Greetings and surprise! It’s me, Elsa, the Ninja Ranch Hand here to share a wonderful occasion with everyone. We rarely post on Saturday but we just couldn’t let today pass without honoring my brother. Recently my brother’s original Mom contacted us and provided us with Norman’s exact date of birthday. Mom had long thought he was a little older than the rescue thought and she was right. Twelve years ago today, a little fur ball came into this world and has been brightening everyone whose path he crossed ever since. Norman (who was always called Norman BTW) entered our lives in January of 2020 and while I don’t always show it, I do love this big lunkhead. He’s always sweet (even when he’d probably prefer to swat me into next week because I can be a bit of a pill) and is the most even keeled dog Mom has ever known.

Norman - birthday
Happy 12th Birthday!

Everyone at the hospital adores him and he’s one of the  favorite dogs visiting nurses and staff throughout the hospital. Recently we’ve seen him starting to slow down and Mom thought it might be time for him to retire and live a life of leisure since it was becoming harder and harder for him to get up from laying on slick hospital floors. Then our pet therapy group wondered if Norman could just be a door greeter  welcoming visitors into the hospital. Mom will bring a nice comfy pad for him to lay on while bringing his special kind of therapy to all who see him. He will wish patients well when they are discharged as well as when they check in at the hospital. We’re going to try it out and see if it will work because he’s just so special.

In the meantime, my Mom and I plan to dote on the big fur-ball this weekend and will shower him with treats and loads of attention while he brings us smiles. I mean who wouldn’t-just look at this sweetheart. He started out being a lounge lizard as a puppy and he’s still one which always makes Mom smile.

Puppy Norman

Norman has never once balked at all the stupid hats or costumes Mom dresses him up in. His good nature is always front and center and when Mom comes home, he runs and grabs a favorite toy to show her he’s glad she’s home. This dog is a dream, I could learn a few things from him but I’m endearing in my own special way. But Norman…well he’s just something extra special and filled my Mom’s heart with tender comfort when Sam crossed the bridge. I’m convinced he saved her more than she saved him.


Mom thanks her lucky stars every single day for this wonderful dog who brightens up everyone’s mood and brings more smiles and chuckles than you can imagine. We couldn’t be more grateful for this boy and hope we can celebrate more birthdays and special times with this hunk of love. Happy Birthday, sweet Norman. We love ya to the moon and back, dude.

Here are a few of his most notable poses. Is there a sweeter dog around, I don’t think so.

Norman Norman

Dogtor Norman
The Dogtor is ready to make his rounds

Norman Norman


Norman Norman & Elsa Therapy Dogs Word Cloud Gallery

This boy is beloved by young and old but especially by us. Happy birthday, sweet boy.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

68 thoughts on “Surprise!

  1. Happy Birthday, handsome Norman! Gosh, we never would have guessed him to be 12 years old, he looks so much younger! We’re glad you were able to find out the date! ♥

    1. Thank you, Jan. OES are notorious for always looking young. Wish I knew how they manage to do it!

    1. Thank you. Yes, she knows exactly what she is and what she does. Gotta love that level of self-assuredness-just wish I knew from where it came. Certainly not from me! 😆

    1. Aww, this for such a lovely comment. Norman would likely be wiggling as he met you.

  2. Happy happy Beelated 12th Birfday mee Sweet darlin Norman!
    You look so amazin inn all yore fotoss!!
    Yore so furry hansum….. **sighss**
    Wee think ‘THE Door Greeter’ idea is a wunderfull idea fore you…..wee think it iss purrfect!!!
    Much <3 <3 an ***paw kissess*** BellaDharma an <3 <3 an {{{hugss}}} BellaSita Mum

    1. Aww, thank you for those kind words. We hope the door greeter position works well for Norman. I know he’ll be more than welcome doing it. Hugs and tail wags.

  3. You’re the cutest doggie, sweet Norman and we love you too, even more after reading your story. You’re one of a kind, sweetie💗 Double Pawkisses for a Happy Birthday and many more to come🎉🐾😽💞

  4. Oh Norman you are amazing – and just think – everyone who knows you loves you to bits and what – I ask – is better than that????? Nothing!!! Happy Birthday and many, many more!

    Hugs, Teddy

    1. Many thanks for the kind comment. I know if he could, Norman would plant a soft pupster kiss on your face.

  5. A very Happy Birthday, Norman. Hope you are having a lovely day. You really must be a Special Boy when my Favourite Ninja sings your praises. I like the idea of the ” Door Dog” where you greet people entering the hospital and give them a special farewell when they leave – you work your magic both ways – coming and going. Benji was born – we believe, sometime in 2012. I decided on 15th October because that was the date we adopted him from Mount Gambier rescue. Anyway, Norman, I loved being part of your life – allbeit a small part – and I hope I can still be for a while yet.. Have a Great Day.

    1. You’re too kind, John, thank you. We’re pleased as punch that you always leave a nice comment and of course, we adore sweet, Benji. It was such as joy to learn Norman’s early history. We were very fortunate his Mum reached out. She’s now following us on Facebook and we’re super happy to be able to share his sweetness, especially with those who originally loved him. I know Elsa loves her big brother though sometimes, she can be a bit of a sticker toward him. But she wags more and attacks less, so that’s progress on her part. 💙

    1. Thanks so much for the well wishes, Cindy. We appreciate all the kind comments.

  6. Oh, Norman! Happiest of birthday weekends! You are the handsomest of handsome pups, and being the hospital greeter and well-wisher is just the perfect job for you. Enjoy your special day, buddy. xoxo

    Love and licks,

    1. Aww, thank you for the kind wishes. And happy birthday wishes to handsome Roary!

  7. Happy Birthday to YOU, Norman!

    Benji is wearing that same hat in his BD pics…coming in our next post. (Petcretary says the Dollar Store is one of her friends, BOL!)

    We think you don’t look a day over two, but yes, those joints…petcretary can attest to that, too. We are too young to have those issues…MJF had some troubles, but Glucosamine/MSM and Chondroitin were quite helpful, and later we added some boswellia.

    1. Many thanks for the kind wishes. Yes, Norman has been on Glucosamine/MSM since he was adopted and transitioned to Dasuquin (an amped up version) earlier this year at the suggestion of his vet. I may add boswellia as another potential helpful supplement. He’s really slowed down in the past 6 weeks but I’m doing everything I can to make things as comfortable as possible for him. It’s rough watching them quickly age overnight in front of your eyes.

  8. Awww, how sweet of you, Elsa, to admit you really do love your brother…though I knew it all along! Being a “little sister” myself, I can spot the signs right off the bat. ❤️🐾

    To Norman: The Z Kids and I send you lots and lots of hugs and kisses for your birthday!! I think being a greeter at the hospital door will be perfect! You can still do what you love but be more physically comfortable doing it! 💙🐾

    And, Monika, I know how much you depend on Norman’s special brand of love…I depend on my Zen the same way, all day/every day. ❤️❤️🐾🐾

    1. Thank you for the birthday wishes. These special dogs are such incredible gifts of which we are both the recipients of their love and companionship.

  9. Happy birthday to you Mr Norman! Cuteness overload!!! Dogs are all different but I haven’t seen one exude as much sweetness as you.hope you live it up with your extra treats!!

    1. Many thanks for your kind wishes. Since returning from my granddaughter’s wedding, I’ve been very sick but did give Norman loads of loving attention while we both catnapped most of the past several days.

  10. Awww, Norman … enjoy your special day, it is well deserved! Obviously your Mom loves you a wholabunch (also deserved) and you’re quite the guy with all you do, all you have given to others! Just like you, we think, to NOT actually go into retirement … but to find another way to give of yourself. Happy Birthday handsome (love all your photos).

    1. Thanks Ann and June. This dog is such a sweetheart and so patient with all me silliness. I’m so blessed.

    1. Trust me, it’s pretty old for such a big dog. But he still has a youthful expression. That’s one of the coolest things about Old English Sheepdogs.

  11. Lucy: We’ve been following Norman since he joined your household and remember all these pictures, all of which tell a story. Our 2 favorites are the one with Norman wearing the doctor’s smock and the one of him kissing the doctor.
    Xena: Yep, and I really like the one of him outside and the lady leaning over to him and all the little dogs around him. I think maybe he was about to get a treat!
    Chia: Happy birthday, you knucklehead, fur ball, Norman!
    Everyone: Happy 12th birthday Norman, and wishes for many more!

    1. Thanks for the lovely birthday wishes. Norman came into my life when I needed him most and has brought me joy every single day since. I was so blessed he came in my life when he did.

  12. Happy BD Norm! You’ve got a great lil sis there who really loves you. And BTW Miss Elsa, how gracious of you to acknowledge your brother in such a mature and loving way! Enjoy your day Norm with lots of treats, belly rubs, ear scratches and then rinse and repeat. P.s., My Kloe was looking over my shoulder at the photos of you and could barely contain herself. She is Seven bit goes for the older, wiser, and more distinguished men. You certainly fill that bill!

    1. Thanks for the birthday wishes, Mike. Norman is one of those dogs that people and animals just gravitate toward. He’s such a love. No doubt he’d love being with sweet Kloe.

    1. Many thanks, Helen. We are keeping our paws crossed he’s with us for a good long time.🤞🏼

    1. Thanks. Not to fear, he’s going to be well spoiled this weekend. Come to think of it, he gets spoiled every day because he’s such a love and deserves it.

  13. Happy Birthday Norman! He is such a good dog! And we are so happy that you found a solution to help him stay in pet therapy. 🙂

  14. Awww… This is such a wonderful post, Elsa. Your love for Norman shines through! What great pictures, too.
    Happy Birthday, Normal! I know you are going to have a fantabulous day! xoxoxo

    1. Thanks Miss Dale. We will shower this boy with all sorts of love and treats today.

  15. Norman is such a good dog! We do love him in pet therapy, and are so glad you found a way to keep him visiting. Happy Birthday, Norman!

    1. We’re grateful for the opportunity to bring happiness to all who meet him.

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