Wordy Wednesday

Tonight is the first of the 2018 Blue Moons. You ready for some cool lunar action? At least, we’re half-way to the weekend. Can I get a two-thumbs up from you guys?

Is it just me or has this week gone by quickly? 

Live, love, bark❣

Tuesday Tails

Who doesn’t love an adorable puppy who’s just found its voice? There’s nothing cuter than when they’ve noticed their reflection in a mirror or encountered something unusual in their day, right? But when that pup grows up and continues to bark, it’s not as adorable, is it? What’s a responsible dog ‘pawrent’ supposed to do?

The problem with this kind of adorableness is too many dog pawrents actively encourage the barking as the puppy grows up into its world. What may have been cute at 10 weeks of age, can grate on people’s nerves, frighten passers-by or annoy the neighbors when that same 10 week old puppy is now a 10-year-old dog who still barks its head off.

I think we can all agree that barking is a form of communication. Did you know there are at least 7 different kinds of barks?

  • The ‘Hello’ Bark’ ~ Dog encounters people or other dogs and its body is relaxed and the tail is wagging.  This is a friendly greeting kind of bark.
  • Distress Bark ~ Barking at all movement or unexpected noises. Body is stiff and jumping forward may accompany each bark.
  • Territorial Bark ~ Beware, you’ve invaded my space.
  • Look at Me Bark ~ Vying for attention, treat, or play.
  • Communal Bark ~ Following the leader. Similar to the racket at a shelter.
  • Obsessive Bark ~  Repetitive barking often while running back and forth at a fence. One of my neighbors dog falls in this category. The dog often barks non-stop for hours on end.
  • Let Me Outa Here ~ A frustration bark when seeing a dog that cannot be greeted.

Obviously the last two types of barks are not welcome and need attention. And we’re not talking about screaming at the top of your lungs to ‘shut up’ like my neighbor. That dog needs an outlet for his energy, like a seriously long walk.

Naturally preventing of all barking (good luck even trying that strategy) is foolish. Barking is natural and the way dogs communicate. It is possible however to train a dog to stop barking. Be patient. A voice command such as “No Bark!” accompanied by a reward when complied with makes gains possible. When the dog starts to bark, particularly in the house, and you’ve given the “No Bark!” command (with loads of praise on compliance), follow-up with quick and timely delivered “Wanna a Treat?” question. Distraction can work wonders during training. Gradually reduce the number of treats followed by lots of praise but keep the praise ongoing. You can also use negative reinforcement (when the dog barks: tension is applied through a head halter or harness reminding your pet of your disapproval when you’ve given the “No Bark” command). We tend to find positive reinforcement is a far more effective way when it comes to all training sessions.

It’s not necessary to punish or berate your pup. ‘Barking’ back at your dog is the ultimate exercise in futility.

Other strategies to employ may include providing a crate for a safe spot for a fearful dog. Often times, barking is the result of boredom (as in the case of my neighbor dog). Exercise and mental stimulation helps dogs achieve balance. Remember dogs are creatures of habit and a deviation to their routine can trigger excessive barking. Best to stay with the game plan for the pawfect’ chill-dog.

Do you have any tips regarding how you addressed obsessive barking?

Live, love, bark! ❤

Monday Musings

I think dogs definitely relate to this proverb. I would so love to strive for the ‘eat half’ advice. which is particularly tough during the Girl Scout Cookie Sale period currently going on. Who can resist those earnest faces?

Live, love, bark! ❤

Freaky Friday

Put fur coats on these two and it’d be Elsa and Sam all the way.

Much like the movie Freaky Friday it seems we’ve had an epic switcheroo around the Ranch. I mean when you see a post that shows a certain level of destruction, you kind of automatically think, “oh jeez, Elsa, what did you do this time,” right? Well, unlike the movie, no fortune cookies produced this furable switch. I can only surmised it may have had something to do with a touch of jealousy. You may recall Wednesday was supposed to be a bath and groom for the Ninja. It’s been one of those jam-packed weeks with something scheduled every day. I seem to have caught some sinus bug or something and have been suffering from a 4-day long headache which has robbed me of much-needed sleep to help feel better. Any who…I got going early with walks, breakfast, etc. so I could give Elsa her bath and clean up the Muppet look when, half way started, the phone starts squawking that we need to be at the vet’s to recheck Elsa’s blood levels (since we reduced her Phenobarb dosage recently we need to know if it’s going to keep her seizure free). AWK!!! I thought that was set for the next day. Ugh.

Better make it snappy, mom!

Are you kidding me? I’m not ready or cleaned up for going out of the house so like any insane person, I shift into hyper-drive, race around like a maniac and fly out of the house with Elsa in tow in record time. Bless her heart, she was up for the adventure, popped right into the car and behaved like a real champ at the vets. She didn’t react to any of the large dogs waiting to be seen and even got on the scale to be weighed without any freaking out (OMD!) or special cajoling. Amazingly, we were on time, too.

Whew, so far so good, right? So the vet tech takes her in the back, draws the blood and talks with the vet who says “um, we really need the draw as late in the day as possible to accurately gauge the Phenobarb levels, any chance they could come back again at 6 PM?” The tech brings Elsa back to me with the ‘good’ news. O-kay, yeah sure (calculating in my mind how long it will take to finish grooming, bathing, drying) . So we leave, head home and start back picking up where I left off. Elsa has a thick coat and her hair was pretty long so it took a while and it was hard bending over with the sinus headache. We finished up late in the afternoon, Elsa looked semi-presentable ok and I realized she’s one good-looking dog with that luxurious shiny black coat. I, on the other hand, looked a fright, the house had dog hair EVERYWHERE so I pop in the tub and proceeded to clean-up the bathroom which was totally trashed. She’s exhausted, I’m exhausted and we still need to go back to the vet for Round 2. During the height of rush hour.

About this time, that squawking alert on my phone goes off again. Wait, what…it’s too soon to leave for the vet, what the heck is it? Turns out I was supposed to go to a book signing on the other side of town to meet a local author. Oh man, are you kidding? By this time, I know there’s no way I can make it; so I hunt through my inbox to send a note of apology that I wouldn’t be able to attend (so bummed). The Ninja is looking at me like I’ve lost it when I glance over and see my fleece jacket on the floor with Sam hovering over it. When I go to pick it up, I realized he has chewed holes in the pocket to extricate all the treats I normally carry on walks. Who’d have thought the innocent, well-behaved Sam would have gone postal on a jacket? Could have blown me away at that thought.

He looked up at with that goofy look he so proudly wears (otherwise known as his face), tail wagging and looking like “well, you have been kind of neglectful of moi, today.” Never would I have expected him to pull something like this. Elsa, oh hell yes. But Sam, never. Talk about a Freaky Friday…I just hope they don’t continue their Lindsay Lohan/Jamie Lee Curtis switching of roles. I swear, those two are better than a Netflix comedy.

The weekend is nearly here and if you’re like me, you can’t wait. Any plans? I am hoping to sleep the whole time.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎ 

Washday Wednesday

Shhhhh, it’s Wednesday and that means someone is getting groomed today. Let’s hope a certain Ninja receives the ‘full treatment.’

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Monday Mutts

Image courtesy of Pinterest because mom’s not fast enough

Well it finally happened. Hiya. Elsa here.  It should have happened weeks ago but finally and thankfully…Denver is under a Winter Storm Warning for snow, ice, high winds, and low visibility with blizzard conditions for the eastern plains. Can I get an Amen, brother!? Speaking of brothers, Sam wasn’t that keen about going out to potty in this white stuff and I confess, I too had some reservations initially. But Mother Nature (and snow zoomies) called, so who am I to refuse that pressure?

Denver is experiencing one of the driest winters ever as are the various ski areas in the state. Statewide snowpack was 58% of normal. That’s scary if you are a ski resort, people! That graphic pretty much says it all. Even Hawaii experienced a blizzard before Christmas last month with Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa receiving up to two feet of snow.

Courtesy of the Mauna Kea Observatory

Mom said some of you have already experienced some major snow and cold lately but this is rather new this season (unless you count those few days in December when it was bitter cold but with no snow). Mostly we’ve been experiencing breaking days with many perennials still blooming in December. What the dog?!

How was your weekend weather? Anything exciting happening out there while we’re snuggling up on the sofa?

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Friday Rhymes

Any special plans?  Whatever you have planned here’s hoping some beautiful rhyming accompanies you along the way.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Wordy Wednesday

Here’s hoping there are no camels in your way. Happy Hump Day.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

2018 Resolutions

Because mom was so preoccupied with multiple trips to see my grandma during her multi-week hospitalization, Elsa and I decided to take matters into our paws on the resolution front. Sam here. Mom doesn’t generally do resolutions thinking they usually aren’t kept for long and are a waste of time. We, on the other hand, are all about resolutions because we know we can keep them. Too bad mom doesn’t have enough discipline like us brilliant poodles.

Knowing that mom worked in the legal field for 87 years, we thought we’d codify our resolutions in a nice legal-beagle kind of way. That way she’ll be sure to understand where we’re coming from, right? Here are our resolutions for 2018.

Sam’s 2018 Resolutions

I, Yosemite Sam, chief knucklehead at the Ranch (the “Knucklehead”) do hereby swear, affirm and warrant to keep the following resolutions as they relate to making life interesting for our mom (the “Upright”). Therefor…

RESOLUTION 1

BE IT RESOLVED, Knucklehead resolves to continue his bad leash manners, especially during the winter months. This means I reaffirm to wrap the leash behind her legs as soon as she prepares to clean up after me on all walks at every opportunity and to poop in the deepest possible pile of snow presuming we ever get any;

RESOLUTION 2

BE IT RESOLVED, Knucklehead agrees to continue to stretch the leash as far away as possible from Upright’s bad shoulder by splaying toes for better balance and digging in with strong legs. Knucklehead further resolves to resist any leash correction while sniffing on walks;

RESOLUTION 3

BE IT RESOLVED, as a male who must show dominance at all times, Knucklehead affirms he will continue to hover over his sister whenever she tries to pee on the off-chance said Knucklehead might get away with peeing on her; and finally

RESOLUTION 4

BE IT RESOLVED, Knucklehead, in accordance with the terms of the Poodle Doctrine, affirms and resolves to abandon all previous training with respect to leash pulling during all sniffing sessions. There will be no loose leash walking for said Knucklehead in those areas where there is no sidewalk to safely walk. Said Knucklehead plays a mean game of chicken and is not a wuss and is clever enough to try to walk in front of cars because it freaks out Upright despite knowing said Upright repeatedly threatens to rip off head of Knucklehead when he moves too far away from Upright’s side.

Subscribed and sworn to this 16th day of January, 2018.

   Yosemite Sam 🐾                           

Elsa’s 2018 Resolutions

I, Elsa, Fearless Ninja at the Ranch (the “Ninja”) do hereby swear, affirm and warrant to keep the following resolutions as they relate to making life interesting for our mom (the “Upright”). Therefor…

RESOLUTION 1

BE IT RESOLVED, Ninja will continue to be a scrappy girl whenever a runner approaches us, especially when said runner is running with a dog and will always keep Upright guessing as to how I will react when encountering another dog on any walk;

RESOLUTION 2

BE IT RESOLVED, Ninja will continue to look for non-edible edibles, i.e. reading glasses and items from the pantry shelves and reminds Upright to make allowances as Ninja was a puppy mill dog for years and doesn’t know better.

RESOLUTION 3

BE IT RESOLVED, Ninja will take every opportunity to cross leashes and always walk behind Upright’s back on walks because it makes Upright grumble with HBO words while getting twisted up; and finally

RESOLUTION 4

BE IT RESOLVED, Ninja affirms and warrants she will continue to be a twirling dervish as Upright attempts to hitch up the harness for walks. Ninja knows Upright enjoys it given all of her giggling which seems to encourage Ninja’s tail wagging and weaving through legs.

Subscribed and sworn to this 16th day of January, 2018.

   Elsa, the Fearless Ninja 🐾                

Did you or your pup make any resolutions for 2018?

[Mom here with a comment. Now I know why Lady Justice is blind; she had poodles too.] On the plus side, they always manage to resolve to be adorable and sweet without trying.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

 

MLK Monday

Today is a legal holiday in the U.S. Eighty nine years ago, Martin Luther King was born on this date and today we celebrate his life. To honor this legendary civil rights leader, here is a video of his “I Have a Dream” speech. Given last week’s repugnant comments that dominated the news, it seemed appropriate to revisit the dream, especially today.

Hope you had a great weekend. What’s on tap for the week?

Live, Love, Bark! ❤︎