Category Archives: Elsa’s World

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! ❤︎

Weekend Shenanigans

Woo-hoo…it’s the weekend. Elsa here. Mom didn’t post yesterday because her youngest sister was in town from Texas and her family got together again. She was celebrating her 40th anniversary but I’m not sure what an anniversary is exactly. A day is just a day for us dogs. I politely asked stole the blog so I could share life as I see it. While that goofball brother was slacking off in the living room, I snuck back in the bedroom before mom had a chance to make her bed. Sure, I heard her calling me and looking all over but decided I needed a few more 💤. Besides, I’m a Standard Poodle and have my own agenda. Getting up early on Saturday wasn’t on it.

Why she giggled at me, I have no idea. Sometimes mom is as silly as Sam. Maybe he gets his dopiness from her? Anyway, we hope you all have a ‘furbulous’ weekend!

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Manic Monday

Elsa here. Hope you all at least had a good weekend. I was subjected to hideous torture and abuse. No, my mom didn’t punish me for eating another brand new sock, no it was much worse than that. Let me explain.

Mom took me for a ride. Normally that’d be a good thing because I like car rides, but I was all alone. The numskull brother didn’t get in the car with me. What’s up with that? Should have known something was up by taking a head count. So after 87 minutes of driving we arrived at a somewhat familiar parking lot. “Hmm, I think I’ve been here,” I thought. We got out of the car and started to go for a walk around the various stores. It was sprinkling a tiny bit but it felt good; for a change, the sun wasn’t beating down on my overly long black fur coat.

After a nice walk, we walked into the pet store where Rebecca greeted us. Uh-oh. Oh yeah, now I remembered this place. This is the fur-stealing store!!! Rebecca was nice but I was nervous. She’s always patient and gentle with me and lets my mom stay in case I have a seizure so she can work on making the nasty Epi-monster go away quickly. We went into the Chamber of Horrors Secrets and she got me up on the rack grooming table all primed to torture me. This recent photo doesn’t really show how bushy and long my fur coat was. Notice the panic panting tongue? Yeah, I’m stressed. I mean, wouldn’t you be. I’m standing there being a good girl while a fur theft was going on and my mom was helping commit the crime!!!  Mom forgot to take a good pic showing off my luxurious fur coat of the muppet fur, here’s one from the beginning of June before taking me on the ride to hell.

 

This is a few minutes into the theft.

Notice the ‘I’m not the slightest bit amused and almost pleading look I gave my mom. Believe it or not, she ignored me. The nerve! Kept saying some load of crap about ‘how good I was’ and ‘how pretty I was.’ Bah…I was being robbed and tortured right before her eyes and she’s blathering on about pretty? WTH?! So clearly pleading eyes didn’t seem to affect her cold, hollow heart, so then I decided to ignore her. She gets freaked out if I’m not fussing and fawning over her all the time. Then I moved to Plan B – playing hard to get. But alas, all she and Rebecca did was drag me over to the waterboarding area where the torture continued.

I still can’t fathom why she allows all this obscene torture. What kind of mother does that anyway, huh? Haven’t a been a good girl? Ok, so I ate a few socks and chewed up a few pairs of reading glasses along the way. Don’t we all? Normally you’d think uprights weren’t so vindictive, but apparently that’s not the case with my mom. I had to quickly move on to Plan C.

 

Switching strategies, I went into full on ‘poor, pitiful me’ looks. Clearly my charm and ‘je ne sais quoi’ qualities didn’t matter one bit. If waterboarding wasn’t bad enough, there was that terrible hideous machine that sounded like an airplane was taking off. I nearly lost all the remaining furs on my body I was so scared!

My terrified expressions didn’t seem to matter so this girl had to resort to more devious action. I thought I’ll just move to the back side of the torture tub where she can’t reach me with that foul hair dryer. Just like I do at home. Heh, heh.

Alas, foiled again. Guess I forgot about long cords, though given half a chance next time…maybe we can add that to the list of things I’ve munched in the past. Just kidding, mom. Sort of.

After two hours of torture and still not completely dry, Rebecca released me into my mother’s custody where she whisked me back to safety. I remember exiting the grooming shop with a “Best in Show” prance and my head and tail held high, never looking back at the people who ogled over me while mom paid for the torture grooming session. Seriously, you uprights pay real money to torture us?

When I bounced out of the car once we arrived home, I rushed in to share my tale of woe to the useless brother who is supposed to protect me. I distinctly heard him chortle as he rushed past me to greet mom, not even bothering to get the details of my ordeal. Just wait until next month when he goes to hospital. I’ll be first to “nah, nah, nah, nah, nah” him. It will serve him right too…couldn’t happen to a dumber doofus.

Now this is the face of a happy dog! Much like Martin Luther King, I howled, “Free at last, free at last, thank gawd almighty, I’m free at last.” I’m still a tad soggy here but with about 87 pounds less fur according to mom and Rebecca. They said something about making sweaters from all my fur. Pfft…you’d be so lucky.

My only question now is…what time is dinner? How do you cope with extreme ‘pawrental’ torture?

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

 

Monday Moanings

Thief, thief…I’ve been robbed…again!

No, the hoodlum neighborhood gang of squirrels didn’t break in the kitchen window. Remember how I waxed on about the Ninja a few days ago on her terrific socialization progress was going? Fast forward a few days and now I can safely say I have a juvenile delinquent.

So the story goes like this: We were running low on dog food. No problem, I can swing by the pet food store and pick up a bag. Nothing unusual there, right? While running around I thought, I’ll swing by the grocery store too since, well, we were out of EVERYTHING. Again no problem on its surface. Let me set the scene. It was one of the many days the weather was in the mid-90’s and traffic was the pits. I finally got home, a total hot mess and sweating like stuffed pig. After carrying in several grocery bags and the dog food in the house, I thought I’d take 5 to hydrate with some iced lemonade. The dogs greeted me like they always do, I sat down and began sipping the beverage and life returned to normal. Or did it? All of a sudden I realize I’m missing a dog. Cue the spooky music.

So I go into the kitchen and see the Ninja with her head deep in that shopping bag and notice the box of croissants is semi-open with one minor detail. Only two of the buttery delectables out of a dozen remained. I took the box out and put it on the floor to re-create the crime scene since I couldn’t open the cellphone fast enough to catch the actual proof. But I did capture where she was licking up errant crumbs from the floor.

WTH, Elsa?! Those weren’t quite the actual words I said out loud (think creatively) for which this face stared back at me.

 

As if it was no big deal. Well, I guess a girl’s gotta have her pastries, I know I sure enjoy them at breakfast. I chuckled and just chocked it up to yet one more thing on the ever-growing list of things this dog has eaten and didn’t think much else about it.

The next day I was preparing dinner, I pulled this out of the oven piping hot and turned around to grab the pizza slicer and looked back to see that thieving little brat on her two hind legs standing with her front paws on the stove (something she has NEVER done since her hips are a tad wonky and always assumed it’s uncomfortable to jump up) taking a bite out of the edge. 

I hollered at her and she scurried out of the kitchen and then quick as a wink, Sam reaches up to try the same thing! Are you freaking kidding me? “Dude, you are supposed to be teaching her how to be a dog, not some waif-like pickpocket character from Oliver Twist!” *Ugh*

 

While Standard Poodles originated in Germany, I think my little urchin appears to be identifying more with the commonly thought of origination country, France for which I don’t blame her. But 10 croissants in a lightning quick moment? Dang girl! Maybe she is a distant relative of our favorite French fur-iend, Phenny and channelling her heritage?

Bottom line…I think we need to schedule a refresher training session for Sam and as far as Elsa goes, I don’t even know where to begin. Looks like someone needs a summer job to stay outa juvenile detention and maybe a DNA test to put pedigree to rest.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Totally Tickled Tuesday

Elsa has now been with part of the Ranch pack a little over 9 months. And yes, it rather does feel like birthing a new kid. Her transition from a shut down, puppy mill survivor to a quirky poodle has been filled with tears and smiles. The tears from the fact that she didn’t even know how to take food from my hand initially and from her diagnosis of canine idiopathic epilepsy shortly after she arrived. Loads of patience and love have been in her life since she joined our merry little band. Even with a big brother who at times has been slightly unkind, she is morphing into a bona fide poodle. The smiles show up nearly every day as she discovers that being a poodle in Denver isn’t a bad life after all and one who has now found her barking voice and speaks in a poodle dialect of Yugoslavian whenever she looks at something and barks. We still have no idea as to what she’s saying but it must entertain her fancy because it gets her wound up and most definitely animated.

So what’s a bona fide Standard Poodle like? Compared to previous contenders I’ve owned over the years, these dogs are brilliant (ok, that might not accurately described Sam but for purposes of this post, we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say he’s sort of clever). They are athletic and can bounce and jump with the best of them. They are quite affectionate. And yes, very fun-loving. All my poodles have been sweet dogs and Elsa is learning that snuggling can be very reassuring and comforting. Plus there’s that whole thing of us uprights having nice cushy furniture they seem to relish.

While she still has a looong way to go before I could pronounce her a full-fledged “Standard Poodle,” and who knows, she may never make it all the way, she does continue to make progress.

Take a couple of mornings ago (but please disregard the clutter ok…remember it was early before I had a chance to pick things up). We rise early so we can enjoy our walks in the cool morning air. While waiting for my first cup of coffee to brew, little Miss Ninja went on a zoomie terror around the house for several minutes. She became transfixed with a tug rope that the sheepdogs used to play with. Sam was never interested in it but Elsa will occasional pull it out of her toy basket and ‘floss’ her teeth on it once in a while. That morning, she barked at it, pounced on it, repeatedly zoomed from the living room into the kitchen with it hanging from her mouth, play bowed repeatedly before attacking it and tossed it repeatedly. I was laughing so hard I could barely get a picture with my phone on the QT. She  enjoyed playing with it for an unusually long time and I couldn’t help but smile at the thought that this ‘baby’s come a long way.’ It may not seem like a big deal, but when you’ve been a puppy mill survivor who only know a small cage for her entire life beforehand, it seems like a mountain of progress to me.

May you continue to blossom into a marvelous Standard Poodle, sweet girl and may you continue to keep tickling me along that way.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎