We’re Back…sort of

Hi there, remember us? You know, that merry band of misfits consisting of two dogs and an upright who thinks she runs things but let’s face it, we all know Norman and Elsa are the real brains around the Ranch. Sorry we’ve been AWOL. A series of life events tripped us up pretty hard and took the wind out of my sails with little to no bandwidth remaining in the tank to do any kind of job at blogging. I began to sink in mental mud rather than focus on much of anything else.

Flowers

Although we were served a large crap sandwich, I realized when I ran into a nearby neighbor couple this morning that life can easily serve a bountiful meal as well. They were loading their newborn baby boy into the car (egad, I hadn’t even been aware they were expecting)!  What a beautiful and reaffirming sight to see their new son peeking out over dad’s shoulder gazing at the world while the two fur beasts and I observed this blessing from a more than social distance. The realization that a new life joined the rest of us in 2020 had an impact on my psyche and that made me realize I absolutely needed to begin to post.

In the ‘more good news’ category, the hospital recently contacted the pet therapy teams to see if we were interested in participating in some form of hybrid form of pet therapy visits. While visiting patients and staff in the hospital would not be possible (and probably won’t for the foreseeable future given the recent uptick in cases in the Mile High City), they worked on creating a new way to bring smiles at least to the staff of the Emergency Department. Norman is scheduled to visit their parking lot venue for greeting doctors and nurses (today is our first day and we’re wiggling with excitement and will report back on just how it goes so wish us luck). Norman is all spiffed up having survived the water torture and is now ready to make his first appearance spreading a little joy later this morning.

Pet Therapy

Please know we’ve missed you all and hope to pick up where we left off with new adventures to share. I’ve continued to visit your blogs and left a few microscopic comments but you’ve all been in my heart. It appears the summer has been good to the fair majority of you and we hope autumn continues in that vein. Until the next time where we update you on how Norman’s inaugural entry into the world of pet therapy goes, remember…

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Purple Day ~ March 26, 2020

EpilepsyToday is Purple Day,® a global grassroots event created to increase worldwide awareness of epilepsy and to dispel common myths and fears of this neurological disorder. Purple Day® attempts to reduce the social stigmas associated by the many individuals afflicted and provides assurance and advocacy to those living with epilepsy by letting them know that they are not alone. This day occurs annually every March 26 in honor of all epi-warriors, whether they are 2 or 4-legged. Once again, we proudly support this event by wearing purple. As you may know, Elsa, as a puppy mill survivor with unknown lineage, was diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy shortly after she was rescued nearly 4 years ago (you can read her story here). Supporting epilepsy awareness and education is a no-brainer and I’m committed to learning as much as possible about this condition and how to effectively manage it while providing a safe and loving home for this pill of a dog. I can {knock on wood} report Elsa has been mostly seizure-free for almost two years through a combination of anti-seizure medication and organic, locally sourced CBD oil.

Elsa
You woke me up for this?

So on this year’s “Purple Day®“, we invite you to wear purple today. If you or anyone in your family are impacted by epilepsy, check out the Epilepsy Foundation’s website or check the “About” tab at PurpleDay.org website for valuable information.

Word Cloud

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Monday Musings ~ January 6, 2020

Good happy Monday, everyone. Elsa here. We hope you had a swell weekend. I kind of got into a spot of trouble yesterday by stealing some chicken jerky for us off the counter (it was on top of that jar you can barely see in the upper left corner) while mom had her back to us for a second. It was just sitting there at the back of the counter as she turned to put away the container. Well, that’s practically an engraved invitation to try so I did what any poodle would do…I jumped up and snarfed both pieces. Sam of course, ratted me out. Doggone brother!

Sam & Elsa
Busted!

On my afternoon walk, mom put this contraption on me and said, “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” I guess that means I now have to pack my own lunch.

Elsa
Working for my lunch

We hope you have a great week. Now that the holidays are over, mom says things will go back to ‘normal.’ What exactly is normal for poodles?

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Throwback Thursday ~ January 2, 2020

It felt strange to type 2020 for this post but I suspect it’ll get easier as we write our ‘best-seller’ this year. The past reflection through images as well as thoughts about last year brought this photo up and one of those that is aw-worthy in integrating Elsa into the family pack. Taken just a couple months after she was adopted and after several trips to the vet before we managed to get control of her seizures, it’s apparent she loved her brother almost as much as she loved stuffed toys. Knowing that her first few years were devoid of love and toys, I’ve always been touched by this scene.

Sam & Elsa

My heart is full of gratitude when I see Sam acquiesce the dog bed in the studio to his recovering sister and comfortable enough to let her lay close to him. Seeing scenes like this sets the stage for focusing on the more ‘pawsitive’ moments that will happen this year.

We hope you safely survived any New Year’s celebrations and the many of the college football bowls (is it me or are there far too many?). How ’bout that Rose Bowl game? Congrats to the Oregon Ducks on the comeback win.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Make a Wish Monday ~ September 16, 2019

Three years ago, a skinny, shut-down black Standard Poodle joined the pack and life hasn’t been the same ever since. Today is Elsa’s 3rd ‘Gotcha’ Day and I couldn’t be happier she found her way into my life. You can read more about her story here.

Elsa

Sure it’s true, I’ve suffered from her munching of multiple pairs of reading glasses, wool socks, and other assorted household items and I’ve learned to cope with the devastating diagnosis of idiopathic epilepsy, but this clever girl has truly blossomed into quite the Princess.

From a shut-down, puppy mill survivor to the spunky, hilarious Ninja of today, Elsa learned to wag her tail when she experienced joy and came to love playing with toys. She’s definitely come a long way from that fateful autumn day three years ago. The birthday girl must have realized today is a special day since she let me sleep in to 4:45 a.m. this morning (from her normal “GOOD MORNING!”  bark requesting the desire to come up on the bed rather than the usual 4:35). With this girl, I’ll happily accept those extra ten minutes and continue to enjoy those daily early morning snores snuggles.

Sam & ElsaHappy Gotcha Day, sweet Elsa. Keep making everyone around you smile and continue to thrive while bringing smiles to those who love you. Even your Knuckleheaded brother sends happy greetings.

Elsa

One of the most inspiring footnotes to Elsa’s story is the fact that she has (knock on wood) remained seizure-free since last November. She continues learning how to be a ‘normal’ dog  and how to enjoy life. There’s still seems to be more room for her to grow and learn so I look forward to more continued progress, both physically and emotionally. High five, Ninja.Elsa

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Not Quite Wordless Wednesday ~ October 31, 2018

From our house to yours, we wish you a “Yappy Howloween.” While Sam is totally done wearing any costumes after the weekend’s festivities, Elsa was not equally as game for a shot in the limelight. This witches hat appeared for a brief second, just long enough for the shutter to release. Then it became a ‘toy’ and we all know what happens to Elsa’s toys. 😈 We hope your celebration is full of smiles.

Happy Howloween

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Birthday Monday ~ October 8, 2018

Yesterday was a big day around the Ranch. We had a little celebration going on for our favorite Knucklehead who officially became a ‘teenager.’ That’s right, Sam turned 13 yesterday and celebrated like all ‘teens’ do, with a more active social media presence. If you missed his pics, you can see them here on Instagram. Then there were Greenies. Lots of Greenies.

He and I took a walk over to our neighborhood pup shop “Taj Mutt Hal” for his birthday treat and then hung out for a bit in Highlands Square letting him  be the center of attraction at the shops. It was nice spending time alone with him without a certain little Ninja trying to bogart his spotlight.  I guess in dog years, Sam would be around 79 which is probably why he’s been asking when his Social Security check will arrive. 

Elsa did get in on the afternoon celebration and offered her ‘design’ skills to rearrange a favorite toy I made for her last year. Unlike his sister, Sam doesn’t mind appendages. I think she’s been texting our favorite pair of Weimaraners for tips on how to make confetti. She’s a novice compared to the “Overlook Twins” but can sub in at any time if you have a deconstruction project. Having already eviscerated the one arm, perhaps she decided it needed to be balanced. At least she’s not a Picasso-type designer, right? Any have odds on how long the legs will stay intact now?

At any rate, both pups enjoyed a few extra treats yesterday and we managed to get some training time in using them.

“Wait” is a hard lesson to learn when chicken treats are used

Hope you had a great weekend. It sure seemed to have gone by extra quickly for us. For those of you who acknowledge it, have a Happy Columbus Day. We’ll use this day to reflect on the plight of indigenous people while waiting for mail that won’t arrive until tomorrow. Enjoy a short work week presuming you have today off.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Remember Me Thursday

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Today is a special day known as Remember Me Thursday, a “global awareness campaign uniting individuals and pet adoption organizations around the world as an unstoppable, integrated voice for orphan pets to live in forever homes, not die waiting for them.”

As you may know, rescue is very important to me. Having rescued a number of pets over the years and most recently rescuing my little black Ninja, Elsa who developed epilepsy two weeks after her adoption, Given the opportunity to shed a light on a  topic near and dear to my heart, I will whenever I can.

Far too many pets languish in shelters waiting for someone to rescue them so we hope on this day that people will consider adoption. I know each time I’ve adopted a dog, be they from a shelter or a rescue group, I have been so very well rewarded by these amazing creatures throughout my life. I continue to love and share amazing adventures with my little Ninja as I watch her ongoing development.

I hope you will consider saving a life and experience the joy of knowing you made a difference for a shelter pet in the future.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Gotcha Monday

Yesterday was the Ninja’s second ‘Gotcha Day.’ It’s estimated that she’s around six-years old now. My, how time has flown by. You can read Elsa’s initial story here or re-visist last year’s festivities here. This puppy mill survivor has come a long way indeed. When she first arrived at the Ranch, she was completely shut down and didn’t even know how to eat food from your hand. She just stared and blinked and it broke my heart that this sweet girl didn’t know how to react.

She is often a blur when she play bows, then pounces on an unsuspecting object.
Is this organic cotton?

As is typical for any six-year old, the day was marked by loads of silly goofiness and lots of barking. For some reason these days, Elsa seems to think barking is the ‘in’ thing to do every day…especially in the early morning hours until noon.  My only question now is should I be grateful she’s graduated from eating eyewear and wool socks to cotton? Yeah, I don’t think so either. But…baby steps, right? Hope you had a wonderful Gotcha Day, Ninja.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

‘Mutts Going On’ Monday

If only I could talk to the animals à la Doctor Dolittle style like Rex Harrison. Oh, what a neat achievement that would be.

Elsa ‘found’ her voice a number of months ago and then kind of let it go dormant for a while but lately she’s back in the groove coming to me every morning barking her fool head off. She’s had breakfast, had her AM walk and taken care of business so I have no idea what these musical notes mean.

Do your pups ‘talk or sing’ to you? What do they say? Have a ‘wagnificent’ Monday.

Live, love, bark! 🐾