Purple Friday ~ 2021

PurpleRather than post more images of snowy urban scenes with emerging spring bulbs (you’re probably as tired of seeing my spring storm photos as I am posting them), today we will be joining and supporting our ‘fur-iends’ from Knotty Toys for Good Dogs and the Five Sibes in a blog hop (click on the links for additional info), by participating in the annual international grassroots effort known as “Purple Day” which was created to increase awareness about epilepsy worldwide. If you make a donation of $5* or more at The Wally Foundation (who provides financial assistance to the owners of canine epileptics and dog rescue groups to obtain medications and veterinary services), you will receive a Purple Ribbon decal  in the mail (*minimum donation of $6 outside of the USA).

Elsa

As the parent of an epi-warrior, I have found a supportive and diverse network of people, dogs and informational resources since Elsa’s diagnosis just 2 weeks after she was adopted. Although I have owned dogs who suffered from epilepsy over the years, I’ve become far more educated about treatment for these special pets and no longer feel totally isolated. Educating myself to help Elsa has been a passion and both Knotty Toys for Dogs and the Five Sibes blogs have provided tremendous information that has definitely improved her life with  ‘pawsome’ tips I never knew about previously.

Epilepsy
The Ninja ‘reading’ “What’s Wrong with Gibson”

Life with an Epi-Warrior can have its ups and downs but it  doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy life like any other pet. Elsa may has her quirks due to her years of life in a puppy mill, but she still enjoys life being a sweet snuggler who loves playing with certain toys (apart from the well documented eviscerating of others).

Elsa

Every year on March 26th, people from around the world are invited to wear purple and participate in events that support of epilepsy awareness. It is estimated that as many as 50 million peeps and 4% of all dogs have epilepsy. By bringing awareness to this disease, those who participate with Purple Day events hope to bring much-needed info to those who need it. There are many groups who can provide informational resources, such as The Wally Foundation and The Anita Kaufmann Foundation, among many others. Please check them out and support their efforts providing information to sufferers of this dreaded disease. We hope you’ll join us as we rock purple today.

Epilepsy

Live, love, bark! 💜

Monday Musings ~ March 8, 2021

Monday

To strong women everywhere, Happy International Women’s Day.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

National Read Across America Day ~ 2021

Dr. Seuss

 

Welcome to “Read Across America Day.” Created in 1998 by the NEA, the celebration was created as a way to encourage children to read. Yesterday marked the start of National Reading Month which focuses on motivating kids to read. The annual reading day has typically been held on March 2, Dr. Seuss’s birthday. Even Blogville is celebrating today so be sure to check your favorite blog.

Around the Ranch, “Thing One” and “Thing Two” will celebrate (as soon as they wake up from their latest naps). I recently ordered a couple new dog books and today seems like the perfect time to begin reading them. Having Thing One and Thing Two in my lap will make it all more fun.Dr. Seuss

We hope you’ll celebrate today by reading a book to a child but a fur-kid will work too. Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

 

Monday Musings ~ March 1, 2021

Welcome to March 1st! Remember, just under 3 weeks until the official arrival of Spring. Color us happy!

Winter has been fine, but to a certain Ninja, it’s become rather boring. It’s a hard rule that bored dogs get themselves into mischief. Notice anything missing?

Toys

So when I came across this smile, it definitely seemed poetic. Elsa has not been amused with my sense of humor. Here’s hoping all your squeakers survive the week.

Smile

Live, love, bark! 🐾

International Epilepsy Day ~ 2021

EpilepsyWelcome to Monday where I usually share a smile but since today is International Epilepsy Day (a joint initiative created by the International Bureau for Epilepsy and the International League Against Epilepsy), I wanted to shed awareness on the condition since epilepsy has personally touched the Ranch  and to encourage everyone to advocate for legislation guaranteeing the rights of all those who suffer from epilepsy. International Epilepsy Day is a global event which is celebrated annually on the 2nd Monday of February. It’s also the day when those who live with epilepsy share their experience with a global audience and encourage and remind anyone who lives with this condition to live life to their fullest potential.

ElsaYou may recall that shortly after adopting Elsa (read her adoption story here or another post about some of the trials and tribulations here) from the puppy mill she had been in, she started initially having severe life threatening Grand Mal seizures. The diagnosis of idiopathic epilepsy was personally devastating, however I was determined to make her life better after all she’d already endured. Epilepsy can be managed. Elsa’s on anti-seizure medication as well as receiving multiple doses of CBD, spread throughout the day. It has taken many months to get the dosage for both appropriate in order to reduce the frequency and intensity of the seizures. With epilepsy there can be lots of trial and error. Once the anti-seizure medication dose seemed appropriate, her vet recommended adding CBD. Initially, she continued to experience seizures at the rate of about every 6-9 weeks although the intensity was reduced. After switching to a locally sourced organic CBD, her seizures came far less frequent and were minor in their intensity.

Once a year Elsa has her blood levels tested to determine the impact of the medication on her liver. While reducing the number of seizures, CBD is metabolized the same way in the liver as anti-seizure meds so her blood is monitored closely. For the most part, they’re fairly good and she had been been seizure free for 15 months but then suffered a minor seizure last month so the clock restarts but the vet is reasonably pleased with her progress. We’re working on her diet to help her shed a few pounds and to reduce slightly elevated cholesterol levels. Overall she’s doing well, giving her brother a run for his money and bringing joy to me with her sweet ways and always entertaining behavior with toys where she frequently stands over them, barks and then pounces, as if trying to cow them into submission.

Elsa is the second dog I’ve owned as an adult who suffered from seizures and while I’ve  learned a lot since adopting her, I certainly don’t have all the answers. Luckily there are many online resources and forums available to help epi-warriors’ families with ongoing questions and tips.

Did you know one in every 100 dogs is affected by epilepsy? Idiopathic epilepsy (the most common cause of seizures in dogs), is an inherited disorder, yet its exact cause is unknown. Other causes may include liver disease, kidney failure, brain tumors, brain trauma, or toxins. Onset in dogs usually begins sometime between 2-6 years. Elsa’s first episodes were quite severe, life threatening in fact that required emergency vet intervention but are now mostly well managed. Her life is relatively normal, all things considered and when the epi-monster hits, I know how to proceed to treat her. Do you know  anyone who is epileptic?

In honor of International Epilepsy Day, I hope you’ll wear something purple today to honor and support anyone who suffers from this condition, be they two or four legged.

Elsa

A partial list of resources:

Canine Epilepsy Network (http://www.canine-epilepsy.net/basics/basics_index.html)
The Wally Foundation (https://www.facebook.com/thewallyfoundation/)
The Epilepsy Foundation (https://www.epilepsy.com)
AKC Canine Health Foundation (https://www.akcchf.org/canine-health/top-health-concerns/epilepsy/

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ January 29, 2021

Can it truly be the last Friday of January (otherwise known as the 13th month of 2020)? Where did this month go?! As we usual, we’re joining our hosts, Rosy, Sunny, Arty and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard for this week’s edition of the Nature Friday blog hop. Don’t forget to “hop” over to their backyard by clicking on the link and checking out what great nature images folks from around Blogville shared.

A welcome snow shower visited us this week to cover anything that might be showing signs of life beyond the brown but we’re not complaining. Before the change in landscape, we noticed on our daily walks that shadows are long this time of year. How long you ask? Well that tree on the right side is approximately halfway into the park (a city block square) and stretches toward the two evergreens which line the outside boundary along the street.

Nature

The low winter sun makes for great shadows this time of year and captivates my eye on our walks. Norman & Elsa seemed interested in them too, though I suspect a certain fuzzy ‘hoodlum’ who scampered into that evergreen tree is what mostly  piqued their interest. I rather love that tree shadows dominate the landscape on sunny days and stretch across yards. Even Norman’s long legs look longer.

Nature

Have you ever noticed winter shadows when you’re out and about?

We hope you have a lovely Friday and a super weekend. We’re planning on being outside as much as possible before next week’s forecasted storm and cold temps. I don’t know about you, but almost 60ºF sounds like a pretty good forecast for today.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ January 22, 2021

Welcome to Friday, our favorite day of the week. It’s been another unseasonable week of pleasant weather in the Mile High which means the season of brown and drab is very much alive and well. As we typically do on Friday’s, we’re joining our friends, Rosy, Sunny, Arty and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard for another Nature Friday blog hop. Don’t forget to “hop” over to their backyard by clicking on the link and check out all the great images of nature that folks found this week.

Let’s get started, eh? As I mentioned, it’s pretty brown around here. Brown trees, brown leaves and grass, shrubs, and perennials. But that doesn’t mean nature doesn’t have beauty and interest. Take for instance, tree bark.

We walk passed a very small park in our neighborhood every day. Evergreen and deciduous trees line the outside border of this park and were featured in a post last June here after a severe wind storm. When we walk past this little park, we’re more alert for dogs off leash than any botany but a recent morning there were no dogs or peeps so we ventured in the interior a bit where some trees caught my eye. They caught the eyes of the Ranch hands too.

There are a small handful of shorter trees which I think are some sort of crab apple. They aren’t overly tall and the leaves aren’t overly flashy in the summer, but the bark…now that’s another story. Just check out the texture and shape of these babies!

Trees

This tree looks as though it’s seen a thing or two and it caught our eye.  It almost reminded me of ancient Greek olive trees. It just reminds Elsa to stay vigilant for tree rats who seem to instinctively know that she has a fierce prey drive but who are willing to tempt her anyway. How is it they seem to understand exactly how long her leash is and take advantage when taunting her?

Trees

That gnarled shape and textured bark remind me it’s good to keep your eyes open as you routinely walk through your neighborhood.

Trees

The bark reminds me of tiny shingles overlaying one another in rich and various shades of brown, grey, and tan.

Trees

All is not lost in the ‘Hood; yesterday we passed  by one front garden that is beginning to show subtle signs that spring bulbs are engaged in their annual emerging journey. Like other scenes seen from this week, there’s hope and a fresh newness in the air and in our souls (if you didn’t watch the inauguration, I would direct your attention to America’s first national youth poet laureate, Amanda Gorman. What an amazing and inspiring young woman. You can watch a video about her appearance here).

Bulbs

Notice that tiny emerging columbine on the upper right side next to the rock? I don’t know about you, but that made me grin with optimism for the days ahead.

We are still hoping for snow to fill the watershed this weekend but know that January is the driest month yet remain hopeful nonetheless. It’s been a dry winter which won’t bode well for summer time but are keeping our paws crossed.

In a rare Saturday post, I hope you’ll join us tomorrow for a look at a certain Ranch hand’s Gotcha Day celebration. Till then enjoy a beautiful Friday and a terrific weekend.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Wednesday Wishes ~ December 23, 2020

It’s mid-way during Christmas week and we wanted to send our best doggone wishes for a Happy Christmas. Christmas this year will look and feel different but our wish remain the same. May peace, joy and love of the season fill your heart this Christmas season and remain throughout the coming year. All the Ranch hands wanted to send their very own best ‘howliday’ wishes.

Norman hopes the glow of Christmas lights brighten your day and your heart.

Christmas

Elsa finds this an odd time of year, because it’s the only time of year in which she can sit in front of a dead tree and eat treats out of a sock (but hopefully not the sock). She also has her paws crossed for a respite from any other photo sessions. Sorry old girl, no promises.

Christmas

Angel Sam also sends his best wishes to you from across the Bridge. Miss and love you, Knucklehead.

Sam

The Ranch will be taking a few days off to relax and reflect on the season.

Christmas

From our family to yours, may the spirit of Christmas shine in your heart and light your path. We thank you for being in our world.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ December 18, 2020

Welcome to Friday where we join our friends, Rosy, her little sister Sunny, as well as her brothers Arty and Jakey from over at LLB in our Backyard to take a gander from around Blogville to see what Mother Nature served up this week. And what a busy week it’s been. We’re busy trying to get ready for the big day next week, baking up a storm and trying to get a couple of photo shoots in between. Not much success and Elsa and I are singing in two-part harmony on both fronts. Hrmph!

Elsa

In true 2020 form, the baking hasn’t gone quite as planned. I threw out a tray of gingerbread cookies this morning that more than slightly resembled holly leaf bricks-ugh. I’m new to baking gingerbread despite having gobs of Christmas cookie cutters and misjudged the timing they needed to bake. Plus (as seems typical of gingerbread and probably why I haven’t made them in the past, too crunchy for my tastes.

We had another small snow storm blow through earlier this week but nothing like the Nor’Easter that dumped on the east coast a couple of days ago. We hope everyone is safe and staying warm. Ole Man Winter may swing by later today but I suspect the forecast has been oversold as the next storm scheduled to arrive later today. Still, we managed to see a little bit of the local landscape around the neighborhood to see how nature is faring.

We pass by this house every day on our walks. It’s a haven for birds but alas, they are the little tiny ones who flit in and out long before a cell phone can even begin to focus on them. But it’s a charming spot which the owners nurture nature with plenty of bird seed, suet and water for a variety of birds who must compete with rascally squirrels looking for their next free lunch. Norman and Elsa find the squirrel action more than a bit enticing and I’ve had to pull them down from the retaining wall (not in view here) around this large Ponderosa pine which has been turned into quite a festive site. I nearly ran into the low hanging ornaments the first day.

Christmas

On the morning of our most recent storm, the ornaments were frosted with accumulating snow.

Snow

We hope you have a fantastic Friday and hope any holiday baking you do goes better than mine has. And if you’re not baking or decorating, I hope you can get out and see what nature has to offer when you ‘run into it.’ Happy weekend!

Live, love, bark! 🐾

 

Nature Friday ~ December 4, 2020

Welcome to the first Friday of the last month of one helluva year. We’re joining our Nature Friday weekly hosts, Rosy, Sunny, Arty and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard. Don’t forget to click on their link, to see what they and others around Blogville have discovered in nature this week.

It’s been another busy week with loads going on around the Ranch. It also was a bit on the chilly side. Yesterday was so ‘crisp’ with the wind chill that when I walked the dogs in the morning, one side of my glasses not only fogged up, it frosted for the majority of our 2 mile walk-about. It’s hard to see spots of nature through permafrost, although the ice crystals were pretty cool. Literally.

I’ve been busy working on Christmas gifts, a bit of organizing (out of necessity-where DOES all that junk come from??) and finding some holiday spirit…as in looking for holiday lights. Junk I can find, but Christmas lights and decor seem to be MIA. All of which has conspired to keep me from finding much in the way of nature in the ‘Hood.

Although I did happen to notice some ‘wildlife’ a couple of days ago on our walk and did a double take when I saw a deer from a block away, so naturally we had to investigate it up close.

WildlifeI’m in awe of how some people go all out for holidays. These neighbors had quite the front yard scene at Halloween (pirate skeletons having a garden party) and now they are working on Christmas. This is the largest outdoor blow up decoration I’ve ever seen and I’ve never found any there weren’t all vinyl or plastic. This guy had fuzzy fur!  Of course, deviating from our usual route tends to cause all sorts of canine consternation for Elsa who wasn’t all the keen on getting too close to Rudolph, though she eventually did give it a perfunctory mini sniff and then promptly looked away as soon as I pulled out my phone. Elsa, Elsa, Elsa {head shaking}. Why do you always have to look away as soon as the shutter is released?

Norman on the other hand seems perfectly content to stop, sniff, and cast his best pose. This guy needs to find a modeling agent.

We hope you are able to get out and enjoy some of the nature’s beauty or at least, check out some amazing holiday decorations this weekend.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾