Fall Festival Pet Parade

Over the weekend, Sam ‘pawticipated’ in the Lutheran Fall Festival hosted by the hospital for staff, volunteers and their families. Normally we have our own get-together but this year we decided to be a part of the hospital’s event being featured in a Pet Parade complete with ‘Howloween’ costumes.

It’s well-known that knuckleheads Standard Poodles were originally bred as waterfowl retrievers. It’s a known fact that Sam hates water. He will walk around puddles on sidewalks. Imagine my surprise when I could hardly keep him away from the ‘duck pond.’

Perhaps his DNA leans more toward ‘fishing’ than retrieving.

Sam had a good time seeing his favorite therapy friends and making new ones. One of his besties is a toy poodle, named Teddy. Teddy was a puppy mill survivor who lost an eye but has never lost his heart to make people happy whenever they see him…all six pounds of him.

Teddy

Not one to shirk his therapy duties whenever there’s a crowd, Sam got busy visiting with all the children attending. And of course, investigating all the sweet treat smells, which to Sam are just as nice as little girls.

Sam adores firemen. Always has. As soon as he spotted this guy, he couldn’t get over to him fast enough. ‘Course, seeing our newest therapy teammate Zoey there probably helped too. She’s such a cutie and is going to make a wagnificent addition to our ranks.

We love attending these kinds of events because of all the terrific people attending. Sam thought he’d try his paw at face painting because he loves little girls and is so creative. Not. But a kid’s lap is just too tempting to not try to investigate. They invariably will deliver a nice ear scratch. Maybe he’s not as dumb as I think he is??

No pet therapy event is complete without little Bindy. This tiny scene stealer with her hanging out tongue is always a therapy hit.

It was really good seeing our buddy, Oreo especially since he’s been under the weather lately with bladder stones. As you can see from his smiling face, he was glad to be back in the saddle. Oreo is also a therapy dog at Denver’s International Airport and brightens the day for DIA’s many travelers.

Two of the longest-serving pet therapists were also in attendance. Beau and Mandy compete in national dance competitions in addition to bringing smiles to patients. They dress up nicely, don’t they?

Coco, the Mountain Dog looked dashing in her pirate costume.

Coco, the Mountain Dog

It was a lovely day for a festival with a good turnout of some of the program’s favorite pooches and peeps. Even Sam tried his level best at ‘Bee-ing” good for his autumn ‘pawtrait’ taking.

Sam, "Being Good"

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Wandering Wednesday

Yesterday was a gorgeous day in the 303 with mild temps and even a shower later in the day-something we haven’t seen in a couple of months. Mother Nature has been quite schizoid this summer so it was wonderful being able to take advantage of this pause in blistering temperatures. It was the perfect day to visit the Denver Botanical Gardens with a dear friend. My dear friend, Cheryl and I were awed by nature’s kaleidoscope of color and texture. Here are a few highlights from our meanderings. It was a great day shared with a great friend that reminded me how truly blessed I am by this friendship and the gorgeous venue in the heart of the city.

Water lilies in full bloom
Water lily bloom hidden in the Japanese garden
A striking bloom among the dahlias
These thistle-like blooms felt like balsa wood in the perennial garden-so unusual…so fascinating
Statuary near the herb and Biblical garden
Orange stunner
A four-legged visitor in the Japanese Garden who probably didn’t buy a ticket
The fabulous Monet Garden

Wishing you a fabulous day of wandering. Happy mid-week.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

2018 Rocky Mountain Pet Expo ~ Highlights

Last Saturday I attended the 7th annual Rocky Mountain Pet Expo in Denver. You may remember Sam & I participated at Lutheran Medical Center’s Heroes of Hope benefit race earlier that morning and I knew I didn’t want to get totally worn out in ‘overload mode’ during the expo. Fortunately like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, this event was ‘just right’ with a nice mix of pet related products, food and treat manufacturers, retail pet stores, groomers, massage therapists, apparel and couture, animal wellness companies, non-profit pet organizations including a couple of rescue groups, a mobile dog wash and trainers. It was great to see some folks I knew and catch up on all the latest. Billed as a free event, all pets were welcome upon completion of a visitor waiver. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but figured I’d be in for a treat and was not disappointed. 

As I walked from the parking lot into the National Western Stock Show arena, I passed this car and it made me giggle a little. Sure enough, as soon as I got inside, I ran into that family who brought their ‘stick-people muncher’ inside. He was a very handsome specimen for the breed.

First on the tour was Gabe of Black Dog Botanicals who I’ve talked to on the phone and exchanged a number of emails. Black Dog Botanicals is one of the first Certified Naturally Grown CBD producers. Elsa is currently on their medium to large formulation (300 Mg) and has been doing well enough to be able to reduce her Phenobarbital dosage by 25%. Woo-hoo!

One of the more well-known highlights of this expo was the ‘fashion show’ where pets of all ‘flavors’ strutted their stuff. This little guy was pushed in a Mini-Cooper themed dog stroller because every dog deserves to ride around in a posh little Mini, right? 

One of the coolest mobile dog washing vans I’ve ever seen caught my eye. The young woman entrepreneur told me how she redesigned a used mobile grooming salon into this adorable business. It had the existing tub but that was it.  With a 55 gal. water tank (complete with heater) no doubt she’ll be super successful with this cleverly decked out business. Don’t you love the hot pink?

No pet expo is complete without a bevy of adorable attendees.

“King Louie” the Bulldog
This little porker was a big-time squealer on the runway
Sweet little Bella, a tiny red poodle-waiting her turn on the runway.

Multiple dog boutiques showed off some ‘fur-bulous’ fashions, proving that all pets can be quite fetching.
I loved these treat bags
“Bark-danas, Bone-ties, Coll-arfs & Pet-Cessories” LOL
Such a cute bunch of totes
Bark-danas galore

Treat companies provided plenty of samples and both Sam and Elsa gave their 4-paw approval for the ones I brought home. But I must have been busy petting ‘visitors’ and checking out the pups up for adoption to remember to take photos.

Perhaps I was distracted by the “Pawered by: Vodka for Dog People (Tito’s) sign.”

As expos go, this one was just large enough to offer a barking good time for everyone, without being too overwhelming.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

In solidarity

Here I was trying to get Sam all spiffed up for today and tomorrow’s visits and look who came to his defense. Elsa laid on the floor in front of the tub the whole time I was bathing the long-suffering Sam. Do you think she’d be happy to take one for her brother? Yeah, me neither.

Help me!!

Live love, bark! 🐾

Zoom Zoom for Madi

Hi guys…even though it’s Sunday, Elsa and I couldn’t let Miss Madi’s 16th birthday go unrecognized. We hope her day is an extra special ride. Click here for the blog hop.

Since mom leads a boring life and has no imagination or any good stories, I said I’d share my day in the driver’s seat with my fur-iends at the fire department. They let me take the mini-fire truck out for a spin (well…until I sat on the alarm that is).

I love my friends at the fire department and hope they let me drive their truck again. Happy birthday, Miss Madi. Zoom zoom, sweet kitty.

Your fur-iends, Sam & Elsa 🐾

Live, love, bark❣

Happy Valentine’s Day

Hi there, Sam here. Well you all probably heard about Elsa over the weekend and how she had a seizure (she’s fully recovered and is making my life miserable fine now). I’m sorry when she has them but even more so this year because it kind of put the kibosh on my plans to see if sweet Lucy would be my Valentine fur-iend.  So today dear Lucy…this one is for you.  I hope you have a fur-bulous Valentine’s Day celebration. We all “woof” you.

Today is also Ash Wednesday and mom says we have to give something up for Lent. You think giving up my baby sister is what she had in mind? Just kidding, Elsa. I ‘woof’ you, too. Mostly all the time.

Live, love, bark❣

Throwback Thursday~Yeah…we’ve been away a while

Hi-ya, ‘member us? It’s me, Sam. You know, Chief Knucklehead and Standard Poodle Extraordinaire from the Ranch. Lately it’s been a rough time here. We lost a couple of beloved pups in our extended family (R.I.P. Aria, aka Big Dawg and cutie pie Wriggly-we hope you’re running free and enjoying life at the Rainbow Bridge-we hope to have a better memorial post once we can locate a couple of photos) and Mom’s been out of town for too long handling a family emergency with her mom that we hope, (fingers crossed) has been resolved. Can I get a woof, woof?! Mom came back Tuesday evening and boy am I and my goofy Ninja sister thrilled. I haven’t stopped wagging my tail and won’t let her out of my sight for a second, which has made her trips to the water torture room kind of interesting. 

We hope to be back full-time blogging after mom decompresses catches her breath like we used to, so we hope you’ll be patient with all of us. And I know she is ever so grateful for those of you who have reached out and asked what’s up with us. We appreciate your kindness, concern and fur-iendship. In the meantime, look what I dug up out of the archive backyard. My predecessors, McKenzie, Eliot and Crosby. I know, I hear your ‘awww’s through the screen and admit they were pretty adorable. I think McKenzie looks like he could have been the Ninja’s older brother. Eliot always looked like a giant stuffed toy and Crosby was mom’s first dog when she moved to Denver who also had the dreaded Epi-Monster visit him way too many times. I think mom might have been able to treat his condition better now days than she did back in those olden days. She’s learned a lot with Elsa which seems to make a difference since the monster hasn’t visited her for a number of months. We hope you’re all doing well, staying warm, safe and cozy. So what have we miss?

L to R McKenzie, Eliot and Crosby (circa 1997)

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Remember Me Thursday Tribute

Today we remember all the pets waiting at shelters everywhere and pray they find their loving fur-ever homes. We’ve done our part trying to rescue these precious babies with our own little Ninja. But before her, both the sheepdogs came to us from Denver’s Dumb Friends League at different times. Eliot was found roaming on the streets of a very rough neighborhood known more Rottweilers or Pit Bulls. He was picked up and transferred to DDFL. We discovered quickly that he was a fence jumper but resolved the issue by providing him a safe and escape proof home where he never roamed the streets again. Eliot lived with me over 12 years and provided me with love and laughter like I’ve never known. Who knew dogs could be such pawsome comedians?

Continued and frequent visits to Dumb Friends, two years following Eliot’s rescue, another Old English Sheepdog who had been taken from her abusive family through another shelter in the metro area. Puck was horribly thin and such a matted mess, her fur had to be shaved and came off like a single animal pelt. She was so pitiful to look at initially but turned out to be such a character of a dog who loved life, and relished torturing her ‘brother.’ Now there were two clowns who joined our merry little circus. Puck also lived a long life with me until she too joined her brother Eliot at the Rainbow Bridge, no doubt returning to complicating his life at the Bridge just like she did on earth.

These two joyful dogs brought so much love and happiness to my heart and Puck was Sam’s BFF. He still does double takes more than 5 years after her passing. He totally adored her. Both sheepdogs will always occupy a special place in my heart and particularly today, I pause to remember them along with all dogs waiting to be rescued with the passionate hope they may find loving fur-ever homes soon.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Tribute Tuesday

While we’ve had a rash of special pets cross over the Rainbow Bridge over the past several months, it hasn’t been limited to Blogville. A number of fellow pet therapy dogs have left as well. I haven’t shared stories about those losses since we try to soldier on as best we can despite the hole that’s left behind. When Sam and I joined pet therapy over 4 years ago, there were over 50 dogs in the program. Today that number is just over 30.

Recently one of my absolute favorite dogs left us unexpectedly, leaving her owner, Bonnie and the rest of us who knew her, simply devastated. “Fergie” was one of those dogs you just couldn’t get enough of whenever you saw her. With a regal face, expressive features, she was a pawsome ambassador for our program. I was instantly drawn to her at the first get-together for both handlers and dogs. In the midst of dogs everywhere and uprights chit-chatting away, Fergie quietly sat next to Bonnie taking it all in. She was a beautiful soul with a calm presence who represented her breed so nicely especially in the midst of frenetic motion and noise. 

FergieFergie was a wonderful therapy dog and will be sorely missed. Throughout her two years of service to our program, she and Bonnie provided much comfort and joy during their 64 visits. Sam and I were lucky to spend some time with Bonnie and Fergie at the annual fund-raising calendar sale with Fergie performing impressive tricks for people in the hospital lobby. And Sam adored her as much as I did.

Bonnie described Fergie this way:
“Fergie loved riding in the car wearing her goggles, and hanging her head out the window.  It also gave Fergie joy when she would get her toenails painted.  And I believe she liked wearing one of her many outfits.  She was an attention hog.  She knew only a few tricks but she was always willing to perform.Treats were a big must have for her.  Fergie loved chasing anything that ran.  She didn’t care to catch it, but she loved the run.  If she saw something running (squirrel, deer, rabbit, cat, anything) she would be on the chase.  But, if it stopped, she would stop, until it started running again and then it was off she goes!  When she would get tired or the poor creature would out smart her, she would come bounding back to me with her head held high, a smile on her face and a prance in her step just as pleased as she could be.”
Here are some photos Bonnie shared with me that show the great spirit Fergie exhibited with her good nature and sense of style.

Sam and I will miss our sweet fur-iend and hope our admiration for Fergie helps her mom deal with this untimely loss. Our program just won’t be the same without the two of them. No doubt there will be tons of nail polish colors and goggles just waiting for Fergie at the Rainbow Bridge. While she may be gone, she will not be fur-gotten. Rest in peace, sweet girl. 
Live, love, bark! ❤︎

Flowers for Dory ~ A Tribute

Blogville recently lost a dear fur-iend, Dory from Dory’s Backyard and today we will honor her with a tribute and blog hop. While we didn’t know her all that well, we were always inspired by her Flower Friday posts and her smiling face. Sweet little Dory will be missed by everyone in Blogville. We are sending digital hugs and tail wags to her ‘brothers’ Arty (the Mayor of Blogville), Jakey, Bilbo and to her ‘pawrents.’ Dory may be gone, but she will never be forgotten and is no doubt spreading smiles among way too many of the others who have crossed the Rainbow Bridge from Blogville and will definitely be missed.

In honor of sweet Dory, here are a few of Sam’s favorite flowers from around our garden.

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Thanks to Kinley the Westie and the Idaho Pug Ranch for hosting this special Flowers for Dory blog hop. Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list.

Live, love, bark! ❤︎