving her owner, Bonnie and the rest of us who knew her, simply devastated. “Fergie” was one of those dogs you just couldn’t get enough of whenever you saw her. With a regal face, expressive features, she was a pawsome ambassador for our program. I was instantly drawn to her at the first get-together for both handlers and dogs. In the midst of dogs everywhere and uprights chit-chatting away, Fergie quietly sat next to Bonnie taking it all in. She was a beautiful soul with a calm presence who represented her breed so nicely especially in the midst of frenetic motion and noise. 

Fergie was a wonderful therapy dog and will be sorely missed. Throughout her two years of service to our program, she and Bonnie provided much comfort and joy during their 64 visits. Sam and I were lucky to spend some time with Bonnie and Fergie at the annual fund-raising calendar sale with Fergie performing impressive tricks for people in the hospital lobby. And Sam adored her as much as I did.

Bonnie described Fergie this way:
“Fergie loved riding in the car wearing her goggles, and hanging her head out the window.  It also gave Fergie joy when she would get her toenails painted.  And I believe she liked wearing one of her many outfits.  She was an attention hog.  She knew only a few tricks but she was always willing to perform.Treats were a big must have for her.  Fergie loved chasing anything that ran.  She didn’t care to catch it, but she loved the run.  If she saw something running (squirrel, deer, rabbit, cat, anything) she would be on the chase.  But, if it stopped, she would stop, until it started running again and then it was off she goes!  When she would get tired or the poor creature would out smart her, she would come bounding back to me with her head held high, a smile on her face and a prance in her step just as pleased as she could be.”
Here are some photos Bonnie shared with me that show the great spirit Fergie exhibited with her good nature and sense of style.

Sam and I will miss our sweet fur-iend and hope our admiration for Fergie helps her mom deal with this untimely loss. Our program just won’t be the same without the two of them. No doubt there will be tons of nail polish colors and goggles just waiting for Fergie at the Rainbow Bridge. While she may be gone, she will not be fur-gotten. Rest in peace, sweet girl. 
Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Monday Moanings

Thief, thief…I’ve been robbed…again!

No, the hoodlum neighborhood gang of squirrels didn’t break in the kitchen window. Remember how I waxed on about the Ninja a few days ago on her terrific socialization progress was going? Fast forward a few days and now I can safely say I have a juvenile delinquent.

So the story goes like this: We were running low on dog food. No problem, I can swing by the pet food store and pick up a bag. Nothing unusual there, right? While running around I thought, I’ll swing by the grocery store too since, well, we were out of EVERYTHING. Again no problem on its surface. Let me set the scene. It was one of the many days the weather was in the mid-90’s and traffic was the pits. I finally got home, a total hot mess and sweating like stuffed pig. After carrying in several grocery bags and the dog food in the house, I thought I’d take 5 to hydrate with some iced lemonade. The dogs greeted me like they always do, I sat down and began sipping the beverage and life returned to normal. Or did it? All of a sudden I realize I’m missing a dog. Cue the spooky music.

So I go into the kitchen and see the Ninja with her head deep in that shopping bag and notice the box of croissants is semi-open with one minor detail. Only two of the buttery delectables out of a dozen remained. I took the box out and put it on the floor to re-create the crime scene since I couldn’t open the cellphone fast enough to catch the actual proof. But I did capture where she was licking up errant crumbs from the floor.

WTH, Elsa?! Those weren’t quite the actual words I said out loud (think creatively) for which this face stared back at me.

 

As if it was no big deal. Well, I guess a girl’s gotta have her pastries, I know I sure enjoy them at breakfast. I chuckled and just chocked it up to yet one more thing on the ever-growing list of things this dog has eaten and didn’t think much else about it.

The next day I was preparing dinner, I pulled this out of the oven piping hot and turned around to grab the pizza slicer and looked back to see that thieving little brat on her two hind legs standing with her front paws on the stove (something she has NEVER done since her hips are a tad wonky and always assumed it’s uncomfortable to jump up) taking a bite out of the edge. 

I hollered at her and she scurried out of the kitchen and then quick as a wink, Sam reaches up to try the same thing! Are you freaking kidding me? “Dude, you are supposed to be teaching her how to be a dog, not some waif-like pickpocket character from Oliver Twist!” *Ugh*

 

While Standard Poodles originated in Germany, I think my little urchin appears to be identifying more with the commonly thought of origination country, France for which I don’t blame her. But 10 croissants in a lightning quick moment? Dang girl! Maybe she is a distant relative of our favorite French fur-iend, Phenny and channelling her heritage?

Bottom line…I think we need to schedule a refresher training session for Sam and as far as Elsa goes, I don’t even know where to begin. Looks like someone needs a summer job to stay outa juvenile detention and maybe a DNA test to put pedigree to rest.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎