Author Archives: Tails Around the Ranch

About Tails Around the Ranch

The inspiration behind this blog is one goofy Standard Poodle named Yosemite Sam (Sam). I'm Monika, his upright. We live near downtown Denver in a 1950's style ranch house. I have a passion for big dogs and keeping them healthy through exercise and nutrition. In my copious spare time, I create all-natural organic treats. Sam is the the official 'taster' and quality control officer. Nothing leave the 'Ranch' without his official paw of approval. Our main focus of late is being part of a hospital and hospice Pet Therapy team since Sam is the sweetest fur baby around (even if he's a little ADHD). Patients, staff and visitors alike adore him as he brings the sick a few moments of happiness. So grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and be prepared to BOL (bark out loud) following our adventures. Life with this goofball is a paw-some hoot. :) And don't forget to sniff or bark a comment; we'd love to hear from you.

Monday Moanings ~ January 28, 2019

Up the river poodle

Today we woke up to poodle zoomies weather, otherwise known as a good 6 inches of snow. Elsa zoomed up and down the dog run racing around in jack-rabbit gallops and yet happy to come inside (and shake off…once in the house). Does anyone know why dogs ALWAYS wait until they’re safely indoors before shaking?

Today should prove to be interesting since I have an appointment this morning. Just hoping I can return safely and get back up the little hill to the driveway. Hoping you aren’t stuck ‘up the river without a poodle paddle’ and your Monday starts off on a ‘pawsitive’ note. To our friends in the upper Midwest, stay safe and warm in the midst of a Polar Vortex this week.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ Eskimo Style

Today we join our fur-iends Rosy and her brothers from LLB in Our Backyard on the last Friday of January 2019 for this week’s edition of Nature Friday.Nature Friday

We had a little storm blow through Ranch-land yesterday and by blow, I really mean windy conditions. While the total snow only measured 3-4 inches, the wind drifted it in some places to closer to 6 inches. The Knuckleheads however saw it as an opportunity to go mushing.

Poodles-Iditarod Style

Normally, the Knuckleheads walk on either side of me. We may still look like a 3-ring circus, but they walk nicely on either side. Sam never walks right next to his sister. I think I’ve heard him moan, “ewww, dog germs” on occasion. Yesterday, the windy and snowy conditions made them both frisky as all get out and I had to bundle up like an elder Eskimo on the ice flow including fat mittens which leaves very little dexterity to steer them around. While we weren’t out anywhere near the time or distance we normally are on a morning walk, those two bounced, galloped and frolicked like a couple of school kids. Try holding a cell phone in a mitten while staying upright in blowing snow. I laughed just contemplating the image we must have cast.

Poodles-Alaska-John-Suter

It reminded me of another musher team captained by John Suter in 1988. Suter and his team of Standard Poodles entered the 1988 Iditarod. As a rookie, the team actually finished in 38th place with a time of 18 days, 1 hour, 50 minutes, 50 seconds. Thankfully, the Knuckleheads were happy to head back to home Nome after a few blocks rather than days. Yes, it’s true; I’d we’d never make it in Alaska. But no doubt the Knuckleheads still dreamt of winning their own Spirit Mask and race trophy.  It should be noted that a few years after that first run, officials passed rules allowing only northern breeds like Siberian huskies and Alaskan malamutes to compete.

Here’s hoping you win any race you’re in this weekend. Stay warm and safe.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Wordless Wednesday ~ Setting Moon

Full Moon

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Goodbye Monday ~ January 21, 2019

So this is where we part, my friend,
And you’ll run on ahead around the bend.
Gone from sight, but not from mind
New pleasures and squirrels you’ll surely find.
Your place will be held…you will be missed
The fur that was stroked, the nose that was kissed.
And as you journey to your final rest,
Know in my heart sweet girl, you were loved best.

Precious Zoë

Precious Zoë

It’s a sad state here at the Ranch to begin this week so please pardon me while I take a moment to acknowledge the passing of a dear friend’s little companion. Precious Zoë, left her Mom, Dad and fur brother, Zeus early yesterday morning. I know she will be missed beyond words. She was a super sweet girl with a classic Westie personality and one of the best squirrel chasers I’ve ever known. To my friend, loving thoughts are flowing your way as you celebrate your little girl’s long, storied life. It’s hard to fathom she’s  gone, but she will not be forgotten. May all the tender moments you shared together provide you with some measure of comfort. Thinking of you with oodles of love. 💔

Live, love, bark 🐾

Nature Friday ~ January 18, 2019

Welcome to today’s edition of Nature Friday where we join our fur-iends Rosy and heNature Fridayr brothers from LLB in Our Backyard. Click on the link to see more Nature Friday posts.

The weather been in the mid-50’s the past few days but winter is expected to do a quick drive-by sometime today. Yes, that is unusually warm for January, but particularly during the National Stock Show when the temps typically hover in the frigid zone. Our forecast calls for rain mixed with snow but since temperatures will be somewhere in the upper 30’s or low 40’s today, but I only expect a sprinkle or two, but not much in the way of snow accumulation. Monday, winter is expected return with a higher chance of snow so we have our fingers crossed. The dogs would love to run Iditarod style, in the white stuff. Me, I just hope to hang on while staying upright laughing at them when they go snow crazy.

Ok, enough with the weather reports. How ’bout some Nature? A trip to my parents house in Southern Colorado allowed me to see these precious little things. Living in an urban environment, birds like this are as rare as hens teeth so can you imagine how thrilling that was. Generally seen on the Western Slope of the Rockies, these  little guys flit to and fro in the pine and pinion trees looking for insects.

The Centennial State I learned is home to three species of bluebirds; Western, Eastern and Mountain bluebirds. A bit bigger than a sparrow, these guys can be found in fields, open woodlands, and in some suburban locations near open areas such as golf courses. Mountain bluebirds (which I have encountered when my daughter lived in the foothills west of town), are found at higher elevations in open meadows.

I could have watched these little guys all afternoon if they’d have let me. They seemed cautious, even a bit shy while I photographed them from inside the house but then again I know I’m not thrilled when someone watches me eat either. They reminded this city girl, there’s a whole ‘nuther world out there that I’m missing.

We hope you get the opportunity to see some unique elements of Mother Nature this weekend and make it a great one.

Bluebirds Bluebirds

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Wordless Wednesday ~ January 16, 2019

Pagosa Springs

Pagosa Springs, Colorado

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ January 14, 2019

So THAT’S the issue? Guess it’s obvious now the problem is I am owned by I own a Standard Poodle, when what I really need is an automatic.

Standard vs. Automatic

Here’s hoping your week starts off with a chuckle.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ January 11, 2019

Nature Friday

Kudos for surviving the week and if you’re like us, you’re excitedly waiting for the weekend to begin. Welcome to today’s edition of Nature Friday where we join our fur-iends Rosy and her brothers from LLB in Our Backyard.

While the temperature outside is the warmest it will be all day at a balmy 34F with a beautiful wet snow falling here, we thought we’d share a photo of a real snow storm from a few years ago. These kinds of storms are only in my dreams these days and can only hope we ever receive that much again.

Snow storm

However you spend your weekend, we hope you enjoy it.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Did You Know? January 8, 2019 edition

If you live in a region where the temperatures get below freezing, your fire hydrants are more important than ever. We recently received this video about the importance of hydrant maintenance in the winter months. “Gaskill” hydrants were originally installed in Denver in the 1890’s and incorporated a dry barrel draining system to prevent water from freezing inside the pipes connecting to the hydrant.

Now days, water companies uses propane burners when storms are forecast as part of their regular maintenance in cold climates. Most of the 21,000 fire hydrants installed throughout the Denver metro area are yellow and installed along the sidewalk easements. Newer versions of the Gaskill hydrants feature an underground valve to shut off the flow of water in case of a collision by some vehicle. The value shuts the water off and keeps water in the supply pipe, preventing water from spraying in the air a la Hollywood style. I personally hate the idea of water waste in this high mountain desert region and hope storm sewers are able to re-cycle and treat this flushed water and get it back into the non-potable system for watering city parks.

Hydrants are flushed out at dead ends, cup-de-sacs and pressure zone boundaries to ensure water moves regularly throughout the system. By flushing Gaskill hydrants, it allows the water company to collect samples and maintain water quality throughout the distribution system.

Upright and fire fighters are grateful the hydrants are maintained, especially at this time of year. Seems like dogs are grateful for hydrants, too. Even the Ninja.

A little privacy, please.

Have you ever wondered how your fire hydrants worked? Now you have a better idea, at least if your water company uses the Gaskill hydrants.

Live, love, bark! 🐾