Marg Elemendorf of Marg’s Animals, is a well known blogger who is loved and followed by so many over the years. Today we all come together to make Marg’s birthday extra special since she lives alone caring for her many and beloved kitties. Happy Birthday, Marg!
Please feel free to leave your own birthday wishes here at this link.
Today is a birthday two-fer for me. Norman, Elsa and I of course send best wishes to Marg but we also send them to one of my dearest friends, Cheryl who celebrates an extra special birthday today. Happy birthday, sweet lady. I’m looking forward to celebrating with you in person this weekend.
Alright, let’s see if we can put together a bouquet of flowers for these two special women who do so much for others. Although spring is taking its sweet time arriving in the Mile High City and it may be a bit premature to cut a lush bouquet for indoor display still, there are some early spring bulbs that suggest bouquets gracing a table won’t be too far away.
Earlier this week we saw the first blooming tulips in a border along one of our walks. So cheerful and happy looking.
While the past couple of days have been cooler than our warm Easter weekend, seeing tulips blooming always brings smiles to winter-weary hearts in the Rockies.
While our garden is just waking up, there was one early bloomer that caught me off guard. I don’t ever recall seeing pink Phlox quite this early. What a nice splash of color, wouldn’t you agree?
On a quick trip to a store I rarely shop at, I stopped by their flower department a couple of days ago and saw an incredible display of indoor orchids. These two deeply colored (and not edited to boost their vibrancy, mind you) stopped me dead in my tracks. I stared for several minutes taking in all that beauty.
Definitely out of the ordinary yet stunning in true orchid style.
We hope you all have a beautiful Friday. Please enjoy some nature and find time to make your weekend grand.
Before we get to Monday, I wanted to express my heartfelt thanks to all who were so kind with their welcome back comments on our last post and extra thanks to those of you who reached out privately over the past six weeks. It has been so incredibly touching and most appreciated. The pet blogging community is quite special and I will always be grateful to each and everyone of you for your kindness and caring. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Now, let’s get to Monday. For those of you living in the US who are not quite ready to welcome another week of the campaign, I hope you find comfort in the thought there are only two more weeks until the election. Thank heavens for small miracles. I’m sure everyone will be grateful for the end of the weirdest election ever. But if that doesn’t make you smile, how about seeing therapy dogs in action from Norman’s recent inaugural visit to Lutheran. The panDAMNic has taken a real toll on healthcare workers everywhere and it certainly disseminated our therapy ranks, but ten dogs were scheduled for this event, five for each shift, which was a nice way to start up again.
Even with reduced numbers, there was still a good variety of participating pups from tiny Bindee to buffalo-sized Norman. Whatever your jam, the Lutheran pet therapy dogs have you well covered.
Norman was especially taken with little Bindee, wiggling his butt non-stop whenever he was around her but always remaining a well behaved, gentle giant. I wasn’t 100% completely sure how’d this mass get-together would fly but Norman showed why he should do quite well when it comes to pet therapy work. There were loads of “hi there, how you doing, nice to meet you” kind of sniffs with tails wags and wiggles by all the dogs. It was particularly nice to also see the handlers after many months being away.
While I personally wish there had been more doctors and nurses from the Emergency Department (they had been lobbying for dog visits for some time and could definitely use the pet therapy visits as the hospital is once again full with patients as the city’s COVID numbers have spiked lately), we did get a few drop in’s from folks I’d previously seen around the hospital with probably half a dozen EMTS and police officers.
Everyone seemed very pleased to visit with all the dogs on a perfect autumn day with mild temps and the dogs were glad to be back to work. We’re all hopeful that we can do this again soon.
Rylie also made her maiden voyage with Norman. She’s going to be a great addition of the group. At the end of the day, the Good Dogs of Lutheran’s pet therapy program made the event a resounding success and everyone is already jonesing for the next time when these special dogs are able to make people smile and breath just a bit easier in these weird times.
Whew…we made it to Friday and you know what that means…it’s time to celebrate the beauty Mother Nature provides. As usual, we’re joining our furiends, Rosy and her brothers from LLB in our Backyard on this last Friday of the month. My planned post went bye-bye with the arrival of our second snowstorm yesterday. It seems like autumn is engaged in a 15-round battle with winter.
After the first snow of the season a couple of weeks ago, I wasn’t sure if autumn would recover. But she proved she had what it takes to provide some Mile High beauty even if it was somewhat muted. Snow doesn’t always impact the changing colors here but the bitter cold definitely did. And yet it was as if Autumn rolled over, stretched and said “up yours, Winter” and proceeded to produce some beautifully colored leaves just for spite.
While Colorado is more well known for its golden aspen leaves this time of year, a few other trees offer color more commonly associated with the East Coast. Elms, Lindens, Silver Maples, and Ash trees were hit hard by the freeze but a few other trees colored up nicely including the ornamental pears.
Even with the latest snowstorm, red and white showed up and provided quite a show.
The landscape had melted by mid-afternoon having received a nice quenching drink after several days of drying winds. Today and tomorrow will be back to lovely autumn temperatures with another storm expected to arrive Sunday. And right on cue, Mother Nature is set to disappoint timid would-be trick or treaters with cold temps and more snow next week. In any event, we’re not letting it hold us back. The Ninja and Knucklehead have made it their personal life’s mission to turn me into a human kite on our walks. Cool, crisp weather seems to be their fuel for sprinting with abandon.
Have a great weekend and enjoy whatever Mother Nature offers you. She always offers some kind of gift and life is definitely richer when you accept it.
As I briefly noted in yesterday’s post, I was fortunate to volunteer at the Front Range Agility event over the weekend. For years, I’ve helped out the Colorado Old English Sheepdog Rescue group and enjoy helping them whenever I can and the group uses these volunteer events to help fund their outstanding rescue program. Normally I work the agility event that is coupled with a dog show around the same time as the AKC’s Westminster but this was a second smaller opportunity that I was happy to help them out with over the weekend. Here’s a very short video from the event.
According to AKA’s webpage, “Agility is a growing dog sport in the United States, with over 1 million entries to the AKC’s Agility Program each year. Dogs race against a clock as they navigate an obstacle course with strong concentration and speed.” These amazing dogs are incredibly athletic and you can’t help but get excited when they compete.
Agility is a sport where you direct your dog through a pre-set obstacle course within a certain time limit. With between 14-20 obstacles, including tunnels, weave poles, tire jumps, seesaws, and pause tables where the dog must stop for a set amount of time, dogs race through the courses designed for that day. The dog rely on cues and body language from their handler who directs them. All breeds, including mixed breeds, can participate in agility. Jumps vary from 4″ to 24″ and our ring mostly ran 12-24″ with a couple of dogs running at the shorter heights. There were multiple classes and levels including Novice, Regular, Jumpers With Weaves, and Master to name a few.
MACH stands for Master Agility Champion title and is awarded by the AKC . To achieve this title, dog and the handler compete as a team earning first Novice, Open, Excellent and then Master Titles. There are two games to achieve this title: Standard which includes the contact equipment (A-frame, bridge, teeter and table) and the Jumpers with Weaves. The Novice, Open and Excellent titles require three qualifying runs with progressively harder requirements and courses. The Master titles requires 10 perfect runs at the Masters Level. Qualifying runs at the Masters level also earn one speed point for each full second under course time (partial seconds are eliminated.). Once the team is competing with both runs in one day at the Master level they start to accumulate “Double Q’s”. A team earns a Double Q when they qualify 100% perfect on both runs in one day. To earn the MACH title, you must earn 20 double Q’s and 700 points, so no easy feat.
To my great surprise, I spotted one of our fellow pet therapists, Kai, who was competing in the ring I worked. Trust me when I say this beautiful Aussie is quite speedy and she had a perfect run. Being truly ignorant of the sport of agility, I could only stand back and watch as everyone whooped and hollered as an official brought out a MACH bar, signifying Miss Kai had won another title (her second I learned when I was able to personally congratulate Kai’s mom, Sue later that afternoon).
Here are a few photos I was able to capture when not working in the ring. Obviously there’s a lot of waiting until your event is up for that quick 25-40 second run. And there’s lots of barking by the competitors-they are so wound up to race. Most Shelties bark with enthusiasm as they clear each jump and race through the poles.
Running into this little girl upon arriving, I learned she was competing in her first event. She was young, sweet and totally devoted to her mom. Sorry for the blurry images, I only had my cell phone with me which isn’t very good with fast action shots.
She reminded me of Elsa though she was much smaller. I’m guessing this girl weighed in around 40 lbs. whereas Elsa hovers around 60. But she was pretty and seemed to enjoy agility.
In a big no-no, I snuck this image when I worked in the ring. Photos aren’t allowed from inside the ring at the time, and was unaware of the rule.
Even an OES competed. I’ve watched “Dallas” compete before and she is a total love. Dallas loves high flying, is a breeze to handle and is completed adored by her sweet mom, Meg who’s always gracious, warm and friendly, just like her cute panda-faced baby. Meg is a big supporter of the OES rescue group and always singles us out whenever she talks to people. Both her and her dog are favorites of competitors and spectators alike.
Here is Kai shortly after her winning run with the event official and ring judge.
Being part of the hospital pet therapy, I couldn’t be more proud of fellow therapist Miss Kai and her huMom, Sue who trained me and Sam when we joined the team.
Sue plans to continue racing Kai but at a lower height now that she’s earned two MACH titles. Kai is one of our top pet therapists whose love of people is evident whenever she encounters them at the hospital. I mean, just look at her face! How could anyone not want to hug this precious girl?
Hopefully future opportunities will present themselves so that I can continue volunteering for the OES rescue group and improving my knowledge about this fun and amazing sport. Have you ever considered participating in agility? What made you decide to get involved with it?
Tails Around the Ranch will be taking a few days off while we take time to visit with out of state family. Posts and comments will likely be infrequent but I’ll do my best getting around to seeing you as I can. Otherwise, we’ll see you next week.
Normally we welcome Friday with a toast…hey it is Friday after all, the gateway to fun weekends, but today it’s a twofer. Today we join our friends Rosy and her brothers (one of whom is celebrating the big s-e-v-e-n we might add) from LLB in Our Backyard with Nature Friday and also to celebrate World Parrot Daywith our avian friend, Kismet, a curmudgeon blue Indian Ringneck parrot. Don’t forget to click on the links to see what all is shared from Blogville for these two special events.
Happy birthday, Arty. Seven never looked better and well, Kismet…you may be a curmudgeon, but hey, on you it looks good. We hope you both have a fun filled day full of treats and smiles. And yes, that does mean lots of sunflower seeds, Kismet.
To celebrate, we’re sharing a bouquet of purple taken earlier this morning. With Mother Nature bringing lots of moisture to the garden this May, the Lupines, Irises and other early perennials are showing why this time of year is a favorite around our ‘hood.
Another purplish-blue standout in our garden also happens to be the state flower, the Columbine. Growing up I didn’t realize Columbines were any other color than this beautiful purplish-blue though I now know there are other colors. Seeing the morning light shine through the delicate petals makes me realize why the blue version was chosen as our state flower.
When I first moved to the Mile High City, my son was given a cockatiel bird who lived with us for over twenty years. Guinevere was quite the character and I was surprised that I became pretty attached to her. I don’t have any digital images of her but hoped that Kismet will not be offended by this last photo homage from a few years ago after a family of squatters sparrows moved into a holiday garland near the back entrance of the house. It’s the closest thing I have in my digital library to honor her. Having neglected to remove the garland after the holidays (too wimpish because it was too cold, too snowy and probably too lazy as well), once I realized they’d built a nest, I didn’t want to disturb them and were delightfully entertained while they were residents. Which mostly translated to being dive bombed by the parents whenever I came out of the house or shrieked at by the babies for interrupting their meals. Birds aren’t the most affectionate of Mother Nature’s creatures, but still they sure are lovely and fascinating to watch.
Hope you enjoyed this week’s twofer, Nature Friday and World Parrot Day. Make it a great weekend and get out there to enjoy what Mother Nature shares with us every day. For those of you in the Midwest who have been pummeled with storms, we are thinking of you and sending oodles of poodles of thoughts and prayers. Be safe and keep smiling.
I found a new artist on Pinterest a few months ago and will be periodically sharing some of their art here. Hope it make you smile as much as it does me.
We trust you had a great weekend and will be able to accommodate your furry friend with a good walk today. Our forecast will be semi-chilly but certainly warmer than last week. Since it will be a very busy week ahead hospital visits and other volunteer work, we should probably get started “in a minute.” 😊
So this is where we part, my friend,
And you’ll run on ahead around the bend.
Gone from sight, but not from mind
New pleasures and squirrels you’ll surely find.
Your place will be held…you will be missed
The fur that was stroked, the nose that was kissed.
And as you journey to your final rest,
Know in my heart sweet girl, you were loved best.
It’s a sad state here at the Ranch to begin this week so please pardon me while I take a moment to acknowledge the passing of a dear friend’s little companion. Precious Zoë, left her Mom, Dad and fur brother, Zeus early yesterday morning. I know she will be missed beyond words. She was a super sweet girl with a classic Westie personality and one of the best squirrel chasers I’ve ever known. To my friend, loving thoughts are flowing your way as you celebrate your little girl’s long, storied life. It’s hard to fathom she’s gone, but she will not be forgotten. May all the tender moments you shared together provide you with some measure of comfort. Thinking of you with oodles of love. 💔
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wishing you a fabulous day of wandering. Happy mid-week.
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.
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.
As expos go, this one was just large enough to offer a barking good time for everyone, without being too overwhelming.