Fab Friday

Today is National Coffee Day. Even if you don’t drink coffee, you can participate in the “good part.” To everyone, have a great weekend and enjoy our friend, Friday.

Live, love, bark!  ❤︎

Remember Me Thursday Tribute

Today we remember all the pets waiting at shelters everywhere and pray they find their loving fur-ever homes. We’ve done our part trying to rescue these precious babies with our own little Ninja. But before her, both the sheepdogs came to us from Denver’s Dumb Friends League at different times. Eliot was found roaming on the streets of a very rough neighborhood known more Rottweilers or Pit Bulls. He was picked up and transferred to DDFL. We discovered quickly that he was a fence jumper but resolved the issue by providing him a safe and escape proof home where he never roamed the streets again. Eliot lived with me over 12 years and provided me with love and laughter like I’ve never known. Who knew dogs could be such pawsome comedians?

Continued and frequent visits to Dumb Friends, two years following Eliot’s rescue, another Old English Sheepdog who had been taken from her abusive family through another shelter in the metro area. Puck was horribly thin and such a matted mess, her fur had to be shaved and came off like a single animal pelt. She was so pitiful to look at initially but turned out to be such a character of a dog who loved life, and relished torturing her ‘brother.’ Now there were two clowns who joined our merry little circus. Puck also lived a long life with me until she too joined her brother Eliot at the Rainbow Bridge, no doubt returning to complicating his life at the Bridge just like she did on earth.

These two joyful dogs brought so much love and happiness to my heart and Puck was Sam’s BFF. He still does double takes more than 5 years after her passing. He totally adored her. Both sheepdogs will always occupy a special place in my heart and particularly today, I pause to remember them along with all dogs waiting to be rescued with the passionate hope they may find loving fur-ever homes soon.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Working Wednesday

While the rest of the world is publishing cute memes today for Wordless Wednesday, my delinquents gang decided to call an editors’ meeting. As writers we all have to deal with editors and while this day wasn’t totally convenient time wise, I agreed to it. Lately, Elsa seems more interested in the editing process {otherwise known as interrupting me with barks, lots of nose nudges under the arm and pestering in general till she gets the attention she wants}. Since I can always use some inspiration from the muses, I thought, what the heck. Sam frequently comes by when I’m on the laptop and will ‘request’ an editor’s meeeting. So I decided to bribe them with snacks just I used to back when I was in working in the law firm. Nothing seems to inspire people or pets quite like a plate of goodies, so when I put a plate out, they practically dashed to the ‘conference’ room. Here’s a transcript of our meeting.

Elsa: Oooh, hiya, mom. Is that plate of goodies for our editors’ meeting?

Mom: Hi sweetie. Yup, thought we could all use a snack while we’re working. Kind of helps the creative process or so I’m told. It always worked well in the law office when…

Sam: [Interrupting as he barges into the conference room] Yo dudes…what be shaking?

Elsa: Dudes? What. are. you. yapping. about? It’s my first editors’ meeting. Isn’t that cool, I’m so excited, let’s get started on the agenda. I think the first item on the agenda are those treats!

Sam: Wait what…now she’s barging in on my editor’s meetings, the ones where I crawl across your lap, rest my head on the laptop, receive extra attention and ear scratches so you can’t get any work done?

Elsa: You mean you get extra attention at these meetings? Woof! Sign. me. up!

Mom: Um, we seem to be starting off topic already. We’re supposed to be figuring out ways for you guys to inspire me on future posts.

Sam: Inspire?! You mean I have to work here and there won’t be any attention or extra ear scratches just for showing up? What kind of chicanery is that? Um, could someone please pass a treat?

Mom: Sam, you know the rules, there is no such thing as a free lunch treat. You have to earn them.

Sam: [Looking mortified at the thought of having to actually earn a treat.]

Elsa: I have some questions and was told you know the answer to everything so I’m hoping you can explain a few things to me.

Mom: Well, I’ll certainly try my best. Go for it.

Elsa: Ooh, ooh, mom, mom, MOOOOOMMMM!!!!!

Mom: Whaaaaat Elsa? You’re standing right here next to me! You don’t need to bark shout.

Elsa: Well…First I was wondering how come when we’re walking along and I spy a squirrel 87 feet ahead of us and we’re sneaking up on it nicely and I’ve got the pawfect plan ready to snag it with my jaws of steel when suddenly, ‘someone’ slams on the brakes and we lurch to a complete stop…totally messing up my pawsome timing and allowing said squirrel in my sights to scamper away?

Mom: Funny you should mention that. There are many days when I feel like I’m in the Middle Ages with you two trying to draw and quarter me. Your tearing my shoulder out of its socket as you race toward unsuspecting critters and mom’s in one direction and on the other side, Sam ripping my shoulder out from slamming on the breaks so he can take a pee break in the opposite direction.

Elsa: Yeah, what’s up with that anyway? He does that every 10 feet.

Sam: Hey, I’m just catching up on the local gossip around the ‘hood, reading and writing pee mails.

Elsa: Pfft…writing…ha! More like texting like a little girl.

Sam: Hey, I’ll have you know I’m leaving impawtant messages for the brahs in the neighborhood. Maybe I’m also being chivalrous telling the male dawgs to stay away from my sister. Did you ever think about that?

Elsa: Wow, you can say all that in 5 drops?! Mom, how does that work?

Mom: Well Elsa, it’s just something boy dogs do, they mark territory.

Elsa: Wow, who’d have thought you could put all that info in a teeny text pee?

Sam: Those are NOT texts!! I’ll have you know, I’m the master of brevity.

Elsa: Haha. Whatever gets you through the night. I’ve read those texts…they all read like gibberish. They don’t even make any grammatical sense. I mean, puleez. Who you trying to kid with that hooey?

Sam: Wait, you’re reading my pee mails? What kind of sorcery is this, Ninja?

Mom: Um, can we get back to the agenda by the whole “attempt to inspire me?” You know, something clever for our readers?

Elsa: But mom, I need to know, how come he does that? And while you’re answering questions, why is the sky blue? And when are we going on a hike to see the leaves change colors in the high country? And…and…and…

Mom: Ugh. Meeting adjourned. I need to get some real work done.

Sam [walking out of the room with Elsa]:  See, I told you she doesn’t know everything.

Elsa: She knows a whole lot more than you do, doofus.

Are your editor meetings as ‘productive?’

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Monday Musings ~ September 25, 2017

Happy Monday, sports fans. Hope you had a marvelous weekend. Last Friday we broke a temperature record hitting 92 but then in a blink of an eye, autumn arrived with cooler temps and some much welcomed rain. Good thing I pulled out the long pants and sweaters because the mornings are crisp hovering in the mid-40’s.

When we visited hospice last week, I spent a few minutes in the chapel contemplating some of our visits and came across this saying from Ralph Waldo Emerson. I thought it was a beautiful sentiment and hoped it provided the visitors some measure of comfort. As it turned out, it seemed especially poignant with one of the patients, a young fellow who had the largest crowd of visitors I’ve ever seen at hospice. In fact, there were too many people to fit in his room at any given time. We met up with a number of them in one of the anterooms. Clearly this man was well-loved by his tribe. All his visitors were well tattooed, wore lots of leather and more than a few pony tails hung down the back of several of the guys. Even though we weren’t actually able to see him personally, I guessed he probably had some of the same tats, pony tail and no doubt the same road warrior twinkle in his eyes that his visitors displayed as Sam made the rounds with them. They seem to channel that their lifestyle was a total joy riding down the road, with the wind in their faces. Perhaps that’s why the Emerson quote resonated so much with me that I made a note of it and why I added it to a spider web photo taken near Pagosa Springs, Colorado.

And so friends, I would encourage you to live deeply today, and always. You never know what direction the road in life may take you.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

 

Fabulous Friday ~ September 22, 2017

Ahoy, mateys! You probably knew “International Talk Like a Pirate Day” was earlier this week but did you know my knuckleheaded mum neglected to post about it. Arrrgh! Sam here. She says it’s because she had already scheduled the Gotcha Day recipes and the ‘minor fact’ that we’ve been working this week at  hospital, hospice and West Pines and  she was totally up to her eyeballs in alligators getting our uniforms ready, making me walk the bath plank getting all spiffed up. Yeah, yeah, no excuses ye wench, just results, okay?

Aye, lucky for me lads and lassies…I did find my inner pirate for Speedy’s Annual Pirate Party and the cool gang from Blogville are celebrating all sorts of fun shenanigans today with an end of summer picnic , a ‘Trashure’ Hunt, and a barnyard dance and make sure you enjoy a margarita or two from Ruby’s. Sorry if I furgot any other activities-it’s been one of those weeks.

I’m kinda tuckered out from my work this week and since I’ve got more than four left feet, I’m watching from the comfort of my sofa bed whilst rejuvenating from some busy hospital visits but encourage effuryone to check out the festivities. The guys from Blogville are all so clever and always have such a great time. No doubt there are sure to be loads of scallywags and landlubbers enjoying themselves and a great time will be had by all. Shiver me timbers…those guys know how to host a pawty! Hope the week was kind to you. Now go enjoy the first weekend of Autumn, ok? Happy autumnal equinox.

Lie, love bark! ❤︎

Magic Grooming Dust

Sooo, remember how we said we’re doing visits this week at the hospital. Sam here. And you know what that means? NURSES!!! Woo-hoo. Er…I mean seeing patients. Yeah, I love everyone I get to visit with but I especially love my nurse friends. They make the preparations tolerable.

H.E.L.P. me

First of course there’s that water torture thing. I just don’t get why we have to do this every time we go to the hospital. I mean, the nurses would love me even if I didn’t smell like a million bucks and was hospital clean. *Dog sigh* Mom keeps telling me it’s a regulation and we have to do it but that she’ll sprinkle some feel good magic dust on before she starts the second part of the torture getting ready. The haircut. Not a fan.

Well I don’t know what happened but she sprinkled the stuff all over me and nothing. I mean NOTHING. I think her bottle is expired and well past it’s “Best by Date” frankly. How in the world do you not have magic dust that works when you’re constantly going to woo the nurses visit patients. Sheesh woman! I got a reputation to live up to, don’t ya know?

Well…so there I was, a near drowned rat, expired magic dust and a smirking mom. Oh brother. The shame and humility of it all. With my sister making fun of me, to boot from the other room. Hey…how’s about I take a big dump down one of the empty hospital corridors where administrative offices are located to embarrass you? Oh wait, yeah, I did do that once. Not sure what caused that. I suspect foul play or another batch of bad/expired magic dust. Anyway, that’s a story for another time, woman.

We went to West Pines yesterday and thank goodness everyone there seemed to know I needed extra attention and ear scratches for enduring all the horrible torture. We visited with a guy named Bob who wouldn’t talk to anyone but he talked and smiled broadly with me. Another guy named Chris came by and told me stories about his Pomeranian/Pekingese mix dog. It sounded like she was a sweetie but not the brightest bulb in the chandelier. Whaddu mean mom, saying he could have been referring to me? Not funny! Didn’t I perform my one and only trick of licking my chops for a treat, on command. With tongue on both sides even and one more time just to impress everyone? All on command? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Man, are all your pawrents as demanding as my mom? And as forgetful about how utterly adorable you are accommodating them? Jeez.

We did visit with loads of patients and let them hug me, rub my ears and I made them smile. Even the staff was thrilled to see me. Seems I’m a hit with nurses AND mental health care providers. Good thing too, since my mom can’t seem to deliver on the magic dust to take away the dog grooming blues.

We’re going back today to see more patients at the Senior Behavioral Health floor and also visit with people over at hospice. Wish me luck with the nurses patients! My mom has been working on the annual calendar to fund our pet therapy program that will go on sale next week. She found all the famous author monthly quotes for it (there’s even one in there who we all know and love, M.K. Clinton from Barking from the Bayou) and added all the howlidays for 2018. She will review the proofs this weekend. Word has it I’m a centerfold in one of the Spring months and was also captured showing off my dogtor skills in the lobby with my mom and a patient. We’ll keep you posted. Friday is our fur-iend Speedy the Cheeky House Bunny’s annual pirate party. Hope to see you there, mateys!

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Word(y) Wednesday

We off to visit with patients for the next few days but will return to share adventures along hospital corridors. Have a groovy Hump Day.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Pawty Recipes

First, let me bark out loud thanks for all the kind Gotcha Day greetings to my sister. You made her day very special and mom and I appreciate Blogville’s kindness. Hey, it’s Sam here. Mom promised to share her treat recipes with everyone and we can’t believe how many of you want to try them out.

The good news is they are super easy to make. A while back mom posted the “Unleash the Quiche” recipe from Rachel Ray. You can read about it here. Mom modifies the recipe since she’s a vegetarian and never has meat in the house, other than dog food. I know…we’re so deprived.

Vegetable Quiche Muffins

Whisk together 4 eggs with a splash of milk (we don’t do a lot of milk either so you can either just do a splash or 1/4 cup like Rachel’s recipe calls for. Mom then added a couple of tablespoons each of (a) chopped carrot bits (b) chopped frozen green beans and (c) cheese. Mix together and pour into greased muffin tins or paper baking cups. We made 6 muffins. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.  That’s it. Didn’t I say it was easy? It took mom longer to clean up then it did to throw these guys together.  And the good news is you can substitute any dog appropriate veggie for the carrots or green beans or even add some meat. {Drool}

Coconut Oil Dog Treats

These were even easier to whip up with only 3 ingredients. Take 1 cup of peanut butter (make sure it doesn’t contain Xylitol-that stuff is deadly for us fur-kids) and 1 cup of pure, unprocessed coconut oil. The recipe mom used also called for 1 tsp. of cinnamon but mom used to make dog treats for sale and some dogs aren’t all that keen on a heavy taste of cinnamon. She only added around 1/4 tsp. Melt the coconut oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until melted. Add the peanut butter and cinnamon and stir until mixture is nice and smooth. It should be somewhat thick but pourable. Pour mixture into silicone ice trays and freeze until solid. We are keeping them in an air-tight container in the freezer. If you’re stingy like my mom, just give one treat with meals. The brown part is the cinnamon which tends to settle at the bottom of the mold.

Mom snagged those adorable silicon paw print and small bone molds from Amazon but you can use plain silicon ice-cube trays as well.  Aren’t they as cute as a certain poodle you know? Let us know if you make these and what you and your pup thought. They really couldn’t be easier to make and the rewards for your pups of these healthy treats / meal-toppers are what it’s all about, right? These guys earn my 4-paw seal of approval so now all that left to do is eat.🐾🐾

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

 

Monday Moanings – Post-Pawty Hangover

Elsa here. Had an amazing Gotcha Day weekend filled with ear scratches, treats and some interesting walk abouts but man, am I stuffed and worn out. Sam keeps saying I’m hungover (whatever dude) but with all the attention my peeps gave me, I think I’m a bit more than just a little tuckered out. Mom has been playing this song over and over and then giggles like crazy, so I’m beginning to think that maybe she agrees with him. What’s up with THAT?! Just wait, guys…when you least expect it….hi-yah!  xoxo, your favorite Ninja.

Hope you all had a pawsome weekend like we did. Happy Moanday.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Gotcha Day

One year ago today, a sweet little black girl came into my life. It’s hard to believe the Ninja has been around for a year, especially with her snoring next to my chair as this post is being drafted. I’m so used to her noisy “snorfling” noises, I don’t think about it but it’s true she sounds like a fireplace bellows, one of the many things that has endured her to me.

I remember that day like it was yesterday. We were going to see how Sam would react to the idea of a ‘baby sister’ and how she’d react to him. Sam had been an only child for nearly 5 years and although he was very connected to Puck, my pill of an Old English Sheepdog and he got along with all dogs, it was somewhat disappointing to see he was pretty nonplussed by the Ninja. She was still a tad feral (she refused to accept any of the high value treats directly from my hand preferring that I toss them in her direction) but she was nonetheless, quite curious about me. When Jeanne (the poodle rescue coordinator) asked me if I was ready to take her home, I was floored. I thought we were just meeting again so she could see if we would be an appropriate new owner. We had been approaching the adoption in very small baby steps as is Jeanne’s rule.

I first met Elsa, formerly known as Love, who was one of a group of poodles seized from a Northern Colorado puppy mill operation after the owner died. She had been moved through the rescue network through the Greeley shelter. They had contacted Jeanne, the head of the Poodle Rescue group (and who also is a breeder of show quality standards) to see if she could place the seized dogs. Hope, Faith, Charity and Love were the females, and there were 2 males. I had hoped for another male, but Jeanne convinced me opposite sex dogs would probably be better in this case and Jeanne is not someone to argue with, so a female it was. The dogs were originally seized in early summer and each one was completely unsocialized, filthy and matted messes when rescued. Elsa was evaluated and Jeanne spent the next couple of months getting her ready to be adopted which included full health screening, spaying and slow gentle socialization. I met both her and Faith and decided Elsa (aka Love) was the girl I was interested in as she appeared to have the most potential. We met her at her foster home and while she was reluctant to be pet, she was curious enough to come fairly close to catch a whiff of me. We spent a long time with her and she pretty much ignored Sam after the initial meet, sniff and greet. She was wary, but I could see this girl had possibilities written all over her. She was tense and fearful but there was something about her that I just couldn’t dismiss. She received high marks from the Greeley Shelter’s evaluation and was considered to be rehabilitate-able, despite her feral-ness.

When I called Jeanne initially, she told me this process would take a while. She is extremely deliberate with all her dogs, be they rescues or the fabulous show dogs she breeds. These dogs needed patience and s-l-o-w, gentle socialization. Totally understandable but it felt like Christmas Eve for a 3 year old. I wasn’t sure I could wait!  When at last the opportunity to meet with her arrived, I took it. And I called her every week. I’m sure she was sick of hearing from me but I just didn’t want this opportunity to escape. I had missed other dogs far less challenging and I wasn’t going to let this one go without putting up a pestering valiant effort. Score one for me since I must have worn poor Jeanne down and surprisingly she agreed to let Elsa go home with us a year ago when I thought we were only being evaluated again. I was thrilled beyond description, Sam was slightly less enthusiastic but we all bundled into the car and made our way home. She handled the ride decently well and her leash manners were remarkably good. Now this is where the story takes a slight detour.

If you’ve been following our journey for a while, you’ll recall that two weeks to the day, Elsa started having Grand Mal seizures. Prior to that Indian Summer day, all was going according to plan. She was shy but we knew that would be the case. She didn’t know anything about being a dog. Didn’t even know how to take a treat from your hand. It took repeated attempts We packed her off for the emergency vet for treatment. She was fairly dehydrated due to the seizure activity and they kept her overnight. I didn’t know if the seizures could be stopped and whether she could stay with us. That episode was terrifying and we were not optimistic. But she had won my heart and I was committed to doing whatever I could to make this little girl succeed, physically and emotionally. We were sent home with anti-seizure medication which she has been on ever since. Our vet suggested we also put her on CBD oil and thus began my education about this highly promising supplemental treatment. Although we’ve had a few ups and downs and she has had some break-through seizures, she is doing well and her vet seems mostly pleased with her progress.

Yes, she has oodles of ‘quirks’ but we’re dealing with them. I know that with love, patience and constant health surveillance, this little pill of a dog who is as sweet as she is funny will continue to provide all who meet her with such joy and happiness. Now if we can just do something about her latest habit of barking for no apparent reason in the house and tormenting her brother. But that’s for another day. Today we celebrate!

Today an extra treat, ear scratch and loads of attention (hmm, that sounds a lot like every day) is in order for the “Gotcha” girl. Welcome to the Ranch, sweet girl. We love ya. [I’ll provide recipes for the quiche and coconut/peanut butter treats next week]

And while we’re celebrating, today is another special rescued girl’s Gotcha Day. Miss Ducky over at Heart My Dogs is also celebrating her own Gotcha Day. Don’t furget to give her digital treats and ear scratches. Both these special girls were lucky to find mums who adore them while they provide their families with constant laughs and love. Happy Gotcha Day, Ducky! Now let’s P.A.W.T.Y. with the girls! Happy weekend.

So when does the pawty start?

Live, love, bark! ❤︎