Category Archives: Elsa’s World

Treat Tuesday

After a recent training class I took to help with Elsa’s meet and greet issues with little dogs, I’ve started carrying around high value treats in the pockets of all my jackets. Elsa really loves the dehydrated lung treats and really focuses on me when cued. Lately I’ve been seeing these long stringy drool bombs (ick-gag). The first time I laughed out loud thinking how funny it was. Now I’m starting to wonder what the…?? So much for ‘girls being all girly and dainty,’ eh? She didn’t seem to mind having this hanging down since she was insanely focused zeroed in on a squirrel across the street.

Do your dogs drool at the thought of high value treats?

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Epilepsy Awareness Month

Even though it’s the last day of the month and I admit to being remiss about noting that November is Epilepsy Awareness Month before now, I did want to bring attention to it on this last day of November. Purple is the color for Epilepsy Awareness and we’ve been wearing our purple bandana all month in support of canine Epi-Warriors.

As you may know, canine epilepsy hit very close to home for me. The beautiful black standard poodle, affectionately known as the ‘Ninja’ aka Elsa, came into my life last September. Two weeks after her adoption, this beautiful girl started having seizures. She was diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy which means the vet isn’t sure what is the cause. A strong factor as to why she started seizing most likely would be genetic as she was a puppy mill survivor and her lineage is uncertain. Initially it was a little tricky getting the right dosage of anti-seizure medication with CBD oil but I am happy to report that she has been seizure free since late May {knock on wood}. Having a dog with seizures can be a terrifying thing to witness.  Even with treatment it’s no picnic in the park and I knew there would be some challenging days. Despite a few hiccups along the way this past year, Elsa is living a full and normal life (just ask her brother who it seems she just loves to torture. Sam: “Mom she’s touching me again!”) Her treatment is specific, can be expensive at times and must be administered at the same time twice a day but it’s been totally worth it for the joy she brings.

Elsa’s condition has inspired me to learn as much as I can about canine epilepsy and I am grateful for loads of online information from our friends at Knotty Toys for Good Dogs and Five Sibes who provide amazing resources. Remember epilepsy is not a death sentence by any means and having the right information is critical in treating it. There are various epilepsy websites including Canine-Epilepsy as well as generalized info found at the Epilepsy Foundation for educating oneself if it ever happens to you or your pet. I’ve certainly learned a lot since that first seizure and hope, with proper nutrition and the right balance of medication, the Ninja can live a long and happy life. If chewing on eyewear is any indication of happiness, she’s in hog heaven since another pair bit the dust earlier this week. #OhThatDog!

Still I love her to pieces and every day I can witness her enjoying a happy life makes me smile. I know, hard to believe this innocent face is such a pill!

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Tag Team Tuesday

It’s no wonder accomplishing much of anything around here is a challenge. If one of these guys isn’t nose nudging for attention under my right arm, the other one will be peeking out from under the left one. Sometimes if I’m extra lucky  they will tag-team me like a champion WWF tag team. How did I get so lucky that these two knuckleheads love me this much?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do your fur-kids ‘help’ you out during the day?

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Fab Friday ~ November 10, 2017

Friday has finally arrived and it seems some of us around the Ranch definitely need some R&R. Looks like winter is starting to appear around many areas of the US, thanks to a lovely Arctic cold front being delivered by from our northern Canadian friends. So while relaxing, the curly-haired Ninja stays warm by chasing sun puddles. She looks so innocent when she sleeps, doesn’t she? Are you doing anything exciting?

Chasing sun puddles

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

In Memoriam


Mouse, Mortimer J.  2014 – 2017    A spunky, urban brownish-grey mouse residing in the garden at the Ranch, “Mortie” recently passed peacefully. As a frequent and swift-moving critter in the Poodles’ garden, he took up permanent residence in the compost bins. Internment services honoring his short life were held on a recent sunny autumn day. Mortie enjoyed scaring the crap outa everyone when dashing about and crocheting nest tunnels from grass clippings in the bins. He provided much entertainment for Ranch residents.
Contributions may be made to the Denver Dumb Friends League.


We’ve had a garden mouse for the past few years that I named “Mortimer” after the first time I saw his speedy retreat into the flowers and who I enjoyed seeing whenever he would show up thereafter. Mortie was a tiny, brownish-grey little guy who was quick as a wink, even by mouse standards. Convinced he had been some Olympian competing in the mouse 40-yard dash with beady little eyes, adorably whiskers and tiny little toes, he wormed his way into my heart after dashing into the tall flowers when I wandered into the garden, not to be seen again. Well, that is, until the next time.

For the past year or so, it seemed Mortie moved up from tall flowers and ground cover to luxuriously nesting and noshing in our 3 compost bins, enjoying strawberry hulls and other bio-scraps. Elsa would make a beeline toward the compost bins first before making her way to the potty area of the dog run and I always thought she was checking for squirrels since they have been known to hit the bin too. But since the bins had been sort of squirrel-proofed recently, it’d just been Mortie enjoying morsels. Truth be told I didn’t mind, he was adorably tiny and, come on…you gotta admit pretty cotton-picking cute and I figured he was more than fast enough to elude the Ninja. The little fella reminded me of a European character known as “Uli Maus” created by German cartoonist, Uli Stein. When a dear friend’s dad introduced me to Uli years ago, I knew I had to bring one back as a souvenir of that special trip so I found a pocket-sized version that always makes me smile. See the similarity?

Come on…he’s adorably cute, isn’t he?

When Elsa catches the scent of a critter-trail around the neighborhood she repeatedly investigates that same spot over and over even if they haven’t been there in ages, convinced they were once there and will probably be again. Recently her attention has focused on one bin in particular where I had heard Mortie scurrying around on occasion. Elsa seemed to think she knew where he was too and would often chase ‘mouse shadows’ especially at night. The other day she came back in the house with something in her mouth.  When I told her to ‘drop it’ because gawd only knows what she’d eat, lo and behold, a tiny little fur ball with a long tail was promptly spit out. Holy &#@%…are you kidding me? Grateful for her compliance, I quickly scooped up the tiny lifeless body and carried him out to a permanent resting place. I doubt she was responsible especially since a few days later when I was ‘feeding’ the mouse buffet compost bin, I saw yet another casualty. No telling what caused the passing of either of these two little guys since no autopsy was performed. Perhaps they were older but it still made me just a little sad. No more skittering flashes out of the corner of my eye with just an inkling of a tail diving into cover. Unless there are other family members left behind for which I’ll be on the alert, because…well you know…survivors benefits. Elsa will not be in attendance at the reading of the will.

Mortimer J. Mouse’s BFF

Seriously, does this look like the face of a garden exterminator? Yeah, I don’t think so either. Mostly.

Innocent face or ruthless exterminator?

At any rate, let’s pause for a few moments of silence to honor the Uli look-alikes, Mortimer J. Mouse and his unnamed BFF. I hardly knew either of you but hope you lived happy lives in the compost bin. At least it was organic nibbles. Rest in peace little buddies.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Another One Bites the Dust

The 4-pawed demolition squad, otherwise known as the Ninja, has struck again. One of Elsa’s favorite toys that she plays with frequently unceremoniously bit the dust. I thought it only fitting it had the pawfect funeral requiem before it goes to the toy graveyard mending basket.

Hard to believe this innocent looking poodle is so treacherous when it comes to toys. Early on I learned the cute toys with adorable arms, legs and noses that uprights favored were fair game when introduced to this munching machine. I have tried to keep toys without angles, edges or appendages, preferring rounded shapes so as to keep the jaws of death less likely to inflict the special death she foists on them.

Here’s just a tiny sampling of toys that once had ears, fins, and other protruding parts before my ‘Jaws’ eating machine got ahold of them. It always cracks me up how she’ll play nice and then all of a sudden WHAM! Something possesses her mind and she must then eviscerate the ever-loving stuffing out of it.

Sadly many of her stuffies have not been able to be saved, despite valiant attempts by the resident seamstress. Frankly, some were so chewed up, not even the ‘Doctors of TV‘ could put them back together. I think poor ‘Nemo’ here is just about on his last fin. The smiley ball used to have long floppy ears now only sports nubs (I’m surprised she hasn’t eaten the tag). And yet, it makes me happy to see her cart them in her mouth to the back door waiting to go on a walk with a half chewed stuffie in her mouth. Which is why whenever the fabric store has a coupon, I try to find remnants to stock up on for future projects. Looks like I’ll be visiting again soon and trying to whip up something clever that she’ll destuff enjoy even if only for a short time. She seems to enjoy the bone and heart shapes made earlier this year, so maybe Santa will make more of those.

Do you have a Kraken who destroys toys chewer who enjoys the stuffing a little too much?

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

October Is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

While inadvertently fur-getting to acknowledge National Black Dog Day, I decided not to make a similar mistake again by not noting that October is Adopt a Shelter Dog. Sam and I did our part rescuing Elsa and always encourage others to save a shelter pet. Shelter dogs have so much to offer and so much love to give. Every year 3 to 4 million dogs are euthanized because the number of pets in shelters exceed the number of shelter adoptions. Shelter pets come in all sizes and breeds and there’s bound to be something for everyone. Many shelters even have a number of purebred dogs as well. Remember our Remember Me Thursday post last week where we mentioned Eliot and Puck? They were each rescued from a shelter a couple year’s apart as was McKenzie, my sweet, black standard poodle. All three of those rescues lived long, happy lives while providing the family amazing joy and happiness. All these pets want is a chance to smile and have the opportunity to share their lives with a loving upright.

So this month in particular, if you’re looking for a pet, remember #AdoptDon’tShop. Put a smile on a rescue and they’ll leave indelible paw prints on your heart and in Elsa’s case, probably chew up a couple pair of glasses, socks and other weird things-but gosh I love this girl so much. She brings such joy every day.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎